Sunday, May 20, 2012
In the past three weeks I have been working as much as I ever have in my life. The week before last I put in easily over 100 hours of work, while having slept a grand total of 9 hours between Monday and Friday (as in 3, 3, 0, and 3 per night). It was a perfect convergence of multiple conflicting deadlines, including a special-solicitation grant proposal that I really really want to see funded and deadlines for print for the conference I am organizing... Being a one-(wo)man organizing committee in charge of every detail (including the website, technical program, layout of abstract books, renting poster boards, making reservations for speakers, catering...) is a lot of freaking work...
Anyway, there are a number of substantive posts I have been meaning to write, and I hope to get to them when the work insanity abates a little. Maybe...
Btw, Academic Jungle recently had its 2nd birthday! Which I missed...
On May 17, 2010, it opened with this post. Happy bloggiversary to mois!
If I had a little more time, I would write at length about why I blog. But instead I give you a stream-of-consciousness digest. I started blogging to share my tenure track survival tips. But, a blog has a tendency to turn into whatever you need it to be... Currently, I am going through some sort of premature midlife crisis, especially on the professional side. I feel restless, bored, often wondering where the spark has gone (to the grant-writing and service gods, that's where), how to get it back (no idea, probably by trimming all the unnecessary obligations and getting more sleep; in the meantime I keep plodding along), and if I even care whether I get it back (would science actually be worse off if all of my contributions, past and present, were simply removed from the picture?).
In the academic blogosphere, a number of profs write as if they have all the answers. I don't know if they really do or if that's just the internet persona. I may on occasion come across as condescending (so I have been told), but I hope I most often come across as real (even if grumpy or otherwise unpleasant). I do not have all the answers in my personal or professional life, and I hope that's clear from what I write (and I am sure someone will say that makes me a loser. Or something.) I have definitely not figured out how to be as blissfully happy as my objectively wonderful life situation should be able to make me. I have not figured out where I see my intellectual contributions and how much of my life I want to continue dedicating to the pursuit of science. In the last couple of years this occupation of mine has started seeming frivolous -- who the heck cares? I have started thinking ever more acutely, almost incessantly, about the imminence of dying and that this life is the only one I have, and whether I really want to spend it the way I currently am -- working too much for dubious glory, being less in shape and having less energy than I could, not enjoying my husband or my beautiful kids as much as could... This is all going to end in the blink of an eye and I don't like where my priorities are, nor am I enjoying all I have as much as I could or should.
So in Academic Jungle's 3rd year, there will likely be more academic musings as I wrap up my sabbatical and go back to teaching, but there will be even more musings on working motherhood and more still on academic mid-career angst (with generous helpings of navel gazing).
Have all the answers I do not.
But a gem by beloved band bestow upon you I can. /yoda out
Posted by GMP at 6:07 PM