Wednesday was yet another good day. I was back at the library, this time by myself, and was able to make good headway on shoving things into NVivo. I decided to take a BIG shortcut with all this, however, and not bother with recoding every single interview. I've already written summaries for each interview that will comprise part of the results chapter, so instead of recoding at the interview level itself, I'm coding the summaries. I mean, DUH! So I'm flying through those and expect to finish them up today, during Day 11. I also did something basic: I re-read my initial dissertation proposal. It had been a while, and it's bringing me back to the reasons for why I'm doing this study in the first place. Yet another helpful tool for finishing up the data analysis.
Another thing I realized: I don't want to go back to work next week. I wish I could just take an extended leave and keep plugging away. So that made me start thinking about the job a bit more. I used to think I love my job. At this point, I've reduced that down to Liking It A Lot. And you know, that's probably healthier. I don't need to LOVE it. It's stable, the pay is decent, and I do enjoy the work environment. So, liking it a lot is very helpful, in that it keeps me going back the next day...
I enjoy the dissertation study a great deal, and there are times I can see myself doing just this for a living (i.e. become a professor), but the thought of having to go through the tenure review process and do all this work and then still not know if I'll get there...I don't think it's really worth it for me at this point. Too many question marks. What I've realized from these couple of weeks away, however, is that I will need to find a lower-stress way to replace the sort of braining I'm doing now when (if?) I finish the dissertation. An intellectual outlet will be important, but that does not equate a big change in my career. Bottom line, in addition to making great progress on the study itself, I think I'm also making big progress on defining my relationship with my job and career.
Moving on: I wrote out a to-do list for myself between now and tomorrow. I meet with my first peer reviewer in under 25 hours. Time to kick some more ass and pull this shit together.