When I think of the uncertainty around this trip, I oscillate between zen-like tranquility and an all-consuming worry. Welcome to the worry! We are planning to leave in July, and it is now April. I applied for 5 fellowships to fund my research trip to the Dominican Republic. Four would cover living expenses while we are in the D.R. and one would cover additional research expenses. Most of the applications were submitted in October/November….what is taking these people so long!?!? I am trying to keep my cool. Trying not to completely unravel…but every time I check my email, I have heart palpitations imagining that there might be a notice from one of these organizations. One funder sent an email asking applicants to do a survey about the application process, and I cried pitiful tears of anxiety and disappointment when I realized that this was not the email that said, “Congratulations! You have been selected…”
I got a notice from one funder that I was not selected. My mind spiraled into a panic – rather easily, I might add. If I didn’t get this one, then I didn’t get that one. Maybe I’m not even competitive enough for my “back-up” funding. What if no one gives me money? What if no one likes this project? What am I dragging all of us into?
When I emerged from the fog, I did some math and came to the conclusion that I still have a decent shot at the other ones. I worked hard on applications in the fall and did the best I could. I go back to my kaleidoscope zen place and wait. It’s not a fun game.
Here’s what I do to cope:
· Take deep breaths
· Talk to my partner
· Talk to friends and family
· Red wine and yoga pants (fuzzy socks if it’s serious)
· Watch sitcoms
· Get some fresh air
· Work on something
· Check things off a task list