Monday, March 05, 2007

Winter break

I'm having a small break from blogging. I'll be back in the beginning of April. See you on the flip side.


2007 so far so good

After my recent fed-up-with-my-work breakdown I sat down last night and made a list of everything I have accomplished since the beginning of this year. Putting it this way makes me feel so much better. It does all add up, after all.

Since January 2007 I have:

Moved to a new office

Unpacked boxes from a semester at university in the arctic

Graded end of semester exam

Written new exam for sick student

Graded extra exam

Dealt with official grade complaint

Fired one prospective grad student

Made arrangements with three prospective grad students who will working on two different projects

Learned the basics of department heading – incl. new software and administrative routines

Dealt with countless day-to-day administrative matters

Hired one person in the department

Planned the basic outline for field season #1

Made initial logistical arrangements for field season #2

Applied for access to field site #2

Arranged meetings to solve map problems for field site #1

Had meeting with foreign collaborator on project #1

Attended and gave talk at 1 conference

Revised 1 manuscript

Started significant revision of another manuscript

Written about one third of new manuscript

Typed up notes from field season 2006 and compiled fully fledged field report with illustrations, geographical coordinates and all


Sunday, March 04, 2007

On a whiney note

I sometimes see other bloggers talk about how they don't blog much when things are going well and there are no problems to discuss on the blog. For me it seems to be the other way around. When things are going well and I am coasting along at work I have lots of ideas for blogging and the energy to write it down. Lately I been feeling so exhausted that I could barely string two sentences together in my free time, let alone think of anything to say. Quite ironically I'm not even exhausted from working too much, but rather from taking too much time off work to do other things. First my mom and sister were visiting for ten days, including two weekends. Absolutely wonderful to have them around for so long and I genuinely enjoyed it and wished they could have stayed longer, but weekends are my time to catch up on sleep, work, household chores and general me-time, so missing two in a row is noticeable. Last weekend I went to a family event in home country and once again everything here was left to its own devices. I got to spend time with my parents, siblings and baby nephews. It was wonderful to be home and I am glad I came and participated and I made my family happy, but I was so not ready for a new week when I came back on Monday.

I have been working during and in between all this family activity, but I have had NO energy at all for anything beyond work. I have skipped the gym for weeks, I cooked while I had visitors, but this past week I have been really sloppy an taken to lots of ready-made crap food, I left work early because I couldn't stand being there, but did nothing but watch TV once I came home and fantasised every morning about staying home/ calling in sick/ getting another job. I don't hate my job, but I feel a bit burned out right now. It is such a thin line between success and failure all the time and it takes such care and concentration to walk this line for weeks and months on end. It works if I go to bed at a reasonable time every night and have weekends off to pick up the slack at home, but as soon as something happens that throws me off the regular schedule everything slips. Apparently I don't function properly if I don't have two days a week to do nothing but stay at home and be good to myself. I wonder how I'd survived if I'd lived, say fifty years ago, where I don't think I could have expected anything of that sort.

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And the Oscar goes to....

Thanks to PropterDoc who did not only put up an award show for geeky postdocs bloggers, but also gave a recent post about productivity on this blog one of the three "good sense of achievement" award. Three cheers for PropterDoc!

The award show also doubles as the second What's up Postdoc carnival and there are many good posts. Head over and take a look.