things I’ve let go

Geeky Mom posts today about what she’s given up to dissertate.

Her list looks A LOT like what mine would look like.

Laundry, and virtually all major house cleaning projects.

Social stuff. I’m NOT inviting anyone over to my house this winter. NO ONE. I love you all very much, but I’m not having any get togethers this winter. My poor little-J, who turns 3 on Halloween, will NOT be getting a birthday party. I’m not going anywhere I don’t absolutely have to (and of course “absolutely have to” is up for liberal interpretation on my part–but I am sticking to it, dang it).

My hair. It’s getting too long, but I admitted to Runningburro today (during an “absolutely have to” lunch date) that I have a secret deal going with myself that I will only cut my hair after I am done with my dissertation. Rb said, “OK, but you’re gonna look like Crystal Gale.”

Thanks for the vote of confidence, there, Rb.

Running. Aside from the fact that B is taking a class that meets on Sundays and this prevents me from registering for any races, I am only going to “run for fun.” Which means, I may not ever go at all.

Blogging. I plan to be judicious in my posting here. That post I conjured yesterday while frying tofu (“the only food I’d eat if I lived alone”: fried tofu, Ramen, Doritos, margaritas, cream cheese and salsa, cream cheese on bagels, carrot-zucchini soup [w/ cream cheese]…), will never be written, nor will I post the pictures of big-J “Bread Box” in his hockey get-up, nor will I ever post about the antics of Lucky George Muttley, the Reversible Deaf Kitty…

I may have to let go of the sitting co-op next semester. I’m finding that even though I love my co-op friend, and that her kids are often great distractions for my own kids, the smallest hunks of my schedule that it takes up might actually help me out if I had them to myself. We’ll see.

There’s also a list of things I will not let go.

Eating. Duh.

Friday night movie nights with the kids, and other essential hanging out with my mugwumps. Tonight it’s She’s the Man.

Showering. And I may have passed on my penchant for showers-so-hot-you-can’t-breathe to H. I got in as she was getting out this morning (yes, we play the great shower relay in my house every morning. Fun Stuff, Man), and I couldn’t believe how hot she’d made it. Or, it might be that her skin was numb from how cold it is in our house, and she was trying to revive her corpse-like body…

Yoga. The only problem is that yoga is *really* hard to do in a messy, cluttered room. And I don’t have any rooms that aren’t. Not only does the clutter make it hard because there isn’t really any space for you, but also the clutter kind of works against the whole “calming” purpose.

Teaching. Of course.


So, say it with me. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.


6 thoughts on “things I’ve let go

  1. At the rate I’m going, I may have Crystal Gale hair too. Or something. Mr. Geeky decided to have a party this weekend. I kept saying, are you crazy? You know I’m running off to work, don’t you? And he said yeah. So he’s doing all the work.

  2. Last night it was She’s the Man for me, too. Made you want to hide your face in uncomfortable embarassment for the She, didn’t it?

  3. Don’t give up running though– people who do that sort of thing the way you do need to do that to stay sane. Giving it up may in fact make it harder to finish. I understand adjusting your expectations though, and breaks at key times, but overall, don’t lose track of it.

    Since I’m sitting here pasting scraps together for a draft to send by next weekend so that I can grade papers for a couple of weeks and apply for a job or two (slim pickings on that front around here lately) I reckoned along your lines for a bit: I think my wife might tell you that what I’ve given up for my dissertation is being civil, and my children, being patient. I’ve certainly set aside any thought of finally starting to exercise (watching my father in law age as I enter middle age has put the fear of god into me)– though without the dissertation, I might have had the time, inclination, and location all in line for the first time ever. Mostly what gets given up when family is involved is all the extras you might otherwise give yourself, I think– the goodies. They all get sucked up by dissertation. I’ve given up sending around my poetry manuscript and working on new work for the time being, at least until January, when I can have few days to myself.

    The comfort is that for the first time since graduate school began, I can look at it and say, we’ll there’s an end in sight. In the first three years, it seemed like a special purgatory for people who couldn’t figure out what they’d done to deserve it.

    I read writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day on the matter of “give ups.” It seems a righteous thing to do– lower family expecations, get the help you need– when the dissertation is involved. It’s your big thing, after all, and when it’s done, it’s done.

    You’re going at it right, it seems to me. Try to feel like you’re doing something for yourself when you set things aside, rather than giving things up. Not that, “Oh I’m so fortunate to get work with ideas, I shouldn’t complain so much–” thing, but the other thing, “When this is done, I will have done this damn hard thing.”
    (maybe how you felt when you finished your first marathon.)

  4. If you let go of the yoga and/or showering, perhaps it will free up time for running. ‘Cause I gotta agree wholeheartedly with Robert’s first paragraph – I think you really NEED to run. (And this comment is only partly inspired by pure selfishness on my own part.)Do away with the non-essentials like Downward Facing Dog and basic hygiene, and come run with me!!! I’m prepared to whine.

  5. Tyra:

    Wed would be the only day I could. And then you would be super-stretchy for your *real* class Wed afternoon. Plus, we’d have to forego food together, and I’d rather eat.


    Indeed. My 10 yo daughter loved it, but I pretty much cringed the WHOLE TIME. In fact, I gave up the movie to grade papers instead. THAT’s how bad it was.


    Yes. You’re getting an email.


    I saw your crazy ass out in the rain last night, with your sore-throat-laryngitis-having self, running in the DARK COLD RAIN. From now on, I trust nothing you say. Because you are out of your mind, lady. 🙂

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