Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Infinite Time

Like most professors, I have an infinite amount of work I could/should do. I do as much as I can within the limits of time and health, but there is always more to do. This doesn't bother me -- I like that there is always something new to do, but even so, I do sometimes think "If only I had more time..".

More time has arrived. At the moment, both my husband and daughter are away, giving me infinite time, at least for this week. When I have solo-time like this in the summer, it doesn't take long for me to revert to my pre-mom existence of working long and late hours in the office. When let loose in time like this, I tend to work all night, sleep a little, then go back to the office. Meals are erratic and the cats are confused. I get a lot done and that feels really good. It is very refreshing to have long stretches of uninterrupted time to think and write. However, when my days of infinite time end, I know that the pile of things to do will not be any smaller because more is being added all the time. So what's the point? The point is that it is fun. I will be happy to have my family back soon, but for now, I'm going to enjoy being adrift in time.


James said...

The Beach Boys had an endless summer. You have an infinite week. Enjoy it (and considering writing some songs about it when it's over).

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your fun! I haven't been both husband- and child-free since I've been a professor, but I rather fondly remember some of the times I had as a postdoc when my hubby and I lived in different cities for a short time. Although I missed him terribly, it was extremely satisfying to hang out in the laboratory until all hours of night. I felt like a phantom, skulking around the building when no one else was around. And I got things done amazingly quickly, too! It's not the lifestyle I'd like to live forever, but as you say, it sure can be a lot of fun for a while.

Anonymous said...

oh wow, I love working like that. My youngest one is still young enough that it is not going to happen in a while, but now and then I still pull a one or two all-nighters in a row and love every second of being submersed in ideas while losing track of time and to a certain extent, reality.

gs said...

FSP, I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that the closer I've come to my present late middle age, the more draining it has been to operate in overdrive for extended periods of time.

The good news is that, although I can no longer delude myself that my energy is unbounded, I retain enthusiasm and vitality for work that matters to me.