This time last year, I was writing a PhD.
This time last year, the winter was cold and sad and murky. I took little lonely walks by the river, in between PhD writing. I wondered if I would actually ever finish.
This time last year, a glimmer of hope appeared as I discovered the Procrastination Book. I realized that there was a way to do the PhD without having to feel quite as bad about it as I was feeling. I learned that it’s not only OK to have guilt-free time off for fun, it’s absolutely necessary. This time last year, I felt like I had stopped doing it all wrong, and was starting to do it ever so slightly more ‘right’.
This time last year, I enjoyed my birthday. Thankfully, the Procrastination Bible stopped it from being a PhD-birthday, one of those things where you let yourself be taken out for dinner but spend the whole time thinking ‘I shouldn’t be here, I should be working’ as you smile at people through tightly pressed lips. I promised myself that this was to be my last ever birthday of PhD-writing. (and I felt pretty safe on that one, since they weren’t going to allow me to drag it out for another year.)
This time last year, I was seeing a therapist, for the first time in my life. (I miss her, by the way. She was lovely. I’ve been told I can have an ‘emergency one-off appointment’ if I ever need it. It’s nice to know that the offer’s there, and even nicer to know that, actually, I am not desperately in need of it anymore.)
This time this year:
I have been to a conference, wearing a badge that said ‘Dr’ on it. And people congratulated me.
This time this year, I enjoyed a birthday on which there was no PhD to write. No chapters to plan. Not even an abstract, or anything. Not a sausage. (The fact that I was ill and couldn’t have a glass of wine was the only disappointment.)
This time this year, I still dip into The Procrastination Bible (and all the other motivational bibles on my Kindle) more often than any other books.
There’s only one very small cloud on the PhD-free horizon. Corrections. I must do them. I have a feeling that you’re not supposed to ignore them for much longer than this.