Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Musings of an Insomniac

Here I am, up again at nearly 2am WIDE AWAKE. This is a good thing tonight because I actually wrote a significant portion of my first dissertation that didn't really come to me until today. This frightens me because somehow between now and late December I'm supposed to churn out 2 more chapters in addition to teaching my own course, developing my own course and lining up speakers for my own winter course, TA-ing a course that I wasn't planning on TA-ing this quarter (yay for departmental requirements!), applying for jobs, writing two grant applications, and preparing three talks for conferences in November and December. This chapter has been in the works for nearly 3 months. I cannot be this thorough with other chapters or else I'm never going to graduate.

Yes, I am a tend to be a self-imposed Type A personality (which is a psychological category that ceases to exist nowadays according to my psych friends..but anyhow:). But this quarter I really thought I had everything planned out and somewhat manageable...and then this TA-ing responsibility gets thrown into my lap which I honestly didn't expect to happen. It's my fault for assuming such a thing and I take full responsibility for my naivete, but nonetheless this quarter (which starts September 29th I believe) is going to be a killer. Probably the most challenging quarter of my academic career...of course, I thrive on these sorts of challenges but I really didn't intend to spend my 5th year of grad school sleepless and exhausted (wasn't that what years 1,2,3, and 4 were for??). At least that's how I feel right now and school hasn't even started.

The sad thing about my schedule is that I love all these opportunities. I like writing job cover letters and CVs - this process forces me to clarify my research objectives and dissertation project. I love teaching and I've been assigned a great course to TA. I love researching for and writing my dissertation. I enjoy the conference environment because it's great place to network and hear new ideas/schools of thought. Plus it's a free ticket and hotel room in a new, exciting place. I absolutely love having the freedom to develop and design my own course...that's what I've been going to school for. I'm not so much into grants but I can handle them if I don't have a gazillion things going on...oh wait, I do. Ugh. All these things combined add up to misery and stress. Thank goodness I'm exercising and eating right or else I'd be a nutcase by now.

Other than work, life is good. There isn't much time for non-work activities but I did get in a number of hours at my pool with the hubby this weekend which was great. We also ventured out to the city with the hubby's good friend who visited for a night last week....and enjoyed some amazingly garlicly food at The Stinking Rose. It was great.

Oh yes, and my new life motto is "be the person you imagine yourself to be." Lame, I know...but I spent a lot of time last year lamenting about how I "should" be doing this or working on that, which added up to a ton of hours wasted on procrastination. Now I try to keep to the schedule I set for myself because if I do, I know I'll be proud of myself and not regret wasting that time. So far it's working out well. I reward myself for sticking with the schedule by going out to lunch (nothing big - just a Togo's sandwich instead of my home-cooked lunches). This allows me to get out of the house for once as I spend only 1-2 hours a day outside of it. Despite having my doggie companions, it can be a bit confining to say the least!

Okay, I am tired. This is a sign that perhaps my body is giving up the idea that I'm an insomniac. Goodnight!


Phoenix said...

" be the person you imagine yourself to be" isn't lame. It's simple, but it ain't easy - plenty of people wait around for some life-changing event to strike so that they can become better people. But Carpe Diem, baby. We can start becoming who we want to be (ergo changing our lives) anytime we want. Love to you and your little doggy, btw. Hope she's doing well.

famousblueraincoat said...

Thanks for the sentiments about little dog - she is doing okay but awaiting a doc's appt. at UC Davis.

I certainly don't want to be one of those people who waits for things to happen. If only my dissertation would magically write would be perfect :)