Saturday, October 28, 2006

Another Saturday, and too much to do.

I like the hurry up and wait aspect of research. I always did.

But lately I'm coming off a long wait, and I'm up to my earlobes in hurry, hurry, hurry.

Last night- Friday night- I did laundry, emptied the dishwasher, and went to bed early. I'm exhausted from working 12 hours a day, with almost no breaks, five days a week, for the last several weeks. Weekends I work less, but I try not to count all the time I spend on the computer at home, because it's interspersed with blogging, email, and online shopping.

This morning I scanned in some gels, and I'm thinking about all the stuff I need to do in lab and on my computer today.

It's too much.

I like lab. I really do. Lately the computer stuff is a little much for me, maybe because it requires more thought. The benchwork is easier for me. Much as I love the analysis of stacks and stacks of data (I really do!), benchwork for me is like cooking. It's something I do to relax. Sometimes it's boring, and sometimes I'm so tired that the thought of pipetting makes me think the computer is more appealing, because it doesn't require much movement. But in general, I've always thought benchwork was fun.

I met a couple of young PIs recently who said they miss benchwork terribly. They talked about it like their pet puppy had died. This got me thinking about having my own lab, and whether I'll have any control over how I spend my time.

The problem is, already I'm not getting enough sunlight or fresh air. I've been a bit of a potted plant lately, and that's not a good thing. But there don't seem to be enough hours in the day for me to get enough done and still sleep enough to function.

I used to be one of those people, I had to have everything done wayyyyy ahead of time. I hate working right up to the deadline. I've gotten better about coping with crunch times, but I still have this constant feeling of being behind, and time keeps going faster.

They say as you get older, time flies. They aren't kidding. I can't believe it's almost November. The election mail keeps piling up, and I haven't had time to look at any of it yet.

I can't believe it's almost November. Where the hell did the year go?

The weirdest part of all is, when you're in hurry-up mode, you can always see so clearly, exactly how it's going to get worse before it gets better. There will be a lot more hurry before I get to wait.

I know there will be waiting ahead, eventually, and as tired as I am right now, I hate to wait. Waiting usually means you have no control, there's nothing you can do to make things go your way.

I must be thinking, on some level, that if I just push hard enough in the hurry-up phase, that it will somehow affect the outcome of the waiting phase.

I wish I knew if that were true.

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