Devotion to the Cause

IMG_20160706_142728I must have been born feeling guilty.

It’s a strange thing.  As a librarian (80% of my time), when I take holiday, I take holiday.  I’m not expected to go on producing work from home.  As a researcher (20% of my time), the natural assumption would be exactly the same: holiday is holiday.  No-one has asked me to do otherwise.

But whereas I wouldn’t think of writing a report about some aspect of my library work, I regularly write about my research subject in my evenings at home.  (That goes back to my part-time PhD, when the only time I had for research was my own time.)

This week, I’ve been on holiday.  I’ve written a conference paper, and Storifyed someone else’s tweets about student induction procedures, so that I can retrieve them easily when I need them for my PGCert project.  I thought that the conference paper would assuage the guilt that “I should be doing something.” Well, it did – briefly.  Then I thought I’d read a book that I’d ordered in connection with my research.  In actual fact, it turned out to have little direct connection after all, but it was fascinating, a great read, so I’ve absolutely no regrets there.  I spent a bit of time transcribing someone’s early 19th century borrowing record.  And filed a few research notes.

Still the niggling little voice nagged on.  “You’ve got a grant to write.  You need to write it.  Saying you’re on holiday is a stupid excuse – it just puts off writing it when you’ve actually got the time to get on with it.”  Stop it, conscience.  I’m on holiday.

Eventually, I sat down and spent a couple of hours on it.  Just collating figures, but it will silence my guilty conscience until tomorrow!

Quick, get the sewing-machine plugged in. It’s the only activity that will truly distract me!

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