Final Friday – Old Skool

It’s the last Friday of 2013. The Kickin’ it Old Skool Blog-a-Thon is encouraging us to reflect on the year:

  • What will you remember about 2013?

 This year I will remember as the first year I visited and did work in Utah’s Uinta Basin as a real life Paleontologist-Geochemist.

This is also the year when it really dawned on me that teaching and outreach is far more important to me than research.

  • What are you ready to leave behind?

The last bit of the year was a massive struggle for our son at school and at home. He’s at a difficult age, where he has to come to grips with who he is in the context of society at large, and he’s beginning to realize he’s not like everyone else. He isn’t like anyone else. He’s autistic. He has struggles. Yet he wants approval so badly. I’ll be so glad to get this part of his life behind us so we can move forward.

  • What’s something you learned  in 2013?

 I learned that inasmuch as I enjoy all my various hobbies and pass-times, the needs of the family always trump other things I would rather be doing.

I also learned that as much as I enjoy being a scientist (and I do love it!), I would consider giving it up if I could continue to make a living (and have the benefits) by doing science outreach.

I learned that I need to live for today, don’t dwell on the past, but plan for tomorrow.

  • What would you like to celebrate about this past year?

There are things I *wish* I could celebrate, like a ton of professional papers, or maybe a completed rough draft of a work of fiction, but those things didn’t happen.

I am pleased that I have been able to pursue a bunch of interests that many people in my age group would put off until they had more time – like, retirement. Yeah, I’m not being wildly successful at many things, but at least I’m doing rather than waiting.

So, how about you? What did 2013 mean to you?

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About Penny

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

2 thoughts on “Final Friday – Old Skool

  1. I loved to read about your professional reflections. Over the years, I’ve also juggled with working in different fields, sometimes simulaneously (science, art and translation). With time, I am blazing a professional path that suits me.

    As for 2013, I think for me it marks the year my children become more or less indenpendant. We’ve gone through some tough times with school, but they are both finding their way.

    I do hope 2014 will mean less struggling for your son. Although we did not deal with autism, I know growing up can be difficult.

  2. Thank you very much for this post. I feel for your son’s struggles – ours is a very difficult culture in which to be different. I’m glad you’re there for him and un-conflicted in your knowledge that your family is your top priority! Congratulations on your professional achievements and all the best for 2014!

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