Have you noticed a period or a spell of listlessness or despondency, a lackadaisical feeling, a slump? You might find that we are now in the doldrums.
Everyone gets the doldrums – a feeling of low spirits and lack of energy. The “doldrums” were apparently experienced by sailors in the mid-19th century. The word, once reserved for that feeling of despondency, came to be applied to certain tropical regions of the ocean marked by the absence of strong winds. Sailing vessels, reliant on wind propulsion, struggled to make headway in these regions, leading to long, arduous journeys. The exact etymology of doldrums is not certain, though it is believed to be related to the Old English dol, meaning “foolish” – a history it shares with our adjective “dull.”
My point? Simply that it is early February, it is cold outside, the days are short, the work is piled up, and things are especially difficult during this time. Add to this our unforeseen pandemic circumstances, and it is a struggle, for sure. The doldrums. But despite this, you are all taking steps, and you are doing your best to keep going. This is courage. I am proud of what you are doing. When we meet, I am trying to build into your weekly routines customized “small steps” to keep you pushing through. Soon, the outlook will change, the proverbial wind will indeed pick up, things will thaw, and the world will start to blossom. So will your work. My message this week in no matter what, just try to keep going, and stick to small steps.
Here are our agenda slides from last week:
Keep going, and I will see you on Tuesday!
Ps. I am so glad that you are planning to pull together some work to share during our Research Days university forum, and I just want you all to keep those deadlines in mind as we move forward (March 15 registration closes).