Delayed gratification, continued.
Like most days, I had every intention of being in a good mood when I got up.
I was in a good mood in the shower, which is not all that common. Usually I'm not in a good mood until I'm in the car, listening to my iPod on the way to work.
This time of year, I am often happy walking in from where I park my car. It's a reasonably long walk, and things are turning green and the sun is starting to come out and make things a little warmer. We have a pretty campus, and I appreciate that. So I often look up at the sky and smile.
But today I was barely out of my neighborhood when I nearly ran over a jogger, who thumped on my car and glared.
I am pretty sure I didn't do anything wrong, so it really pissed me off.
I'm a very careful driver. I'm apologetic if I do something stupid.
So I'm pretty sure the jogger was wrong, and I really didn't deserve to have my car thumped.
And getting glared at is not a good way to start the day.
I walked in from the car and found myself dreading having to deal with people, and sure enough, most of the people I saw at work annoyed me.
And I thought, why am I in such a crappy mood today? The jogger can't possibly explain it.
Just shake it off, I said to myself, shake it off.
I realized my main problem right now is the anticlimax. I have several projects going, and none of them are anywhere near a finish line.
This has been going on for a while. I like taking small steps, but taking them assertively. I like getting results and filing them away as progress.
But the things I'm doing right now do not have obvious stopping points. There are no identifiable intermediates. I can't tell how far along I am in the process, and I'm not really sure when I can call them finished.
I used to like doing really new things, but this is the drawback:
I am doing nothing that anyone can measure relative to everything that came before.
I hate this about being a postdoc. It is infinite.
Infinitely long, infinitely slow, infinitely painful most of the time.