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Tales from Real Life: Searching for Answers

Thirty years ago, at the dawning of my career, I worked at a liberal arts college that was on the bleeding edge of the lifelong learning movement. By pure chance, I joined a motley crew of young Ph.D.’s with public service and social change in their hearts and minds, and in their pasts. I saw this merry band as creating a laboratory for a new kind of college that served place-bound, working adults better than traditional institutions were doing at the time. I was on a mission.

On this mission, I learned many things. I learned that Camelots don’t last forever. Working 70 hours a week and skipping vacations for the joy of birthing a new college was exhilarating until a new president dismantled much of what was special to me and, by my perception, rendered the college plain. I learned that structuring my work so that overload was inevitable was just another path to egocentric martyrdom. I learned what Freud meant when he said that the secret of a healthy life was love and work.

Making my work team my family was fine until Camelot ended; then I was in deep trouble. I learned that having my life unbalanced toward work served people who made 10 times more money than I did and who actually took vacations. Perhaps most importantly, I learned that if I want a balanced, healthy, fulfilling, sustainable life, free from chronic overload, I need to create it myself.

I don’t need to find time; I need to make time.

—Douglas Reimondo Robertson
Northern Kentucky University

Published in:

Published In

16-Feb-08


Thriving in Academe

  • anc_dyn_linksFeeling Overloaded?
  • anc_dyn_linksTales from Real Life: Searching for Answers
  • anc_dyn_linksOverload Epidemic!?!
  • anc_dyn_linksBest Practices: Setting Boundaries and Being Productive
  • anc_dyn_linksIssues to Consider: Overcoming Resistance
  • anc_dyn_linksReferences & Resources

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  • anc_dyn_linksJune 2009
  • anc_dyn_linksApril 2009
  • anc_dyn_linksSpecial Salary Issue 2009
  • anc_dyn_linksFebruary 2009
  • anc_dyn_linksDecember 2008
  • anc_dyn_linksOctober 2008
  • anc_dyn_linksJune 2008
  • anc_dyn_linksSpecial Salary Issue 2008
  • anc_dyn_linksApril 2008
  • anc_dyn_linksFebruary 2008