I was bemoaning to a friend about how I look forward to the day when I can make my own schedule. He owns his own business that really is not too demanding on his time so he spends a lot of time during the week thinking up new projects. He is contemplating making a new series of video documentaries about the local towns around where he lives with a humorous twist on the presentation. It sounds like a great time and he wants me to be involved but when would I help?

My hours are already rented out from 7:30am until 3pm, then I have classes to attend and keep up with in the evenings. Weekends are usually for writing papers or an occasional social obligation. And there is no end in sight. I will have my undergrad finished in a year but then it is on to four more years of grad school in order to be where I want to be.

So, to cope, I just think of my current schedule as my last few years before retirement. Once that last degree is conferred I will be able to quit my job, open a home office, and spend my time in a similar manner as my friend. After attending to the minimal tasks of the day’s business perhaps I will work on a book, or a film or an innovative piece of software.

It is not that I have it that hard right now. My job is easy and pays well and school is, for the most part, akin to a pleasant chore. I enjoy what I am doing and feel lucky to be in the position I am in. I just miss the creative passion that comes with having an open schedule.

After talking to my friend and telling him that I am envious and can not wait until I am in his position he said, “Well soon enough. In the meantime you’ll just have to put up with the easy money and world-class education.” True enough. I imagine in six years I will be thinking back nostalgicly on the wonderful aspects of the academic life. So I shall try to continue to look forward to the future without forsaking the arduous but beautiful road I must traverse to get to it.

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