Does that make me an academic? I have 3 degrees in science, medicine and research. I do clinical work and I have clinical qualifications. I work hard and I am probably a bit addicted to it. Work is almost an end in itself. Money is a happy side effect. I have published a few useful scientific papers. I hope they are useful as other authors have cited them but it is difficult to be sure. I have made tentative moves to do more academic work.
How do you know when you have achieved enough? When can you sit back and relax? What drives you on? Sometimes I feel like I have blinked and 15 years have vanished. At times my life has been a whirlwind.
I like helping people when I can and I like to have an interesting life. I get bored easily and I like a bit of variety in my life. Research and teaching give me a bit of variety. Clinical work is enjoyable too but burnout is always possible and important to avoid.
I honestly don't know why I work so hard. I do it because it's easy and it gives me something to do. Work means that I don't need to think too much about anything else and I can feel like I am doing something worthwhile. I guess I'm lucky to have a job that lets me do that. I have a job that sometimes lets me feel like I'm achieving something.