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Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's supposed to get easier, right?????

Welcome to my Blog- I hope you're here because you're looking for other folks who are competent, thoughtful, smart people struggling to do the seemingly impossible: have a fulfilling career as a professional or professor and have a harmonious, balanced, personal life. I'm writing this because although I have learned a few things in my 16 years as a PhD, wife, mom, and professor, I still pretty much feel like I'm making it up as a I go along, but now it bothers me a whole lot less. Stuff I'd never expect always seems to happen and undo the "best laid plans". Before you stop reading saying, "Wow, she doesn't have any more clue on how to do all this than I do!", let me invite you to stick around. The biggest thing I've learned that is really, fundamentally different than where I was 16 years ago (or 6-8 years ago, for that matter) is that I know know, with complete certainty, that no matter what happens, I will be able to figure out a solution that is true to my goals, my core values, and can meet the challenge I face. For me, this was a big deal, having gone through my graduate and postdoctoral training with some pretty dysfunctional folks (I'm sure I'm the only one who's had that experience) and having felt, when I picked a University that valued teaching ("Well, Mary, its' up to you, but you'll kill your research career") like I'd sold out. Turns out that I've made some pretty good choices for me (not necessarily the best choices for anyone else), and have the pleasure of a solid academic career and a functional family. Having said all that, I'm still rolling with the punches and simply expect now that things will not go as planned. Someone will lose a job, get sick, a grant will not get scored, or some other unanticipated thing that years ago would have sent me into a panic. Now, I work to get out my juicer and make lemonade out of lemons, and I am a much happier person. I hope that you will share your struggles and experiences too- I'm really curious about how other folks deal with letting go of the ideal of "perfection in all things" in favor of "wow- all the plates are still spinning, although some faster than others.". Thanks for being here, and I hope you'll come back.

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