Existing Assumptions.

I couldn’t think of a single place I wanted to be when I was wrapping up work today. Or more to the point, my options seemed to be to stay at work longer (always more to do), go home (like I do most nights), I guess I could have gone out for a drink or something, but that wasn’t compelling either. I felt very stuck in my life and extremely unsatisfied with just about everything and had confidence in nothing. I’m mostly over it now, but it’s something I face fairly often. I suppose it’s a sign I need to change things in life and give myself very compelling reasons to go home at the end of a day. It would keep me more focused to get things done at work and give me something to look forward to at the end of the day. I’m only slowly addressing the issue, I’m brewing my own beer (though that’s a hurry up and wait kind of past-time). Today was just a day where going home did not sound appealing, but I didn’t want to stay at work or go out and couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. I ended up going straight home via the grocery store, and my new periodic table shower curtain was waiting for me. I had dinner and had a conversation on twitter. I’m trying to be optimistic about things, but it gets hard in the face of apathy about what I do.

While thinking about all that, it occurs to me that I make a lot of assumptions about how my day will go each day. I wrote a friend joking about how I was in a hurry shaving this morning and missed a small spot just under my lip, which wasn’t really noticeable, unless I was to get kissed; that woman would notice I’d missed that spot. Funny, maybe, but it also occurred to me I wake up every day assuming nothing like that is remotely possible. I assume I won’t meet new people. I assume work will be fraught with problems and I can count on being interrupted. All these things, except the last one, might be probabilistically unlikely, but I shouldn’t assume ‘never’.

I think I’m going to try going into tomorrow without assuming how my day is going to go (outside of my already set to-do list).

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Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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