January 17, 2013

i was going to write a post and title it the intersection of work and life
because, as i was pipetting today it occurred to me that i was not really ‘having it all’ [heh].  i was doing some tedious benchwork [RNA extraction] and i realized halfway through that i wasn’t going to finish.  there’s a nice step in the middle where you can sort of hit pause and finish up the next day, so that’s what i did.  and that’s fine.  but i am progressing SO slowly with my research — probably slower than my mentors would like.  the reason for this is likely 3-fold:

a) i am balancing clinical work with my research.  i basically only have 3 weekdays to spend in the lab each week — mondays are our division meeting [and usually clinical catch-up time], and fridays i have clinic.  not complaining — in fact, i’m happier that i get lots of clinical time even on research months.  but it certainly isn’t great for scientific productivity.

b) i am an MD who, prior to last year, hadn’t been in a lab since 2006.   and as it turns out, molecular biology skills are not really like riding a bike — especially since things continue to evolve at a rapid pace.  therefore, i am totally green and not efficient when it comes to basic science research.  unlike some MD [as opposed to PhD] fellows, i am 100% happy to admit that and ask for help from my much-savvier benchmates, but it’s an indisputable fact that i lack the lab finesse that seems to come only through sweat, tears, and experience.

c) i am a new [well, new-ish?] mom.  with a sweet baby who is only going to be a baby THIS ONE TIME.  and i am not particularly hungry for a research career, so . . . yeah.  i’m not going to leave her in day care for 12 hours so that i can finish with RNA isolation.

[there, i said it.]

you know what though?  i’m really at peace with all of this right now.  despite the fact that i’m still waiting on the job search and probably could choose to implode with the stress of all the uncertainty right now,  i find myself actually feeling okay.  i really have taken care to stop rushing and really slow things down over the past couple of weeks, and it feels amazing.

so i guess i wrote the post i was going to after all
but in the midst of all this . . . we are potentially putting an offer on a house!  so, whoa.

life seems to be moving at some sort of new warp speed right now.  note to self: to KEEP calm and stay slow and most importantly — savor the ride.  it’s going to be quite an eventful year.

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