Well, I've had a nice week of relatively low-intensity work on the dissertation. I have spent the majority of the time trying to give my mind a much-needed break from the writing process that had taken so much out of me. To this end, I made a conscious effort to take things easy, allowing myself to reread Disgrace in brief snatches each day but otherwise avoiding the dissertation's less pleasant aspects. This evening, though, I began reviewing the notes I will be using for the next section of the Disgrace chapter, so I reckon I will start that bit soon enough.
Among other things, I have been plagued by one of the more persistent of my dissertation-woes: the feeling that I just want to be done with school, the sense that I am too old to be doing the student thing. Basically, I have been wrestling with the very feeling that opposes the slow-but-steady philosophy I have been touting the entire time I have been working on the dissertation in earnest.
My solution to this problem has been to try incorporating some of the things I feel like I have been putting off while a student into my life, whenever possible. I try to read books I am interested in once in a while (Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Saramago's Blindness, and Schlink's The Reader, currently), have taken a few day trips, gone to concerts, and am planning (possibly unrealistically) to take some longer excursions in the near future. It's really the only solution I can come up with to this lousy feeling. I mean, if I sometimes feel like being a graduate student for the length of time I have been one has gotten in the way of living my life, the only reasonable way to reap the benefits of my studies and live my life is to do both simultaneously, right?
Still, it has been hard lately. I suppose that's the thing, though: when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you feel like you've sort of made it there and kinda resent the last leg of the journey. . .
Oh, and I have begun second-guessing everything I have written thus far, wondering if maybe I could rework it all to ensure that every possible insight I have can be included. This is, of course, not possible, but that doesn't seem to stop me from worrying about leaving out whatever nugget of insight I recall at any given moment.
For tomorrow: Keep planning.