europe trip, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

I’m posting this picture simply because I wanted to post something today that just makes me happy. And seeing this picture of Catgirl feeding the birds at Notre Dame cathedral, it’s pure happy. 🙂

A friend mentioned, in an email, conversation to me recently that she’s a ‘workaholic.’ I hadn’t heard that word in a long time, and it caused me to think for a bit. I suppose I’ve rarely heard that term applied to women–usually it’s a term used to denote a man who spends more time at the office than at work. But I began to wonder if maybe I’m a bit of a workaholic. Or, maybe, all of us in academia suffer a bit from the workaholism simply because our work is never done. It never gets left at the office. There are always journals to read, and articles to write, and studies to conduct, and conferences to attend. And all of that on top of our teaching and administrative activities.

I think about work nearly all of the time. I can sometimes turn it off if I’m paddling or with my family, but even then I tend to yammer on to my teammates or to John about “something that happened at work today.”

Surely some of this is the novelty of my new position at Chapman. I have had to learn SO MUCH in the past few months and my brain is constantly spinning on the various tasks associated with my job. And then there’s my dissertation, which is congealing much more these days, and as it does so it’s just hard to step away from–my subjects are living right alongside me all the time.

And I’m certainly happy with my job. So far it’s offered a healthy mix of deadlines and projects. That there is no space for complacency is actually a good thing for my personality. I like challenges.

But every once in awhile I remember that my current lifestyle is definitely…odd. That I don’t just hang out with friends anymore…makes me a bit wistful for the days that we had friends over for games nearly every weekend. That I’ve only read one poem in as long as I can remember seems….so unlike me and there is this part of me that craves words as juicy as oranges.. That I haven’t planted anything new in my garden since May….makes me wonder if some part of me is dying on the vine.

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just a temporary thing. And next year when that dissertation is filed and my job becomes more routine, then there will be time for poetry and friends and flowers once again.

One thought on “perhaps

  1. Elissa Minor Rust

    Honestly, I consider myself a workaholic, but I think it has been wrongly given negative stereotypes (and for the gendered reasons you mention). I am a workaholic because I love my work, not because I am escaping from my life or ignoring family and other duties. I am a workaholic because what I do for "work" feels so much of the time like play, like something I would love to do if I weren't getting paid. I do think that is true of many of us in academia. Why else would we work so damn hard for so little pay?

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