How my job made me a grinch

Dec 22 2010 Published by under [Et Al]

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.

12 responses so far

  • Ping me if you need a hand with the NSF data plans. 🙂

  • Good luck on the apps and have fun in Europe. One thing to look forward to is moving up to the top spot in the fantasy football rankings too?

  • I decided that I would prioritize my family over my work this year so I'm disappearing until the New Year. I'm so burned out that working over the holidays will likely result in nothing but crappy grants and a very, very cranky disposition.

    May Santa bring you speedy typing fingers and lots of fun for the Wee One.

    Happy Festivus!

  • proflikesubstance says:

    It's really all about the football rankings, the rest is just filler.

    Have a good break PiT, you've earned it.

  • gerty-z says:

    Good luck with your grants, PLS. Enjoy the quiet times before the students return! I hope that you have an excellent holiday with plenty of time to play with the Wee One.

  • Alyssa says:

    Good luck with all the grants, and I hope you're able to have some fun over the holidays too 🙂

  • I was just asking myself what Holiday season really means for us 🙂

    Good luck with the grants and I hope that you will enjoy the precious minutes you'll be able to take during Holidays!

  • Dr. O says:

    I'm finding work is my Christmas present this year, but it's a weird holiday season for us, to say the least. Enjoy the Wee One, and good luck with the grants!!

  • Yoshimi says:

    Happy Holidays! Good luck drowning out the call of work. I just revised down my goals for grant writing over the next week in hopes of doing a good job of it too.

  • Heavy says:

    Soon things will turn around when you see the Whos down in Whoville. Just spare your dog from towing your sleigh.

  • Great idea to go work on the paper and grant in person. Is this common?

    If only I had the funds for such travel, but I don't think my PUI could support it.

  • ricardipus says:

    I'm sorry to hear of all your deadlines, but slightly heartened to find out it's not just me. 🙂

    Here in Canada we have certain funding agencies (who shall remain nameless) that delight in putting grant deadlines in two places - the middle of the summer, and right after the Christmas (ok, midwinter, whatever) holiday break. January 12, which you mentioned, is one of them for us too. Argh.

    Good luck with it, and if you need help with those NSF data plans that Dorothea mentioned... don't call. I'm busy. 😛

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