Friday, December 28, 2007

Life vs. work

Well, life marches on. Another friendship peters out, as we grow our separate ways.

This is one of those friends from grad school who went to industry.

She has a love/hate relationship with her job (better than the hate/hate she felt in grad school), is looking to get a new job and move away, and puts almost all of her spare time into competitive sports.

I've been kind of sad the last couple of days about being forced to face that we're just in different places with our lives, but today I am trying not to worry about it. As with most of my friends who are far away, we'll always be like family (in a good way!).

I'm trying not to look at it in the context of having had this happen already with all my other good friends from grad school, and amazingly, right this second I'm not bothered that I don't have any new close friends to fill the void while I'm still stuck here.


Actually I am in an oddly good mood, mostly because it's hard for me to be depressed when things are progressing at work.

Yes, the data monster was fed this week, so I am happy!!!

I love the part where I have so many ideas for what to do next that I get to sit and bask in the decision, where all the experiments I can think of will give me some new insight, it's just a question of which one to do first. What to do, what to do...

And I am torn about how to spend my last few precious days of 'vacation' - finish cleaning the house? Plan experiments in anticipation of the new semester? Watch movies (I want to see the new one with Will Smith) before everyone at work and the associated guilt and stress comes back in full force?


This is going to be one of those years where a New Year's celebration doesn't fit with how things feel. It feels wrong to start a new year in the middle of winter. It's too early to me, to get into the spirit of 'new beginning' and making new resolutions- I'm still struggling with the ones from the last few years! Maybe I'll celebrate Spring instead, when we get there...?

Still, this year sucked, so I am feeling some relief, however superstitious, about the whole switch to '08.

Even numbers, an extra day in February, maybe a new (woman?) President?!

So yes, I'm hoping against all logic that next year will be better.

Mostly I'm impressed that I'm still capable of feeling hope!

The human spirit... not a rational thing. I was talking to a friend the other day about the psychology of winning/losing, which I found very interesting. He said it has been shown that people hate winning all the time (boring) or losing all the time (depressing). Apparently, to keep people motivated and happy, you have to have some of both.

I think this is something The Powers That Be should take into account.

Soon. Please. Thanks.

I guess for me doing experiments is enough of a gamble, you make your hypothesis and then you roll the dice.

Contrary to some models of motivating the worker bees, I don't agree that we need to keep our personal lives in a state of arrested development while we do it.

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At 2:29 PM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

I saw that movie, I Am Legend, and have had nightmares about it for days! I didn't know it was going to be suspenseful -- I thought it was a drama.

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that this was a really well written post, I enjoyed reading it. I understand the part about having a lot of friends in grad school, but not replacing them with others as a postdoc. I think grad school is more of a cooperative experience with our peers, i.e. "we're all in this together." Postgrad, we get caught up in the competition as scientists, and it just doesn't lend itself as much to making close friends. Add that to the general anti-social tendencies of the lab, and its tough.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this post about post-graduation social changes--it's good to hear someone else articulate the same thing I've thought about on many occasions.


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