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21 mars 2013 4 21 /03 /mars /2013 10:49

We have been back for over 6 months now, and yet I still feel completely overwhelmed by... life itself, it seems. At this point, it is hard to pinpoint the problem: is it adapting to a different country, a different position at work, being a parent? Was that too many changes at once?


I am getting nervous as all the important conference deadlines in my field for this year are coming and going and I still don't have anything to submit on my current research - over the past few months, I have been submitting 7 single PI or collaborative grants, which seems like a lot but is apparently only the obvious thing to do, I have experienced some issues with getting work material (also a classic new independant investigator obstacle, I know...) and got a taste of administrative and student-related adventures. Technically, things are starting to fall into place and I can start working properly while waiting for the grant results and new deadlines, *but* it seems there is so much to do and so little time to get it done! In the end, I guess that's the bottom line: I am just not putting in the time anymore. Nor could I do it if I wanted to. Between family duties and local logistics, I am basically in the office between 8:30 am and 5pm and I am so toast in the evening (with the prospect of getting up at 6:30 am!) and having my hands full during the week-end that I am down to the proverbial 40-hour week that my postdoc self would qualify as a walk in the park. While everybody else is going full steam ahead...


So, I have to come to terms with the fact that in the grand scheme of life it is not a big deal to skip a couple of conference deadlines, and that "every body else" is not necessarily without qualms. This post in partcular resonated with me, as well as this other post on work-life balance and on a less personnal level, this post about the emerging requirements for reseachers. In fact, I even recently saw a workshop at a major conference proposing a discussion of the challenges new independant investigators face: moving on from working on your own research project to in addition get funded, hire students and other collaborators, set up a lab, and so on.

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