Has it really been a few months since my last post?
Holidays are only partially to blame: that covers two weeks. Maybe three, if you count the frazzled week finishing up in the lab beforehand, or the frazzled week on the other end catching up with what I missed (a Dehydrated Incubator Incident, chiefly).
For the rest of the time, I plead the immortal words of Gary Larson: “May I be excused? My brain is full.”
This summer, my role has been formally divided surgically into four parts: one day a week supervising my academic research team, one day supervising an industrially funded lab project, one day working on teaching materials, and two days leading our Division’s Athena SWAN renewal. I have had to compartmentalize my thinking like never before, and manage my time almost as if I were holding down A Real Job.
Meanwhile, my son, who is nearly three, seems to have suddenly hit Level 2 of whatever crazy neuronal game his brain is playing. Entire sentences come out, albeit with charming mispronunciations and rather fantastical premises, and I swear his head is just a little bit further over the bedpost each morning as he tears around our bedroom, up to all sorts of mischief. I don’t want to blink and miss anything.
And of course, there is the garden, which started sprouting triffids while we were away, and is bearing more fruits and veg than we can possible eat or preserve. We are still struggling to pickle and bottle everything in the freezer from last year – hence several kilograms of fruit got made into a very tasty Chinese plum sauce for duck pancakes last night.
It’s all been challenging, but I’m feeling clear-headed and productive – except some mornings before the caffeine kicks in, when I want to weep gently into my Petri dishes.
I can do this thing. And as always, I’d love to hear your strategies for time management and just general coping when things are out of control.