Here it is, a new year. 365 days ahead of me. Less than that, if I aim to graduate before year-end.
Impossible? Let’s just say “impossible” is not a word I use frequently. I’m not sure if I’ve ever used it, now that I think about it. So perhaps that means I am an optimist who believes anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
It’s going to take more than determination or thinking to get me over the goal line of finishing my doctoral program this year. If today is any indication, I am going to be hard pressed to do it, seeing as how I didn’t write a single word.
No, my doctoral research consisted of more “percolating” than writing. I’ll allow myself that. One day to restart the project that’s been on a back burner for almost a year. My exploration of grief memoir – or, what I suggest is being produced as “grief memoir” online today – has been on hold for too long and I am not willing to let it sit any longer.
But today was the first day of a new year. The first day of the rest of my life, you might say. I took this day to do good: for someone else, and for myself. Recharging the batteries, reviving a goal (or two), taking action to say, “I’m committed and I am going to take charge.”
Maybe all that binge-watching of Breaking Bad last weekend fired up more in me than my passion for writing. Maybe it brought out the Walter White in me. You have to admire a fictional character who can get you thinking about your life.
Walter White, the main character in AMC’s Breaking Bad, is diagnosed with lung cancer in the pilot episode. Without describing the full series here, I’ll zero in on the point that resonated with me – Walter White takes control of his life by deciding to live it by his rules, on his terms.
Now that’s freedom.
I followed that mandate today – got rid of all the “requirements” of my day and just went with it for the whole day. And you know what I learned?
There is great freedom in living in the moment. Your focus is clear and your experience is full.
In the moment today I went out for coffee with my husband. I ran the vacuum for my parents and had a leisurely visit with them afterward. I went to the high school track and ran 1.25 miles, and felt great doing it. I had a lovely dinner with my husband, and spent 20 minutes in meditation.
Did I write a single word on my dissertation? No, I did not. But I reviewed my notes (a little) and I refreshed myself with relationships, healthy exercise for my body and renewal for my spirit.
I’d say I’m ready to jump in and get my project back into gear. It’s back to work tomorrow after a long holiday break, but I’m refreshed to tackle things with presence of mind and an eye toward saving sufficient energy for my after-work time. Tomorrow, I pick up the pace.