Dear Santa

What I want for Christmas this year is to, for once, not have to spend most of the kids’ two-week winter break trying to somehow squeeze in more time to work. I just want to do what I imagine normal state employees with vacation time do — take the time between Christmas and New Year’s off and actually focus on family or travel or getting some rest.

I want to, for just a little while, not constantly feel the guilt because of the looming mountain of work. I hate it that the only time to make significant strides in research or writing papers is between semesters, which makes it impossible to ever take a vacation. I love my work, but I hate it that there is never enough time for it and that I dread stepping away from it, because it just means that more work awaits my return.

Dear Santa, I wish I could have a winter break that is actually a break, without there being hell to pay once it’s over.
But, I know it might be too late to ask for it this year, especially because I have deadlines coming up and a ton of travel. I hear you are quite the globetrotter yourself!

If it’s easier, you could just talk to the Federal Grants Fairy, the Tooth Fairy’s second cousin twice removed, and put in a good word for my outstanding proposals. That would be swell! I have just the space under the Christmas tree for a notice-of-award printout, all rolled up and tied up with a pretty red ribbon…




  1. I put an autoreply on my email yesterday. I’ve never done that during a break. Felt really good. I can’t say I won’t look at it (I just did!) but I don’t feel obligated to.

  2. My stack of grants to review are not getting sent until after the holidays. Is it wrong to feel just a little grateful, even though I KNOW it will be a disaster when I get back?!

  3. Are you taking song requests for the new year? It seems you had your kids spaced well apart … pluses? minuses? Esp. now that they are potty trained?

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