Sunday, February 10, 2008

Whoa, we've got some catching up to do

Thanks for all the nice comments on the accretionary wedge post below and to all of you who keep checking in here despite my very irregular posting routine. I keep constructing new posts in my head, but somehow never find the time to actually type them out. This always gets worse if I don't blog for a while because my ideas end up being so many and so messy that I don't know where to start anymore. So rather than starting out with one of the more substantial ideas for a post, I'll do a decluttering post here so I can move onto something better and more coherent afterwards.

So what's on my mind right now:

I am torn between the wish to write more about my field and my research and why it matters to me, and the wish to write about more personal thoughts and the general aspects of being a young, female scientist. After writing the previous post and getting a lot of good response I thought wow, so cool, I really want to discuss this with my readers. At the same time I couldn't make myself sit down at night at home and write out another lengthy post about a geological topic without feeling like it was just another chore on my list.
I think blogging is one of the most amazing innovations that have come with the Internet. I see scientific blogging as a great leap forward for the general public and scientists alike, and the idea of sharing the thought process behind science as well as results and discussions about new science is exhilerating and fun, but nevertheless fun in a work-way understanding of fun. I mostly write this blog on weekends and in the evenings, and blogging and reading blogs is mainly a downtime at home hobby . I think blogging at length about work-topics is a work related project and something I would like to do in a more official space, and maybe also get some sort of credit, or at least acceptance for. I would also like to be able to occasionally post on such a blog from work as well as consider it a part of my professional identity. I think the way forward for me will be to get a second blog under my own name that could be devoted to more work/field specific topics. It is not going to happen today, but maybe soon. I need to think about how I want to use such a space in a way that makes it serious enough to be a work activity, but relaxed enough to become something I actually want to keep up.

I'm still in a bit of a funk at work. I have a post brewing on perfectionism and how I've realised how many areas of my life it affects. I am going through a very self-conscious and introspective phase and some of the insights surprise me a lot. I want to share this on the blog because I know that many people in academia struggles with self-confidence and perfectionist issues and it's often taboo to talk about it in work places because it is associated with weakness. I have often gotten advice along the lines of "try not to take everything so seriously" or "try to be less of a perfectionist", but it's more easily said than done. Personally I never knew how to go about being less of a perfectionist, until I realized that it hasn't so much to do with the way I treat tasks as the way I think about life and myself in general.

Otherwise life is good, or as my Russian colleague used to put it "life is not too bad". January was a bit of a nightmare with several fiancial emergencies after each other (old car broke, buying new car, discovering brakes didn't work on new car, repair brakes and an emergency visit to the dentist to top it off) and repeated annoying dealings with authorities about imported car and a delayed tax refund. Most of this have been sorted out now, and I look forward to finally getting the tax refund from a year ago and to blow whatever is left after car repairs on a new spring wardrobe and maybe a trip to someplace nice and warm.


At 10:07 PM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

I agree with you that for me, blogging needs to be fun and not about work. Sometimes I'd like to talk about my research, but I know that in order for people who are not in my field to appreciate my excitement, I'd have to explain so much background science that it wouldn't be fun for me. And frankly, I wouldn't want my favorite bloggers to start writing technical stuff about their research because that sounds like work reading rather than hobby reading.

I'm very interested in reading what you have to say about perfectionism

At 10:25 PM, Blogger skookumchick said...

I am totally looking forward to seeing you develop a new work-related blog. Hurrah, hurrah! And here's hoping that the rest of February is less of a nightmare...

At 11:54 PM, Blogger saxifraga said...

Thanks skookumchick. I'm also really excited about it. First I have to figure out a name for the new blog though. I'm trying to come up with something catchy that has something to do with my field (and that won't embarass me when colleagues or students find the blog).

ecogeofemme: thanks for your comment and the perfectionism post will be on it's way when I'm back from Russia in a week.

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:39 PM, Blogger Wayfarer Scientista said...

*waves. I just realized I commented on your next post in regards to this one as well. Hope your trip goes relatively smoothly.

At 4:30 AM, Blogger Wayfarer Scientista said...

ooo - by the way, I referenced this post in one of mine called "Life is Getting Better". Just so you know.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I can understand the desire to have the blog be about something other than work, especially when you're a post-doc and frantically writing papers and deeply involved in your research.

If and when you start a blog about your research expertise, please send me an e-mail so I can read it and blogroll it! But don't feel pressured to do it. Do it if you want it, if it would be something you enjoy. Don't do it if it would contribute to your burnout.

At 11:19 PM, Blogger saxifraga said...

Kim: thanks and yes, I will definitely let you know where I put my musings about my work. I am pretty sure I am going to start the work blog, because I am looking for a more creative outlet for thinking and writing about my research and I see that this blog is not the right place.

I have gotten used to the pseudonymous me in this space and talking about my job and what I do in a vague tone, but that's not easily combined with talking about my actual research and specific experience.

First of all I am looking for a name for the new blog and apparently I have no imagination, so it might take a while. If you happen to have some great ideas for a blog name that is somehow linked to sedimentology/stratigraphy/basin architecture feel free to share. Anyone who suggests a cool name can become an honorary member of the new blog. Anyway I will post a link/send emails or otherwise let the new home be known to the geoblogosphere and others (skookumchick?) when it's ready to fly.


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