thesis, red, productivity

Do not pass go, do not get hooded or walk. Please pay 1500 more dollars.

Today's horoscope:

You are being challenged to find a workable balance between your desire to hang out with your friends and the need to handle other more pressing responsibilities. You would rather ignore the limitations that stern Saturn continues to place on you, but there's no easy way to avoid your current obligations. Nevertheless, you're not that willing to write off your social life. Thankfully, you can get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time now, allowing you to enjoy yourself later in the day.

Let's hope that's true and Horoscope isn't being a lying bitch. Another month of breakneck thesis-ing is before me.

Love from a Sarah

PS I have accepted a third job also because I am an insane person.
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

Not quite Sugar, but close.

What your dad should have told you when your friends broke your heart, because they always do in the thoughtless ways of children and the deliberate ways of all the other years.

"I want you to look at me when I tell you this because I mean it and I want you to understand how deeply I mean this. You are a smart, funny, beautiful, friendly, great person and people want to be friends with you. Life is hard, it goes up and sometimes it goes down. The down parts are hard, I know that, believe me. I know that what I am saying can't completely make you feel better about what someone did or didn't say to you today but in the big picture of life you have to believe in yourself, don't let other people define how you view yourself. Everyone has their own problems and sometimes their problems make them do things that aren't that nice to other people. Sometimes other people just aren't that nice but that doesn't mean that you are any less of a great person. I know that to be true.

You are great, great...Do you believe me? Say you believe me....come on....say I believe you .....'I believe you'. Say, I'm great....'I'm great'.

Okay, now...let's go to McDonalds."

Just a comment on Jez that I saw today.

Love from a Sarah
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

And death shall have no dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.


From "And death shall have no dominion"
Twenty-five Poems (1936)
Dylan Thomas

Might seem depressing for a sunny spring Saturday morning but I'd forgotten how much I love Thomas's style.
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

Fear.

I just watched a forty-five minute talk on being "Scared Shitless".

I talked about fear a little, in a post I wrote for work on the 40-Days of Yoga blog. I was thinking about that as I listened to the talk. I have so much fear in me.

I'm afraid my thesis isn't good enough.

I'm afraid I won't finish it in time and will suffer the shame of that. Again. Except this time it will hurt worse because I've been working on it so hard and consistently.

I'm afraid I'm not a good writer after all.

I'm afraid that after I do finish my thesis, I'll never write anything worth attempting to publish.

Afraid I'll never find that story I need to tell.

I'm afraid it will be a very long time, if ever, before I find someone worth loving again.

I'm afraid of having to go through difficult times in life alone again.

Those are the things I fear most.

In the course of his talk, Merlin points out the obvious-- that all of us are afraid. That every single successful person feels, to some extent, like a fraud and that everyone will suddenly discover they are not as talented and lovely and smart as first assumed. That perhaps they were a one-hit wonder and their best work is behind them. That they don't deserve all the tiny beautiful things that life has to offer. They are unworthy.

Finishing my thesis isn't just about completing a particular research project in writing that will prove to people of the world that I am a Master of Communications. It has become a tool or a symbol (or both) of exercising all the demons I've been dealing with since my magical years of undergrad ended and graduate school began. All the losses and the rebuilding. I have grown so much in these past four years and I am proud of the person I am becoming.

My battles are not battles of survival. I am fortunate enough to have been born into a family, a life and a position that I fight the battle only of personal growth, of enlightenment as a human. I am so absurdly fortunate in that. I don't have to fight for water or food or not to become food or collateral in someone else's war. The fate of no world but my own stupid little one rests on my shoulders.

All the useless days will add up to something in the end. I believe that.

Love from a Sarah
thesis, red, productivity

Just imagine I'm playing "Eye of the Tiger" on repeat until the end.

I went "to bed" at 7:30 this morning and came into work by 10 this morning (I'm just a cheap imitation of Christine!), but it was completely worth it. Why? Draft one of chapter one of my thesis is complete and to my advisor! So now just, you know, the rest of it to write as soon as humanly possible. I am probs going to take some days off of work and sequester myself again this weekend. In the words of the esteemed P. Diddy, IT IS GO TIME, BABY. (Oh god when I don't sleep it's so not pretty.)

I'm surviving on Starbucks Doubleshot Coffee-Energy drinks in the Mocha flavor. Until May 6th I'll be buying out the local supply of those and doing pretty much nothing but working, working on my thesis and working out. Except during the brief reprieve in early April when the finished first draft goes to my reader. The parents and I are going on a Hill Country Wine Tour! Hurrah!

I hope I have the scheduling worked out correctly? I think I do. It's ass-busting, but possible. It's time for this grad school charade to come to an end.

Love from a Sarah
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

Ricky Gervais School of Fitness: I work out so I can have more wine & cheese. And cookies.

Your life has increased in complexity, yet your faster pace doesn't bring you any closer to satisfaction. The elusive bluebird of happiness may be avoiding your windowsill for a reason today. But it's not about anything you did, nor is it a sign of upcoming bad luck. If you change your attitude to a more positive outlook, you'll be amazed at how quickly you can put your life in order.

It KNOWS MY LIFE.

I'm eating cookies for breakfast. I plan to buy some Irish beer (Smithwick's!) after work and make it a St. Patty's Thesis Celebration at my apartment with Bad Cat.

Last night at bootcamp I named the walking-the-kettlebell station the "cat" station because I imaged picking up a large (largest cat ever at 35lbs) adorable furry creature and walking around with that would be preferable to a kettlebell. I had the dude who was my partner calling it the cat station and meowing by the end.

I have to say, this Ricky Gervais School of Fitness is really working for me, even if everything else in my life is chaos. Perhaps I'll find time to update you further, Internets. For now I have to get back to work.

Love from a Sarah
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

Quotes for Mondays and Thesis. . .es?

"How else can one write but of things which one does not know, or knows badly? It is precisely there that we imagine we have something to say. We write only at the frontiers of our knowledge, as the border which separates our knowledge from our ignorance and transforms one into the other."

-Gilles Deleuze
gaia, cat, black and white, wylie

Have you ever been shot at by plasma rays, sir?

ARGH.

It won't post the video.

Go and listen here: http://www.someecards.com/2011/02/25/louis-c-k-asks-donald-rumsfeld-if-hes-a-lizard-from-outer-space-that-eats-human-flesh

Description from someecards: "For reasons beyond human comprehension, genius comedian Louis C.K. and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared on "The Opie and Anthony Show" at the same time. A few minutes in, C.K. drops the bomb — and pretty much doesn't let it go for the entire show. To be fair, Rumsfeld never answers the question. NOTE: This is one of the greatest things that's happened since Eisenhower was in office."

Love from a Sarah
thesis, red, productivity

Why did I download that software update?

In a bout of possible madness at work yesterday, I agreed to be the "student" blogger for our 40 Day Yoga Challenge that starts March 7th during which I will be doing yoga 40 days in a row. I'm sure to look like Madonna at the end, right? Well I do get a spa treatment and also there will be a party AND perhaps most importantly, that should help me through THESIS CRUNCH TIME PANIC OMG when I have to get the thing done and to my reader by early April. Then revisions. Then that sucker will BE DONE holy god. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There is a long road to walk between now and then. *deep breathing* *make another pot of tea in my Garfield teapot hell yes*


Say what? High tea for cat ladies.


Anyway, I've been working from home today waiting for a package to be delivered (IT HAS ARRIVED MY GOD IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL*) and reading the past newsletters we've sent out during the 40 Day Challenge. Man, these are the same lessons I have to beat into myself weekly.

Quick Check in: What was your intention at the outset of this challenge and have you stayed committed to it?.

This question is posed not as a way to permit self-criticism but as a way to reflect on the reality of the goals that we all set for ourselves. None of us are perfect, repeat: None. It is totally acceptable, in the process of building new and better habits for ourselves, to falter now and again.

Santosha (contentment) is an idea that comes from the Niyamas (yoga disciplines) that encourages our ability to be content with the progress we make in our lives and to accept our failures as a place to grow from, rather than a source of ammunition for negative self-evaluation. Santosha is a way to allow love to grow from within, both for the world around us and ourselves. By growing that love from within, we begin to move away from overly critical self-evaluations, negative views of the world around us, and the fear of change. We can begin to be ourselves, as we are in this moment, without fear of the daunting task of growth and personal evolution.


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Yeah. That's what I have to relearn every single week when I'm talking to the graduate coordinator about progress on my thesis. For some reason it's nigh impossible for me to grasp the fact that I don't have to kill myself all in one go to get this done and that steady, seemingly endless progress day after day is where the success will be. The answer is not to punish yourself with horrible thoughts about how horrible you are and go to sleep for eleven hours on the couch. To say that behavior gets you nowhere would be a hilarious understatement.

Probably this is so difficult for me to learn because I've been doing the other method for twenty-five years and habits that solid are pretty hard to break. So. CONSTANT DILIGENCE. It all comes back to Moody, really.

Love from a Sarah

*My parents enjoy swearing me to secrecy about nearly everything, which I find hilarious and treat normal events like I'm on a spy mission.