The Human Connections.

I know that posting here was relatively light before I left for vacation, and I needed a complete break with reality for a while- it is an effective way for me to clear my mind of work and focus on the personal relationships that matter to me.  I can not work 7 days a week, alternate late nights at the office/lab with DrMrA such that we are hardly ever at home together simultaneously- and expect that my relationships will not suffer. That old business about the quantity of time together not mattering but instead the quality being important- is true… but only to a point… there does have to be some quantity greater than zero in order for quality to matter. With the schedule that we work, I realize the potential for the loss of intimacy (and I don’t mean only physical intimacy) – in the loss of quiet times (free from work stress, free from arguments, free from refereeing two kids fighting, free from running errands…) to remain connected… to enjoy each others company.  I’ve been shockingly fortunate to be in a relationship that has thus far lasted nearly two decades, I’d like to stay in it for DrMrA is my best friend, my greatest fan, and clearly- my better half.

Although I tend to think of myself as perpetually 25, I’ve reached an age where unpredictable and occasionally terrible things are happening to friends and sometimes family. At the beginning of this year a close friend of mine lost her 8-year struggle with lymphoma, at the age of 38.  Leaving her husband alone- … he now considers dating again for the first time in about 15 years.  In October we lost a family member to a heart attack… he was 48, just two years from retirement after working like a dog, far from his wife and children, for all of his working life (by necessity of the job).  In the last two weeks in my own immediate family, we had quite a scare over a potentially life threatening illness as well, that thankfully turned out to be completely benign.

Why do I suddenly feel the need to tell you all of this? I suppose it is because I’ve had a couple of fairly harsh reminders this year that things can go terribly wrong in the blink of an eye. I’ve been reminded that my job, although a lot of fun, means very little in the big picture of my marriage, the daughters we are raising, the parents we will care for, the great friends we have… the human connections.  I’m adjusting my perspective accordingly.

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12 thoughts on “The Human Connections.

  1. Very well put.

    It does make those of us without children and other halves wonder what the point is! Being friends to the rest of you?? 🙂

  2. Right on! Mrs JP and I have also hardly seen each other in weeks. Tonight we are going for sushi and tomorrow we will buy a christmas tree, put it up and get out the decorations. Its gonna be fun!

  3. Thanks all of you- now get off the computer, pick up the phone and tell your prince or princess charming how much you LOVE them … and for you JaneB… tell a favorite friend…. you don’t have to have a significant other or kids- to have human connections with friends and extended family..! 🙂

  4. well said drdra. The silver lining to my crappy lab situations was that it made me realize the pecking order of lab vs. family. I’m not always good at making the balance, but I know what is first in my mind and heart.

  5. ScientistMother- Yes- that happened to me too, and actually really helped me survive said poor situation. However, this balance became more difficult for me when you are actually in charge of the lab,you want to be there, and you are heavily intellectually invested in your projects.

  6. Good for you. Just getting to this post now. My post for today touches on some of your sentiments- that it is truly our family and friends that matter, and keeping work in perspective it of utmost importance.

  7. Candid Engineer-

    Thanks. And I’m so jealous about the pastries. I loved your post by the way- the pace of life where DrMrA is from is so much different from here-… I sometimes wonder if we are just working ourselves to death… and not taking any time to look around and enjoy life…

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