A friend named Amir lost the glass I offered him for the Persian new year, so I did another one for his birthday. With his name on it, this time: he thinks that maybe someone stole the previous one. The glass represents a character running forever around the glass, after a piece of paper attached to him. As Amir is going to defend his PhD soon, and then run for a postdoc, then a tenure-track position, and later for a tenured position, I found it adequate.
I remember the time when I was working hard for my PhD thinking that once done I would be able to do research on any topic I was interested in. And how I worked hard during my post-doctoral fellowship thinking that it was the last straight line before intellectual freedom. And I see how I work even harder now as an assistant professor, in the hope to get a stable position. I don't think that anyone lied to me, it is more a problem of me being naive, and ending in a system slightly different than the one I did my Ph D in (North America vs France), but there are definitely some days when I feel like a hamster in a cage, stupidly running on a wheel, or like the character on the glass. The rest of the time I just enjoy the running: traveling can be nicer than getting to your destination :D