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Two Out of Three

One of the epiphanies I had a number of years ago was that, out of my three main passions in life, writing fiction, fashion design, and scientific research, I can manage to maintain only two at any given time. Since my scientific research essentially paid the bills, what that meant was that as long as I had a university career, I could not be both a fashion designer and a writer at the same time. I had to choose between them. And since writing is the sine qua non of my existence, that meant that, aside from short periods, I could not indulge in my passion for fashion design. With my upcoming retirement, however, the balance is shifting. I should be able to do more fashion design AND more writing as my scientific career begins to drop back. Naively, I thought this could already start to happen, but I have found that the continuing needs of my university career, even over my final summer 'on the job', preclude me from doing both fashion design and writing at the intensities that I would prefer.

Indeed, since the beginning of June I have begun to work on several fashion design projects, with projected completion dates during 2020, so with a decent lead time to get the work done, but, of course, I am also trying to finish up several of the 'first' manuscripts from my science fiction saga. I also have a number of university commitments - I have some teaching prep to do for the final two courses I will be giving in the fall, I have a paper due at the end of July, and I have several theses to read, grade and write reports on, and none of this can be let slide very far. So I have found, as a result, that my writing intensity has fallen off, to my own personal distress. I guess I had hoped to be able to manage some writing, some fashion design and some science, with maybe the sum being more than 100%, meaning I would be putting in extra hours, and although the latter is true, the former seems to be problematical.

There is no help for it, I am going to have to grin and bear it for August, and just put in less hours than I had hoped on both those tasks (writing and fashion) in order to finish up my commitments at the university. This is probably fair play anyway. Certainly there is overlap between these tasks - some of the work I do on smart garments and some of the work I do on writing contribute to my university work, otherwise the whole effort would be ethically very difficult to justify. I will report back on the issue once my retirement is officially underway.

Two out of three passions, post retirement...

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