Monday, November 1, 2010

Is this thing on?

Helloooooooo? Is anyone still out there? The past couple of months have been crazy, at best. This particular bout of crazy began with a nice little punch of science fail. It wasn’t a complete disaster, but I had to completely change my strategy on a project that I thought was about to seriously take off. Still haven’t made it to taking off just yet, but I have gotten some interesting preliminary data.

That same week, Little Bear, my grandmother and my father in law all told me that I needed to convince my mom to go to the doctor for this lingering and horrible cold that she had. We finally talked her into it, and two days later she was diagnosed with lung cancer. A week later we started her first found of chemo. All told, it was caught really early, she’s tolerated chemo extremely well (although the side effects of radiation were a bit rough), and we’ll know on Monday whether or not she’s in remission.

Because of her chemo regimen, I was taking off at least 3 weekdays plus a whole weekend from lab to travel back and forth every third week. I must say that although it hasn’t been easy, it’s given me some motivation and I’ve been having a bit of an easier time getting things done. Did I mention that the week of the fourth round of chemo I gave my yearly talk for my program and had a committee meeting?

My committee meeting went well. They were pleased with my progress and excited about my preliminary data from FailProject. We’re going to meet again in January. I kind of threw Crazy Man under the bus for not being around and not talking to me practically at all before my talk. I want to feel bad about it, but on the other hand, he could have handled it better. But he seems to be really making an effort now, so I appreciate that. In other news, the Golden Child defended and is outta here, a new postdoc has started and I once again have my very own rotation student, who is seriously phenomenal.

Whew! How’s that for a quick and dirty update?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I used to be a person

At least, I am fairly certain that is the case. Once upon a time, I had hobbies and interests and went out and did things. Now, I do science. But I’ve recently begun to realize that I can be a normal-ish person too. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, even if I would rather be doing a little more supervising and a little less getting my hands dirty. But I’m coming to terms with the fact that for me to be happy and healthy, I need to do other things.

I’m knitting again, which is good. It occupies my mind enough that I can think about things without being overwhelmed by thinking about too many things at the same time. I’m reading interesting books, not just trashy novels. Reading some non-fiction has gotten to thinking more about things, things that are deeper and wider than just my little corner of the universe, and it feels really, really good to stretch a bit.

I’ve also been baking again. I’m not really sure why that makes me feel so good, but it does, even when I’m not eating chocolate ganache straight out of the mixer bowl with a spoon. Maybe it’s because it feels like doing science, but the results are so much tastier.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What's going on?

I feel like things have been all over the place around here. Lots of little ups and downs, but nothing major. Let’s go with bullets:
• My old computer was dying a slow death. That made me sad. I bought a new computer, and that makes me very happy. I forgot that things electronic can function quickly. I had gotten used to very slow, very hot and very loud fans.
• Little Bear is doing an internship at a newspaper. She’s had a couple of front page stories already! I’m so proud.
• One of our feral cats has decided that she’s a seriously fierce hunter. It’s too hot for her to be leaving carcasses in my yard. Hmph.
• The first of my classmates defended last month. All but one of us have a first author paper. I am not that one. I’ve been pretty frustrated scientifically lately, but I’m trying to pull out of it by sheer force of will. If I keep doing well designed experiments I have to make some progress at some point, right?
• Crazy Man and I discussed one of the things he says that is blatantly sexist. The thing is, he doesn’t see what the problem is. We will be discussing this further at some point.
• I signed up to judge posters for some undergrad program. I also had a very uncomfortable, but very necessary discussion with Crazy Man about the Golden Child. I’m not sure I got my point across, but I felt like a grown up just for bringing it up. So I’m doing pretty well on the professionalism front lately.
• I learned to use a very expensive new piece of equipment. I haven’t actually used it for an experiment yet, but I’m very excited to.
• I am so tired of breeding and genotyping mice. Hopefully this will improve soon as I’m starting to actually have homozygous breeders for one gene or the other.
• I’m going to be learning crazy engineering technique from Golden Child in our collaborator’s lab. I’m not sure yet how great of an idea this is.
• I’m having some issues with things other FGS is saying and doing, and I don’t know how to deal with them.
• I’m knitting baby blankets like a crazy person. Mary Poppins (because she’s practically perfect in every way…seriously), one of my committee members is pregnant. I’m probably1/3 done with her blanket. One of my aunts (we’ll call her Aunt #3) is also pregnant. She’s 42! I haven’t started on her blanket yet. And I have a lot of mixed emotions about that whole situation. But I’ll save those for later.
• Speaking of aunts, Aunt #2 is moving to my current town to start law school in the fall. She’s almost 50 and I’m so proud of her!
• Speaking of babies, I have had severe baby fever of late. Severe. Even after spending a weekend with my cousin’s 2 and 4 year olds who are incredibly badly behaved. If I could, I would adopt those two boys. Somebody needs to be taking better care of them. Now if only I could channel that baby fever into motivation to get some lab work done…

What's going on in your world?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mentors for the taking

In my head, my last post started out lamenting the lack of female role models I have around me. As I’ve thought about that particular complaint, I’ve thought of two good female mentors that would love to chat with me if I just reached out to them. I’ve also been thinking a lot about and discussing my frustrations with various people, I’ve realized several things about both myself and my current situation.

Rather than actually having a committee meeting, I’ve been planning to do as Observant Academic suggested on my last post and meet individually with a committee member or two. This is difficult for me on several levels. The biggest barrier for me to overcome with regards to this is my anxiety. At least all the way back to high school I’ve experienced some anxiety, particularly relating to social situations. Starting when I began graduate school through my first three years or so, this social anxiety intensified to the point where sometimes even just the thought of meeting someone new could bring on a panic attack. Over the last two years this has been improving to the point where now I’m only a bit uncomfortable in those situations that would have previously been impossible for me to endure. The thing I still struggle with the most in this regard is initiating interactions with other people, particularly people I don’t see on a daily basis. Clearly this makes setting up meetings with committee members a bit of a struggle for me, but I’ve almost got myself talked into doing it. And frankly, just the thought that I’m able to do that now makes me feel empowered.

The second obstacle to me meeting with my committee members is my concerns about their relationships to Crazy Man. Each of my committee members has a unique (and good) relationship with Crazy Man. The reasons I want to meet with my committee members are about me and my work and my career, and are unrelated to Crazy Man (as much as that is possible). The Crazy and I have a pretty good relationship, and we mostly get along even when we don’t see eye to eye and despite the fact that we’re both very passive-aggressive. I know for the most part this is probably an unfounded concern, but I don’t want my committee members to judge Crazy Man (or me) or give him a hard time for not being able to provide all the mentoring I feel like I need.

The third thing that’s stressing me out about this is that I find my committee intimidating for a whole host of varied and crazy reasons. They scare me. This has improved over time, and I think that’s partly related to my anxiety and partly related to my maturation as a scientist.

Despite all this, I know I need to ask for the support that I want and need. It’s hard for me to ask for help, but I think it’s critically important to my development, so I’m going to do it. My committee members are good people, they know my science, they know my field and they know various related fields. They know information and people that I don’t know (yet). They all have students in their labs and really place a lot of importance on training students. I’d be stupid not to tap into that resource. Now I’ve just got to be brave enough to put myself out there just a teeny bit.

*Candid Engineer had a post this week about mentoring, and there are some excellent comments that have really spurred me on. Also, the WSJ blog The Juggle had a post on mentoring I found interesting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ongoing frustrations

I’ve been feeling really frustrated for lots of reasons lately.

Both the department my lab is in and my graduate program naturally divide into sort of us and them based on our science. There are teeny bits of overlap, particularly in my program, but of late, the number of us has been dwindling for various reasons. This has made selecting committees for students in my lab increasingly difficult. I selected my committee (lo, these many years ago) shortly after my department/program lost >3 faculty members that I respected and who’s interests and approaches were complimentary with my project(s).

Nevertheless, I have a committee that I think suits me pretty well. However, thus far, my committee meetings have been useless. I was initially going to say they’ve been less than helpful, but that doesn’t really cover it. I was supposed to have a committee meeting in the fall. Somehow I managed to put it off, seemingly indefinitely. But right now I’m frustrated and want to talk science with somebody. Somebody besides my lab and Crazy Man. I’m running at least 4 different projects right now, three of which are stalled out at about 75% completion. There are multiple technical issues plaguing me right now, and Crazy Man has been less than helpful. He’s not giving me any feedback, nobody in the lab gives me any feedback during lab meeting or just chatting in the lab and I’m really at my wits’ end!

I think the most frustrating thing is that the technical issues I’m having are not troubleshoot-able problems. They’re voodoo issues. And I’m not dealing well with that anymore. I’m even more frustrated because I feel like I’m not getting any mentoring. I’ve been considering finally having my committee meeting because it might be helpful to get a little perspective. On the other hand, the pessimistic side of me thinks that will only serve to stress me out more without helping at all. What to do, what to do?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Play ball!

There’s this kid that went to my high school that was drafted pretty high by a major league baseball team. When he was drafted, there was a billboard congratulating him. Now that he’s a star on the farm team, the local paper is running a story on every single game he plays. Jimmy-watch, Game 24. Every single game. I have some mixed feelings about all of that, but it got me thinking.

I don’t think science/scientists receive sufficient coverage in the mainstream media. But can you imagine having basically every day of your work hashed and re-hashed like that? Even weekly that could be just brutal in science. What would your stats look like? What would the story about your day in and day out science look like?

Well, LJ has been trending downward this week. She’s 0 for 127 on PCR reactions, but that gel she poured was nice and level. The mouse colony is out of control, but whatever she’s doing gets those little buggers a-breeding! Although she’s faltered a bit lately on her western blots, her cell culture is top notch. We just know she’s going to make it to the bigs any day now.

It kind of creeps me out to even think about anybody being that interested in everything I do. On the other hand, maybe I should take a closer look at myself.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Things have been, well, things. It’s been pretty boring around these parts. All the usual stuff…Crazy Man is crazy, data generation is next to non-existent and I’m bouncing from one extreme to the other on my feelings about starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some days I feel like I really have it together and projects are getting close to completion and I’m getting ready, excited even, to move on. Some days I feel like there’s absolutely no hope that I’ll ever publish anything again. Some days I’m terrified about moving on. Some days I’m just excited.

I think I’m more easily annoyed lately. I’m annoyed with the lab, I’m annoyed with Crazy Man, I’m annoyed with our collaborators, I’m annoyed with Food and Wine Magazine (seriously…you charged me $39.59 for my automatic renewal when the price for a new subscription is $19.99…we’ve been down this road before, you and I). I am supremely annoyed with this paper that’s in a baby Nature journal…more on that later.

On the other hand, there are two fluffy books I like coming out this week, and I’m excited about that. I made these cinnamon rolls (twice!) and they were amazing. It’s raining and I like rain. I went to the beach, which was lovely. I went to a meeting and chatted with people I didn’t know and tried new things and didn’t have a single panic attack. I got to hang out with my sis this weekend. I have new Lush stuff, and it’s all amazing (except the soap samples).

So yeah…meh. Life’s chugging along. I’m trying to find some spunk and some motivation, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far. I’ll keep looking though.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yeah! What she said!!!

This. This exactly. My uterus is not here to provide children for your entertainment. At least not at the moment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's a small world

Maybe a year or so ago, TM and I went to a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The chef did a special dinner that he cooked himself for a small group of people in what amounted to his secret underground lair. It was a really interesting group of people. I was sitting next to a VP from a major financial institution (who was a total alcoholic, but she was darn entertaining). There was a couple that were both patent attorneys that had previously worked at a biotech that TM and I are both familiar with. There was another couple that were both podiatrists, and a few others.

Tonight, I was sprawled out in the living room floor painting my toenails, and I informed TM that I just could not comprehend why anyone would want to be a podiatrist. Basically any other specialty I can understand, but the interest in podiatry I just don’t get.

A few hours later, TM scampered off to meet his brother at the airport. While waiting at baggage claim, he texted me to tell me he had run into the podiatrists. Apparently they have lots of luggage. And that, boys and girls, is my random story for the day.

And I still don't understand why anybody would want to be a podiatrist (no offense intended)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RBO Newsflash

• Your child is not “gifted” because he can “wave bye bye” at 6 months old.

• If you’re dating someone who is a parent of relatively well-adjusted adult children and you haven’t met them, you might want to try that. Or at least ask why your fiancĂ©’s adult child has absolutely nothing to do with them. There might be a reason and it might save you a lot of heartache. I’m just sayin’…

• If you’re 50+ and engaged to be married to spouse number 4, planning the wedding and informing at least one of your children before telling either of your parents that you’re even planning to get married just makes you look ridiculous.

• Having an extremely religious ceremony for wedding number 3 is a little bizarre. Getting married to spouse number 4 in the same church with the same preacher is just laughable. I wonder if he’ll use the same sermon.

• Having an online system to make an appointment with student health services is great. Unless the system sucks. Like, say, if you can’t narrow the available appointments by provider, even though they explicitly encourage you to see the same provider.

• Having really weird, disturbing dreams for a solid week sucks. A lot.

• Some things should be very carefully edited. Examples: a newspaper’s website, a published novel. Fortunately, I have an in with the newspaper’s publisher. I signed the email I sent him today “Woman ‘will edit for cash’ Scientist”. As for the novel, I was reading this weekend, and I actually stopped and wrote a review for the book because the number of errors was downright distracting. Which is just sad, since I was reading really fast because I was bored with the plot.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

On mentoring

In general, I think Crazy Man is a pretty good mentor. In general, he has a pretty good idea of how each of us operates. He usually knows when to push us and when to give us a pep talk or just say nothing at all. He also does an excellent job of helping us understand how to write and review both grants and papers, which I really appreciate (even though I think I’m the only one). He’s a little off his rocker sometimes, but aren’t we all?

I’ve been thinking about mentoring a lot the past few weeks, particularly with respect to the Ducklings. I realized that I’m not just training them. I’m not just teaching them the nuts and bolts of our systems and how to physically do the experiments our lab does. I’m also teaching them all kinds of intangible things that I don’t even realize.

This realization has pushed me to think more about being a mentor than a mentee. Both the Ducklings are struggling a bit right now, with both lab and non-lab issues. They’re both stressed because they’re dealing with their classes and their upcoming student seminar talks and qualifying exams. It’s a stressful time in their careers. And I don’t feel like either of them is coping particularly well.

Duckling 1 and I had a talk last week because she had basically convinced herself that she was completely incompetent and therefore couldn’t show any of her own data for her talk. Of course she’s not incompetent, and I hope I managed to convince her of that. Over the course of our conversation, it became clear that she felt like her recent lack of data production has been letting me down. ME! I was flabbergasted. I tried to reassure her that I haven’t even been close to upset with her, and that I appreciate the issues she’s been having aren’t her fault.

Needless to say, that was really an eye-opening conversation for me. My Ducklings look up to me. They see me as a role model. I’ll be honest. That freaks me out just a little. They also worry about my expectations of them, which had never occurred to me.

I talked for a long time with TM about some of the issues that this conversation raised, and I think I’m going to talk to Crazy Man some about it too. I think our situation gives both the Ducklings and me an opportunity to learn a lot. I have a lot to learn about mentoring and encouraging and the Ducklings are learning who they are and who they are becoming. Although it’s much more in my safety zone to just bury my head in the sand, I think it’s time for me to start putting myself out there a little bit. Project Feed the Ducklings begins now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And we wonder why Crazy Man is crazy

I was the first one here this morning at 9:30. And at 5:45, I'm the only one still here. I'm also typically the only one that comes in on the weekends. Yet, the rest of the lab wonders why Crazy Man gets upset about work ethic. He always says the students here don't work nearly as hard as the students at our peer institutions. I'm beginning to think he may be right.

Thinking about seriously starting the post doc search

I’ve been thinking a lot about post docs lately. It’s beginning to be time for me to start seriously looking. I’ve been keeping a running list of people I may be interested in working with for quite a while now. People have come and gone from the list as I’ve met and liked/disliked them, as my interests have evolved, as I’ve decided there are some places I’m not willing to live, etc. I still feel like I’m really floundering though.

My graduate work (and my PhD) are in a fairly specialized sub-field. There are several different branches of my sub-field, but I’ve dabbled in the majority of them due to my project ADD. My primary interest, however, is signal transduction in my favorite cell type. Obviously, signaling occurs in all cell types and systems, so if I choose to go that direction, I have lots of options for post doc mentors.

However, I’m finding that my identity as a scientist is very much wrapped up in my sub-field. I could readily apply the vast majority of my skill set to basically any cell type in a number of organisms. In theory, I’m not opposed to going outside my sub-field for my post doc. In reality, seriously considering that makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I really do want to branch out for my post doc, though I’m coming to terms with the fact that I probably don’t want to leave my –ology. The problem with that is that work on my cell type and/or the type of disease models I use most often make up the biggest part of my sub-field, especially the bigger name people (several of which are at my university). I’m really struggling to find people outside of that that I think would be good fit for me.

I’ve identified a few new skills I’d like to acquire. I’ve identified one or two locations where I refuse to live. (Geography isn’t really an issue, as people working on –ology tend to be centered in about 5 locations in the US.) I’m open to a number of cell types and disease models. I may be open to moving outside of –ology. I’m still grappling with that question and all of the identity issues it seems to raise for me.

Now I suppose it’s time to start talking to people and figure out who should really be on my list.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I have been doing really well lately. I’ve had basically no depression and only very, very limited anxiety (and that even with situations that are normally MAJOR triggers). But today I’m down. I didn’t sleep well and my progesterone levels just tanked, so I’m just not doing so hot today. I almost cried when I realized I left my yogurt at home, even though that was an excellent excuse to go buy the scone I’ve been craving. Tomorrow will be better. I insist on it. I’ve also been mentally writing lots of (hopefully) interesting posts in my head, so hopefully I’ll have some real content back here soon. Now back to the wallowing that was already in progress…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Realization (of something I already knew…)

Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of things. Sometimes it’s most important to be reminded of things you already knew.

I actually dragged my sorry rump out of lab this afternoon to go to my program’s journal club. The paper being discussed was interesting (in principle), and it was from a lab where I’m interesting in doing a post doc. I also thought it was a good opportunity to work on my goal of being even a teensy bit more social.

At any rate, I was pretty excited about the paper. Actually sitting down and going through it though served to remind me that just because a group has a great reputation and just because the paper is in C/N/S doesn’t mean that the work is good. It doesn’t mean that the results are real or interesting or that the experiments were designed well or that the paper was even put together thoughtfully.

Actually making myself go to journal club reminded me of all that. It reminded me that given the right circumstances there’s a broad range of people that can publish in top tier journals. It also reminded me that publishing those types of paper or hailing from a lab with good name recognition and reputation doesn’t necessarily make you a great scientist.

Of course, I’ve known those things for a long time now, but sometimes it is good to be reminded.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scoopage (and I don't mean ice cream)

We just got mega-scooped. An almost intact paper that Postdoc Guy left behind was just published basically figure for figure by another group with only the teeniest of differences. Hmph. Interestingly, the senior author was on the study section that reviewed the grant on this project. He was also the postdoc mentor of one of my committee members.

I’ve been giving Crazy Man a hard time about this paper ever since Postdoc Guy left. But nobody listens to me. It wasn’t my project, but I was an author because I did a few bits of data for it. In fact, it was in a system that I’ve been adamantly refusing to work on for years, maybe even the whole time I’ve been in grad school.

However (and there’s always a however)… I think I can rescue this paper. I’ve gradually been doing a little here and there with this system, despite my best efforts. And I have ideas! Crazy ideas, for experiments that I’m all poised to do. Crazy experiments that will be relatively easy to do, needed to be done anyway, and will really only mean adding an additional group to experiments that I was planning to do anyway!

Assuming these experiments go according to plan (snicker…when does that ever happen?), they would then become the bulk of the paper, it would be higher impact than it was before, and I would likely become first author. What are the chances this works?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Did you read the paper?

We just found out that GlamourMag manuscript was accepted! For the resubmission, they actually added an additional reviewer, purportedly to assess the validity of the mathematical arguments. Based on this reviewer’s comments, I told Crazy Man that I was fairly sure s/he hadn’t read the paper. At all.

At any rate, it was accepted, pending a few minor changes to address the final comments from the reviewers. Again, I really think this same reviewer didn’t even read the paper. This reviewer stated that it was important to point out that we argue that our system is better than previous systems for predicting biological function, but we didn’t include any functional data. And then I was like,

There’s a whole main figure that’s nothing but the correlation of our predictions with the actual functional data, and I believe there’s two supplementary figures that are also other measures of function. Which I know, because I DID ALL THE FUNCTIONAL ASSAYS. And the correlation of the prediction with the function is the whole point of the paper.

I sure am glad I don’t have to rebut those particular comments myself because I totally want to write to the editor and tell her to never, ever use this person as a reviewer again because they’re clearly a frickin’ idiot. Sheesh.

Friday, January 29, 2010

End of January update (and maybe a teeny rant...)

I think I’m starting to like this whole being more professional thing! I’ve been doing pretty good with dressing a little nicer, wearing makeup and whatnot. (Speaking of which, I’m now totally addicted to Aromaleigh!) The interpersonal aspects of being more professional are obviously much more difficult for me. However, I think I’ve been doing really well. When labmates (okay, just the Golden Child) do things that annoy me and/or make my life generally more difficult and/or compromise my experiments, I’ve been calling them on it. Of course, that’s only after I’ve worked through my initial urge to Velcro my racks to my bench. (Seriously, I have little Velcro squares sitting in my bag right now…) I even sent out an email to the lab about things that are just generally good lab practice. Like don’t use my bench space and leave an empty box of tips. So at least I’m being pretty gently vocal about my expectations and things that are bothering me.

Speaking of things that are bothering me, Crazy Man and I just had a come to Jesus meeting about the Golden Child. Golden Child is the only person in our lab that has been trained to do a very specialized technique with our collaborators. Both the Ducklings want to learn, and the Golden Child has agreed to train them, but insists that it takes about 3 months to become comfortably proficient. All this is fine and dandy, but there are some bits of data that are essential for two of my projects that would be most easily and rapidly generated using this technique.

The last time Crazy Man and I discussed the best way to approach this question, we brought Golden Child into our meeting to ask for his help in generating this data. We discussed what would need to be done and how much time it would take and Golden Child agreed. It would be maybe two full days worth of work for him, and he would be an author on the papers because the figure he generates is an undeniably integral part of the project.

However… (isn’t there always a however?) Crazy Man, Golden Child and I were sitting around chatting in the lab yesterday, and Golden Child basically said that he wasn’t going to do these experiments, that we would basically have to wait for Duckling 2 to do them (part of this relates to her project as well). I was livid. I glared at Crazy Man. I glared at Golden Child. I ruminated and seethed for a while.

Today, I wanted to meet with Crazy Man about some other stuff, but I did come right out and tell him that I didn’t appreciate AT ALL Golden Child backing out like that. I told him that I was frustrated because Golden Child is hyperfocused on his stuff and what he thinks is important and really doesn’t contribute anything for the good of the lab as a whole.

I was very blunt with Crazy Man about what I thought about it and why I feel that way. I pointed out that the Golden Child has gone on vacation for a month on one occasion and two weeks on another occasion and expected other FGS and me to take care of his cells the whole time he was gone, and I’m not talking about just splitting transformed cells. I’m talking about a whole day or two worth of work. But he can’t be bothered to wash his own dishes or train new students, which frustrates me to no end.

At any rate, I talked to Crazy Man about it in a very adult and professional manner, and Crazy Man is going to talk to him about it. I think Crazy Man realized there was some general discontent, but I don’t think he realized the extent or the exact reasons. I think he thinks we were just being bitchy, but now he understands precisely why I’ve been upset with Golden Child.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Facebook hilarity

I just discovered that my mom's neighbor (who graduated from high school the year my mom was born) is on Facebook. That made my day (which needed making)! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goals for 2010

My major goal for the year is to both look and act more professional. So far, I’m doing okay. I’m going to try to spend far less of my time playing passive-aggressive games, especially with Crazy Man. I’m planning to spend far more of my time doing productive things to build up, rather than beat down.

I declare 2010 the year of the first author publication! My goal for papers this year is to have three first author publications submitted.

I would also like to expand my horizons a bit on the personal side as well. To that end, I have a couple of goals:

1. Move more. I’m not an athletic person, and I don’t generally find much enjoyment in physical activities. So rather than saying I plan to go to the gym x number of times a week or I plan to lose 25 pounds, my goal is to simply move more and try to have fun doing so. It’s too cold for me to bike right now, but maybe my formerly broke ass shoulder will tolerate a little racquetball with the hubby.

2. I want to do something social. I am a severe introvert, and I haven’t really made any close friends since I started graduate school. So my goal to try to improve in this area to try something that forces me to interact with new people. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m thinking of volunteering, joining a book club or knitting group or maybe finding a community band to play in or a dance class to take. Something to simply push me a little outside my comfort zone. I find that imposter syndrome tends to rear its ugly head when I consider these things, so I’m really hoping to try to overcome that somewhat.