Well, I'm on my last day of work before taking a few days annual leave and then our Administrative Closing. My institute is very good to its staff (probably because they pay us so badly), and with just three days annual leave I get almost 2 full weeks vacation. I'd love to be going somewhere or doing something, but a combination of no money and no travel visa mean I am stuck in this city I call home for those 2 weeks. I likely will be bored out of my fucking mind by the end of the week.
Anyway, time to think about New Year's Resolutions and so on and so forth. Mine are easy, and one has been a constant for the last few years, which shows how successful I've been at keeping it.
1. Quit Smoking.
I am a smoker, and have been on-and-off for about 20 years. Like most addicted and habitual smokers I love and hate it with equal measure. The long term health implications are horrifying though, and as I expand into early middle age I really REALLY need to quit/stop/cease & desist. So, wish me luck, Dear Reader. This one is tied into #2 on my list and I hope they go together.
2. Get back training.
I've been training/playing at Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, for almost three years, but recently due to work and family I had to take a break. I meant to take a break for a couple of weeks and it has stretched into almost three months. I've lost nearly 10lbs (4-5 Kg), and it's not healthy. Because I'm not training I'm also more inclined to go for a pint (or two or three) after work, and obviously I'm still smoking. Muay Thai is famous not only for being one of the most brutal martial arts, but also one of the most aerobic, so getting back into training should help me with #1. And, of course, give me more stories of brutal and painful injuries to share. So far the list is 2 knockouts (with resultant concussions), two broken noses, four broken ribs, one dislocated finger, one cracked shin, one cracked foot, one dislocated fracture of the toe. Fucking brilliant!
3. Time Management
One of the reasons I had to take time off from training was that I was getting seriously behind in my non-direct work duties. Like most scientists I don't stick to the 40hr work weed. When I was a labrat I did more, but I still put in 50+hrs each at the day job. On top of this I'm taking a few graduate level courses to get a Certificate in Clinical Project Management. My training is in molecular genetics and neuroscience (with a light dusting of electrophysiology/biophysics), but now I'm an Administrator (ooh that cursed word) in a Clinical Science Institute, I need to pad the old resume out a bit.
Last semester was Biostatistics (excellent fun, but very time consuming with homework), and Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation. Finals have been taken and I'm happy to say I passed Biostats, and should have passed FCI barring a complete fuck up on the final exam. It was to critically evaluate a clinical study (using Zoledronic Acid (a bisphosphonate) post-operatively to reduce re-fracture and mortality after traumatic hip fracture, if you're curious) and I hope I did well. Seemed like a good study, and they certainly stuck to the CONSORT review outlines.
Anyway, on top of this I am on the Board of Directors for a national charity. We represent a very substantial number of people and have been taking a little heat recently for focusing too much on the small/procedural issues, and not the "larger" picture. Well, that's partly because the charity is young, and we've been working very hard on getting the organisational aspects of the charity in place, and now we're looking to expand. This position is time consuming enough, but I have been nominated for one of the Governance Chair positions on an internal committee and it is going to take a amassive amount of my time. I really struggled with getting everything done this year and got some stick for not keeping up woth everything I needed to do. Things are going to be tougher next year. I thought about resigning my position, but then lookerd at some of my fellow Board members. Without doubt they are excellent, motivated and talented people. Some are in the middle of mid-career job transitions and one of our more senior Board members just accepted a Chair at a very prestigious medical school.
If they can do all this and keep up, why can't I? no excuses Dr. Tideliar.
So, between my Board duties, and classes in Epidemiology and Legal & Ethical Aspect of Clinical Research, I am going to be very busy. Quitting smoking will add an hour a day, or so, on to my work week. And getting to the gym will keep me out of the pub and bring some focus back into my life. And that focus i can reflect in my job and extra-curricula actives.
Fuck, there's a certain, beautiful symmetry to my plan huh? I must be a genius or something.
What are you planning for next year? Maybe we can all encourage each other in 2010.
Merry Christmas, Dear Reader,
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