in. :-) I remember writing a similar post when I was leaving Lutom. Well, here I am again.
My lab threw me a farewell lunch today. They gave me a nice present and cards with the sweetest things written in them, including "life of the lab" and "the gap will be felt". My boss said lots of nice things about me - calling me the provocateur of the lab, (hastening to add that he meant it in a good way) and saying he was sure I would go places and that I should always maintain my curiosity and spirits and smarts. And I stood grinning through it all, no attempt at modestly accepting praise. I don't know why I did that. He ended with something to the effect of "you've done some great work and it should make a great paper" or something, and I actually found myself saying "I know" at the end of his little eulogy. What is wrong with me?
It took a nice party and yummy cake for it to finally kick in that this is it. My bench and desk cannot continue to look the way they do- they need to be adopting that "Cleaned out" appearance soon. Then I went back to the bench to plan my experiments for my final two days. A huge panic attack set in. I guess a small part of me really wants to be able to finish each and every little thing before I leave, even though I know that is not possible. Thats when I realised that I will need one whole day just to organise my data and hand over my stuff to the guy who will continue my work. So I have decided to slow down on the experiments front- the last ditch efforts aren't really going to do much, as someone else has to anyway step in to fill in the blanks. So I'm better off investing my time in leaving a well organized to do list and boxes for my lab mate to take over.
I barely stumbled past my panic attack that pretty much paralyzed me into doing nothing the rest of the evening. Went out with a friend for dinner and felt a lot better. I have a plan, and all that is left is for me to whole-heartedly accept that I will not be finishing the project, admit to myself that I chose life over work this one time, and that is OK. Labmate will fill in the blanks for me, and the paper will have an additional trailing author. No big deal. My work is done. It's time for me to move on.