My life seems to transition from highs, to lows, and for some reason, I never see the shift from one to the other coming - or seem to spend much time in between. I don't claim to be any sort of expert in psychology, but I have a pretty decent grasp on human nature and understanding of how my life has progressed in the past, but I haven't figured how to level out my attitude/emotions/motivation so that I don't have to go through these unnerving cycles.
The past week was pretty much the perfect example of this. Early last week things at work were monotonous at work and I was having problems with my contacts, mostly just minor annoyances, but still I felt generally down. By midweek things at work picked up, my eyes were feeling better with fresh contacts and I had a great time at a Royals-White Sox game despite seeing my beloved team shut out at home. I had a trip out to KU on Thursday for work that turned out great and Friday I was flying high with the first day of the reunion. Now, in retrospect, things started turning after returning home from the reunion Friday and receiving an email containing an unfortunate result from a coworker. But I shrugged that off after having the nice evening and being somewhat saturated from the festivities. Saturday morning/afternoon was enjoyable - shooting pool with old friends, but the evening reunion event didn't live up to the previous night's expectations.
At this point I think I realized that things were going to get worse, but was going to just ride it out and see what was going to happen. Sunday was more socializing, watching the game at a friend's place, which was nice - the Chiefs won in somewhat ugly fashion, but they desperately needed the win. I probably shouldn't have stuck around after the game for the Wii party though. I was an outsider, and I knew that I should have probably taken off beforehand, but an appropriate exit never became available. The reason that I wanted to stay was out of selfishness and I had already realized before the party started that I should vanish after the end of the game. However, I did not. Then Monday morning comes and I find that I had left something out at work over the weekend and will cost me more time in the lab just to get back to where I was when I left on Friday. Then even more bad results from work from my coworker and I'm pretty much at the low point. Now, I'm just trying to keep positive and try to plug through the rest of the valley before things can hopefully turn positive again.
It's really hard to be motivated to get out of the ruts when you don't know how deep they are and it's tough to plan for the eventual drop from the high because you don't want it to end. In this particular cycle, have I even hit the bottom yet? I hope so, I think today has been a pretty neutral, so my best guess is that things are getting better. Of course, I've already mentioned that I can't always see these transitions, maybe it's just an illusion. Only time will tell. I've been much better about being positive in the last few months - hey, I'm not in grad school any more. Even with everything that has happened in the last six months, and let me say the lows have been much, much lower than the highs, but I'm still in a much better mood and just generally happier than I was during grad school. Thankfully that's in the past, it can only get better... right?