Christmas is around the corner at last. The question is, "is it Christmas 2008 or 2009?". I have little clear memory of events this last year, rather it is pretty much just a blur. Is it maturity, or do I need new glasses? I have built up piles of paper around my desk so that it looks as if I am in a war zone and my working space is surrounded by sandbags. It is worse than ever. Trouble is, this approach doesn't stop more stuff arriving! Clearly I need to revisit the strategy!
This has indeed been a turbo-charged year and we are all looking forward to something of a slowdown over the next month. Reflection is important and whilst we have had difficulties during the year, we have to put them in perspective. Our lab workload has increased and it is increasingly difficult to find time for those other interesting activities like research. Despite this, one research project has been written up and submitted, and another completed and manuscript writing has commenced. I have also got another 4 papers in the writing process through PhD supervision and have two new clinical projects running. Are these extras worth the effort? You betcha!
The balance of my role has changed over the last couple of years as the lab team have matured and, given their head, are able to deal with 99% of issues themselves. This is very rewarding for me to see, and, more importantly, it allows them to win the professional respect of the broader health community, as individuals.
I have been struck during the year by the enthusiasm displayed in the regional news reports. At times I wish WA was not quite so distant as it would be nice to be able to visit other regions and join in their activities - not so much at annual meetings, but at more of a grass roots level. I have just completed an external QA run around the Perth labs and learned a lot in the process - I think some of the other labs also learned things. There is much we can learn from our peers.
The support of all regional representatives during the year has been very satisfying to me. Case of the Month didn't miss a beat and news contributions came in regularly. The jobs page worked harder than ever and there were regular communications from the Board. New members appeared to be joining at a greater rate than other members dropped out. All these things contribute to the sense of togetherness, the sense of growth within the membership, within the Society.
Yes, it has been an extremely busy year, but a very rewarding one. We must make sure we celebrate the victories, the achievements as we wind down (up?) for the festive season. Put the difficulties aside for the moment and celebrate the team.
Wishing you all the very best for a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season,