Category Archives: Work-life balance

Reflections on five weeks of staying home

Yesterday was a good day. The weather was perfect: not too warm, cool, cloudy, or windy. My daughter and I took a walk in the park and splashed in our backyard pool (5’5″, inflatable). We talked with her babysitter on Google Meet. I spent a couple of hours clearing my email inbox and taking care of some paperwork, while my daughter played by herself in the morning and watched extra episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the afternoon. I sat on the back patio during a long conversation with my closest colleague, and I took a walk during a shorter call with my longtime peer mentor. I wore a new pair of sandals, ordered online from the manufacturer at 50% off after a large retail order was cancelled. My Apple Watch says I got a full hour of exercise (though it also says I climbed 44 flights of stairs, which I know is not true). My husband picked up lunch from a taco truck and cooked Ottolenghi’s shakshuka for our dinner outside by the creek with a bottle of wine. My daughter’s bedtime was easy, and I had a little time to relax before bed.

This morning I woke early, took a shower, and started writing this before I heard the calls of “Mommy!” I’m about to publish as lunchtime approaches. Continue reading

Sabbatical habits, part 1

For me, June marked the beginning of a year-long sabbatical. This meant an abrupt return to the research I almost entirely neglected during my first year back to teaching and administration after the birth of my child. All I had done was write two proposals – one for summer research, and one for the sabbatical itself.

This won’t be a post about the content of my research: that’s a topic for later in the year. Rather, this post discusses the habits I’ve retained from the academic year, new habits I am forming now, and habits I am considering for later in my sabbatical. Continue reading