Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My romantic self

Ok, so aside from my usual busyness, I admit that I have been absent because I was sucked into a really fabulous, but saucy, and I probably shouldn't have read it book. First, a little history. I have to admit that I am a shameless romantic. My favorite movies are When Harry Met Sally, Casablanca, Four Weddings and a Funeral, well you get the idea. Since I had my children, though, I really haven't felt like much of anything. I have been so concentrated on keeping my head above the water both at home and work, that I haven't had time to think about myself. When I started my postdoc, my son was just 5 weeks old and I had a daughter who was 2 1/2. We moved to a new city, started new jobs/school, and adjusted to having two kids all at the same time. On top of all of this I tend to experience depression after the birth of my children. With my daughter and son it took me about 6 months to dig out from that. Nothing serious, just a general ennui. And I am susceptible to seasonal affective disorder, so you can imagine that last winter was anything but pleasant for me. Now that my son is about 1 1/2 (and my daughter is 4), I am beginning to resurface.

The contrast between this year and last is amazing. I actually enjoy the snow. I want to sit by the fire (on the weekends of course) and read the Big Red Barn to my son for the 4th, wait no 5th time in a row. I always enjoyed my children, even in depression, but now they are truly a pleasure beyond words, more beautiful in body and spirit than anything I can imagine. But perhaps, the greatest difference between this year and last is that I have free time. It has been so long since I have had free time that I hardly know what to do with it. First, I focused on cleaning the house. Then, updating my wardrobe for my fast approaching faculty position. [I start July 1!!!!]. Finally, I returned to my intense romanticism.

This began with a re-read of every Jane Austin book on the planet. Then, I read fictional accounts based on Jane Austin novels (e.g., Jane Austin book club, Jane Austin in Boca). That progressed to watching every Jane Austin movie that I could find (e.g., Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma). Then, I noticed that several authors have written sequels to Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite Austin book. One in particular struck my fancy, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. I am ashamed to say that the book probably belongs on the shelf next to the Harlequin romances, but I cannot tell you how much it engulfed me. I started reading it last Thursday and didn't stop (okay, okay I did go to work), until I finished it.

It has been a long, long time since I have lost myself in a book so completely. The last time being when I re-read Lord of the Rings with the impending movie's release. I think that Viggo Mortensen had no small part in that obsession. Anyway, I pride myself on being all business at work, totally objective and focused. I rarely let my mind wander, stop to gossip with co-workers, or engage in personal business, so the fact that I simply cannot concentrate long enough to get my experiments going is driving me crazy! I think I need a good dose of technical magazine reading to bring me back to reality. I know it is rather pitiful.

Anyway, I thought I might talk about this a bit, because it shows how hard it has been for me the last several years. It has been such a long time since I had time to become obsessed with a novel, it is powerful when it happens. I miss my free time and am grateful for its return.


At 1:53 PM , Blogger ScienceWoman said...

It's wonderful to get lost in a book. I'm glad you've had a chance to rediscover this joy. It's something that's missing from my life right now, too.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Hit Counter by Digits Who links to my website?