I’m so thankful that summer is just about done.
I haven’t been a fan of summer for awhile now. It’s an insane, hectic time where I have to crunch a year’s worth of work into a few months. Hiring and training temporaries. Traveling hours to remote areas. Bringing equipment online. The rush used to excite me, and I felt fortunate to be doing this type of work at some points in my career.
I now hate it.
Financial and logistical support eroded over time, forcing me to spend too much time on the job’s technical aspects. I’m supposed to be writing grants and papers, not programming data loggers, and collecting and processing samples in the lab. Working in the field was fun, but I wasn’t getting my own work done. Plus, I could never enjoy summer events like concerts or fun runs because I was always on call in the field.
I began to resent summer.
So even though we were in the midst of a pandemic and all of our planned activities were canceled, the summer of 2020 gave me a taste of the future in retirement. While I’m still working full-time, I can’t travel because of COVID restrictions. This is the first summer in over 30 years that I’ve done no fieldwork.
My tiny taste of retirement has been a break I needed, and I cannot wait for all of this to be finished. I have a feeling I’m going to love being retired. The problem is, I don’t feel like I can act excited about retirement with my colleagues who are still in the dredges. I know how they are feeling and how they continue to be pulled too thin without enough resources. Especially now, when our entire world has been up-ended.
But I can only help them for a few more months. I don’t plan on being emeritus for very long.