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Reward Yourself

Posted on January 16, 2008

Remember to stop working every so often, advises Darrell P. Wheeler (bio).

 

I guess one of the things that really I wish people had told me, and maybe they did and I didn't listen because when you're young and inspired you think you know it all, but it's, don't take yourself too seriously in this experience.

I mean take your work seriously, but at some level, if you don't live in this experience, life passes you by. I think John Lennon said it well, "Life is what happens while you're busy making plans for something else," or some such.

You've got to live in the moment because tomorrow is promised to no one, and you've got - and through that living, I think it opens up the opportunity for you to see things that you would otherwise miss if you’re so focused only on that scholarly agenda.

And if you're working with communities, particularly if you're a scholar of color, if you're a non-dominant group member, LGBT or however that might be, there are things that you are giving up to be in the academy, and you know it. And you don't want to give up all of your life because life has a beginning and it has an end. And if you give up too much of it, you're going to wake up one day and it's passed you by.

So I think it's really important to stop. And I think in my dissertation, I think my chair, she told me. She made me go to a football game. She gave me the tickets and said, "No, you have to go and do something." And now that's really good advice. Every now and then, reward yourself and stop.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher September 2007.

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