October has been one short, crazy month. It is the second month – out of 4 – that I am supposed to devote to reading for my PhD, but there are a lot of other things happening at the same time, most of them good and challenging and all of them time-consuming. I am actually writing this on my first non-weekend free day in 30 days. It’s a hot, Thursday night and today I have finished reading a book, all my tasks for October and, tonight I will finish watching Mad Men until it returns next January. Also, why is it so hot? Why am I still wearing summer clothes?
My reading and writing are going fine. I read one theory book a month and I combine reading with writing articles and attending conferences, which has pretty much taken me out of the house, for good. The PhD life is a great one, but also a solitary one. I try to go to college at least once a week so that I force myself to go out, meet people, get some fresh air! The fact that most of my friends are all over Europe and the USA until December does not help. Girls, I miss you.
As for my pleasure reading, it is nuts. This month I only read two books for pleasure: From Potter’s Field and Bad Feminist. I was quite angry at myself for this, because I have managed to watch the complete Mad Men series this month… But, checking my schedule, I am doing a lot of reading for my PhD: from articles to doctoral thesis. I am also borrowing books from the library and I try to meet the deadlines, because I’m actually scared of what would happen if I return a book late (you and I both know the answer is ‘nothing’, but still….).
And life? I have wondered about this for some years now. Is my life work-oriented? Do I work my days away and do I want it to be so? I had some friends who needed to meet almost everyday for coffee and a chat, a 2-hour meeting so that they could function. Other people I know see work as the means to get money and just get it done. Neither of these lifestyles has ever been my priority and my school schedules never allowed me the luxury of ever considering them: I have always loved learning, attending lessons, reading and writing and now I am lucky enough to have turned them into my ‘job’ (and society agrees!). The short answer to this worry is another question: Are you happy? And yes. Actually I have never been happier becuase I have finally found that place where the line between my passion in life and my work life is so blurred no one can discern it.
If you want to read more about the PhD life, follow Naomi’s blog: http://thehumanmermaid.wordpress.com/