The Big Uglies

October 11, 2011

The Little/Big Uglies - whimsical paper cutouts by Vladmir Stankovic

*deep breath*

Some days, being objectively no better or worse than other days, are just crushing. I’m not really sure why, but there it is. Today is one of those days. Monday’s productivity lost to a sinus infection, looming deadlines at the end of the month and the year, and a general sense of futility with regard to the emotional fulfilment that I seem to feel entitled to in my job (HA!). Plus the never-ending to-do list of tiny little wedding things – very few of which are particularly urgent or important at this precise moment, but if dealt with now, they will never get the chance to pull the whole train off the rails later on when there are bigger and more important and more urgent things. Today, it is all sitting on my chest, and my throat feels tight. I try to breathe, let it all out in the exhale but it’s still just parked there. It feels about the size of one of our cats. We have largeĀ enormous cats.

One or two of these things would not be so bad, but there isn’t just one or two. What’s that they say about balancing work, life, and family? It’s actually very easy: just pick two. I think the same is true of balancing the Big Uglies in one’s life. Right now, it’s the job, and the wedding planning. The third is our financial no-fly zone. One of us is (under)employed (unhappily, but at least securely and with health insurance), and the other of us is unemployed (unhappily, sans health insurance). Fuck this economy, is about all I can say about it at the moment.

Some days, it’s all a bit much. Today is one of those days – it’s a little hard to breathe, and although my boss has been making rumblings that he’d like to see me spend less time in my office (where I am productive) and more in the lab (where I appear productive, to him), I find myself holed up behind my desk so that I don’t “accidentally” deliver a fatal puncture to someone’s jugular with the sharp end of a P1000 pipettor. Yikes. It’s not anyone else’s fault, or even mine, really (stop berating yourself, Magpie). These things that I am dealing with so poorly are at least for the present, very much outside of my control. And the things within my control (like the itty-bitty wedding planning goblins) are being beaten within an inch of breathing in my effort to wrest some semblance of productivity out of my day, even if it’s not the kind that really matters. I’m just not sure how to refocus the frustrated rage toward something useful (like the tedium of generating sequencing primers). Instead I sit here quietly hyperventilating, which is neither solving my problems, nor is it accomplishing anything useful towards my work. Tomorrow will probably feel better, even though it is unlikely that any of the Big Uglies will have worked themselves out overnight.

Anyone else feel like this sometimes? How do you snap out of it? Or at least redirect it?

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