Learning about work-life balance

During April and May I had a mad rush of graduating, then turning right around and teaching a six weeks undergraduate course about social media management. But for the past two months I’ve been trying to do some self-care. In case you haven’t noticed from several other of my posts, the doctoral process is majorly intense. Especially that final year of dissertating. I didn’t have a solid approach to balancing my work life and my personal life. So, I’ve been adventuring into this idea of free time and self-care. This means I stepped away from my dissertation and other projects for awhile. I didn’t stress about immediately turning my finished dissertation into journal articles. I didn’t even stress much about job searching. I tried to move a bit away from the idea of myself as solely an academic. Instead, I thought of myself as someone who has the ability and freedom to relax and de-stress.

So…what have I been doing? First, Blogging. I’ve been cheating on this blog with other blogs. Writing on a personal level through blogging has been a welcomed relief after so much academic writing over the past few years. I’ve been posting on the YALSA blog; and I co-authored a post on the Commons blog with Laura-Edythe Coleman, Ph.D. We discussed how empathy is shown (or not shown) within museums and libraries.

I wrote a post for the YALSA blog about the YALSA’s learning agenda which is part of the division’s new strategic plan. Learn more about the agenda and the plan itself right here! Then, I wrote another post on the YALSA blog about networking, more specifically while attending ALA conferences. You can check it out here.

Second, exploring all the wonderful beaches and cold springs of North Florida. Since moving to Florida, I’ve spent so little time wandering around Florida. It’s a (maybe surprisingly to some) beautiful state. So many parks, beaches, trails, and springs. Finally, I’ve been reading for fun. Without feeling guilty about it (at least no too much). I spent the entire doctoral program avoiding reading for fun. I always felt like I should be working instead. That’s a silly thought. Working 80 hour weeks will not be in my future if I can help it. There’s a lot more to life than work even though academia may tell you otherwise. By blogging, goofing, and reading, I’ve been able to momentarily find my own approach to work-life balance. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up, but in the meantime it’s keeping me happy and sane.

In sudden and unexpected news, I’ve accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at Utah State University in the Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences department. Over the next two years, I’ll learn a lot about the unfamiliar field of Learning Sciences. I’ll also be working on a fun and interesting IMLS grant focusing on small, rural school and public libraries and Makerspaces. In about a month I’ll be moving cross-country with a cat. This should be interesting and/or terrible.

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