Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sliding

I've been preoccupied with other things. Thus my silence here. I had a good start to my research project. A good couple months of action.

About three weeks ago I attended a conference. The week and a half I was home, I spent mostly organizing my office and computer, much of it spent on setting up a dual-boot with Linux on my workstation, and setting up Linux only on my new laptop. More effort than I would have liked, and somewhat unsatisfactory results. I had to send back the laptop for some tweaking from the manufacturer. And the Linux partition of my workstation still lacks the proper sound card drivers (not to mention I snapped the connector on my speakers, so I have only headphones).

Then I headed off to another conference, from which I returned last Friday. Busy since I got back, and expecting relatives next week.

I feel like I've lost the last three weeks (though the conferences were good). I'm just having a hard time sliding back into the research. I spent a lot of time this week following up on contacts made during the conferences, and researching ideas for future funding proposals. I've mostly decided to forego proposals before the end of the year, even though it means letting several deadlines pass, with no guarantees that next year's topics, subjects, and priorities will still support my work, and the possibility that it might result in several months or a year without funding.

It's just that I've got to get back to making progress on the current project, in hopes that it will move beyond the six months of funding I'm promised. I'm obsessively checking whether my first invoice has been paid. It's been nearly three months since I started the project, and almost a month since the invoice was processed. My last income was a year ago (not to mention our savings have diminished by more than a third since then). That's how it goes I guess. But between that, and waiting on evaluations of two proposals I have outstanding, and anticipating replies to several emails of importance, and a myriad of other distractions... I'm finding it hard to focus on priorities.

I guess the first thing is to follow up on my wife's suggestion that I detail the remaining tasks for the current project. Good management skills. And it should help me not only to budget my time, but to see where I might get outside help on some points, which would lighten the load.

I'm mostly just thinking out loud here, since this blog has been good therapy for me in the past. I worry a bit about our shrinking assets, which leads to my obsession over getting paid. But this too shall pass. And overall, things are well.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

Oh, my friend, you are so brave!! To have decided to be in this situation that feels so unsettling, particularly with the financial troubles right now. I hope you can succeed.