I started this post a week ago. I have a lot of drafts of posts lying around collecting dust. Seriously, I must have well over a hundred draft posts in various stages of completion. And seriously, I think they are dusty. Some of them even have cobwebs.
Life has been hectic again (when hasn’t it?) and I’m trying to fit all the bits and pieces together.
A large item that’s been on my mind is that I’m finally going to try to make a push to finish my degree. Sadly, I am really not all that close, even to being ABD. I finished my coursework ages ago. But coursework was the easy part, what with the structure and the regular, manageable assignments with regular, manageable deadlines. My other requirements are larger and more nebulous, with typically much fuzzier deadlines. I have this bad tendency to push off my own research until I’ve worked my way through my other obligations. The trouble is that my other obligations manage quite easily to fill up all of my available time.
Since May, Phoebe and Theo have been in childcare 5 days a week, an increase from the 3 or 4 days they had been going. This gives me more available time. In theory. In practice, there have been more weeks than not during which there was at least one holiday, vacation day, or sick day. Since May I have travelled to a conference in Chicago for work, visited my family in California, visited my in-laws in New York several times, had a short trip to New Hampshire, a visit to New York City for BlogHer, and then most recently another trip to Chicago for a funeral. My job has kept me busy with deadlines for conferences and papers, plus meetings and running subjects. Our house continues to kick my butt, with its demands for upkeep. My head has been full of concern for family and friends.
Each time I have gone back to my own research, I have had to regroup, and remind myself of what I was doing, what I’d done last, and what I was about to do. (I’m working on figuring out better systems for keeping myself on track and moving forward, but I will probably save that for another post.)
I know that I can do better than this. I feel like I’ve just been making excuses. I used to be an effective and productive person. I’m trying to get there again, and right now it feels a lot like crunching. I’m trying to squeeze everything tighter to make room for my research. Honestly, all this compression has made me cranky.
One of the few places I can find time to squeeze is my time spent online. Since I rarely get to see friends in person, I’ve been clinging to my online world, the interactions with friends I see in blogland and on Facebook. But I have to cut back. I have started cutting back. (In the last couple of months or so, I’ve had several unhappy exchanges and experiences that have soured my online world and that has helped me pull back. Though, again with the cranky.)
Since I started blogging several years ago, I have spent a lot of my time offline (such as while I’m driving or doing laundry or dealing with other largely thoughtless tasks) thinking about my life online. Often thinking about posts I’ve read, or posts I’d like to write. I somehow need to shift my focus so that I spend that time thinking about articles I’ve read and papers I should be writing.
I’m not saying I’m going to quit blogging, but I can’t participate as much I have in the past. I probably will start leaving even fewer comments, even though I intend to keep reading posts.
I still hope to post here from time to time. Maybe even a couple of times a week if I can do so in a constrained amount of time. I hope to dust off some of the drafts that have been piling up for the past several years, and maybe I’ll still manage to get out some of the ones that have been cluttering up my head.
I’ve been sticking with Project 365, taking and posting at least one picture a day, and that will probably continue to be my main creative outlet. Taking pictures is something I can do in a few minutes if I need to, or that I can do during my time spent with Phoebe and Theo.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this post, but it feels like I’ve been leaving my blog hanging.