Ahhh, the great and powerful new year’s resolution. I must admit, I’m not terribly good at keeping them personally, but that won’t stop me from trying to do it professionally. So, as I ponder this post, I did what any good half-academic / half-practitioner would do. I googled “how do you write a good new year’s resolution”. Shockingly, google wasn’t terribly helpful. The first problem was that my auto-fill feature tried to auto populate my query with “how do you get pink eye” and “how do you make slime” (both of which rouse some confusing and alarming questions about my search history).
Anyway, after powering through numerous results which included top 7 ways to write a resolution, 29 new year’s resolution ideas, and 17 new year’s resolution prompts (and having a momentary mind scamper about what ever happened to top 10 lists), I decided to just write the truth. At the end of 2018, what is it that I most hope I will have achieved? To get to that answer, I needed to go back a bit…
I think anyone who knew me 10 years ago would be shocked to see my LinkedIn now proudly reflecting the UC Berkeley logo. I was then, and still am, a born and bred east coaster. I know how to get into my car when the doors are frozen shut; I know how to keep my hair straight when there is 100% humidity; I know how to cook wild game so that it’s not only palatable – but delicious; I know the difference between redding up my house and cleaning it. You know, all of the things that a good PA girl should know.
As the daughter of a coal miner, I also know what it means to work hard and to put blood, sweat and tears into everything that I do. And it is with that attitude that I left my PA roots 4 years ago to try my hand at the California lifestyle. My first stop on that journey was about 70 miles northeast of here in Davis. And upon arrival, I HATED it. Not to say anything bad about Davis – really Davis, it’s not you, it’s me. But as a born and bred east coaster, everything about that sleepy little town made me angry (including the daily sunshine and the hardy way strangers tried to ask me about my day in line at the grocery store). It wasn’t until I made a trip to the beach just north of San Francisco that I truly began to appreciate how wonderful this place is. Yes, that’s right, it was a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge that melted my cold, east coast heart to the magic that is the Bay Area.
So, after four years at Davis, I am now lucky enough to be a newly minted member of the UC Berkeley team. As I look back over 2017, I think of it as the year that got me where I was supposed to be. From my beloved Penn State to my newly beloved Cal. So, as I contemplate looking back over 2018, what do I hope to see? I hope that I will have made this great University even better by being here. How will I do that? I’ll engage; I’ll invest; and I’ll uplift others.
To Engage, I’ll go to events and meet new colleagues. I’ll ask questions and listen when I get answers. I’ll probably make mistakes, and when I do, I’ll apologize, learn and keep going.
To Invest, I’ll bring my full self to work every day, well rested and ready to give 100%. I’ll be mindful of how I show up and ask the same of those around me. I’ll not settle for the easy answer, but strive for more.
To Uplift Others, I’ll share what I know and grow those around me. I’ll not move forward by stepping on the backs of others, but instead I’ll help when someone falls down and inspire when someone is lost.
I will live my 2018 work life by one of my favorite quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” As the new Chief Learning Officer at UC Berkeley, together we will chart our sea and build our vessel to conquer it. This I resolve to you!