I have been sewing up a storm in the last week. First I got as far as I could on the stained glass (“Turning Twenty”) quilt with the fat quarters that I had, and then I dove into the Quilt of Valour kit. Unfortunately at the moment I am far away from my sewing machine, visiting my parents for the week, but I certainly got enough done last week to make up for it.
I spent the weekend with some dear friends I haven’t seen for almost a year. Thanks to Facebook we stay pretty much up to date with each other’s lives, but it was still wonderful to see them in person and share good food and drink. Possibly too much drink. That and a couple very late nights mean that I spent today just recovering: sleeping, organizing, catching up on missed weekend work. It felt more like a Sunday, nice and slow and at the end everything is neat and tidy and ready for the week. That is one thing that I love about being a grad student, the ability to fit my schedule to my needs, not someone else’s. There are serious downsides (procrastination, weeks where every spare moment is spent working, etc), but the upsides are considerable as well.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to manage the rest of my thesis work, about how to stay focused and excited about the work. I’ve been struggling with procrastination and feeling directionless. This is supposed to be one of the toughest parts of the work, when you don’t have a clear direction and have to keep working regardless. Even if the work you are doing now probably won’t be relevant in the end, you still have to keep going in the hope that it will lead you to your ultimate direction. It is all very nebulous and uncomfortable and not the kind of work I typically excel at. I am definitely out of my comfort zone.
That may be the theme of my summer: getting out of my comfort zone. Whether it is with my school work or personal life, I’m having to move outside my comfort zone and try new things to get to where I want to be. It is uncomfortable and awkward and I really would just like to stay nice and cozy with my knitting and my quilting and my cat, but then nothing would change. And as lovely as this coziness is, it isn’t everything that I want in life. I do want more, and the only way to get it is to get up and get out and do the things that I don’t necessarily want to do. Such a simple concept, and yet so difficult to execute. Still, I’m going to give it my best shot for the summer at least. We’ll see where it gets me when the harvest comes in this autumn.
Here’s to a great week, and all the self-discipline and focus we need to get through it!