It seems that I have blank screen anxiety with everything right now. I've been thinking about writing a blog post, but I haven't been able to write anything that seems (1) profound or (2) even just a bit entertaining. Or (3) I've been consumed with anxiety about writing something that I think is somewhat entertaining, but really isn't to anyone else who doesn't live inside my head (which, frankly, is a valid concern). Another idea that has been running through my mind is that I have been edging towards whining a lot here and I should stop that.* Whining isn't really going to help anyone-- unless it's funny, but that puts me back to some-what-valid-concern #3. To make matters even more convoluted is that the busier I am, the more I want to whine and the more I want to whine the more I want to blog and so it goes (apparently in run-on sentence form). To break the cycle, I figured I should just post something-- anything really-- and just write.
This blank screen anxiety seems to have been brought on by the dreaded, twice-yearly committee meeting and the progress report that it entails. The committee meeting itself isn't really all that too terribly traumatizing. It's just that I don't think I have enough data to make one necessary. Since my last committee meeting (in February) I have done:
- Submitted abstract to Major European Meeting
- Shown poster at Major European Meeting (this shows only a moderate amount of progress on Damned Yeast Project)
- Made approximately two major design mistakes (one of which I will share the blame with Advisor and, luckily, he admits to some blame)
- Made hardly any progress on Interesting Technique Project That Requires Fancy Piece of Equipment
And that's about that. I have some great data for troubleshooting, but nothing new and exciting. Mostly just along the lines of "Yep, tried this. But I found out it didn't work because of X. So, I tried Y next and that isn't going to work because of Z."
I have a clear plan on where to go from here (basically, I was able to design a new plan to surmount problems X and Z and I'm getting better at multi-tasking). It's just that implementing this plan since I've gotten back has been rather slow going because workaround L took a good long amount of time and that yeast just grow slower than bacteria (seriously, much slower-- it's driving me up a wall). And my ability to multi-task on projects recently has been rather abysmal. I tend to focus a lot on one particular project and I follow it through until I'm done. The only problem with that is all the other projects I need to do at the same time suffer. Especially since my Interesting Technique project has fallen off Advisor's radar and it's easier for me to focus on what he considers urgent.
Ultimately, though, my lack of progress over the past six months really is my fault. More should have gotten done and it's my fault that it hasn't. The mistakes that I made are my fault. What, I suppose, it comes down to is that I already feel badly about screwing things up and I'm working twice as hard to fix them. So, I'm dreading more people telling me that I've failed. I can make myself feel that way enough on my own. I guess I should just hope that I don't screw things up as much in the next six months, huh?
* This post is still me whining. But I'd liken it more to verbal diarrhea. A fine distinction, but a distinction nonetheless.