Lots of milestones in May. May 19 marked exactly one year at our current address in Atlanta, last week was the one year anniversary of employment at the Large Nameless Agency, so I spent the weekend kind of moping around the house missing Omaha, missing the Park Service, and generally doing the usual second guessing about roads not taken. I still have very mixed feelings about the lateral from NPS to LNA, even though it did provide more job security (went from being a term employee with an uncertain future to being Permanent [I always feel like should use text art on that magic word, and maybe include some special effects, too, kind of like in the Disney movies when Sleeping Beauty or Snow White wakes up and suddenly there are butterflies fluttering around and birds singing]).
Some of the mixed feelings come from remembering what we left behind -- the 1920s Craftsman bungalow with the great front porch, the quiet neighborhood, and an actual yard -- as compared to what we've got now; some is probably lingering culture shock, both professionally and away from the office. The work I do now is generally interesting and possibly important, but there's no way sitting in a cubicle editing an article on one particular aspect of tuberculosis is ever going to be as much fun as hiking the backcountry at Buffalo National River or getting out on Lake Superior at Apostle Islands.
Addendum: Then again, I did get handed an assignment last week that encouraged me to dream up a nasty contagious disease that started off looking sufficiently benign to lull clinicians into not worrying about it immediately but then had victims dropping like flies -- it isn't every day that a person gets asked to channel Stephen King. I have to admit that this job, too, has its moments.