July 6, 2011
Getting a life as a postdoc.
I've been trying to prioritize a healthier balance between my work and life outside of it- trying to tip it more to the latter. I haven't done brilliantly at this this summer especially since I'm trying to do research, teach a class, supervise an undergrad and the lab is moving to our new building next week. I had a thought the other day, and I hope I'm wrong in this- I don't think I know of a single example of a postdoc who met their spouse while they were a postdoc. I know of plenty of grad students who got married as Ph.D. candidates or did when they became postdocs and I know of professors who've met their significant others as professors. I know it may be because I'm kind of anti-social and just don't know all that many postdocs and maybe it's that a postdoc is a short period of time and then you move on to something else (makes it hard to start/commit to anything, no?). I realize it's a choice and I shouldn't let my job dictate my life outside of the lab. I still have a hard time not feeling like the pressure is to not have a life- you're a postdoc, you should be in the lab. Have kids (I don't- but it is an example)? doesn't matter- get to lab. Need exercise- pipetting is a good enough workout, really. I'm getting better at countering that pressure and saying "NO, it's totally OK to have a life like people in other careers seem easily able to do". At least I'm enjoying the ride more, but I still have my difficult times with trying to balance out my life. Here's hoping I continue to succeed.