Sunday, November 09, 2008

Breakfast, kibble and opportunity lost

“Oatmeal?” Carrie said when she visited me about a year ago. She’d wandered down the hall from the guest room, hair mussed and tugging at her pajamas and stared at where I sat with a cup of coffee.

“Oatmeal,” I confirmed with a smile and she nodded before shuffling back to the bedroom to put on clothes.

“It’s ridiculous,” she told me as we stood in line for a table. “I mean – oatmeal? But it’s just so good! I need more oatmeal.” I nodded in faux-understanding, rarely having craved something so mundane with that intensity. Yet I found myself walking through the grocery store this morning in my pajamas – yogurt in one hand, a box of granola in the other.

I feel I might have perished had I not obtained that specific breakfast treat as soon as humanly possible.

***

“Hey, buddy,” I said to the stripey cat when he leaped on the loveseat next to me. “How’s Mr. Sprout?” He purred as he curled up next to the laptop. I smoothed his coat and asked how life was going. I sometimes worry over him – there are days I don’t notice him at all. “I love you, too,” I told him indulgently as he continued to cuddle and smiled because he so clearly adored me.

I patted his head before going to get a glass of water, stumbling when he almost tripped me.

“You were hungry,” I said accusingly as he lingered by his empty bowl. “You’re only nice when you want something!” Still, I rubbed under his chin after replacing his bowl, now filled with kibble.

Men.

***

I missed research for the first time yesterday. I did some reading and had this neat idea that made me curious and excited. I wrote out a plan and revised it as necessary, then happily sent it along to my boss and several collaborators. I wanted to work on it!

Adam said no.

“You’re already overwhelmed,” he noted, “so you need to focus, not split your attention even more.”

“But,” I protested, “this is finally something I know and could do well!” I accept (or I will do) that I no longer do research. I also predicted I’d eventually miss the ideas and hypotheses and proposals. I was still struck by how much I wanted that project – not as much as yogurt and granola, mind you, but still! So I’m pouting and disappointed, but it’ll be fine.

After all, there's more yogurt and granola for tomorrow.

2 comments:

Comrade PhysioProf said...

(1) You went to the grocery store in pajamas!?

(2) Your cat lets you go days without noticing him!?

post-doc said...

Yes and of course. I needed the yogurt now and Sprout is sometimes a solitary fellow. I allow him his space.

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