Getting Used to the New Place

Well, I’m now in my second day of work at my new place of employment.  What a week it has been.

First, I miss my family, I miss my wife (and now, let’s all sing, “Rocket man, rocket man”) and I miss my friends in Winfield.  Second, I’m already starting to feel at home among my new colleagues and in the new work environment.  Third, moving into a new residence after living fourteen years in the old one is just plain weird.

For several reasons, I’m here in Texas weeks in advance of Joni and virtually all our furniture.  The sellers of our new place graciously agreed to be my landlords for two or three months while we get our place sold and our daughter married.  So, Monday morning, June 29, I climbed into my little red Chevy Colorado, loaded with books, files, clothes, toiletries and a mattress and box spring across the top of the truck bed, all covered with a gray plastic Wal Mart tarp and bristling with ropes and bungy cords holding everything in place.  Oh yes, I had my guitar behind the seat and two more boxes of files.  I have to admit, when I drove into my new neighborhood and pulled up in front of the new “home,” I was imagining the Beverly Hillbillies.

By the way, my new “house” is on the fourth floor of a twenty-two story (I think) high rise.  I park in the parking garage and take the elevator to my “house.”  We have a gorgeous view of downtown Dallas, which is about 6 miles to the south.  I can drive to work in about 7-8 minutes.  If traffic is really heavy and I hit the lights wrong, it can take 10 or 11.  I love it.

I’ve learned a couple of things about our new place already.  First, the chandelier in the dining room is really, really low.  The first night, I came out of the kitchen with my head down (stupid) and clunked right into the chandelier.  I really made the thing swing. The second night in the new place, I came out of the kitchen with my head down and…well, I shouldn’t repeat myself.  When I go in the bathroom, I’m still feeling around to find the light switch.  When I go into any room, I’m still feeling around to find the light switch.

First day on the job, I get a parking ticket.  I thought I parked where the Park ‘N Pony desk clerk instructed.  I even had a campus map!  I now know where to park.  Went to my first meeting of the Student Affairs division.  Good people, I can tell.  Yesterday was the first of several orientation sessions for new students, acronym AARO.  I sat at lunch table with new kids and parents and told them I’m a new kid, too.  The student leaders taught us some of the SMU spirit routines – the fight song, etc.  Pony up!

Ah, my references!  At dinner yesterday evening, I kept referring to Southwestern College in the present tense, as if I still worked there.  Awkward.

In spite of the intensity of concentration the simplest of acts takes right now, I’m amazed and thankful for how smooth the transition has been so far: from the sellers of our new home who are willing to be landlords for a few months while we sell our Kansas house (ergo we only have to move once), to my new staff on the SMU campus welcoming me with open arms, to my new boss and colleagues who are helping me feel like I belong.  As the logistics of the move begin ever so slightly to recede, I find myself thinking about beginning to put my hands on the plow, about next Monday’s meeting with my staff, about ministry.  The juices are starting to flow!

About Stephen Rankin

Professionally I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. I currently serve as University Chaplain at Southern Methodist University. Personally I am married to Joni and we have four grown children and four grandchildren. You can find my personal thoughts on this site, as well as on twitter at @stephenwrankin.

Comments

  1. I suppose that the “new” will wear off soon and you’ll learn to keep your head up! 🙂 Glad that you’re getting settled in…

  2. Yes, I’ve learned.

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