Self-Tightening Vice

09Feb08

(I can’t wait to see who finds me through Google with that title. Ha!)

Cashmere and Chocolate

Today’s a day for loosening the screws.   Relaxing the body and mind but also relaxing my expectations. Sometimes without realizing it, I discover I’ve been tightening this vice around some part of me, increasing the pressure by the minute without knowing what I was doing. Then suddenly I feel like I might explode and I discover that no one cares but me. That no one else is putting pressure on me except me.

We’re talking about the dissertation here. Yup, it’s true. I just don’t feel ready to be working on it so hard. I’m not there yet. And yet I’ve set all these goals, made all these rules, and tortured myself over not meeting, not following.  I think that putting Evan in daycare has contributed to all of this: I’ve been acting as though daycare is jail and I need to finish the dissertation in order to bail him out.  It’s like I’ve turned daycare into punishment for Evan and for me even though he’s loving it and I think it’s really good for him to get out and play with other kids two days a week for part of the day.  But I can’t work on my dissertation six hours each of those two days even though I tell myself that’s dissertation time and I’m not supposed to do anything else.  Unrealistic, I know.  So, too, is thinking I can finish four chapters post-baby in less than half the time it took to finish two pre-baby.  Am I nuts?

Ah, guilt.

I’m not ready to give it all up yet, but I’m also not ready to go at it so hard. And I can’t spend my time feeling guilty about that. It’s not helping.

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One Response to “Self-Tightening Vice”

  1. I do the same thing, friend. It’s insane.


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