After the eight-billionth conversation with friends about this, and the forty-billionth statement that "I should blog about that -- I think I will," I'm going to (hopefully) kick off a series of blog posts that are probably going to cause a bit of ridicule in some corners. But what the hell: I'm going to talk about post-tenure depression. Mid-career malaise. That approximately one to two years (and sometimes longer) after you get tenure when, all of a sudden, you're angry at everyone and everything sucks and you don't. know. why.
Because you've got it all, right? What do you have to be angry or upset about? You probably don't even have a right to complain.
But this is a Genuine Thing. I've seen it happen over and over again: to myself, to my colleagues, to almost every academic I've talked to. And the fact that nobody's talking about it makes it worse.
So: over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try to take this on. I hope this will be helpful. I hope not to piss off too many untenured, unemployed, or underemployed academics by doing what amounts to validating bitching about a privileged position. I probably will offend several people anyway. And to them I say: I'm sorry. You have every right to be offended. But even though the problem here is nowhere near as grave as yours, it is still a problem, and we need to talk about it.