Things that help

Today was a day of me feeling incredibly overwhelmed, both by old projects that I’m trying to finish and new projects that I’m trying to get off the ground. I’ve done a great job so far this summer of getting my post-doc projects out the door (though I anticipate that they will soon come back to me with rejections, or at best revisions, so I don’t feel quite done with them yet), but then I hit on a snag on one paper that is slowing me down. At the same time that this is happening, I’m trying to get a new research program off the ground — a research program that is conceptually related to the work I’ve done before but is logistically extremely complicated to set up. And I’ve never done anything like this new project before, so it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed and like I just can’t do it.

I’ve found a couple of things that help with that feeling, like (silly as this sounds) breathing through it and remembering that tomorrow is a brand new day when I won’t feel like this anymore. But today I also got some unexpected, and quite welcome, help.

I saw my first paycheck from my new institution. My new institution thinks I can do it. They think that so much that they’re willing to bet their money on it. What a necessary vote of confidence that was for me today!

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Author: Happy Balloon

I am a new assistant professor in a STEM field at a research university. If you think you've figured out my actual name (which, sadly, is not Happy Balloon), please refrain from posting it anywhere here. But please do feel free to post all manner of other comments!