One of the reasons it is no picnic working with me is that I like to get things done at a somewhat rapid pace that is not always compatible with the workstyles, lifestyles, and priorities of others. I hope that I have not been too obnoxious too often over the years, but I know that there are times when I have been.
But I have calmed down a bit over the years, although I noticed this only very recently. Perhaps the change was recent or perhaps it was so gradual that I didn't perceive it. The change did not occur when I got tenure and it did not even occur when I was promoted to Professor. It is even more recent than that and not related to anxiety about my career, although there was certainly an element of that earlier in my career.
I think mostly I just like to get things done and, if there are exciting results to report, I like to write them up and get them out there. That hasn't changed, but I think it is possible to be a bit mellower about work while still being as interested in it as ever.
Example: In the past, if a colleague wrote to me and said "I got the revised manuscript you just sent me but I won't be able to look at it for 2-3 weeks", I would have been in agony.
But now this: A few weeks ago, in early July, I sent a manuscript to a co-author for comments and he wrote back saying he would be able to look at it sometime after July 27. When I got his email I was disappointed at the delay but I thought "OK, that's not so bad, just a couple of weeks."
That's how I knew I had changed.
Now it is August and I have not heard from this colleague and I have not even written to him reminding him to look at the manuscript. That is further evidence that I have changed.
I was very aware when July 27 came (and went) and I have thought about writing to him every day since July 27, so I haven't changed completely. And if I don't hear from him in a day (or two), I am going to send him a reminder. He did say "sometime" after July 27 (unspecified), but maybe he can specify now.
Another reason I was thinking about this general topic is because a young colleague of mine is the exact same way that I used to be. We zap manuscript drafts back and forth to each other at a rate that makes us both very happy, and we are both currently waiting on another co-author who just told us that he will require several weeks to get back to us with comments on a recent draft. My colleague is in an agony.
I am not in agony, though I did sigh deeply when I found out we'd have to wait a few weeks.
I am definitely not saying that I am calm about submitting and revising manuscripts at a slower pace than I would prefer -- certain colleagues who read this would no doubt choke on their lattes and be compelled to comment if they thought I was saying this. I am, however, saying that I am calmer, and I suppose that is a good thing.
7 months ago