Yesterday I somehow got out of my inertia and got a lot done. I ended by feeling virtuous and productive. So that was good. Unfortunately I know it's not a robust system: not very easily reproducible.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed. I've been feeling, as I have ephemerally earlier in the week also, like I'm on the verge of tears.
The last couple of days I have been okay because nothing has happened to push me over that edge. Yes, it's that time of month, and I am doing all the things I usually do to try to feel better or at least functional. And mostly it is working.
Today I am at that point again, and trying really hard to shore up the walls of my protective bubble to avoid bursting out crying if someone says the wrong thing or my experiments aren't working.
I never used to mind if my experiments didn't work, I would just try again until they did. Lately I've had less patience for that, maybe because my impostor syndrome is restricted to my wondering if I would be done being a postdoc by now if I just had better hands (or a technician to help me). I'm still doing it, but it bothers me a lot more that it takes so long.
I know my project is harder than most, but that it's not obvious until you actually try to do these experiments. I also know that I have higher standards than many. I wouldn't want to put my name on something sloppy or publish something no one else could reproduce.
Unfortunately this also means that my advisor seems to expect more from me, and it feels like too much pressure sometimes. Pressure without any pep talks (while watching certain coworker morons publish absolute slop, get jobs, and leave).
So today I sucked it up when I found myself doing something that gave me graduate school deja vu in the worst way, that took what seemed like forever and made me feel like I've made no progress whatsoever in all these years, and I will never, ever get out of here.
And I sucked it up when the postdocs who got jobs last year started talking about their plans for leaving.
And I sucked it up when a couple of former postdocs were in town visiting, glowing and agreeing that yes, it is better when you get your own lab.
I am going to try to get some work done, since that usually makes me feel better.
I have to admit I'm not sure it's going to do the trick today. All I want to do it go home and go back to bed.