Notorious asks some great questions, including these:
Were you depressed post-tenure? Angry? Did you contemplate a career change? Did you check out for a while? Did you double down on the work? Feel free to post anonymously if you want.Not depressed or angry but liberated. I had done what the system said I should do, and, instead of going horribly wrong, as usual, it had worked.
The job security thing was and is huge for me, irrationally so. I had not worried much about earning tenure, partly because I was working so hard but primarily because of an ingrained fatalism about my ability to affect the results. It was a huge relief to know that the institution would have to mobilize in major ways to fire me, if it ever wanted to. Maybe that's the mindset you get after years of adjuncting.
But I know the feeling Notorious is talking about. It's like that Peggy Lee song "Is that All There Is?" that is on my "Top 10 Most Depressing Songs of All Time" list; Earnest English even expressed it that way in her comment over at Notorious's place. It's a serious issue, and a serious conversation.
So--post-tenure blues, or were you more conflicted/relieved/other about it?