The small things really count

I got notification that a paper I made a minor contribution to has been accepted for publication. So I opened up my cv to update it. I was struck by the reality of the way in which it just takes time to develop a reasonable academic cv. It requires steady, consistent effort over a number of years. As I am in my 8th year of my independent career I now have a track record. It isn’t the record of a superstar but it is quite solid.

I’ve been gently pondering that all day, and it has got me thinking about the things I do habitually that through doing them for 10, 15, 20 years have really shaped me. And I am pleased with the shaping.

It has also got me thinking about other things which I could have been doing over regularly over these years, and if I had where I am in my career might be a little different. I am not sure yet whether those are real regrets, or just an acknowledgement that the choices I have made, whilst almost inconsequential on a daily basis, have added up to a particular trajectory.

I don’t think it is so much a sense of regret as it is just a little sobering. Even ten or twenty minutes dedicated to one task on a daily basis can really shape your life over time. I want to be sure the shaping that is to come is helping the right trajectory. A choice made once, doesn’t matter at all. The same choice made a thousand times becomes who I am.

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