Category: personal.log |

Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019, my occasional reader. I would do a review of 2018, but—except for a few minor highlights—2018 was not the most auspicious of years for me. I am quite content to leave it in the dustbin of my personal history.

I am far more interested in looking forward. There is a lot coming up this year. Most importantly, I am working to finish a dissertation and with it my doctorate. This is my final semester. When I finish, I will have completed the last step of a path I began almost a decade ago. Truth is, I had no clue where it would take me, and it has been an incredible journey. Scarier still, I have no clue where it will take me next. Where I will be in the fall of 2019 is still a complete mystery. I am looking forward to that next step, though. There is something exciting about the unknown, and the possibilities that lay beyond it.

I wanted to say that the close of this journey will be an easy one. I originally planned it to be. I was going to have a full draft by the end of the year …

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A Benefit to the Dissertation

So, I’ve been writing a dissertation, and I am finally starting to enjoy the experience. I have read through the theorists that ground my work1. The research is (mostly) coming together, and I am absolutely savoring the experience of just sitting down and writing. The chapters are starting to really flow, and I am looking at having a full first draft completed by the end of the year. In fact, I am behind on other important work2 because I have been enjoying the process of writing so much.

I think a good portion of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I have made a conscious effort not to allow feelings of guilt or lack to limit me. For a while, I did. I was trying to fit everything in and working very hard to please everyone. I was miserable, but I really didn’t want to face the alternative. It is amazing how difficult it can be to acknowledge and affirm our priorities to other people. This is especially true when those priorities mean that people will be disappointed or upset.

For me, that has been the real benefit of the dissertation. It is a consuming …

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Working in Dystopia

I’ve been working on meeting several intense deadlines over this past week which means I tend to drop everything else to focus. I can be a bit of a workaholic when I let myself, and it’s never been a healthy thing for me. This shouldn’t be a surprise, of course. Working ourselves to death is an American tradition.

We glamorize work so much so that it becomes a compulsion. We compete for the title of the hardest worker and look down on those who take time for health, family, or just to experience the world around them. We deem them lazy, unfocused, or unambitious. We buy into the myth that hard work leads to success when all around us, in the highest positions of power, we see the exact opposite.

I often feel like the academic push to work is more subtle than it was in industry and that makes it more dangerous. In the tech industry, even far outside of Silicon Valley, we were explicitly told that we were expected to work 45-50 hours a week, minimum. That was the low-bar, and our management team expected to see many of us working more. We did, but …

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My Summer Thus Far:

Stressed

June: Super Productive! I got this!

July: Huh? There was a July?

August: Wait! What?! What happened to July?!

And the race to the semester start begins.

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A Start to A New Week

The last few weeks have been less productive than I would like. Today, I wanted to get back on track.

Starting the day with exercise really helps me set the right tone for the rest of the day. For that reason, I’m very big on morning hikes. I’m lucky that Courtney is more than kind enough to humor me in my little sojourns. This morning we decided to walk along the shores of Lake Michigan in a favorite park of mine.

The journey is always the best part.

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© Geoffrey Gimse. Built using Pelican. Except where noted, all photos are my own. Other images used on this site are in the Public Domain and available from Openclipart, or have been purchased for use via The Noun Project.