Friday, December 5, 2008

Making it (Also, could I have mentioned comfort food more times in one post? Probably not)

One time during undergrad I was sitting in a lecture for my Control Theory class (scintillating!) when the professor stopped mid sentence, looked right at me, and said "You look very weary." I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I think I had just returned from a 2-week field project for my research job and was spending every waking minute trying to catch up on all I had missed. Usually this meant sacrificing one class for another, turning in a whole problem set in one class and half in another one week, then reversing that the next week, carefully balancing the work so I could get the best possible grades in all of my classes. It meant living in the computer lab where I worked, coming home at two o'clock in the morning to fall into bed only to wake up at 7:30 to do it all over again. It helped that most of my professors knew me well and I had spent the first three years of college building up a good enough reputation that I could engage in a little professor-sanctioned class skipping when things got to be too much. Usually I spent this time doing self indulgent things like taking a shower or finishing my homework for my next class (while eating my favorite snack in the Student Union--a chocolate doughnut and a huge cup of OJ with ice, how did I not weigh nine-hundred pounds?). As usual, I was probably overcommitted, but in those days I knew all I had to do was keep up the frenetic pace until Christmas or Thanksgiving break when I could go home to my parents' house and be taken care of for a week or two.

After travelling for Thanksgiving with a sick toddler, and spending a week at home with a sick toddler and a sick infant and a husband who is here as much as humanly possible but who has a huge deadline at the end of December and having a huge deadline at the end of December myself, I am once again feeling (and looking I'm sure) very weary and wishing sometimes that I could leave it all behind for two weeks at Christmas Break. But that would mean missing out on taking Charlie to "Breakfast With Santa" tomorrow at church (He's going to ask for more train tracks. Or he might become overwhelmed and start sobbing like last year, it's a coin toss).

Fortunately, I am being well taken care of. Ryan encouraged me to go sneak in a shower Wednesday night and when I came downstairs he had set up the Christmas tree, turned on nice music, and poured me a glass of egg nog (that was one long shower). He has promised to eat cookies and watch White Christmas with me on Saturday like I used to do with my friend Godmother before we moved. My dad comes over several days a week to watch Wesley so I can work; today he even brought coffee cake. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family (and also: the Folgers).

Now, dissertation time... and I can type with TWO HANDS.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

Somebody made a comment to me about break-- as if I were going to get one-- and all I could do was blink.

I am going to go work with 2 hands as well (well, one hand has a Pudding Pop, but that's only temporary).

Also, for the zillionth time, I wish we were neighbors.

My Buddy Mimi said...

I sometimes just try to recall what it was I did with my free time back then. But then you reminded me that I was pretty busy with other things too :-)

AJU5's Mom said...

Just think that once you get the PhD done, if you stay in academia, you will get some sort of break. You won't be able to sleep in necessarily, but you won't have to work for two weeks or so...

Art Nerd said...

I wish I could help! I'm right there with you, though, at least in spirit, and in a completely unrelated field, but still- right there with you!

Kyla said...

Good luck! I feel a lot like you, between the insurance drama and the kids and my finals next week and other various crappy things....but we can do this right? RIGHT!

Andrea said...

Oh man, I wish you hadn't reminded me of those days in undergrad. At least now when you feel totally exhausted and on the verge of tears, Charlie can hug you. That must be really nice. A thermodynamics textbook will not do that.
Hope you and Ryan have a blast w/ the cookies & White Christmas... we started a tradition that will last a lifetime.
~Godmother