This December book

1991 was the one year in my life where I routinely kept a written diary. I stuck with it that year because it was a school-mandated activity. I’m really grateful for that experience. It’s an incredible record of a year as well as a lesson in how useful and calming that practice of regular, written self-reflection can be.

I also kept a journal for drama and theatre studies I recall … but that was a slightly different matter. In that case, it was (I think) a part of our assessment and our teacher would read and respond to what we had written. I very much enjoyed that experience too … but it was not a private act. Though, in retrospect, I remember having a pretty foggy grip on the idea of the private and public  and I know I would have been extremely candid.

Hmmm… not sure that I really mean what I just wrote above re the private and public …. I think I mean something closer to having had then (as I do now) an openness to the interconnectedness of things; so that I would have defined what was relevant to self-reflection on a specific class activity quite generously. I would have shared both deeply and broadly. And made myself seemingly vulnerable in doing so.

This month – to regather myself – I’ve started journalling again. And it’s lovely. And I’m particularly enjoying the symbolic clasps on the notebook I chose. It feels a little magical. And mine. And me.

This quote, particularly the bit about allowing yourself to get what you want, is really resonating for me today. Both in terms of what my goal is and what’s motivating me to make the changes needed to progress towards that goal. 

“You now know about yourself (most of the time) that you can focus on and sustain effort toward a difficult goal, overcome obstacles, keep going even when you don’t feel like it, and allow yourself to get something that you want.”

Today is also the first day in quite some time where I’ve lived by the “Write first.” maxim. Up much earlier than normal. Have already achieved my (very modest) writing goal for today. About to squeeze in a little reading for pleasure as a reward.

Theme of this blog may have become How to rescue your PhD and turn it all around (and rescue yourself in the process). Or, How Angela got her groove back ;)

Go Team Angela!

(from “Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis” by Joan Bolker)

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