Saturday, August 25, 2012

What's happened to our summers?

It wasn't that long ago that summer was time to step back, take a deep breath, catch up on things, and maybe even take some time off.  Schools closed, the Legislature adjourned, lots of people went on vacation, so meetings and conferences were not scheduled until after Labor Day.

 But that's been changing year by year as this century zooms by and now summer is just as frantic as the rest of the year.  And on top of that, everything is now faster and non-stop year-round.   We are expected to be on 24/7.   No matter where you are, you should be connected and responsive.

So, this summer, which is nearing its official demise, has been a blur and exhausting.   Reports with impossibly short deadlines, project reviews, budgets, conferences, meetings, interviews, inquiries, non-stop travel, higher expectations, more and more funding proposals to try to keep the lights on and bills paid.    We've become real-life hamsters on the wheel, spinning faster and faster.    I prided myself on being able to carve out a few minutes most days to blog a bit as a release but early this Spring, blogging became more sporadic and there have been long gaps.

My staff is trying to convince me that saying "no" occasionally is okay.   But there are just so many exciting opportunities along with so many critical issues we need to address....

Yes, it's my own fault.  It's tough to unilaterally call a cease fire in the battles for time.   Perhaps if all of us pulled back, there were fewer temptations and demands.   But that's not going to happen for as long as I can see.  So, 8 pm Saturday night and I'm not sure which task to do next - review the funding proposal, write a section for the informatics report, edit slides for my Monday talk, or just reply to some of the 450+ emails that still need an answer.  Blogging feels like I'm goofing off.

[right, image credit,]

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