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.