You might not be able to tell from my love letter posts to t-shirts, but I’m not really an overly sentimental person. I’ve always had trouble with New Year’s because it just seems disingenuous to announce life-changing resolutions based solely on an arbitrary quirk of the calendar (and a couple glasses of bubbly). Why is that day any better than any other for committing to making your life better or different in some way?
But honestly I’m glad to see 2011 go and am hopeful that 2012 will be better to us all. 2011 had it’s perks – I spent three weeks in Ireland (with 30 college students in January), sat on the beach, dug raw garnets out of a mountain, built a house with my husband after a decade of apartment living, deepened friendships. Those are the things I’m going to try to remember about 2011 instead of the rest of it.
But because 2011 was so stressful in so many ways, I found myself making a new beginning, a recommitment really, to Sigma Kappa because Sigma Kappa has been a constant support system for me since college. I took on more responsibility with Kappa Zeta and committed to connecting the collegians with our Triangle alumnae chapter. I organized a trip to a local exotic animal center for both groups (who doesn’t want to spend the afternoon five feet away from some lions and tigers?), and managed food and fun donations to the collegians for special occasions. I organized a small project as a Sister-to-Sister disaster fundraiser to help sisters affected by natural disasters this year. I’m even here chatting with you every month now.
I’m thankful that I’ve taken the opportunity to recommit to Sigma Kappa, and if one t-shirt represents new beginnings to me, it’s my first Kappa Zeta shirt. This shirt is all the more special because I wasn’t even on campus yet when it showed up at my apartment half way across the country unexpectedly. When I interviewed at Elon, I knew it was my dream job, and the fact that there was a Sigma Kappa chapter I could work with was icing on the cake. I wasn’t able to meet with anyone from Greek Life while I was on campus, but I interviewed with wonderful people from all parts of the university. When I got back from my campus visit, I received an email from Greek Life informing me that the faculty advisor for Sigma Kappa was Nancy Midgette – an associate provost and one of the wonderful people I had interviewed with on campus. Needless to say, I contacted Nancy immediately, and in the five years since she has become a friend and mentor.
But one of the most special things about Nancy is how thoughtful she is. I accepted my position at Elon in December and would not begin until the next August after I completed my dissertation. But in February, I got a package in the mail from Nancy. In it was that first Kappa Zeta bid day shirt and a note welcoming me to Elon and to the Kappa Zeta advisory board. To this day that shirt reminds me that new beginnings aren’t always completely new – sometimes we just need a little push to start fresh, to make an extra effort, to feel welcome, or to recommit.
So as you are entering this new year, consider the opportunities of new beginnings a little differently. Rather than resolving to lose those 10 pounds (again) or to keep the house spotless (umm, not me, will never happen) or whatever else, what would happen if you recommitted to something you love (like a hobby, or a relationship, or yourself)? Could you just commit to taking the time to remember and honor those things this year? Sometimes recommitting is more exciting than starting anew. This year, I’m recommitting to Sigma Kappa and work-life balance.
Thanks for the t-shirt, and the reminder, Nancy.
This post was written by Rebecca Pope-Ruark. Contact Rebecca at email@example.com
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