Sunday, July 31, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
I extended my work trip in California so that I could spend some time with my brother and his family. It's been like a foreign exchange trip, where the country is the Land with Kids. I've attended swim meets, gone on trips to the candy store, and played at playgrounds. I have learned about Pokémon Go, but thankfully haven't had to learn much about the preteen pop artists my niece favors.
Since I'm an introvert, though, I also appreciate the quiet times a vacation provides. Every morning I sit out with my coffee in their front yard, which is dominated by a giant redwood whose branches form a canopy over the entire yard. It's a lovely way to start the day.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
A few years ago, I asked if we could change some of my responsibilities at work, because I had realized that I really, truly do not like being in front of people. I don't like giving talks. I don't like running workshops. I don't even like standing up to give announcements at meetings. It was quite a realization, because I did these things for many years and thought that doing them was a fundamental part of academia and of my current job. Moreover, I was fairly good at them. At some point, though, I wasn't willing to do things I that made me utterly miserable anymore.
In fact, we were able to arrange things so that I can avoid much of that. This year was my very first conference where I did not give a workshop, a talk, a poster, or even announcements. And it was the least stressful conference of my life. I still had meetings from 7am to 8pm, and I was pretty tired at the end of every day. But I was no longer exhausted and mainlining Advil. I feel lucky that I could identify what would make my work life better, and that I had a position where we could make that happen. Sometimes happiness is achieved simply by asking for it.