Friday, 13 February 2015

A Late Realisation

Today I realised that wanting to stay in bed all day and not leave to eat or fetch entertainment is actually a sign that I am ill, and even if I COULD force myself out of bed, I probably wouldn't be able to achieve anything.  The issue when your job mostly involves thinking very hard about complicated things is that when your head feels like it is made of cotton wool then there probably isn't much point in even trying to force yourself to engage.

Now, you'd think that I might have realised this way before now, but apparently I really hadn't. I think its the after effect of years of borderline mental health issues, where I assumed that if I could just get over myself and actually leave the bed / room / building or pick up an article and concentrate properly then I'd get over my general malaise and be able to work properly.  Well, today I picked myself up out of bed by the early evening, and took myself out to a couple of lectures that I've been looking forward to for a few weeks... And while it wasn't a total waste of time, I was aware that I just wasn't capable of engaging with it as I would like to.  It was taking all my energy just to follow the arguments, I didn't have a hope in hell of evaluating them.

When I realised this, it was a light-dawning, choirs singing revelatory moment where suddenly I could accept that I'd actually been ill today, rather than just kind of crap.  Accepting that I couldn't realistically have done any work suddenly took away a whole burden of background guilt about 'taking the day off'. 

I'm not sure if, now that I've finally come to this point, it will stick.  So, this post is partly here to remind myself in the future that it's actually not the usual state of affairs for me to want to do nothing and not move for the day - and when it happens it means that I'm probably ill.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Review

A month I am very glad indeed to see the back of.  Going from the end of sumbel season (and, admittedly, a very good New Years' party) and travelling back to the north east, trying to get back into the working mindset.  Still just as cold and dark as December, though, with no real sign of days getting longer.  Walking home in the dark gets old, and the snow was lovely but the ice is perilous.

I did have another PhD student look askance at the fact that I could enjoy the prettiness of the snow though. I pointed out that it wasn't going to settle, and it was practically CGI quality snow falling in front of a cathedral lit up for the night - glorious. His response?  "Well, when you get to my age you don't really find it that exciting."  He is twenty-three.  I responded with the hope that once he reached my grand old age of twenty-six he would once again take delight in the world...

So, achievements this month:

Long bits of writing done: 1 (should have been 2, that is now trailing over into February)
Blog posts written: 3
Books read: 0 completely (Theory is, if I start tracking it, it will improve)
Books bought: 3 (not too bad, a little high. On the plus side, did discover a couple of ebook repositories, and am arranging a loan of another text I want to read.)
Significant things:
  • Sat down for a morning with some bibliographic software, put together a system that works and organised most of the PDFs from last term.
  • Had an excellent supervision and set some targets for next month.
  • Found login details for most of my blogs and actually started using them.
  • Managed to arrange social things to happen twice.
  • Had a really crap month, but have not dropped anything really important, and have made plans to help with next month.
February targets:
  • 2 long bits of writing
  • 5 blog posts (this one doesn't count)
  • Attend 3 large social gatherings
  • Read 1 theoretical text and 1 biography