so what’s next?


Several readers asked what I will be doing now that I’ve graduated and am on to the next stage in life. Am I on the (academic) job market? Are we moving? Will there be more Simply Bike?

The short answers are no, no, and yes.

The slightly longer version is this: T. has been offered a really wonderful post-doc position that keeps us at our current location for another year. I’m really excited for him as it’s a great job, one which he’s happy to have landed. I inquired about teaching German again here at the university in town but they are fully staffed and without any courses to throw my way. Honestly, I received that news as a blessing in disguise. I get to take this coming year, while we live here and I’m an “independent scholar” slash stay-at-home mom, to do something that has always been a dream of mine: write.

I have my eye on a couple of grants that could help fund some additional research I’d like to do, I plan on revising my dissertation manuscript for publication, I have a couple of other book and article projects in mind, and an anthology, of which I’ll reveal more about in the near future.

I have more writing ideas than nap times during which to work but I see that as a good thing. A very good thing. I keep reminding myself to slow down and take a deep breath and just relish the sense of accomplishment a tiny bit longer. I can only describe my mood regarding this coming year as giddy. I have always fantasized about being able to write full time and never thought that I would be in a place in life where I would get a shot at that.

This post could of course be much longer, were I to get into the complexities of working from home with a baby while juggling domestic duties with professional ambitions, all the while being away from a campus and work community. It’s not ideal but what ever is? And I composed over half of my dissertation while caring for an infant this past year. I was able to do it because I had the support of an amazing husband, who’s never questioned my demand for time to write. He was the one to push me to look for a babysitter and to make arrangements that prioritized my dissertation over other things. I’m going to continue relying on a few babysitter hours a week to supplement nap times and evening work sessions and I’m confident that there will be forward momentum even as I take on a non-traditional academic route.

There is so much more I could say about the need for community, for structured writing time, about the privilege of getting to be with my daughter every day, and on the balancing act that is being two academic parents with a small child. But this nap time is over, I can hear C. calling me from her crib, and I will just have to leave those topics for another day. And there will be another day, another nap time, and much much more writing. The future looks bright.

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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9 Responses to so what’s next?

  1. madam0wl says:

    That sounds great! I’m all for non-traditional academic routes. :) I’m really looking forward to the fall when all three boys will be in school. I think I’ll take the time to try to find myself a little bit and figure out what I want to do next.

  2. Very exciting news for your family on all fronts! Congrats and happy writing!

  3. Kara says:

    This is wonderful. I am rooting for you in your new adventure. I know you will do it with the style and grace you seem to do everything else.

    • Koko says:

      Jessica Cruz – hahahahah I saw the pitrecus before I read your post and my first thought, out loud, was geez, I hope she gave him a haircut!’ lol Aww I loved hearing about Paulo surprising you, he’s so great! MIss everyone so much. I can’t wait to hear about your talk with the girls more in depth! ) Another dinner date asap when you get back.

  4. Rita says:

    This sounds great actually! You get to be with your baby and work on your writing. You’ll do great :) Congrats!

    If you decide to explore the “academic work away from campus” thing, my whole PhD and now thesis is being done under those circumstances, so I’d be glad to share my experience.


  5. Hello! I have lost track of most of the blogs I used to read since having my daughter 7 months ago, but tonight I was wondering what you and yours were up to so I clicked on over to say hello. What fantastic news about you defending your dissertation and having a whole year ahead of you to write! You look amazing, your daughter is beautiful, and reading that you finished your dissertation is an inspiration. Best wishes to you as you start this very different sort of “gap” year, and congratulations to your husband on his wonderful opportunity!

  6. Ola says:

    That sounds just great, having non-teaching time for writing and parenting your cute daughter. Almost a sabbatical ;) I’m sure you’ll make the most of this time!

  7. This made me smile, because I have always loved and wanted to write as well, but never really had the time to make it a priority. Since I moved in February though, I’ve been able to at least blog regularly, and I’ll be spending the next few months researching and writing a paper that I am presenting at a conference (first time ever! very excited!). But some of that is also going to be taking a backseat to my newly found enjoyment of biking ;) I got a bike trailer from some friends this week and I’ll be hooking it up to my bike tomorrow. My 4 year old is antsy to go for bike rides all the time and now we’ll be able to do so since the 2 year old can be in the trailer. When the 2 year old was on his tricycle a couple of times it made for some pretty slow traveling ;)

  8. Pingback: Simply Bike » on writing, publishing, and the role of community

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