28 November 2013

The Thanksgiving tradition

It’s Thanksgiving! That wonderful day each year when we literally stop and count our blessings.

For whatever reason, I seem to have wonderful things happen right around Thanksgiving, and they’re often work/science-related. One year I made an awesome discovery that set the course for the rest of my thesis work. Another year I got a result that made me so excited/relieved (excitelived?), I cried at the microscope. Another year, my Thanksgiving celebration was sandwiched between turning in my dissertation and defending my Ph.D.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s just that I’m primed to notice good things happening more at this time of year. After all, there are those people in our News Feeds finding one thing for which they’re grateful and telling us about it EVERY DAY. Although I don’t care much for that thankfulness exercise myself, I do know that I tend to go about my November days with my eyes open a little wider for the good things in my life.

So today, this month, as well as throughout the year, I count all those blessings in my life – my wonderfully supportive family, both by blood and marriage...

My friends, far and near.

Our lovely home and the creative outlet it provides.

The luxury of delicious food and the communion of family meal time, every single evening.

The means (both monetary and physical) to travel the world.

My spiritual life, cultivated in an incredible community.

And of course, this guy, who puts up with my shenanigans every single day. Actually, he often contributes to my shenanigans. I’m definitely grateful for that.

But I’m especially grateful that my tradition of wonderful work-related news around Thanksgiving has struck once again.

I got the score for my big grant proposal this past week. I know that doesn’t mean much to you, unless you’re familiar with the esoteric grant-scoring system at the National Institutes of Health. So I’ll explain. NIH percentiles are backwards; 10th percentile means top 10%, with my score of 28. And that score means my grant proposal – submitted on the first try – will almost certainly be funded.

And that means I will have job security for the rest of my postdoctoral work. It means I don’t have to worry about getting laid off or having money to do my experiments. It means I’ll have extra money to travel to meetings all over the world and network with great scientists. It means I’ll have the prestige of this grant award on my CV. It means, because they like to continue to invest in the same people, that my likelihood of getting grants funded in the future is higher. It means I’m more likely to get a faculty job. And most of all, it means I don’t have to live how I’ve lived the last eighteen months, constantly writing and submitting grants to any and every funding agency that will have me.

When things go really well at work, this little scene from Moulin Rouge always gets stuck in my head, for the day or so that everything is great.

But I’ve had that scene in my head for months. I’m Zidler, dancing around. “Everything’s going so well!”

I’m surrounded by blessings every day. I’ve had good fortune at work for months. But I’m pretty sure this amazing-news-at-Thanksgiving trend is an entirely different, special brand of blessing.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you, dear readers. I hope you just as blessed!


Tina said...

Of all days, I'm tardy in getting to read TRS today! This day of the annual recounting of our blessings has been an exceptionally busy and thoroughly satisfying one for me... Hopefully, likewise for you! But just as I turned off the light to finally settle in to a fast sleep last night w/no-nap today, but still largely tryptophan-induced slumber, TRS came to mind. Not being able to recall today's posting, I reached for my iPad... In just a few more minutes, I will be trying to drift off with a face that will take some conscious relaxing because of it's huge smile and a heart bursting full of grateful joy and prayer. It has been an exceptionally wonderful day. Thank you for the wonderful topping off! <3 :-D

Christal said...

Is this an F32? CONGRATS!!! What a terrific score!!!!! Hang that on your fridge! :-)

Christal said...

and it means you get to buy a new computer. :-)