The end of 2017 has been the weirdest stretch of time I have ever experienced. Nothing constant. Just ups and downs. Strange’s mother had her stroke, went on hospice and died five days later. His condo in his former town has an offer on it, so we may be able to think about buying our own home together someday. We made plans to meet his father and stepmother in a nearby city, and then his father ended up in the hospital with a flare of his COPD. He was treated, ended up leaving the hospital, but when we got home Strange developed new afib and was cardioverted in the middle of the night in the emergency room.
I just can’t remember a time in my life when the world felt so unsettled and at odds with itself. This week I’ve heard several of the organizations I am affiliated with professionally say that they are committed to increasing the diversity of their membership, but I’m also watching the women around me struggle toward tenure. Women who have all of the accolades and accomplishments their male colleagues have, except for one long, dangly one. My closest friend here was easily wooed away to industry. In so many ways, there are as many barriers today as there ever were before.
And I’m struck by how, at nearly 40, it is so much more difficult to make female friends than it used to be. There just aren’t as many of us around, compared to 20 or 30 year old women, unless you venture out beyond the ivory tower.