Last Thursday, I finished off what I hope will be the penultimate, pre-defense dissertation revisions. By the time I had everything printed and ready to hand off to Advisor, I was entirely exhausted.

I’ve spent the past few days recovering a little bit in between other pre-existing obligations, but now I’ve hit the strange, nebulous period of waiting for Advisor to read the dissertation. Last fall, I spent this same sort of downtime applying for jobs, but this time around things are less intense – or maybe it’s a combination of learning to deal with all that goes with job apps and the reality that ads are harder to come by right now.

The point is, after two months of almost nothing but dissertation edits (combined with conference attending and presenting), it’s nice to have something resembling a break. For me, this doesn’t mean doing absolutely nothing, but it does mean adopting a slower pace. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely have things that must be done. Right now, though, with the dissertation temporarily off the table, I don’t have to jam as much into each and every day. I can breathe a little easier.

It’s all in keeping with my February theme of stressing less. This week and next – and maybe the one after that – I plan to move a little more slowly, to not try to cram quite so much into each day. I plan to take a little more time for myself. Time not only to breathe, but just to be.

Which is not always as easy as it seems.


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