Sunday, December 29, 2013

No more excuses

I left Lutom in mid 2007. With an unfinished manuscript from my Ph.D. It followed me like a ghost and I finally got it done- reviews et al- into press - in mid 2009.

Going by that math I am a little behind, but considering my post-doc work was in a much less finished state than my Ph.D. thesis was, I can give myself 6 months grace.

We are looking at Jan 2014 in the eye. I left the U.S. in July 2011. With an unfinished manuscript from my post-doc..

Which means I should be closing in now. How far along am I? I would say ~40- 50% there.

How much time do I need- I'd say 5 days of dedicated focused work.

The trouble is I don't have that luxury, what with my full time very demanding job.

And of course, at the end of the day these are all excuses. I did take a 5 day holiday from work under the pretext of getting this done, but did not. The brain refused to focus. The mind wandered. Household chores took precedence. So did sleep. I ended up with 3 days LOP (Thats Loss of Pay- for people who go over their stipulated holidays) and a poor first draft.

There were many others- canceled trips, canceled reservations, missed outings, etc. etc. All for the sake of this paper. That is still dragging along.

Today we bought me a desk and chair. That was the final bastion of excuses I had built up - there is no place in the house to write, and I end up sitting on the bed/couch, and sleeping.

Now I have no excuses left.

I also have a very very very impatient and irritated post-doc advisor and am in real danger of pissing him off to the extent I will lose all credibility.

I had one more colleague who left the lab a few months before I did. She was following her husband who got transferred and she decided she was not going to be left behind without him. So she picked up and left. She did not take any ghosts with her. She simply wrote to our advisor saying she had some personal emergencies and was not going to be able to write her paper. My advisor finished it up and got it out.

I always felt superior to her. Look - here I stuck it  out- for a whole year and more, separated from my boyfriend/husband and worked. And I didnt give up on the paper either, even after leaving.

But now I am beginning to wonder. I sacrificed a lot of personal life- that is even more accentuated now that we ended up living with my FIL once we began to live together- in that 1 year or so I stayed back in the U.S.
I have delayed this paper beyond reason - allowing myself to be scooped more than once, and, reaching a point where the technology I used is getting outdated.
I wonder who was smarter and more pragmatic after all?

So really. This is it.

The desk is nice - although it feels more like a kid's desk and I wish it was a bit taller.. but hey. No more excuses.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Office chat

colleague 1- So why didnt you come to the program on saturday night?
Me- My husband is out of town, and my maid was not coming, so I didnt want to stay out too late as my F-I-L was alone at home..
colleague 1- Oh ok..
colleague 2 - My goodness it must be very difficult to manage no?
Me- Yeah it is ...
colleague 2- I mean one can manage without husband but without maid!


Sunday, May 12, 2013


Long Time No See!

Its been a while since I blogged.

Like all other sporadic blogging attempts this is just another mind dump.

Soon approaching the two year anniversary since I R2Ied, I am unhappy at the state of my social life, or lack thereof. I find that I have not a single good friend in the city, and my close friends who live elsewhere, I am barely in touch with.

It is hard to explain this kind of withdrawal. It is a mix of good old laziness, taking up a demanding job, and just dealing with the package deal that encompasses my move and letting it overwhelm me.

It hasnt gotten any better- the job is still demanding as hell, living with my FIL has only gotten more complicated and more tiresome, and well- readjusting to India is as complete as it can get.

Weekends were devoted to taking my FIL to his fav old dosa joint (a half-day sojourn), catching up with chores, sleeping, and trying to work on my damned paper that is leftover from my post-doc.

On two occasions when B went out of town I realised how bored I was on my own. Not a friend to go hang with, and dealing with my FIL for a whole weekend can be extremely frustrating and tiresome. I was so bored that I actually voluntarily opened up my old work folders and began working on my post-doc manuscript. Heh.

So of late, I began crawling out of my shell. I was also beginning to feel that our lifestyle is slightly dysfunctional. B and I only have office shit to discuss between ourselves, or discuss FIL. We do not have a balance, a different perspective, an outlet, or just another set of friends to compare our lives to. When we are battling maid woes, we feel like we are the only ones on earth. One fine day I sat with some of my colleagues at lunch and realised just about everyone has the same story going on.

I started with picking up the phone and regaining touch with old friends. The reassuring part is they were right there. It didnt take much to pick up from where we left off, but I also realised those calls were just- catch up calls. It didnt seem like they would turn into regular phone calls- simply because each of my friends is in a different phase of life, and at least 3 out of the 7-8 people i called had the exact same thing to tell me- My son dropped my phone and i lost your number! :)

May be I could turn them into regular calls- I am not sure. I do not want to give up now that I have gotten to a good start. But may be we also need to get out more in this city- find like minded people to hang out with- and hopefully that will help us gain some perspective.

How do people go about building friendships? I seem to have forgotten the art.