The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I don't really want to post, but I feel like I should to get back into the habit of writing for myself again. Lately, I've felt like the only writing I've been doing is for my advisors or for interested friends and relatives (e.g., house-hunting information, updates on ST) -- those things are fine, but they're not therapeutic for me. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head these days that sometimes I forget how I'm feeling, and I forget that this blog is really just for me. I'm so busy sorting my life out for other people (advisors, T, ST, buyers of our house) that I've neglected myself.

The big news of my mini-(and interrupted)-hiatus is that I have a complete draft of the dissertation, and it was submitted to my advisors last night. Oddly, I don't feel good about this at all -- rather, I feel like I'm just waiting for an axe to fall, waiting for them to tell me that the work is no good. I'm at the point where even I cannot accurately assess the quality of the work. I'm tired of reading it, certainly tired of writing it, and tired of thinking about it. My neighbor, who is always sweet and thoughtful, came up to me today and hugged me and said, "Congratulations on finishing the draft!" She couldn't really understand why I wasn't thrilled -- not thrilled at all. Sure, I'm grateful that this "thing" is technically done, but it still feels very, very, very far from complete. I will feel better once my advisors have given me feedback, but to be honest I'm scared to death that the feedback will be bad.

I guess I just have to accept that if they hate it, they hate it, and they will tell me what to do to make it better. Honestly, I have no idea why I'm feeling so low about it all right now, but there it is. I mean, they've already seen over half of it and liked it, so I'm not sure where all of this anxiety is coming from. Maybe it's a bad dissertation. Maybe it's good. I don't know. But it's a finished dissertation, and that's all that matters right now.

No other news for you on Pond House. We've worked up the offer, but since T is anal-retentive he does not trust the home inspection contingency clause on the Offer to Purchase in Midwestern State (he doesn't think it protects the buyer enough, and gives too much leeway to the seller). He insists on being present when the home inspector goes through Pond House, which means rearranging his already complicated schedule to drive (by himself) five hours to New Town. He will not make an offer until the home inspection is done to his satisfaction. While I think this is good in the long run (T's anal-retentiveness is generally an admirable trait, but it does mean that it takes us ages to sign any contract for anything), it means that we won't make an offer for a few weeks, at least. Personally, I just want it all over and done with so I don't have to think about it anymore. I am tired of thinking about it.

Actually, I'm just tired of thinking, full stop.

My faith keeps me sane these days. I honestly believe that God would not have allowed me to come this far only to fall flat on my face now. I believe that I've been given millions of blessings and it is my responsibility in life to use them wisely. I am trying to do that. I am trying to accept that everything will work out in the end. However, it is harder to accept that everything will work out as God wants it to in the end, which may or may not be how I want it to work out in the end.

Tomorow is Wednesday, which means that I will get to spend the entire day with ST. I am thrilled about this, because it's time that I can fully concentrate on my wonderful little boy and not think about the craziness and uncertainty that surrounds me these days. We will spend lots of time outside in the sunshine, tend to our plants (ST's tomato plant has three tomatoes now!), make manicotti for supper (little fingers are surprisingly good at stuffing manicotti shells), and maybe even take a dip in our local pool. We'll practice writing the upper-case letters. We'll sing some new songs in German and learn a new nursery rhyme or two (although hearing ST recite "Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub" is funny -- he says the final line with such relish that he sounds like a bad actor at a Renaissance festival: "Turn them out! Knaves all three!"). Most of the time, however, we will just be.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 5/30/2006 11:15:00 PM  
7 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 12:27 AM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    >>Most of the time, however, we will just be.

    Be... well... full stop.

  • At 6:57 AM, Blogger RageyOne said…

    Congrats on turning in the draft! I do understand how you are feelin, anti-climatic. It seems after all of that work that one should hear hallelujah choruses or something :>), but basically all you get is the whoosh of the sent mail or the sound of placing the document in the box of your professor.

    I hope your day with ST brings you great joy after such an anti-climatic Tuesday.

  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger phd me said…

    The emotions surrounding all parts of the dissertation process are so complicated. I never seemed to be in the mental spot people expected - they were slapping me on the back when I proposed and I wanted to go home and cry! Still, good for you! You're moving forward and that's the part that counts. Enjoy your day with ST, cooking and singing and laughing and being. Getting completely away from what we do is sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane.

  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger App Crit said…

    Congrats on finishing the draft.

    A good dissertation is one that will get you through the defense. Period. That's all it has to do.

    Good luck on the rest of the process!


  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Tabitha Grimalkin said…

    I felt the exact same way after handing in my dissertation draft. I think it is normal.

  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    Prof Me--I am so proud of you for getting that draft done!! You are feeling what Dr. J calls "mixy"--all sorts of emotions in an emotional time--thats okay. But be proud of making it too this next stage and keep holding on to your faith. Just remember. You must remember how God has been faithful to you in the past. *Lamentations 3:22-23*

  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger Peri said…

    Wow! A draft completed. A job. Almost a house. Big doings in your world. Who can blame you for needing to BE. Stay in the moment the best you can. ST and T will help, I'm sure. Probably ST more than T. ;) You rock!

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