Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It was an intense but good day today. I'm on a panel reviewing proposals for one of the federal agencies. Putting together a good research proposal takes not only technical understanding but an ability to "sell" your idea to a diverse review team. I enjoy the exchange of thoughts and working to build a consensus on a proposal.
I also found that just being here has been a breath of fresh air. It's like a shot in the arm to be around people who have a lot of interest in getting something accomplished and in seeing the best ideas funded. Maybe it was just what I needed this week.
There was a nice get together tonight at the home of the agency director. I've known her for a long time. We talked quite a bit about my leaving my current position and pursuing some other activities in my field. One of the nicest compliments was that I was a "visionary" and that the field would greatly miss my participation. Wow! I haven't heard those words in a while.
So that got me thinking that perhaps I still am not really good at being my own cheer leader. And that some of what has me down about my current position is lack of any kind of encouragement. I know that's what finally got to my wife. She felt that working at the lab was like a "black hole" that sucked the energy out of her.
Is this still my attempt at needing approval and a pat on the back? I think that is part of it. I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to maintain enthusiasm in a situation where there is little positive feedback.
The bottom line is I'm feeling renewed energy and a sense of relief in knowing that I still love this field and have a passion for the work. I just know that I need to change the work environment.