31 October 2011


I have a short break in my work mania.  I've handed off the draft report to three reviewers for feedback.  I should be getting it back in the next couple of days, and then I will be working like a crazy person again to make all the final changes and get it ready for the big event on November 15th.

But right now, I have a break.  I haven't done much.  I had ideas that I would do things but mostly I sat around my flat in a stupor.  I talked to my mom for a few hours.  I watched television.  I read at least two books on my Kindle.  I did a single load of laundry.  But really, I did not much of anything.  Today I should have gone in to my office space, and I got up and got dressed as if I was going on.  But then I puttered around and somehow it's past noon and I'm clearly not going in.  But I don't really have anything to do there.  So why should I?  Instead I'm meeting T for lunch which should be good, and I need to go to that in about fifteen minutes.

But in the meantime, I'm here.  Thinking about perspective and how people really should try to have it more often.  I guess I should try to have it sometimes.  I was talking to my mom about life things and we were saying that really, when it comes to work and my professional life, I've been very lucky.  Not lucky in the sense that I've made a lot of money (because I haven't) but lucky in that I found a career path that I'm good at and that I enjoy and that makes me happy.  That even when things were up in the air or unsure, I always seem to come out on top when it comes to work.  I know a lot of people who don't enjoy what they do, or haven't had luck at work.  And I can't say that's been me.  I've been very lucky in that regard.

And I've been very lucky in my living spaces.  I live in a city I love.  I've lived in many cities and had lots of great living experiences.  Again, others have not been so lucky in this area.  I can't complain.

The one area I've not been lucky is relationships.  Although I've grown significantly and I think I'm a much happier person in this area, I still don't have that someone special.  My mother told me that my relatives (on her side) think I'm a lesbian.  That was nice.  If I was a lesbian, I'd probably have a frigging relationship.  Also, I would not feel any need to hide this from my family.  But no, no luck with relationships.

But my perspective should be a little bit better than it is sometimes.  Because in two major areas of life, I've got a pretty good thing going.  And even my relationship in terms of the one I've developed with myself, is much better as well.  So in the big big picture, things really aren't all that awful.

This is particularly on my mind at the moment because I have a friend who has pretty much lost the plot and could use some perspective.  I think she's mad at me because I said in a tiny little paragraph something to this effect although I did my best to phrase it in the nicest way possible.  Life isn't fair you know.  So you need to count your blessings where you have them, and not take things that you have for granted because I guarantee out of all the friends I have, if you think "Oh poor me" then I promise you your shit could be a whole lot worse.  I'm not saying anything quite so insensitive as 'get over it' but some perspective would not be amiss.

22 October 2011

Just Hanging On

I don't know what I wrote about last time.  I feel very much adrift at the moment, trying to get this report together.  It's coming together, but it's all haphazard.  And on top of everything else, I have been sick this week- first cold of the season.  So I spent at least two days, but probably more like three, slightly delirious and feverish and I would be hard pressed to tell you everything I did in those days, although I know that part of it included needing to go to Cambridge and having to cycle to Tottenham Hale station because my local station had no trains and all the while as I cycled through London I was thinking, really, this isn't the best idea given that I'm fucking sick!!

But I made it through.  Did what I needed to do.  Have been working relatively diligently.  It's coming together but I'm sort of afraid if anyone were to lift up that thin facade, they'd be presented with the total wreck that lies underneath.  I have no confidence that the work I'm doing right now is what it should be.  In fact, I know that it isn't.  What I'm trying to do is write a report that is supposed to be the result of a three year research program.  What research?  There hasn't been any bloody research.  Me and the other PhD, we're pulling all this shit together on a shoestring and by an hourglass.  I think the worst part, is that from the little that I'm scraping together, I can see that actually- actually, there is real potential in this work.  There is actually something interesting and potentially important within it.  But it's never going to be looked at again.  It's not going to be used or investigated properly.

But it doesn't matter.  I just need to get it done.  At least now my cold is receding although I'm terrified that I'm going to be left with the obligatory cough that won't go away.  I have six days to finish off the first draft before it gets sent off to those who will rip it apart.  Then I have just a scant few days to make any changes, get it out again, and have it all ready for the big event.  The big event is scheduled for November 15.  If we can pull this shit together, if we can really do it, then after that date I am free of all of this work for my research program.  Then the only thing that I will have left to do for the next year and a half (plus an additional six month overrun if necessary) is my own fucking work.  I can't tell you what a relief that will be, but I also can't explain how much I have disliked this particular exercise.  Which sort of sucks because it's just like writing a PhD.  So I'm wasting my energy and interest on this bullshit when really I need to save that up for my own big job.  I'm sure it will be fine and after this work is done, I will take a small mental break and then be much much happier about life.  But I'm not there yet, so for now it's all just postulating.

In other news, I've been depressed about the dating situation or lack thereof.  Of course it's not that I have any time for dating.  But still, I'm feeling particularly down about it at the moment.  Maybe I'm just not cut out for long term relationships.  I've never had one.  For some reason as time goes on it just seems less and less likely.  I mean, I know that's not exactly true.  And it's important that I'm not trying to blame myself in this.  It's just fucking depressing is all.  I don't have loads more to say about it that I haven't said before.  I just think that the odds of my ever finding someone who I love and who loves me back is minimal.

Right.  I need to go get my dinner out of the oven.  As I'm going to Cambridge tomorrow, I have nothing in particular to make a good dinner out of, so I've roasted up some sweet potatoes and made some rice to go with it.  Not particularly exciting but at least it's warm and moderately healthy.  Much better than the Doritos and nacho cheese dip that was my second choice.

05 October 2011


I'm having one of those days where I just need to recover.  I have one very large and massive thing yet to accomplish which will take the entirety of the rest of this month.  In addition I have two smaller things which are mostly complete but are not actually complete and will probably need some revision yet.  I can just about see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe.

Yesterday I got off to my supervisor my first draft of my conference paper.  I felt like it was probably pretty poor.  I mean, it's not poor, but it's not very well structured.  A bit all over the place.  I have been working on it straight for five days.  That included all weekend where we had some of the best weather ever.  What was I doing?  I was inside working on this fucking paper.

But I got it off.  So that's good.  It's in a format that is at least most of the way there, even if there are major sorts of revisions.  I don't care.  That's easier than writing it to begin with.  So today I should have jumped right in and started on my next massive report.  But I can't find the motivation and it's very hard to just switch your brain around like that.  I try to focus on one topic which means remembering all sorts of references and details about it.  And now I need to switch to an entirely different research topic which means I need to get all into it and re-familiarize myself with all of those references as opposed to the ones that are currently in my head.

So basically today I am not being productive at all and although I'm at my industrial partner's office I'm having a self imposed break in order to give my brain a chance to prepare for the next big task.  To be fair, I will end up with a week more than what I thought I had at this rate anyway, and while I believe that I will absolutely need that entire week, I'm still a little bit ahead of the game, so I think it's okay to take a day off.  

That's what the hare thought too, huh?  Whatever.

Life is otherwise not all that interesting.  I had a first meeting date with a guy off a dating website.  I wasn't sure about him.  Too many differences I think.  Maybe I'm just not in the right sort of place to be dating.  It does seem to come in cycles.  I'm in a very down cycle about the whole thing again.  It's better to not push myself in which case.  I just have too much stuff going on that I have very little patience for things that aren't right or aren't making me happy.

Alternately, I have loads of patience and squeezed in time for people that do make me happy, seeing as how social activities and friendships are probably the only thing that gets me through these fucking tedious days.  Oh and next week, we can also say that chocolate will be helping as well, seeing as it's the chocolate unwrapped thing I went to last year where you could eat your weight in chocolate for all under a tenner.  Good deal.  See, as long as I have things to look forward to, I can handle this.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.