ugh. why is writing so hard?
(i see you, thoughts and important points, swimming around in my head. now configure yourself into something coherent and catchy and put yourselves on paper.)
a non-exhaustive list of things that make the nonstop nature of life these days much more tolerable:
that’s what it’s been for the past few weeks. absolutely nonstop. every second of the day is packed full with family, work, friends, and visitors.
i have two big projects to finish by the end of the month: revising a big paper for a journal submission and getting an analysis together and proposal written for an early september deadline (i’m basically starting this from scratch).
this would be a lot of work no matter the circumstances (each project is big and kind of confusing on its own). but, the month of august is especially tight. we were nannyless for one week, matt’s folks were in town this past weekend (which meant that i lost out on my weekend working hours), we are in california for a wedding from wednesday to monday of this week (which means i lose out on those nanny days, night time working hours, and weekend working hours). and it is so much harder to make up lost time when you have a baby.
so i’ve been working as much as possible in every possible crevice of time. for our nannyless week, i had emmett until four everyday. then handed him off to matt and worked from four until i went to sleep around 11:30. i was so completely exhausted at the end of those days. i thought it would be fine but i felt like i was working two full-time jobs. emmett is more mobile and interactive so there is really no downtime at all with him. we were always out and about or playing games at home. the second he went down for a nap, i was on my computer grappling with work.
we’ve had visitors in town - @riadovoidostoevsky who stopped by on his solo cross country motorcycle trip, matt’s family, friends who were here for weddings - which have been a lovely distraction. but i found myself slipping away to squeeze in work during these visits. and amongst it all, there’s not been any time for me. when i’m awake, i’m either with emmett, with emmett and matt, or working.
and it’s only august 11.
i’m tired. really really tired. so tired that i have fallen asleep a few times on the floor while playing with emmett. that is unheard of for me - falling asleep randomly in the middle of the day.
but i am telling myself i can take a breath after these projects are submitted. until then, i’ll work late and wake up early. i’ll do my best to enjoy time with family and friends in california. i’ll engage fully with matt and emmett. and i’ll just keep on going. this is the first time since returning from maternity leave that i’ve felt how tight time can be when your time is no longer totally your own. i’m looking forward to being on the other side of this first hurdle.
last month i focused on working my butt off. i made a list of things i wanted to have done by the end of the month and worked and worked away until i got there. and i got there!
i have three dissertation studies and set goals for each one. for study one, i updated all my qualitative analyses and now have almost all of the quantitative and qualitative analyses done. for study two, i played around with a new-to-me dataset and familiarized myself with the statistical software i’ll be using for the study. i also had a really productive meeting with one of my committee members and feel like i have some direction with this study which is nice because it’s the one i feel is the most undefined. for study three, i transcribed a bunch of interviews, analyzed even more interviews, wrote a short paper, and submitted to a conference. on top of all that, my advisor and i have turned back to a paper we need to revise and submit to a journal for publication. we’re aiming to do that by the end of august. so pieces are moving. nothing is fully formed, but the processes are in motion (some slower than others) and i feel like i’m at that sweet spot of just a little bit too busy which makes me way more focused than i am if i don’t have quite enough to do.
also, i would like to note that i set my all-time pomodoro tomato record yesterday. i figured since it was the last day of the month when i wanted to work my butt off, i should work my butt off:
it’s weird. i thought that i would be more stressed out about work after i had emmett. but, it turns out, i’m much more zen about everything. i find it a lot easier to compartmentalize and focus and i find myself wasting a lot less time. i also don’t spin my wheels as much and don’t get as upset if i have an unproductive day. the pendulum always swings, so i might be saying something different soon, but for now, i’m just going to enjoy it.
for the month of august, i will focus on showing the people i love and appreciate just how much i love and appreciate them through gesture.
i have so many good people in my life. people who i love and who make life infinitely better. so, for the month of august, i’m going to do my very best to let them know how much i love them. i’m going to do this, not only with words, but with gesture. i often think that i should do something (like finally write all the thank you notes from various baby gifts) or think someone would like something. then, typically, i don’t make it happen. this month, instead of thinking of nice things to do for people, i will do them.