Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Of all the questions people can ask, I never expected, “How do you get it all done?” to be the most common. I never thought I’d be the person anyone referred to when they said, “If you need something done, give it to a busy person.” I often feel like I’m struggling against a hurricane rain of tasks, and periodically a wind hurled cow will land on my productivity. Still, I’m somehow keeping things moving, and I have to admit it’s largely because I give myself permission to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t.” I suck at the whole work-life balance thing. I’ve trained people to know I work random hours that sometimes add up to all hours. Colleagues have no qualms looking at my calendar and adding a...

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Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

It’s taken me me longer to get to this essay than I had intended. While I might offer valid excuses related to work and travel, that wouldn’t be the whole truth. The fundamental reason for this delay is I want to offer you hope, and I don’t know how. My first essay led to several people wishing out loud that part 2 would offer implementable solutions, and I just don’t have many (any?) to articulate. All I have is some really ugly truths and a personal hope that by laying bare our reality maybe wiser minds than mine can find an answer. In part 1, I detailed the three front employment battle that post-Apollo astronomers (and those in many other fields) are facing as the baby boomer generation continues to not retire, as the production rate...

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Temp

Temp

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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