Disrupted schedules – the new norm?

Finally, it’s Friday – and even better, it’s over. I needed this weekend so bad! I thought I had seen the worst of the ‘after parental-leave storm’ last week. Specifically, a minor revision had to be dealt with and resubmitted (still stuck in ‘submitted to journal’ stage), as well as the usual parade of emails that had to be read so I sort of knew what I had missed. Last Friday, I thought that was it, and it wasn’t all that bad… It turned out to be the calm before the real storm kicked in.

This week was completely mental… I revised and commented on five different manuscripts, revised a grant proposal, reviewed a paper, and had some good meetings about some manuscripts that are in the works, as well as a particularly good one this morning on the teaching for the coming semester. All these things are amazing. One PhD researcher is writing up, so that’s great and I love to read for that. The other manuscripts are also fun collaborations with former or current colleagues that have been fun to develop, so it was actually a pretty good week, and I felt pretty good about it this morning. I thought I had it all under control.

Until my phone rang, at about 11am. The day care. My son had diarrhea (sorry), and he had to be picked up, as due to covid regulations, he was no longer allowed to be there… I dropped everything, picked up my boy, and went home. Missed a meeting as a result, messed up my schedule completely as another. We also had to arrange covid testing asap, and even though the process went smoothly, and my son was negative and doesn’t even seem to have any stomach problems, it messed up my meticulously planned day. I suppose that things could be way way worse, but in situations like these, where I lose control, my brain turns a little overwhelmed, and I get completely frazzled. And that feeling sucks.

Now I’d just love to lock myself up in a room with a book and some comforting music. Alone. Even for an hour. Let my brain heal for a bit. Alone, however, is no longer an option in our household. However, I better get used to it. With two kids, this is probably how life will pan out. Emergency calls several times a week, and productivity at a low level. Efficiency is over. That’s all good, and worth it, but I need to find something that helps me recover and relax… My sanity is important too.

Let’s hope that this weekend does what it’s supposed to do, and calms me down a bit. We’re heading to the Alps, and nature is a great healer.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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