It's no secret that this is a demanding job and that 40 hours a week just isn't enough to get it done well. Maybe some weeks, but not most. Many of us balance our time at work with trying to raise a family, which takes constant coordination with an understanding partner, who often (but not always) bears more of the parenting load. At work we do our best to balance teaching, our labs, service and all the external work (reviews, letters, etc) that continually comes up. While the work load fluctuates over time, it is rare that there is not something on the front burner with a couple of others on various back burners. The "down time" is when I have enough time in the day to chat with my students and see how they are doing, write on the blog, and *gasp* think a bit about the direction our research is going and ways we can improve our approach.
So, what happens when something important pops up in your life without warning that can't be ignored and becomes a Godzilla in the Tokyo of your life? Where does the time come from to deal with unexpected turn of events and what work gets sacrificed on the alter of your personal life? I don't know yet, but over the weekend my Tokyo residents were sent fleeing for their lives. While everything is fine with my wife and daughter, I have nevertheless been pulled into a family situation that is a bit of a mess and is going to get worse before it gets better. I will probably continue semi-regular posts because this is something I really enjoy, but there's a good chance there will be some significant gaps in the coming weeks. I will be around, but a bit less than I have been as I naviagte my new time landscape.