Why being an academic can consume you
After almost a full month as a certified academic, I have been taking some time to reflect. One of the most interesting facets has been how closely being a professor parallels starting your own business. You have a limited amount of capital that must be divided between equipment, labor, supplies, and a rainy day fund. You have complete control of your product, but if no one buys it you will not succeed. You have complete control of your hours and how the job is executed.
It is this latter facet that has become meaningful for me recently. I have always strived to balance work and home. Having two kids while in grad school, this has at times been a delicate balance. Up until now I may have felt pressure or guilt to work more hours, but never desire. But now, I am so excited and enjoying what I am doing so much that it can be difficult to find my way home. I finally understand the professor who called his grad students at 3 AM from the TEM with 'awesome' results. Yet, I am past the point in my life where I can throw myself into my job; a balance must be maintained.
Today is my son's birthday. He turns 2. We spent the whole weekend celebrating with family and had a great time. Tomorrow I have the pleasure of bringing him to the dr for his 2 year check-up! I will also take the morning off to spend some time with him. With all the things I really, really want to get done at work this is hard. But you only turn two once.