Sunday, December 5, 2010


Having just been reminded about this month's Scientiae AND having just received my early christmas gift from Partner (a KINDLE!), maybe it is time to stop whining about work. Maybe it is time to start giving myself a break. Which I don't think is entirely possible, considering that yesterday I ran errands, cooked, cleaned, painted some woodwork and some repaired walls, worked out, spent some time with a friend and STILL felt guilty that I hadn't done anything research-related. It's a sickness, as we all know.

This week I'm hoping to schedule a classic margaritas-and-guacamole get-together with a good friend of mine, with whom I occasionally turn into a complete glutton. But I think that's good for us, especially since we're both under a lot of stress most of the time. I think we all need an excuse, and not just on holidays (though not TOO often), to just eat and drink whatever we want to with the people we most enjoy in this world. I also say that knowing full well that I've kicked my own ass with P90X all week, and therefore can afford a night out.

I've recently been down on my career, probably due to the end-of-term grading and stress (a very wise colleague always cautions that we should never make decisions about the next field season at the end of the current one, and their advice most likely applies here as well) - mostly about how much work goes into a job that pays what it pays. I need to get back my graduate student mindset, where I was really excited that someone else was paying my way across the Atlantic twice a year, and teaching lab was an opportunity instead of a chore. I still have that attitude, and a real excitement to be back in the classroom, for a few weeks each term, but it seems to erode more and more quickly. It's particularly annoying to see colleagues who don't do research - at a SLAC they are not hard to find among the tenured - and who are therefore not away from their families, don't spend their breaks writing grants, don't spend their own cash going to conferences. Somehow it seems unfair that I work this hard, sometimes.

I don't know why I let myself get into that mental spiral. Would I CHOOSE to stop doing research if I was told that I had "met" whatever standards were present for tenure? Would I stop going to conferences? Would I work less? No. But somehow that tenure "standard" makes what would otherwise be opportunity into imposition; I imagine I would change nothing but would feel much better about it if I wasn't expected to perform. It's funny what a mindset will do. I'm sure I could get away with fewer conferences, fewer field seasons, if I wanted that to happen. I just need to get my brain in the right place.

Hence! An entire half of December will be spent Sans Work. I will not be bringing my laptop. I will not be bringing articles. I will not be rewriting or grading or preparing lectures. I will have a Kindle and a Husband and I will be out of the country, and that is going to be FUN, even if I have to beat my brain into submission.

1 comment:

EcoGeoFemme said...

Good for you! You deserve some time off.