So, you didn't think I could manage being whiny while sitting in a posh hotel in a tropical paradise, now did you? Huh? Don't underestimate me, people, because here I sit, on Sunday night, and I need to pack because I'm leaving tomorrow morning. I feel like I have barely left the hotel room, except to go to the conference. AND MY REPORT IS NOT DONE! Granted, I have 30 pages of text and tables that I didn't have when I got here, but people, I still have to write narrative for the entire primary research section. And I'm just finished for today, there's no way I can stay focused, I've been trying and I'm just making mistakes and wasting time.
So the hotel room is quite small but has a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay. Given the fact that I couldn't have actually been out there, due to workload (also, it's the coldest snap of the year, in the 60s F, I tell you--these people crack me up, but in their defense, it isn't beach weather), I suppose this is a very good thing--I've been able to gaze out at the sailboats and have the bright sunshine on my face. Nothing about northern winters is harder for me than the lack of light.
I did take myself out for brunch and dinner today, though I worked ten hours yesterday. Today I just had to knock off at 3, and I decided I simply had to have yellow tail snapper. So I took the rental car and headed down to my favorite south Florida fish shack, which is over an hour away in Key Largo. I felt like I needed to see a bit of this place, so the drive was nice. I did a brief detour into Pennekamp State Park, and dipped my hand into the water, but they were about to close so I didn't stay long. The whole thing took about four hours start to finish, sigh. And back to the salt mines with me.
Anyway, I'm still incredibly grateful to have soaked up some sun, even if it had to mingle with the hazy light of SPSS and MS Word from my computer, but I'm disappointed that I didn't get to do any beachcombing. I did a little scouting for our next family vacation, though...and this place will be a hellafun with a couple of wacky kids and a girl on my arm.
This trip has given me a little time to think, and all the networking (read: trying to explain the bizarre career circumstances I seem to be in) has forced me to think about where I am and what I'm doing. It's helped me see a few things more clearly--or to acknowledge things that have been clear for a while. This is a perfectly decent career, and I need to fish or cut bait. I'm not an academic, at least that's not my training and background, so I don't always feel like I'm in quite the right place, and I don't always feel like my skills match with the job's requirements perfectly (did I mention that my report is NOT YET DONE?), but the fact is that everyone brings a different suite of skills to a job like this. And if some very smart people think I'm the right person for what they need, well, maybe that's something I can trust. What a concept, huh?
I don't know, it's making me think. I have a long way to go with this whole work/life thing. I don't mean balance, but trusting myself, feeling confident, and granting myself permission to make myself happy (and then being able to figure out what the hell that looks like). I've made bold moves before, but it's scary. I didn't know it would keep being like this.
Hey, that got heavy, deep, and real right quick, didn't it? I'm going to pack my bags so I can get up early tomorrow and...do some more writing! At least the lovely view is really much lovelier at sunrise. I know, I've seen it three days in a row.