December is a time of reflection and relaxation for most people. For me its a time for planning. Planning for the following year because I have a dissertation to finish. Everyone likes to ask me, so exactly how long are you planning to prolong writing your dissertation and I tend to give a vague, oh probably in two to three years. Ideally, I wish to complete by end-2016. This means I have to write ferociously next year and that’s a bit hard while juggling four children and a household.
My good friend had a great suggestion. She said I should break down my dissertation into pages and ask myself how many pages I can achieve daily. What is the absolute minimum can I write per day? I said I can only write during my husband’s off days, which means I can only write 2-3 times a week. So with that in mind, we calculated how long I would take given this pace and according to our calculations, I should be able to write my entire dissertation in one and half years. This is an extremely slow pace. A person with no distractions can actually finish writing in four months.
I am not rushing to find a job. I expect to be a stay at home mother till the children start primary school which is 2019 for Livia and 2021 for the triplets. But I have many other little projects I want to embark on and I feel this dissertation is preventing me from starting on these things I am itching to do. So the sooner I finish, the sooner I can start doing all these other things I’ve been planning to do. I don’t want to say what yet, but its something creative-driven. I don’t know what I can do with it but its a direction I want to attempt. I don’t want to look back and say I wish I gave it a try. It does feel a bit like starting over because I spent all that time in graduate school and have no wish to become a professor. Life is messy like that. You don’t know when the winds will suddenly change, and when you can afford the time and opportunity to try new things.
But I cannot think about these projects yet. I am dabbling a bit into them when I have some spare time. However, I feel 2015 should really just be focused on dissertation-writing when and if I am not taking care of the girls. Its going to be pretty hectic. I am going to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated sometimes. But I need to keep at it. I’ve already taken two and half years off to bear children, and lucky me, I had all four of them in a short span of time. We had initially planned to bear children (if they were singletons) in 2016 and another one in 2018. So I feel with family planning over (no more pregnancies, no more maternity leaves, no more newborn-caring), I can focus a little more on myself as a person. I feel that this person has been so severely neglected, that sometimes I don’t know who I am anymore.
2015 will be hopefully be a year of rediscovery and progress made on that never ending dissertation.