Friday, August 12, 2011

Minty Fresh Face

As I may have mentioned before, this summer has been extremely busy for me. It is the first summer ever that I have not had time to visit my family and the ancestral home.

Those who have read this blog for a while will know that I have mixed feelings about those home visits, but even so, it is strange and disconcerting not to make my annual trek to see my parents and aunts and uncles and cousins and to have various traditional summer adventures in the place where I grew up.

I thought I could power through the summer and early fall, energized by all the cool science my students, colleagues, and I are doing. And, so far, I have indeed been powering through the summer. It is difficult to stay energized all the time, of course, particularly when traveling a lot, but I have been doing fine, having fun, and getting (interesting) things done. It's been great.

Until the recent morning when I woke up very tired, got ready for my day with my eyes barely open, and smeared toothpaste on my face, thinking it was lotion or sunscreen, or something.

I don't know if you have ever smeared toothpaste all over your face, but in case you have not: (1) I don't recommend it, and (2) I will tell you that you can easily tell that it is not lotion or sunscreen. And if you can't tell easily, I fear for you because, even in my exhausted state, I knew right away that something was wrong.

I still don't have time for a vacation, but I think I will try to insert a bit of relaxation and recreation into my schedule in the next week or two so that I don't completely lose my mind. It is better in the long run to take a break for sanity and health than to work work work until you drop.

Of course, young students and postdocs don't need (or want) such breaks; this cautionary tale refers only to people over 45.*





[* attempt at humor]

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My father once started brushing his teeth with muscle rub. He worked that out pretty quickly too.

Anonymous said...

Have fun! I agree about break but don't agree that that only people over 45 need break.

CSgrad said...

Smearing toothpaste all over your face sounds unpleasant, but probably less so than the time when, also in a very tired state, I did the reverse, and tried to brush my teeth with my anti-fungal skin cream.

I was at least conscious enough to notice that the toothpaste tasted wrong, and figure out why halfway through my tooth-brushing. Then I spent a while spitting out anti-fungal cream, and trying to wash out my mouth and throat.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Does your face feel fresher (or mintier) than usual?

After staying in way too many hotel rooms while shopping myself around for a postdoc, I once used the little bottle of moisturiser as conditioner. I only figured out what I'd done wrong when I couldn't get the conditioner to rub into my skin.

Anonymous said...

This past winter I was deeply exhausted from keeping a grueling work pace. I wish I had smeared toothpaste on my face. Instead, I accidentally let a pot with oil in it catch on fire while cooking dinner. I was so tired I lost track of time. While the entire kitchen didn't light on fire, I now only cook super simple, non-oil heating meals or packaged meals when I'm extremely tired.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad that it got to the point where you had to put toothpaste on your face to realize you needed to relax. I hope things get better from here!
Also, I completely disagree that only 'mature' people need vacations. I'm sure you were being sarcastic, but you shouldn't let anyone believe they never need a break. I'm a grad student haven't had a vacation since my teenage brother came to live with me for the last school year. I know I'm at the end of my rope, but am counting down the 2 weeks left til I get to take a break!

Anonymous said...

still far better than brushing your teeth with something else (lotion, Prep-H)....

Anonymous said...

My mother tells a story of brushing her teeth with Desitin when one of her children was very very young.

Good luck with the relaxation!

inBetween said...

I thought that only people with tenure needed breaks. Crap, is there really age on it? I screwed up and took that vacation a little too early. I'll never make full prof now... ;)

Anonymous said...

I once got out of the shower and sprayed my whole body with deodorant. The deodorant was shaving foam.

Anonymous said...

I pulled the opposite move earlier this summer in a fit of stress/sleep deprivation/too much travel/jet lag. Used face lotion to brush my teeth. worst morning ever.

And I'm a postdoc...

madscientistintraining said...

Going back home for any summer or winter holiday always drives me batty. This is the first summer I didn't go. Who needs to deal with the Massholes anyways? Didn't seem to be worth the cash since I'll be back for x-mas anyways.

But the other day I stuck ice cream in the refrigerator. Ugly mess. I shoulda gone home for a few days for the lobster rolls anyways.

Ms.PhD said...

LMAO! Thanks for posting this. :D