Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday, with Up, Down, and a Little Visual Nostalgia

A year ago…

Working Apparently

On the Bus

Summertime Self-Photo

Blurry Lily

…working at home, riding the bus, taking self-photos, enjoying the water lilies.

Lately I’ve been interested in looking back through my photos from last year’s summer, particularly the ones that I never shared on Flickr.  I don’t spend a lot of time on this blog looking into the past; I tend to be a very forward-looking person in general.  It takes some effort for me to reel myself in from events that haven’t happened yet, and my constant anticipation of things to come is a major source of my anxiety.  So it’s refreshing to look back for a change, to see what caught my eye and what I liked when I was a year younger.

It’s funny that to my eyes now, last summer seemed fun and lighthearted, at least when I see it as a collage of photos.  When I think back to what was happening on the ground here, last August was the first indication that this job I’d accepted was not turning out the way I had hoped.  August 2010 was unpleasant because it started to shake the foundation upon which I was building my future.  Those rumblings have continued, but a year later, I feel much more at peace with not knowing where and how I will be employed.  Right now, there is a certain comfort in not worrying about it, not yet at least.

For now, I remain focused on my immediate experiments and the day-to-day chores.  I’m actually feeling really bogged down with daily responsibilities right now, to the point where I wish I could have taken today off from work to deal with my empty refrigerator and the dirty dishes in the sink.  Is that a lame set of reasons to take a day off?  I’m also feeling generally tired and a little worn out today.  I could have used a day to relax and catch up on my non-work life.

But I do what I have to do, and what I have to do these days is work.  I have to keep my eyes on the prize, which, in theory, is another paper.  When I think about my work like that, I do feel a little better about days like today.  And the fact that today is Friday makes me feel like some rest is not too far away.

I’m a little grumpy today.  Perhaps you could tell?  I’m sorry about that.  Let’s lighten things up a bit with another Up/Down list.  I’ll try to make sure the Up side is long enough to cheer us both up.

On the Up side of things, we have:

* Friday Night Lights.  I’m watching season 1 of this high school football drama.  It was a little depressing and slow at first, but the storylines are picking up speed now and I’m enjoying it very much.  Plus, Matt Saracen reminds me of my high school boyfriend, which is kind of adorable.

* Rocking out with Tom Petty while working at my microscope.  I spend a lot of time in front of a microscope these days.  When I was writing my PhD thesis, I had a playlist called Thesis Rock, and Tom Petty was an important part of that list.  He’s good for lab days.

* Pulling together today’s lunch out of random bits and bobs in the refrigerator.  I had no leftovers to use for lunch, except for a bit of rice and a tiny bit of chickpea salad.  It was depressing.  But then I dug through the produce drawer and found half a cucumber and a third of a tomato.  Combined with the chickpea salad and some jack cheese, sprinkled with some Herbemare, and tucked in a spicy flour wrap, my vegetables made for a tasty little main course for one.  I’m pretty pleased with my fridge raid!  That being said, I need to cook tomorrow!

* Postdoc happy hour tonight!  Since I’m eating dinner at happy hour as well, let’s hope there is something reasonably tasty and nutritious for vegetarians on the menu.

* Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I need one right now, which means I must bake more of them ASAP.

On the Down side of things, we have:

* A job that doesn’t offer as much flexibility as I would like.  Sometimes I just need a day off, but it’s hard to make that happen because of the patterns within my work schedule.

* Being a tired, grumpy postdoc.  Blarg.

* Needing a vacation!  And then having to wait another month for that vacation.

* I was pretty bummed to learn a while ago about Borders going bankrupt.  The cookbook section of the Evanston Borders was a very important place for me during graduate school.  This piece, published in The Stranger, makes me even more sad for bookstores and book lovers.  But it’s insightful, well-written, and worth a read, especially if at one time, you loved Borders like I did.

* * *

Happy weekend, my dears!


Chrissy said...

I haven't commented lately (still no Internet at the house) but I've been reading all your posts. I am thinking if you - I know how a bad work situation can affect everything in your life, and I hope things resolve themselves soon. Also, I'm excited to read the piece about Borders. I worked at one for two years during my undergrad and loved the experience. (Shelving books is my secret power.) it's strange to think how once, Borders was one of the "bad guys," putting the independent bookstores out of business, and now they're the underdog. Funny how things change.

Rosiecat said...

Chrissy, you are so kind. It's funny: with my work situation, most of the time I feel like I can stay composed and keep doing what I need to do, but sometimes I hit the wall. It feels a lot like running that way! So I suppose that being a distance runner has turned out to be good training for this rough patch in my life :-)

Ooh, do tell me what you think about the Borders piece! I admit to some guilt that I never sought out an indie bookstore when I was living in the Chicago area. Borders was just so convenient and pleasant to visit...and it was located between the train station and the farmers' market, so it was extra tempting on Saturday mornings!

Happy weekend to you, my dear. I hope all is well on the work-in-progress homefront!

Raquelita said...

I'm sorry that work is making you grumpy. I definitely have taken days off upon occasion for running errands and resetting my mental health.

One of my ex-boyfriends worked at a Borders so I have always had a soft spot for that store. It makes me think fondly of him.

Rosiecat said...

In theory, I am a fan of the mental health day, as a friend of mine calls it, but I have a really hard time actually taking a day off for mental health reasons. Fortunately, after my grumpy Friday, I had a lovely weekend, and I'm feeling much better today.

Your ex-boyfriend story is sweet :-)

Shannon said...

mental health days are required sometimes!! and i've been a slacker lately as i'm not loving my postdoc. crappy project, no paper in sight. i've been enjoying life, so there's that. but time to look for something new, i miss enjoying what i do every day!

Rosiecat said...

Oh, my dear friend. It sounds like you are in a hard place, and I can definitely empathize. The grind of science can make it hard to love what you do every day, even when things are going well. I'm glad you've been enjoying life outside the lab--that's so important. As for the job...I'm going to e-mail you in a moment.