Sunday, December 03, 2006

Haunting wide-open spaces.

I like being a ghost. I've been in lab a lot this weekend, when no one else was here.

I'm trying to save up on quiet, no-people time. I've got a lot of seasonal socializing and meetings coming up when I know I won't have a single moment alone.

I'm dreading it.

I have so much work I would rather be doing. Even the schmoozing- which usually comes with free food & booze, and technically counts towards work, right?- seems hugely onerous.

My only regrets for the moment:

1- Not getting enough sunshine.
I notice this particularly in the winter.

2- Not getting more done earlier in the year.
I have several deadlines coming up.

My natural tendency is to give up before I've even started. I do this especially if I feel like something is at all optional and I won't have time to do it well without being tremendously stressed out.

3- I worked this weekend on something that appears to have been a waste of time. Argh.
I try to rationalize this by saying well, it still would have been a waste in the middle of the week, and then I would be several days behind where I am now, but it's small consolation.

4- Not being able to blog the most interesting things at work.

Being a ghost is an enviable position. Lately I find myself daydreaming about all the stuff I'll do if my funding runs out:

Crazy, risky science that has nothing to do with what I work on now. Will I contact strangers and ask to haunt their labs for free just to do experiments?

Learning various languages- romance and computer languages.

Blogging about all sorts of things without having to worry that it could potentially jeopardize My Future Career.

I keep looking at the space on the calendar when my grant ends. And the space between now and the grant deadline I'm still debating about.

Even though the grant deadline is looming, and for the moment I'm still thinking I might not even try to make it, the space and time after I'm out of money is much, much bigger.

When it's just space and time, it has so much potential. When it's far off in the future, I still have potential. There's still a chance I'll get a job (okay, fat chance) or more funding between now and then.

I went through this planning-ahead panic attack already last year. This year I promised myself I would face the fear, admit what I want- a job- and that the only way to get there is to not give up. I know panicking leads to depression... which just wastes a lot of time. Too bad I couldn't save up the time and space last year when I couldn't do anything but wait, and use it now, when I have so much to do and really need it.

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