I'm finding out that I'm pretty motivated to work on the project I'm working on now. For stretches during my graduate program, I felt like I had to fight myself to get anything done. Now that I've started up on this new project, I can't stop thinking about it and have put in many more work hours this past week than I think I've done in a long time. I think a part of that is that this project is pretty exciting, but I think I also feel a certain amount of responsibility that is coming with this job. Even though it is at the UofA, which means the surroundings are familiar and it feels like my situation hasn't changed that much, I still feel like I need to make sure I am able to produce good work after each week of work. Part of that, I suppose, is that my supervisor/employer is meeting with me weekly to monitor progress. More than that, though, I think I feel grateful for the support he is showing me by hiring me on, and I want to make it worth his while. I think I feel like I need to push myself to impress him and show that I deserve the job he's given me. It has been a long time since I've felt that way. I suppose that's the biggest difference between an MSc degree and this employment. For my MSc, the only person that I could really disappoint was myself. Now that I'm working, I feel like I can not only disappoint myself, but also the source of my funds. So ... I work!
In a lot of ways it feels good having a working target again. January felt really weird since all I really did was prepare for my defence, and play lots of poker. For some reason, that month didn't feel all that fulfilling. Now I have a goal, and I think I need that. Something to keep in mind for the rest of my life, I guess!