So today, I should be spending the day going to an event in a city within driveable distance related to research in my field, but I'm not going to. Instead I'm going to do a whole list of other things around the house. (Halloween snuck up on me!) I feel a bit bad, but I also know that there are a lot of people excited about this thing (my not going is not screwing anything up or preventing anyone else from going), and that I'm not. I hate leaving my home and family (though if it were for Secondary Field, I'd probably have left by now, I'm so starved for community around that). Even though it's research and I realize many people are so motivated and excited about research that it doesn't feel like work to them, to me it feels like work. It's in an area that I've been interested in for a long time but I don't really know what I would do with it. So there's that. There's also that I'm burned out, probably. Going up for tenure and all that. I think it's also that I'm excited about Secondary Field (aka One True Beloved Field once, the field I entered graduate school to study and then moved away from during my program) and just not really interested in even neat peripheral-to-my-work goings-on in Primary Field, for the moment. I was reading Dr. Crazy this morning, and I wondered how much this has to do with the fact that I teach in a service department and therefore have no students in my field, no one who really cares about Primary Field (except a couple colleagues who are the type who would do scholarship in the absence of any support: they love it) and that is also somewhat disengaging to me. Left with the question of what I truly love, I love Secondary Field. I'm trying to engage in it regularly, as in every day.
The beautiful gift that going up for tenure has given me is the freedom to focus on what I love. I may never get to Full Professor, but I'll do what I love and live out my dream (which has always been about Secondary Field). That's enough for me.