Tis the season, right? I mean grant writing season, what season were you thinking of?
There was a time when the "Holiday Season" really meant taking a holiday. As much of a whirlwind as it was, we used to take two weeks to visit home and meet up with people we hadn't seen in a while - seemingly trying to schedule time with half the people we had ever met. It was a good break from work, if not exhausting in it's own right.
These days it is just not possible for me to take that kind of time away and still survive January. I have three NSF proposals going in during the Jan 9-12 deadlines, followed by two NIH R15 proposals being submitted on Feb 25th. In between those deadlines I am going to Europe for a week to write a paper and another proposal with a collaborator there. Oh right, and I start teaching two classes towards the end of January, one of them new to me.
The "holiday" season is good for this on the one hand, because I can write in relative quiet. Of course, if I have a question, need some analysis done or have a budgetary issue, I'm on my own. That doesn't really bother me though, I'm not one to get in the way of other people getting the break I used to enjoy. But it is hard to get into the holiday spirit when time spent on holiday activities is plucked from a precious supply.
It is only work, though. While the immediate demands of funding the lab and the people associate with it are a loud noise to ignore, I try and remind myself that the joys of seeing my family happy and watching the Wee One digest all of the sights and sounds of the season needs to be more important than what I do for a pay check. I don't know that I always do the best job of this, but I'm working on it.
Happy Holidays everyone, may you enjoy every minute of them.