Leigh is moving up from being the data hunter-gatherer. This is not so easy. I've seen a ton of firsts in the last few months, enough to make my head spin. Certainly nothing my to-date training had prepared me for. And it leaves me exhausted.
So when I finally cleared the last hurdle today, last memo in hand, last signature collected, I kicked back in my desk chair and thought, "Ahhh! Now that's out of the way, I can get to the real work! The science!" (And then wished I could take a nap.)
But that is not really true. It's been pointed out to me, by people more wise and experienced than I, that I should be thinking of this differently.
It's all "real" work. For how many years, my job was to have someone else be administrator while I designed, ran, analyzed, and interpreted the experiments. With guidance, of course, because I was learning the job. Now my job description includes the facilitating science part. And it doesn't take long at this stage to see that without the work to facilitate the science, there would be no way to do the science. This all requires me taking a wider view of the process as a whole, and realizing that not all work in science involves running sample sets.
It's not an immediate change in thinking. I keep slipping back to "but where are the data?!!"
So I'm going to try this line of thought instead:
I've been working this strange and unfamiliar uphill battle for months, and learned a lot. Now I am glad that I can do some exciting stuff in the lab, because I made it happen. (And I needed a break from the administrative side.) Eventually, I'll publish it all too. With any luck, all this work will enable me to do more of the administrative shit, to do more of the benchmonkey shit, and more of the publication shit. It's all part of the science full-circle.
Now if only I can keep this in mind for next time. Because next time already looms over me.
I wanted a challenge- oh, I got it. I wanted to move up to the next step- and there are growing pains.