Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A status update that requires explanation

Facebook asks: “What’s on your mind?”

Here is one status update that requires explanation, a bit more than what I might usually devote to a Facebook post.

The update basically has to do with the fact that I’m writing this in South Bend, Ind., preparing to return to Durham, N.H., in a couple of days.

This will be a pattern that will repeat itself in the years ahead because my wife, Jane Murphy, has started a job as the director of communications for the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend.

I’ll divide my time between South Bend and the home we’ll keep in New Hampshire, where my post-retirement working life is based.

This is both a challenge and an adventure for us.

A big part of the challenge is logistical. The most inexpensive way to travel to and fro is through Chicago. So, my trip home, for example, will involve a commuter train ride from South Bend to downtown Chicago, a subway ride from downtown to the airport, a plane ride from the airport to Manchester, N.H., and a bus ride from Manchester to Portsmouth.

And, yes, there is an emotional challenge. Jane and I aren’t accustomed to being apart for long periods of time. But challenges are part of any adventure, and for a routine-oriented Baby Boomer like myself, the notion of adventure is a good thing.

It requires forward thinking, not just living in the moment, which many of us can get trapped into doing. I think about what we can do,where we can go now that part of our lives will be centered in the middle of the country.

To understand why Jane would take a job that takes her away from her kids and grandkids you have to understand Jane. I often tease that she has three priorities in life - Notre Dame, Bruce Springsteen, and family ... though not necessarily in that order (sometimes Springsteen trumps Notre Dame).

She graduated from Notre Dame in 1983 and is a devoted alum. To be offered a job at Notre Dame and to be offered a job as director of communications for one of its prestigious colleges is a dream come true.

And there wasn’t a long-term future at the newspaper where she has worked for many years. For Jane, looking ahead 10 years down the road at the future of Notre  Dame is a heck of a lot brighter than looking ahead 10 years at the future of newspapers.

Jane and I over the years have shared a friendly rivalry over our respective college hockey teams -- her Notre Dame Fighting Irish and my University of New Hampshire Wildcats. That’ll play a little more intensely now that they are members of Hockey East and as I proudly walk the ND campus wearing my UNH cap.

Change can bring threats and opportunities. With this change of status, we’re focused on the opportunities.

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1 comment:

Dan Kulak said...

Congratulations are in order! Paul, you will now get a chance to see why Notre Dame du lac is such a magnet. You may not remember, but I am a part of the class of '64 and yes that was 50 years ago! (My class still holds the worst football record in Irish history. On the other hand, my daughter graduated in 91 and never saw them lose at home!