Life is absolutely crazy right now. So much so that I am actually looking forward to hibernating a bit during the dark deep of winter. I am absolutely loving work. I have so many things going on – an article developing my theory of immigrant inclusion (nearly done), an informal methodological piece on the development of comparative ethnographic and cultural inquiry (abstract will be submitted to an upcoming conference), next week I am giving a lecture that provides an overview of the field on immigration studies, and of course, there is ongoing fieldwork and early data analysis in Malmö, etc.
All of this goes on during business hours and then, since Jason is in China for a couple of weeks, I am even busier than usual with picking up the kids and delivering them to their various extracurriculars. Evenings we get home and heat up the diminishing pot of lentil soup that I made at the beginning of the week. Then Jie-jie does her homework while Mei-mei plays. Then I put the kids to bed, clean up (it doesn’t take long since we are never home), make some tea, and get back to work for 2 – 3 more hours. I usually study Swedish for an hour and then work on job market materials unless I want to return to something left unwritten or unread at the end of the workday. If Jason were home things would be basically the same apart from the fact that we would meet for lunch once or twice a week, at night I would have another grown-up to talk to, and after we put the kids to bed the two of us would play a game or two of Carcasonne or Ticket to Ride, Nordic Countries.
When I first arrived in Sweden one of my colleagues asked what my hobbies are. I think I must have looked confused or taken too long to reply because she clarified by asking what I do with my free time. I gave some answer about how I like to read and cook and garden and take walks with my dog. While it is true that I enjoy doing all of those things, I don’t really think of them as distinct hobbies and I certainly don’t consider any of my waking moments “free time.” Instead, I think of the things I do and roles I hold in my life as much more integrated – both in terms of the way they fit together temporally and the way I understand myself:
just another nerdy sociologist-parent living life to the fullest!