Run up to the school year…

So we had our little vacation with friends… 4 days in California, which included a day at Disneyland. I never really got the whole ‘theme park’ thing- and although I felt like I should take the kids once, and we had fun there… I’m happy to say that we had just as much fun (if not more) the next day at the beach. My older daughter LOVED splash mountain- my younger daughter told me her knees were shaking because she was scared (that was after the big drop for those of you that have been). The fireworks were really awesome. However, both girls said they liked the beach more than Disneyland… they are their mother’s daughters, for sure.

On the way home we were stuck in the plane on the ground for a couple of hours- and my younger daughter got to sit in the cockpit and chatted with the co-pilot and pilot for about 1/2 hour. The pilot was so charmed by her that he got off the plane … and brought her back a hot fudge sundae from the terminal. The flight attendants put her to work collecting ‘used service items’ from passengers… joking to me that they were teaching her some job skills in case I don’t get my grant. Apparently she had quite a conversation with them up there… I wonder where she gets that from?

Because DrMrA’s family is from far far away- we usually go on a longish family trip each summer where we completely disconnect from work for several weeks at a time and visit family. This year we decided (for various reasons) not to go. I realize now that this was a mistake- as I am feeling the lack of concentrated down time that I usually really rely on to, as my daughter says ‘charge up my batteries’. I also rely on this time to refocus myself on what the really important things in my life are- my kids, my family, our friends and our health- and not much else, and try to let the little stresses fall off into the background a little bit. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately- and I’ve been feeling like I do this draining job, with hideously long hours, that has a definite cost to me and the family,.. for very little reward. I don’t want to raise my girls with one eye on the laptop while monitoring them watching TV. I just don’t. And I’m nervous about starting the school year next week in my current state of fatigue…


13 thoughts on “Run up to the school year…

  1. I’ve only been once, when I was pretty little. Mostly I remember sunburn and waiting in line about Disneyland, and not so much anything about the rides.

    I totally concur w/the lengthy vacation requirement for proper decompression. I have found that a vacation must be of sufficient duration (+3 days, probably more like +4 days) before I quit thinking about lab. My husband & I have family in close proximity, so we also often end up doing the dual-family visit as our yearly vacation. Of course, using family as vacation is fraught with its own problems…

  2. Professor in Training- My younger one was scared, but about 5 minutes after getting off she wanted to go again. My older one totally loved it.

    damngoodtechnician- It definitely helps to put a lot of miles between me and my job and laptop, and being severely jet lagged with two young children does a pretty fine job at shutting off my mind to just about everything for at least 3 days. And, as you say- spending every vacation visiting family has its own issues- although we love them a lot- this was only one factor in our not going this summer.

  3. bikemonkey-

    I must have missed that- honestly roller coasters are not my thing and I had my eyes shut tight the entire time…

  4. “I don’t want to raise my girls with one eye on the laptop while monitoring them watching TV. I just don’t.”

    This is the tough one — not everyone who manages to survive ends up having to do this. Some may never have to do it. But many have to spend some time letting the parts of their life that they know are truly important slide in return for the investment in the future (and a risky investment at that). I also think doing it occasionally causes no lasting damage. But, we do have to think about it all the time so that we don’t drift into a life that we really don’t want. That’s a tough one to advise people on. I recently was asked that the question: “what do you do when you’re unhappy.” I said don’t do it if you’re seeing what you’re doing as something to endure, to get to the next step, living your life for tomorrow.

    I’m getting to the age now when friends are seeing their marriages dissolve, their children not just watching tv, but really loosing their way, and I know that I don’t want that life.

  5. I’ve been feeling like I do this draining job, with hideously long hours, that has a definite cost to me and the family,.. for very little reward.

    That basically sums up the main reason I decided not to pursue a tenure-track career. Too much time and energy put in, not enough satisfaction out. Good luck with the start of the semester. Hope you’ll feel better about it once you get into the swing of things agian.

  6. Mad Hatter-

    I know, I saw your music meme yesterday- what can I say-… Britney Spears?? Now that’s music without a soul… but then again- I’ve got Ricky Martin on my list… so look who’s talking.

    As for my current state of fatigue- I think it is temporary and partly has to do with the transition to the school year. My older one is moving up to a new school, the younger one is going into first grade and we are changing our after-school care arrangement… so things will be a little unsettled for a couple of weeks while everyone gets the routine down.


    First- I was raised without a TV, so I have mixed feelings on TV in general (so- just as a hint to y’all- you probably won’t want to include me in any ‘favorite TV shows of your youth’ memes). Second, I too am at the age where I am watching (or have watched) many of my friend’s marriages dissolve, and I find this very very scary to be honest. But kids can lose their way without a divorce in the family- and my older one is nearing those perilous teen-age years… I know that she needs my focused attention.

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