I'm not sure if this is sad or not, but while my PI is out of town, I feel myself giving myself a ton more peptalks to keep myself motivated.
The funny thing is that I actually don't interact with him all that much, maybe once a week when he asks if everything is going well. Usually in the bathroom. Not always at the sink... Essentially he's handed the reins over to me and wants to see what I can do. And I don't want to let him, or my family down. So I talk to myself in traffic. Sure, the people in the car next to me may ask themselves if they should be getting a little padded room ready for me. But I pump myself up, get ready to take on the world, or anything that gets in my way. I've got the tools to succeed, and dammit I'm going to make it.
And when I get to work I listen to music.
As the most senior lab member, I still get derailed by the usual crap (we need X done immediately, if not sooner), but I do it with much more authority while he's gone. I've also been told I look perpetually pissed off, but hey that just comes with the turf, I suppose. And if it gets people off my back, all the better. Just practicing for when I hit the big time, I suppose....