I don’t know what is wrong with me. Monday was the planned day for getting back to Chapter 1. Early Monday morning, before I taught and tutored, I went to the library to get to work, to begin reviewing all that I had written. Instead I… well, I don’t recall what I did, but I did not work. I opened the word document, saved it for that day’s date, I even went to the office to print off all that I had written thus far, but I just could not bring myself to actually read it over.
Tuesday morning was much the same except I was sick and stayed in my PJs all day feeling miserable. I could have read over my work instead of watching several episodes of The Wire, but no. Today I am confronting the same fear or block or hurdle again. I have pretty much all day to work on the Chapter, to get reacquainted with all that I have done, but I am hiding from it and I am not sure why. It is not that I am concerned about it not being good, for I already know it is not perfect and that there are problems with it – things that need to be edited out, things that need to be revised, lots that needs to be added, and layers and layers of analysis that have yet to get worked in – knowing all these things does not make it better. So, instead I hide from the writing. Soon I am off to an appointment, but it won’t take up all that much time and it will put me close to campus, but I still just don’t want to dive back into all of it. At the same time, though, I really want to be done with this chapter by mid-May. I’ve already written 40+ pages, so there is not a lot more to go, yet I am still overwhelmed by the idea of getting back to the project. Its now been a month. No good.
…spending the day home ill. I wish I was working…. kinda.
After giving myself a week off to rest and recuperate from the chaos of the back-to-back-to-back deadlines, I am now back in my half of a windowless closet to resume work on Chapter 1. I spent a few minutes this morning cleaning up my various folders of drafts – mostly things left over from the fellowship applications. After cleaning up the “Dissertation” folder and its subfolders, I glanced at the last version of my Chapter 1 document. Checking the date upon which it was last opened/saved….. March 29th…. ouch. Yeah. It is time to get back to work on this sucker.
I woke early this morning to sunlight streaming through my bedroom windows and I could not believe how happy it made me. It was simple enough – sunshine. It makes me think that I should move to somewhere like California or the South – even though I don’t really like California and I have some issues with the South. I know, however, that by noon or 1pm the sunshine of this morning will be washed away by thunderstorms. Don’t get me wrong I love thunderstorms too, especially storms when I am on the mountain, but working in the doom and gloom is not for me.
Hopefully I will finish the last of my grading (11 more papers) before the storm hits and even get in a run before then. I just wish the sun could carry me through all of my work this week. I forget just how much of a difference it makes.
Operation laziness is coming to an end. Sigh.
I enjoyed taking time for myself on Thursday and Friday after what had been an exhausting few weeks of back-to-back-to-back deadlines. It was good to see friends during the down days, make yummy food, get a haircut, and just veg out with DVDs for a moment. The weather was nice so I got in a few really nice runs and just enjoyed being outside.
Today, however, the laziness must end as I have grading to do. I don’t know why I am so resistant to evaluating student writing. I am sure there are many complex layers of things going on including authority issues, a sense of not being sure what to do as I can’t fix all of their issues (even the writing things we’ve already gone over), and the fact that I get really cranky after writing the same comment over and over and over again. I shall grade today and tomorrow (Monday too if necessary) and then come Tuesday it will be back to writing the dissertation. Its been a long few weeks away from Chapter 1. I am almost nervous to go back to it. It shall be an interesting time.
I wish the weather happened to be better today, but hopefully all of you are doing something enjoyable today. Back to grading I go!
I managed to get past my crankiness of yesterday though a combination of an awesome night out at poetry and focusing on the awesome things to come. Two months from today life atop the mountain will begin.
I am so excited to go back to the mountain. It is a place you will hear much about in the coming weeks and throughout the summer, but for me it is home and the people there are family; it is the place where I get to be the best version of myself; it is a place where all of us work hard and play hard – everyday. The dissertation is going to benefit greatly from being written there. The goal right now is to get one and a half if not two chapters written in the 7-8 weeks I am there. It is going to be hard and I will be pushing myself hard, but life is paired down to essentials there – I won’t be teaching, I don’t have to cook or wash dishes, there isn’t much in the way of cleaning to do as my room there is tiny, no TV, no cellphone service…… and I love it.
Today I learned that I did not win one of the many things for which I’ve applied or been nominated for this year. Well, actually, I’ve not been officially informed, but I learn things in round about ways.
Of all the things I applied for this year, this was the one which I felt pretty good about, so I am feeling a bit surprised and cranky. Cranky because I spent a lot of time on my materials and the various consultants who oversaw the process told me that they had never seen such a polished set of documents.
Thinking about the days and hours I spent on this one thing really makes me wonder about how I should be spending my time. Should I have just forgone that application and used that time to work on the dissertation?? I don’t know.
Tonight I shall just remain a bit cranky and go drown myself in poetry and house cleaning.
I don’t know how I did it – and I don’t know how well I did it – but the last of the major insane work is done. The final set of article revisions has been sent off!!!
I can’t believe that I managed to accomplish all that I did in the past two weeks. All deadlines, save one, were met — and I only blew that one deadline by 14 hours. I can’t be made to feel all that bad about blowing yesterday’s deadline as that journal has been months late in getting things back to me. Months! Seriously. Months. 14 hours compared to two months is nothing. Hopefully, however, they won’t hold it against me.
The final tally for work over the past two weeks stands at 2 fellowship applications, 1 grant application, 2 sets of article revisions, and 1 book editing project. Now it is time to do laundry and sleep.
I can’t focus. My body’s states of exhaustion, illness, and delirium are making editing hard. I am someone who requires quiet while editing. And I don’t mean a general lack of distractions, but serious quiet – in my surroundings and in my brain. At one point in time I was taking care of a friend’s new rescue dog while editing my prospectus this winter…. yeah poor puppy had to go back to its owner because its heavy breathing and sighs were too much of a distractions.
I left work early yesterday while feeling like death to come home and sleep. And sleep is what I did. I think I am feeling a bit better this morning, but I am not sure yet. I decided running was not in my body’s best interest so skipped the gym. I have to meet with a student this morning and I really, really need to revise this article as it was due yesterday. It will all get done, but I just need to feel better at some point.
I guess in all the frantic work over the past few weeks I had been neglecting my body — you know, things like sleep, my normal routine, properly balanced food intake, etc. Such neglect has managed to catch up with me — big time. I spent much of yesterday half conscious on the couch feeling like death. Today, I am up and dressed and going about my life, but I am still feeling like death. I even hauled my ass out of bed at 5am and to the gym in the hopes that returning to my regular routine would make my body fall back into its proper routine — we will see.
I still have one more deadline to meet. Article revisions are due tomorrow, or today… oops. So I need to work on those, but oh how I need some more sleep and someone to love me and take care of me and make it all better! (I am not a very good sick or exhausted person.)