Green Jackets, Tassels & Hoods

So I am a little behind on this post….

Over a month ago was my final weekend at school. The last intensive (4 days of in person classes), the final presentation, last party, last circle, and final meals at Islandwood. And it was great!

I went into the weekend well prepared…good thing since my first order of business was the kickoff presentation of the weekend! To add to the pressure to preform my sponsor, a high level company executive from the company I did a graduate project with, had flown in to hear me speak. And you know what? I killed it! Awesome presentation that so many complimented me on. It was an amazing way to go out.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key: great meals, awesome conversations, and many ceremonies to pass BGI culture on to the next class. My favorite tradition? Green jackets. You know, Masters, green jacket? Yep, we have a rack of green thrift store jackets that span every fashion era you can think of. And we rocked those jackets every evening for dinner.

Graduation itself was on Sunday, and was a long day after an already marathon long weekend. We were all dressed up and hopped the 9:35 ferry to Seattle, had dress rehearsal, and at noon were being welcomed to our final moments as students.

 

Graduation was a Seattle Town Hall, a somewhat unknown but beautiful and iconic building. The ceremony was great, personal and we had a really good speaker. It was also really hot in that black regalia. It was so much fun to see my friends walk across the stage, and see my parents, in-laws, husband and grandma cheering me on from their seats. What a great feeling!

After the ceremony we took photos, explored Freeway Park, and then met up with some classmates for a fun outdoor dinner party on Lake Union.

It was a great day. Friends, family, and a significant milestone. Hard to believe we are already over a month into summer without school!

One Month

Today is May 8. On June 8 I walk across the stage in cap and gown to receive my MBA diploma. One month. The end of two years of work.

I cannot wait!

To be fair, this quarter has been very manageable. I took one fewer class so the work load is MUCH lighter, and my final project is in final reviews (aka: mostly down time and waiting). This afternoon I will be on campus for my second to last intensive weekend.

We are excited about being on the other side of graduation. We have two large summer trips in the hopper, and a laundry list of other hikes, adventures and projects to tackle. First up: a San Juan islands kayak trip. Currently slated for the end of July. August will bring a weekend of camping and hiking in the North Cascades, and then September rounds out the summer with a camping surf trip to Oregon. It’s going to be a good summer!

Mixed in with all that is our plethora of house projects, seeing family, and oh yea, working.

We are already getting a taste of school freedom. This week I had no classes, and each night we would take a walk to the beach. We have two beaches within walking distance from our house. Matt likes to say we have a sunrise beach (east facing) and a sunset beach (west facing). We love being no more than 20 minutes from the water by foot!

Family Ties

One intensive weekend down, only two more to go. Then I am DONE with my MBA! Crazy how quickly these past two years has gone.

It was a beautiful weekend out on Bainbridge Island. Classes were so much more motivating with sunshine! To make things even better: I am taking one fewer classes this quarter. That means more free time, more conversations, more absorption and reflection as this adventure wraps up. Such a good choice.

Another bonus this weekend: my brother Troy came up to BGI and to visit us! He is working on some projects in San Francisco that connected back to BGI (super small world) and so our paths came to cross in a very cool way. When he was on campus we took a long walk and enjoyed some good meals. It was fun to share my community with him and introduce him to so many people. It still cracks me up that our very different lives have still brought us to the same people and same values in our work and communities.

With no class on Sunday (woohoo!) we were able to come back to Vashon mid morning and spend the whole afternoon in the sun. We lounged in the back yard and took a drive around the island to show Troy our place. Dinner was a picnic on the deck to soak in more brilliant sunshine.

Monday I choose to work from home, and pounded through tons of work both for school and work-work. When Matt got home we went for a beach walk adventure and then came home to another picnic dinner. Everything is blooming and bright green!

It was a great visit, and so fun to connect with Troy. It is fun to share our special place with him and compare notes on Todos Santos (another place we both feel a strong connection to) and just catch up as friends.

Transitions

As part of my MBA program at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (59 days till graduation!!!), we have a two year track in leadership and personal development (LPD). The course has been amazing. Right now we are working through a book on life transitions. Now I am not one that gravitates towards self-help books, but this one has really been awesome. I recommend it for EVERYONE…at any stage of life.

Check it out. Seriously.

It has helped illustrate some of the stressors in my life that are related to bigger things happening at work, with Matt, with the past, and with how I think about the future. Very helpful, easy read.

And you can get a used copy for $0.73 on Amazon. Do it.

100 Days

In 100 days I will have my MBA. I will be through with my 18th year of school. I will be back to having TIME! (yea that won’t last long…)

I am so excited to tackle house projects, get back in shape, blog more, do art, garden, spend weekends homework free, and celebrate these last two years of work. Oh it will be so nice!

So what have we been up to recently? School and work. That is about it. I have been out of town more days in the past two weeks than home, and am so ready for the weekend. Two whole days of nothing but being home on our little island…maybe dotted with some snow (and I suppose homework but I am choosing to ignore that point for now). Right now it is sunny in Seattle and absolutely stunning!

Armed with a tax refund and bonus (woot!) we are tackling some house projects and some wardrobe refreshers for me. Item 1 – new living room rug! Here is a preview…it arrives on Tuesday!!!

Red 5' 2 x 9' 8 Borchelu Rug | Persian Rugs | eSaleRugs

I have be coveting a new purse for ages, specifically one that I can sling across my body on the bus. Professional style, high quality, leather, with personality. I have searched high and low and recently came across this custom beauty on Etsy! Now I just have to decide if I order it in sand (pictured) or brown. I’d love some other opinions!

13.5 inch. wide x 9 inch. tall x 5.5 inch. deep

We have crocus blooming and I expect other bulbs will pop open today with all this sunshine. Spring is on the way!

Oh Texas

I am in Houston once again. As if these two weeks were not full enough (regular class + work + 5 extra FULL days of class), Sunday I jumped on a plane to Houston for two days of meeting for my grad internship. So here I am, in a grey 72 degrees with humidity while my parents have over 1 ½ feet of snow! It is a productive and fulfilling trip (complete with room service, a nice hotel and AMAZING corporate gym + pool) but it is hard to be away from home for so many days in a row. I am so excited to be home on my little island to process all that has happened this week!

My perception of work swings week to week. I am working hard to define my path forward and where that will be best facilitated. I ran across a dream job description last week which gave me inspiration to get more stepping stones in place to get there. Lots of movement. Lots of emotion. Not enough mental space to hold it all!!! June is going to feel so good!

So yea, in general all is well. I feel grounded and more in control of my path. I feel articulate in what I want. And I feel valued. And enjoying room service in Houston.

Life is full. 

Presence

Last week I took an amazing facilitation course. Connecting people with different ideas and different perspectives to create something new is my calling. I love it. And facilitation skills are key to being effective. This course: awesome.

On day one we did an interesting exercise. What does it mean to by truly present with another person? We were to stand in front of another member of the class (that we did not know) and just look at them eye to eye and experience the…well, experience. It was crazy. We stood there for 17 minutes and it felt like 5. Uncomfortable, disconcerting, calming, embarrassing, flattering. We all ran a gambit of emotion and thoughts. But you know what? It taught me something about how I normally am when I thought I was present in the past. I move my eyes too much, think about other things. This illustrated to me the value of just being with someone else. Powerful. And changing.

Since that exercise I have shifted my focus to this intention: presence.

I am  navigating crazy stress and too many things to juggle. Extra classes. Work. Travel. Catch up on homework. There is a lot…and I am working hard to just be present with it all.

Today I worked from home. Cranked through some back burner work. Checked over 10 things off my list. Called my mom. Talked to an alum about a job dream. Finished our taxes. Ate mac and cheese.

Presence. It is amazing what you can get done when you stop worrying and let yourself just be.