One must carry on

I’m dealing with some personal issues — sad news from the family — and like usual, I’m one of those assholes who buries himself in work. I’ve been up for a few hours working away at updating my lecture on introductory catabolism, all this stuff about oxidation/reduction reactions and the glycolytic pathway, as a way to avoid thinking about the stuff that really matters, and I don’t think I have enough energy to do the blogging stuff on top of everything else. My goal right now is to just give a lecture, hand out an exam, and do some lab prep, and then come home and spend a weekend in zombie mode.

I’m an expert at burying my feelings, so I’m going to work at digging deeper for a while.

Not if I bury them deep enough, Sigmund! Biochemistry makes for a pretty good shovel, too.


  1. opposablethumbs says

    Sending you best wishes, PZ. Hope you and the family have lots of support amongst and around you.

  2. says

    Dear PZ,
    I know how difficult it is to face problems that burden your mind. I (and I know others) hope you will take the needed time to address the problems and work through them. Your blogging should be a lower priority. I know you have the integrity and courage to deal with and not bury what you feel.

  3. R. L. Foster says

    The quote is spot on. But, don’t let the unexpressed emotions fester for too long. Then you will need a catharsis. And you never know what that will be until you are in the middle of it.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    PZ, I admire your dedication to your students, but remember the flight attendant advice: Put on your own oxygen mask before you try to help children and others around you.

  5. seachange says

    Bury it. Put native seeds on top. Enjoy the new joys of the wildlife that comes from life. Freud can then turn over in his grave, because growth is something he never understood.

  6. snarkrates says

    Sorry you are facing bad news. And, actually Sigmund Freud was a huge fan of sublimating ones frustrations in work. He viewed it as one of the primary engines of progress in society.

  7. JoeBuddha says

    Sux man. But, hey. Comes with the territory. Just turned 65. A niece is pregnant with a child she dearly wants, but has a blood disorder kinda like Leukemia, and doctors are trying to figure out if they can save both, or only one will make it. And the hits keep coming. All I can do is my best. There are times when I wish I could pray and at least think I did something. Rationality sucks.

  8. Paul K says

    As someone who struggles in the same way I don’t feel right offering advice, other than to say you are deeply cared for. You bring good change to the world. You’ve helped me tremendously, and I know you’ve done the same for so many others.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    As stated above, as we get older we encounter grief more frequently.
    I have no other advice beyond don’t burn yourself out !

  10. John Morales says

    What chigau wrote, PZ.

    Here’s something: I reckon that in years to come, when historians delve into these our primitive times, to the extent you’re notable (outside your family) it will likely be for your blogging more than for your teaching.

    So, thanks for the 17+ years of blogging in which you’ve given me another window to the world.

  11. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Seconded by me. This blog has had a big impact on my mindset over years – much for the better and please don’t underestimate the diference it makes to a lot of people. You are appreciated and respected by me and a lot of others FWIW. Thankyou.

    I don’t know if it helps you – I hope so – but I’ve found pet therapy and nature therapy work really well for me. If you can spend time doing what you love and if that means you don’t post as often but are able to post for longer and be happier yourself that’s fair enough and absolutely understandable.

    If there’s anything I can do to help here please let me know.

  12. StevoR says

    Oh & by pet therapy and nature therapy I mean nothing formal – just spend time with your pet(s) and in nature and comforted by those.

    Its what’s kept me as sane-ish as I am. Especially one old cat now long gone as a kid and then more recently knowing native plants and spending time working to help them in my local National Parks. Plus my current cat and dog and the ones before that. I wouldn’t say they cured me exactly but I think – I hope – I’ve got better. I dont know if it works for everyone but it has helped for me.

  13. Silentbob says

    @ 33 John Morales

    to the extent you’re notable (outside your family) it will likely be for your blogging more than for your teaching

    Holy fuck, man. Couldn’t you just for once try not to be an utter dick?

  14. DLC says

    Sorry to hear your sad news. I’ve had more than my share this last two years. I can empathize. In my case, I sought comfort in the commonplace. Perhaps your work will be a comfort to you. Doing something you love doing. Best wishes. Stout Hearts.