A Fine Line

I was walking the Dixie Dog this morning and I realized that as of this moment, I feel like I have a good handle on my life. The next thought that occurred to me was that this hold is rather precarious. The more I thought the more I realized that I am one long experiment, one overslept day, one late night away from losing that hold. My system, my feeling, of “balance” (isn't that such a buzzword?) is a complex, nebulous, odd, ill-defined algorithm.

There are certain things that I need to do in my life in order for it to feel fulfilled. I need to do successful (as well as many unsuccessful ones) experiments in the lab, go for a walk/run with the Dixie Dog, talk to Dr. Man on a daily basis, keep my apartment clean, eat, read something non-scientific and insightful, read something scientific and interesting, read something non-scientific and frivolous, sleep, socialize with people in science, socialize with people outside of science, spend time alone, spend time on hobbies (which are scandalous... cross-stitching and playing the keyboard), and many other things. And there appears to be some sort of internal calculation that goes on inside myself as to when one of these key components to my life is lacking.

After spending all day in the lab by myself, I crave human contact. However, add one person to the mix (be it Roommate or Labmate or Advisor) and I crave alone time. I enjoy reading, but I need to have a variety of materials at hand to keep me happy. I go through periods where all I want to do is read about my own research and times where all I want to do is read about something completely not in my field. So, I'm a series of contradictions.

After all this whining, I do have to say that I'm learning what I have to do to keep myself on an even keel. I now know that after a late night at the lab, I need to take the morning off to drink coffee and do some frivolous reading. Too much time spent on my hobbies will make me hate them and look upon them as a job. But I definitely need to exercise. every. day.

So, maybe this post does serve a purpose. So far, it has made me sit down and actually think about the things I need to do to keep me happy. And knowing is half the battle.