July 4, 2012

The not-vacation vacation

I have been visiting my family for the past two weeks.  It has been a nice visit, but I feel like I fell into that trap where I really needed a vacation, but I had convinced myself that I was going to be productive -- so I ended up not doing very much work, but also feeling stressed and guilty the whole time because I was "supposed to be" working.  I spent a lot of time sitting here with my dissertation open while mindlessly reloading twitter.

I feel like this is a common problem for academics, since we're often working without structure.  Sometimes you just need to decide "I'm not doing anything for two weeks."  That's what I should have done.  I had just had a really terrible month, and I needed to recharge.  But since one of my committee members scolded me for being "slow" last month, I felt like I couldn't take a break at all.

Now I don't have much to show for these two weeks, and I didn't recharge -- but I can't take a real vacation now, because I'm behind from all of my procrastinating... not to mention the months I wasted on personal problems before my trip.

Sometimes I really, really want the kind of job that ends at 5.

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