Thanksgiving break

Wrapping up a week off work. While I did not devote much time to completing my dissertation (like I had originally planned), it was nice to have time with family and friends.   

Brought the succulents inside due to overnight frost warnings. They now occupy the workbench that I once used for my letterpress machines. It's a fitting metaphor—nature reclaiming the machines. 

Now, to dive back into this dissertation before winter break and apathy sets in for good.   

it probably could get worse

I say this to myself a lot. 

I especially say this to myself when things get hectic. For example, when I think about the progress I have made on my dissertation and research, I think it could get worse. Here I am in mid-November and I am still polishing the first chapter (Introduction) while diving into the second chapter (literature review). 

And, I wonder how I am going to finish by May. So, ya...

It probably could get worse  

Is it a pessimistic perspective? Perhaps. 

Is it a coping mechanism? Maybe. 

Is it a declarative statement that always holds true? Not necessarily. 

Maybe it is simply a reminder that things could go the other way, too. It probably could get better

things i see

It seems that this month has flown by...tomorrow is Halloween. Tonight is the neighborhood pumpkin carving party, and I'm a bit melancholy that my kid isn't here to participate. He's busy being a college sophomore, and working his part time job. And, I am happy that he is thriving. I suppose it's selfish of me to wish he was here to carve pumpkins and possibly go trick-or-treat. Although, it's hard to let go of those Halloween memories of years past. It feels like it was only yesterday that he was wandering around the neighborhood with wide eyes and a bucket full of candy. 

The melancholy will pass, but my dissertation work remains. Earlier this week, my draft Chapter 1 was returned to me with plenty of suggested revisions and edits. I knew this was coming, yet it stings to be told that your attempt is insufficient. My draft needs to "narrow the focus" and two of the sentences needs to be clarified because the "wording is awkward" but one of the dissertation committee members did write that my first draft was a "great start." She also reminded me that this is a marathon, not a "don't get discouraged." 

Honestly, I'm digging deep to get myself out of that pit of despair. The process has been a slog. I mean, three years of nonstop classes was tough. And, now I'm faced with researching and writing my keystone paper with three people telling me how and what I need to change in order to graduate. I'm excited to finish this dissertation—and I will—but I'm tired. So, here are some things I saw earlier this month. It's the little things...and sometimes the little things can be everything.     

  • sunrise during my morning commute
  • string of teardrops succulent flower 
  • a badass praying mantis by the gate to the sideboard
  • Meyer lemons turning color