Friday, 2 January 2015

A good start

The holiday season is finally coming to a close, and as always, I have not done as much work as I hoped I would. I long ago accepted that work does not get done over the Christmas break. Now that Christmas invariably involves travelling across an ocean to engage in back to back coffee, lunch, drinks, and dinner with all my friends and family back home, this is doubly true.
I have no regrets about this. I have not been home in over a year, and so for the ten days I was away, my friends and family (and my home town, that I miss deeply) had my undivided attention. I got to see everyone I could. I spent time with my siblings, my mother, my two nephews, and my niece. I saw my oldest friend, whom I've known since I was six. It was important work.
That being said, I had set myself one objective. About two years ago, a friend and colleague of mine and I had discussed a collaboration. It was a side project, but an interesting one, and potentially a new avenue in which to use the methods I focused on in my PhD. It isn't too much work on my part, and the potential returns are large. But life got in the way, and the project has stalled since those discussions. That friend and I will be meeting at the SICB meetings in West Palm Beach later this month, and we had more or less decided that, if we had made no progress by then, the project would be shelved.
It is one of those make or break moments, when you decide how important something is. Well, it appears this was important to me, because this morning I had the workflow breakthrough I was looking for: I've figured out the key data processing steps we need to make this project work. I'm excited again. And I'm taking this as a good sign for 2015: that on the 2nd of January, despite being ill, I got up, went to the local coffee shop (I'm still not home) and worked for a solid three hours until the things I wanted to achieve got done. I still enjoy this, I still want to do this, and there are parts of it I'm actually pretty good at.
So happy new year everybody. May 2015 be filled with little moments like this one.

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