This month, I signed up to get e-mails from The January Cure, which is a challenge to get your house in order one day at a time. It was a lot of fun for the first few days until I headed back to lab after the holidays and then I had a sudden realization: I end up doing all the January cure assignments the weekend after they’re scheduled because I am never home. At first I thought that it’s just due to the fact that I’m in grad school and I have meetings at weird times and science that doesn’t understand what weekends are but I think that even when I am physically present in my home, I am not mentally present. I’m caught up in a mess of what do I need to do for tomorrow, what I should be doing right now, what I am going to eat for lunch tomorrow, what I am going to eat for dinner right now, how should I get to lab tomorrow (bus, bike, or driving?), how much do I hate grad school right this very instant, how many people are making me feel bad about myself, am I being grumpy to Cobalt, should I be getting ready for bed, is it going to snow, etc etc etc. I realized as I was cleaning the counters in the kitchen (this weekend’s activity) how much I am caught up in my head that I forget just to be alive and live. I have all these cool projects that I want to do and all these cool books that I want to read and all these delicious recipes that I want to use but I seem to be giving myself no time to do anything except be miserable. So then I took some time and curled up in my favorite bean bag chair in our office and read National Geographic. It was nice.
I’m learning that it’s important to think about the “intentions” we have behind our actions. For example, going for a bike ride with Cobalt is a lot more pleasant when the intention behind it is to be outside in the sun enjoying each other’s company even though it’s cold instead of OMG WE’RE FAT AND LAZY… MUST GO OUTSIDE. I think it’s going to be really useful to remind myself about intentions as I work on trying to finish my PhD this year. I have gotten really grumpy about science and my career in my “old” (grad school) age and I think it’s really crucial that I don’t let it ruin me.
In addition to pondering, cleaning my house and fighting tirelessly with science, I’ve been up to a lot of stuff lately! I went cross country skiing with some friends a few weeks ago, I made liquid nitrogen ice cream in lab last week, and Cobalt and I caught up with a bunch of friends this past weekend (including: friends from Albuquerque who were in town, friends who like eating hot pot with me and Cobalt, and married friends who like staying up late and laughing – seriously, we didn’t get home till 1 AM Monday morning…. :-/). What have you been up to? What are your New Years Resolutions? Tell me all the things!