I've decided to write in you again. I guess I'm in a bit of a better place, just after a two-week break. A couple of things have happened lately to help provide perspective, and this is good.
First, DC invited me to walk in this year's graduation, even though I'm not at all finished. I think this is an expression of her trust in my work. I was really quite surprised by this, and it came at a pretty grumpy moment last week. Wow. However, I declined the offer, since I would feel like an imposter were I to walk before being finished. The fact that she offered in the first place, and then later said, "You are so close...just keep going," helped me get back on track.
Second, I'm helping a colleague here as a peer reviewer on her dissertation study. She has been in the mix much longer than I, and due to working a full-time job, and being quite successful in her field, she's not really needed the dissertation to be completed to get the promotions, brownie points, etc. to keep moving up in her job. However, her seven-year clock expires this spring, so she is really driven to finish up in the next couple of months. I think she'll be fine. Helping her with her data analysis is giving me the energy, and perhaps even the interest, in continuing onward with my own study. So this is all good.
I guess I'd call myself a religious person. However, having a falling-off-the-left-edge of liberal interpretation of faith sometimes has me question whether or not I'm religious. Still, I think I am. I only write this here to explain that I'm using the Lent season as my time to be a bit reclusive and quiet and get the flipping transcriptions and initial data coding accomplished. Lent is sort of a drawn-out version of Yom Kippur (that's my interpretation...I could be wrong, but I suspect it's close), and many people use both of these holidays to reflect on their lives and remember who they are. I guess that's what I'm planning on doing between now and Easter; buckling down on the research, and keeping in mind why the hell I decided to do all this anyhow. And through this I hope to make a lot of the "leave me alone! I'm in a zone!" sort of progress one needs to make during the data analysis process.
Wow, does this mean I may actually finish next fall??