There’s so much more to being a scientist than most people get to see. Life as a scientist is so much more than sitting behind a microscope or staring at a computer screen – or in my case, more than diving with fishes on coral reefs everyday.
I’ve dedicated my time to so many
seemingly unrelated tasks. From working as a TA for a computer programming class, to volunteering as a cleaner at a yoga studio (in exchange for free yoga, of course), to my own research – and then there’s the volunteer research I’m preparing for, too – to dog-sitting for friends, and educational outreach endeavors for underprivileged kids, I’m starting to feel I’ve spread myself a bit too thin. Oh, and let’s not forget basic daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, exercise, and… breathing? So, you might ask me, “Is it all worth it?” Sometimes, yes. Mostly, it’s frustrating and results in a chronic feeling of mediocrity. I don’t feel that I dedicate an adequate amount of time to any of my commitments to make them count for anything. So, why do I do it?
I love each and every thing I do. Sometimes, the passion and dedication that comes with being a scientist can be a curse. I want to do it all. I want to teach. I want to travel. I want to learn and discover. I want to exercise. I want to paint. I want to get in the water. I want to successfully master that new yoga pose. I want to cook healthy meals. I want to nurture a garden. I want to help friends. I want to be organized and tidy. I want to spend time with my family. I want to do it all.
So, how do we do it? We manage. We outsource. We compromise, when necessary. Unfortunately, sometimes that means cutting back on some things while we dedicate more time to others – for me, this almost always comes with feelings of guilt. So, is it worth it? I’m not sure I know the answer to that, yet; I do know that each and every task I dedicate my time to brings me joy and helps to make me who I am. With a little help from those around me and a steady caffeine buzz, I know I can keep busy buzzin’ to my heart’s content.
Stay tuned for information on my upcoming research trip to the Great Barrier Reef (July).
For now, time to get back to my day. There’s still so much to be done – grocery shopping, assignments to grade, dinner to cook. If I have time, I may even squeeze in a load of laundry (and maybe a shower)! Then I’ll
take a nap sleep sometime before tomorrow begins.