Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The finish line.


Reaching that finish line can be hard, in many things and not just marathons. A friend of mine just wrote a blog post about unfinished projects and it hit a chord. How many things do I have unfinished right now? I think this particularly hits me because I have a certain paper i'm writing that is driving me crazy. I NEED to finish it, it NEEDS to go, but can I sit down and finish it. Nada. Sigh. Tomorrow I have several pre 5am conference calls (Hawaii time can be hard you know) and the university campus is going to be inundated by crazy people, so i've decided to stay at home to work on this paper. I've brought home the books, and i'm hoping i've brought home the motivation. This NEEDS to happen.....

At any one time I probably have a dozen projects going on at once. I joke it's my ADD side breaking through, but in reality it probably is just that. I've always had trouble focusing on one thing at once, whether it be a craft project, work, sport or new skill, I tend to have a zillion things going, and probably finish 50-75% of them. It's a pretty high number though, so usually I get away with it, and often i'll come back to a craft after a "break", so it all feels new again when I restart. Crafty things like crochet and pottery work with me because each time you can make new forms, new stitches, new uses for the outcome, so it keeps me interested. Tonight I started yet another crochet project, alongside the other 5 I have going right now. All with deadlines, and somehow, I know they will all work out, I just got the idea and got motivated to start this other baby blanket tonight........and so it goes. I often post about my crafty outcomes, but rarely about the other projects sat around that have been that way for many months. Maybe I should start posting about them then I might feel the guilt needed to finish them.....

I think i'm lucky i've ended up doing what I do, because to keep yourself afloat in research, especially 100% soft money research, you need to be doing a million things at once - writing papers, writing proposals, doing lab work, advising students, collecting in the field, going to meetings, collaborating with colleagues - all at the same time. You also have to face the fact that some things work out and some don't, and that just kind of works for me and my attention span. Besides if everything worked out, there wouldn't be enough hours in the day to do it all! With this though comes balance and the need to finish things. Certain things just sit and sit until the deadline looms and it finally gets out the door. It's all about balance, a balance i'm finding a little hard to find right now. I write proposals like crazy as I need to to keep in salary, but that often wipes out my "writing brain" to the point where writing papers is torture. Not that i'm doing badly, but I seriously have 3 papers that I have all the data for that should really get written here someday....

I'm hoping this move to Maine is going to help me with that balance. Having all the facilities I need right there for me to get the data to write the papers, i'm hoping, is going to make a big difference. The station i'm hoping will be a little less crazy than the University of Hawaii too, a little quieter for working and less distractions. I'm hoping.

Until then, please just let me finish "draft 2" of this paper tomorrow to send to me colleagues....

2 comments:

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Wishing you some peace and project finishing juju. If you have ADD, you have used it to your advantage!
Nicola

RGW said...

Totally! AND I FINISHED my paper today and sent it away - YAY!