Let's see here. . .145 messages in the work e-mail queue, but most of them are automated reminders that reminded me of the same thing every day of the break. Now to the lab bench. . .now, that was a good idea, making sure that everything was labeled before leaving. As I've said here before, too many times you come back to a bunch of stuff that you were just sure that you're remember every detail of, and feel like a moron as you look at the label on the vial or flask: "Second batch". "Mostly clean". "Large run". Fascinating! Large run of what, exactly? I have, in years past, been reduced to running NMR and LC/MS on my own reactions just to try to figure out what they were, and that's not right.
Reagents that I'd ordered back before the break have come in, and I do recall why I ordered them, at least. You don't want to put in a request for anything sensitive in late December, though, not if it's going to sit out on your bench at RT for a week or ten days. I'm glad I'm not a cell-culture person or a rodent-raiser; my stuff doesn't need to be fed, washed, or watered, and I have the luxury of just walking away from it.
Big pile of junk on the desk, though, some of which never should have stopped there on its way to the recycling bin. I saved this for this morning, since I thought clearing things off would be a good way to jump-start my brain into work mode again. It's different now than it used to be, though - paper's more ephemeral. I have the PDFs of these papers stored, so the hard copy's just a convenience, and if I can't figure out what use it is by looking it it, into the bin it goes without a worry. In the days of paper files, I had to spend a bit more time wondering if I'd regret tossing something that was hard to obtain and actually useful. No more: if it looks useless or unrecognizable, into the blue bin it goes.
And then, for those of us in industry, the company starts waking up. Meeting invitations begin to arrive, to fill out the new year's calendar. Looking at your own schedule, you see the first repeating meetings from last year starting to show up, although some of these will get canceled because there's nothing to talk about yet. People who wanted something from you back in December will start to remember what it was, at about the same time that you remember the people that you wanted something from.
Time, shortly, for the first reaction, the first LC/MS trace, the first NMR, the first lab assay result of the new year. And for some of us, the first blog post. Welcome back!