Day -16 less panic

I just submitted another draft preface. I feel that this project is somewhat under control and have told most people I know that I will not surface until Christmas. It’s day one of the school holidays and I am already all scatter brained, and cannot hold non-essential information in my head.

If I’ve forgotten to respond to your emails or texts just remind me to.

I will write edit some more later today. I don’t think I can look at some of my material without cringing, but I must.

I might do some tidying this afternoon or box up some books so that having people over for Christmas, and setting up the tree is possible. Maybe a less chaotic home will create more space in my mind.

China is no longer taking our trash and recyclables. Good. I am sickened by the amount of crap I’ve thrown out. I’m going to buy people experiences and not stuff, if I get them something. Stuff is stuff.



Day -16 panic panic


So tomorrow I have to just get up early and focus for a few hours.

I have an abstract kinda.

Now I have to write a preface to orientate the reader to my non-traditional thesis format.

I am going to get an early night so I can get an early start.

I have to silence the voice that asks why the hell are you doing this? Or the one that says, you are wasting your time on earth working on this! Or why? Why did you not have the courage, sense or confidence to do [insert something I haven’t thought of doing until a second ago].

The fact is I am at this point in my life, at this exact location and the path I chose cannot be changed.

I have 16 days to submit this thing. I also have to plan Christmas.

I am not going to make major structural changes. I can’t.

I’ve wasted four days flaffing around with the bloody formatting and appendices. I’m like Chidi from The Good Place.

Kid is on holidays. Kid has play dates.

I gotto just focus on this project. Get it done and then I can have the space to think. I’ve started decluttering rooms in time to host kids and friends over Christmas, but I don’t have enough shelves etc. I have no time to source any. I can see how my clutter issue can be easily resolved by one ikea billy shelf and an old expedit shelf.

It may be that I just donate a lot of the books I own. I own too much stuff. It’s just stuff. It’s not a legacy. It’s not an investment. It’s a waste of time and space. When you spring clean you realise how much money you’ve spent on junk.

The plan is keep writing and just finish it!

Day -21 the light, the light, I see the light.

I took today off writing but not thinking about the rewrite. Feels good to have that physical space away from the hive of activity, be out in the sun and reconnect with humans both online and in real life.

I came back to restructuring plans with new ideas. It helps that I found a nice quiet place to work that is not too far from home, not too noisy but still see other human beings. I will go up to the main campus a few times to remind myself that I am a student.

There is a plan.

It is all making a lot more sense.

A change in routine has helped.

Tomorrow I continue with my rewrites. I’m going to chill out today.

Day -27

Yesterday was a write off. I was too tired to function and spent too much time on Facebook.

What have I learnt on FB? That there are people who spend too much time on FB, but that two of my friends have invited me to events over the weekend. I communicate with these two away from FB so I know they want me to be there, but some events I don’t respond to because I think, I haven’t spoken to you in years is this a butt invite. Is that even a term? Ie equivalent of butt dialling but on FB??

So today I will do what I set out to do yesterday. I’m going to include coffee out at a coffee place that is well lit so I can do some of my work.

Guess I better get going.

Why is the cat talking to me? Why has he not been fed?

Day -29

Today was a family day. I had to take kid to specialist in the morning and like all good specialists, ours ran late. Never trust a specialist who runs on time. I knew this one would be good when I saw his face. That unquantifiable intuition is something we have over algorithms. The more automated life is, the more satisfied I feel in having gone down a very human path.

We took the rest of the day off school and got back in the late afternoon.

I have a plan for tomorrow and will not bother with any thesis work today. I will begin tomorrow’s work day by planning what I want to achieve ahead of my meeting next week. I will read through the comments and write a list of questions. I will need to get back into that mind space as I have had almost a month in the civilian world. I need to remember what the project is about and why I developed it in the first place.

I’ve actually forgotten a lot of what I’ve written but hopefully I’ll remember when I work on it tomorrow.

I’m going to work from home and reward myself with a bit of Netflix before picking up the kid from school. He’s really enjoying school and found his groove there. What a shame the holidays are so soon!

No mid life crisis today as I was just happy to have been out and about. It felt good to have three long and active days in a row without passing out. It’s given me a lot more confidence in being able to do “normal” stuff again.

So yay!

Once again I question why I am pursuing something that requires a lot of time in isolation with my own thoughts when I am most happy when I’m out and about interacting with people. But I am 90% done with this project. If dissertations were not uploaded for the world to access, I would definitely not be worrying about the end result and treat it like a really long assignment.

I’m going to go and read Ronan Farrow’s latest article about Harvey Weinstein now. I think only a journalist like him, a Hollywood insider, could take on such a project.

I don’t think I’ll ever blog under my real name. I’d have to edit it and one of the things I love about blogging is not having to edit. I’m old and from the pre-Wordpress days. I remember lynx and when Netscape came into being. No one used their real name. Facebook freaked me out. If Zuckerberg isn’t so worried about privacy, why don’t we know more about him? Is it because there’s just not much to know? He was raised in a middle-class family, maths science nerd, went to Harvard, developed FB which turned him into a billionaire, got married and had kids. His views on AI scare me and has made me believe that all kids need to study philosophy at school. I’m with Elon Musk on that one.

Day – 30 Reflections

I can’t drag out this project into the new year. I want it done by Christmas. I don’t mind editing typos and making small adjustments post Christmas, but I am that “ya know, it’s okay if you guys go ahead, take that extra walk up the Puy de Dome. I am perfectly fine down here. Send me a selfie! I’m heading down and outta town! I am ready for my next adventure!”

I can’t think about it until I do these rewrites. My supervisors have reassured me it’s not going to be that arduous a task. I am slowly immersing myself into it again. In the shower tonight I thought of ways I could incorporate one of the key theorists I have only mentioned in footnotes. I’ve done the academic thing and overcomplicated a taken for granted phenomenon, or at least that’s how it feels right now. Feels like I’m stating the obvious in too many words.

The thing is, everyone has told me it’s not a PhD. It’s a Masters, you just need to show that you can synthesise information and demonstrate you get the key theories. I don’t have enough words to work with. Arghh

Here’s what I’m going to do:

1) not think about it before bed – going to be hard if it drags into the holidays as night time is when I have time to self to think.

2) I will make the technical changes but run things through my supervisors before re-structuring.

3) remember that it is doable. I just have to force myself to sit there and write.

Which leads me to the question of why if I have discovered in middle age that I am more of an extrovert than introvert, am I still wanting to tell stories through writing when there are so many other ways and I am obviously more of a visual person. Am I just slack? Too lazy or afraid to step out of my comfort zone?

What I need is a holiday. I’m seriously considering booking myself a few days somewhere to write uninterrupted. I need to take this more seriously and it must be my priority after tomorrow until it’s complete.

I also need another blog to dump my other thoughts. This blog is solely a place to track my progress.

The plan for tomorrow – if I find the time.

1) read through feedback. It’s all in a binder now so I can easily flip through it. Make notes on the hard copy.

2) remember how good progress feels and picture end goal. Right now it’s about motivation.

3) do the easy parts first – eg typos, signposting diagrams etc this is the way into other work.

4) write down what I might want to restructure but don’t do it until I get the okay.

5) jot down the questions I have for my supervisors.

6) don’t overthink!!! Don’t focus on the two bad bricks.

None of the ideas I am playing with are alien to me. The theorists are. It’s not hard. It’s not Astro physics.

Okay now I’m all motivated but I need sleep.


Resetting the countdown clock

But not today.

I am giving myself a few days off. There’s not much I can do without a hard copy.

I got a summary of the feedback. It’s not too shabby at all, but I do have to restructure a few sections. I can’t be bothered thinking about it today, but I will next week. Kid is at school for another two weeks and then hubby is on leave. I can get it done and submit before Christmas.

Hopefully they will mark it within months, and I will get to graduate before semester 1 ends. Done and dusted.

Bucket list. Tick.

Meanwhile, I have to tend to home duties.


Why can’t we live on muesli bars?

Preliminary feedback

It’s been 3-4 weeks since I submitted my penultimate draft. I’ve caught up with some friends, been more present for my family and extended family, started a few books and binged/skim watched a few Netflix shows: The Good Place (so clever and lol funny); Riverdale (see your 90s icons which is Beverly Hills 90210 meets Twin Peaks, for the post Gossip Girl generation); Suits (legal drama starring Prince Harry’s girlfriend and someone who is reminiscent of an old teacher as corporate lawyers you don’t really care about); and Dynasty (it doesn’t take itself seriously, and nor should you).

While it’s been great to take a break from working on the thesis, I feel a bit lost without something to work on. I do have ideas for the next thing, but am not in the headspace to think that far ahead.

I have had a few, oh gawd I need to move to a more dynamic part of time, but I’m not in my 20s and I don’t have a regular babysitter. It makes no difference where I live at the moment and I am not going to lose sleep over school zones for high school.

I am looking forward to meeting with my supervisors because then it’s the home stretch. Right now, I can’t see the wood from the trees. I’m guessing I will have a meeting the week after next to discuss final edits, and then it’s done!


I’ll restart the countdown clock when I get feedback.

Then it’s final draft, submit, a once over making sure I’ve no typos and have referenced everything. They say it’s better to over than under reference.