Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ok. Time to write something

I haven't been blogging much recently. There are a few reasons for this.

One. I got tired of complaining.
I am beginning to accept that you cannot avoid Murphy's Law. Even the things you don't expect to go wrong in a thousand million years, do go wrong, and a big part of my job is dealing with these things. That is the reality of what I will be doing for the next few years and probably the rest of my career. That is life and it is especially true when you are the CEO, CTO, and CFO of a research group working within the constraints of the beauracratic juggernaut that is a research university.

Two. Not much has been happening that is worthy of writing about.
I'm waiting to hear back on grant proposals. One of my grants went through a panel review about a week ago. I called up the program officer to see if they could share any inforation about where my grant placed or what the panel thought, but they refused to give a single comment and said that I would get the reviews in a month or two.
The group is inching its way to new results at a glacially slow pace, but fortunately still moving forward. We are burning through start-up funds and expanding the group at a fairly constant rate. The one nice thing is that I have undergrad and grad students constantly contacting me to work in the lab. If only their enthusiasm and interest for my research were to translate over to program managers and reviewers.

Three. I started taking some awesome happy pills.
I've been suffering from depression for years, but never had good healthcare nor could I afford visits to psychiatrists and/or the prescriptions they wrote out. Over the years had I tried the all the cheap options, changing my diet, routine, exercise with very limited success. Now that I have a somewhat permanent job that includes pretty good health insurance, I decided to take advantage of it. My doctor referred me to a shrink, who confirmed what I already knew, since as a scientist, I've read up on reasons why I was always feeling miserable physically and mentally. They put me on some meds as there is really nothing in my life that needs fixing, other than a lower calorie diet. The meds work. I was told not to expect any sudden results, but in my case they have been very noticeable and welcome. I no longer absolutely dread getting out of bed every morning and the constant haze and dull pain that were in my head have mostly gone away. This leads to a more productive, less miserable me that in turn leads to fewer posts.

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