It is with great pleasure that I announce that, after a 6 month hiatus from pipettes and buffers, I have resumed experimental activities today. I could have never guessed how happy I would be about this development.
I have always found that succeeding as a researcher involves an odd combination of short periods of intense thought peppered in with long periods of repetitive, manual labor. I guess I've always found it surprising that many academics (despite being so good at using their heads) really enjoy lab work. Why is it that I get so much pleasure from something that requires so little brain power?
The simple answer: productivity (or the illusion of productivity).
I have spent several months now perusing a new body of literature, thinking deep thoughts with my right palm pressed against my sweaty forehead, wondering how I will get started, overcome by obstacles. Entire days have gone by when I haven't been able to identify a single productive element of the day, except maybe learning the definition of 'endogenous'. I have felt useless. I have felt lazy.
But today, with a swift flick of the wrist, I joyously began several long hours of pipetting. I am a little rusty; it is true. But I am busy again, and that makes me happy.
Ahh, the experimental life...