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The first week and a half at the new company is going really well. I met my boss in person for the first time on Monday. We had a phone interview a couple of months ago and then he immediately sent me off to meet with his VP. The email and phone contacts with him afterwards were delightful and encouraging. He even gave me the green light to go back to my previous employer for two days last week to help them out with the 2014 plan process.

Last Thursday and Friday back at my old job turned out to be hectic. Some of my colleagues commented that people never came back after starting a new job. Well, I get attached to people. My former boss, the directors of the businesses that I supported and my team member who was taking over my responsibilities have been my friends for many years. I felt bad for my successor who had to master with lightening speed a forecast system that I had built over the years. So I did my best to answer his questions and reviewed everything with him one more time in an effort to connect the dots for him. Yesterday he ran the whole process from the beginning to the end, sent me the outputs to review, and thanked me for helping him out through the longest day of his life. The team took me out to lunch last Thursday and I received lots of hugs on Friday. Terry, the techy guy on the team who never appeared to be serious about anything, came and sat in my office the last hour I was there, working on his computer the whole time. He gave me a bear hug as I was picking up my stuff to leave. And then all the folks I had been working with showed up at my cube to say goodbye. For a minute, I wished I didn’t have to leave so that I could be with these wonderful people for many more years.

So far the job switch has proved to be a brilliant move. The environment of my new job is much more collaborative and supportive. Because the company is financially healthy and funds are abundant, the stress level is relatively low. As the Chicago site was established a little over a year ago, most of the people working on my floor are new to the company and younger. I sense a lot of energy and creativity around me. They are really trying to make it a fun place to work. Whenever a VP comes to the Chicago site, there are dinner outings and happy hour gatherings. I went to dinner with my boss and the team on Monday but opted out of the happy hour on Tuesday so that I could spend time with the two precious guys in my life. I was told these visits were quite frequent. Starting this week, I am going to work from home very Friday!

If my job search endeavor has led me to a more stable and promising career, Jane’s quest for a summer 2014 internship continues. Like what I did two months ago, next week she is going to a different state for a second interview. When she sent out the message, Joe, Michelle and I rejoiced. I know Jane will be crushed again if she doesn’t get this job. But how is she going to build up resilience and endurance in the absence of setbacks? Meanwhile, we are doing everything we can to ensure that her venture will be a success. Jane ended the group chat with “Okay. Thank you for all of the advice!!!!!!”

Michelle is exceling academically as expected. She had her final interview with the AK Psi Fraternity and was officially accepted as a member last Saturday. One of her best friends didn’t make the cut, which made Michelle very sad. Her pledge class’s fund raising is still going. Michelle is leading the pack (thanks to her mother’s wonderful friends) and she has taken my advice of assigning accountability to each member. You can still help them reach their goal by going to Click on “Choose a member you wish to support” and select Michelle Xu (on the second page). Then you can purchase whatever is appealing to you. Forty cents of every dollar spent will go to AK Psi.

Jake started hockey a couple of weeks ago and he loves it! He struggled with handling the stick the first time but looked like a pro the second time and even scored for the team. All those private and group skating lessons are starting to pay off. We quit drum because he disliked it very much, and instead he wants to learn how to play guitar.

Joe is working on losing some weight. He has been running a couple of miles outdoor at work before lunch. His slogan is “要把身体搞上去,把肚子搞下来”(To increase health, and decrease belly size). I hope he’ll reach his goal.