The days I stay and work from home are hit or miss kind of days. These are the days I can go to the gym at any point, take a bubble bath to de-stress in the middle of the afternoon, or go all day in PJs and not even unlock my door once. Sometimes, during these days I do house work and run errands. You know, like clean the bathroom, do laundry, go to the cleaners, the post office, the supermarket, Duane Read, return something, get a mani, a bikini wax, or buy a present. Other times, my mom calls, or a friend shows up on chat, or there are 87 blogs to read, or 205 tweets to catch up on, or some new baby pictures on FB I need to see, or music in iTunes I just must buy.
Sometimes I stay in bed and read. I have a ton of stuff to read and most, although interesting, not necessarily all that fun. Those are actually productive days. Reading is part of the work I have to do. So those are good days. Others, well, I start off reading and quickly fall asleep, which are the days that throw me off. That nap ends up being more than a little cat nap and then pushes my actual sleeping time to much later than it needs to be, throwing off the following wake-up for what is usually a work-out kind of day. Those days I tend to be sleepy.
Anytime I stay at home I cook myself lunch, most likely nothing too elaborate. I rarely go all out cooking when it’s just me, which is usually the case. But there are days in which I splurge and get take-out. Or go to the deli around the corner and buy a special sandwich. That’s usually around oneish and really doesn’t take too much time, because I end up eating in front of the computer anyway, reading whatever it was I was reading before, or if I was working hard I’ll take a lunch break and read blogs during those 30 minutes.
The rare days in which I accomplish actual work I work on my data. I organize it. I read it. I transcribe it. I listen to it. I think about it. I go back to my proposal. I read some more. I go back to the data. I look things up. I make to-do lists. I write emails to sponsors and mentors and helpful professors. I write my critical friends blog and I vent to anyone who calls. All of this needs to happen for me to actually get some writing done, and some days I actually do write.
The days I go out to work, I work. I go to CSS and do my work for them there, or go into AERI’s office and do their work there. But that’s not my dissertation work. That’s work-work. The only days I’m sure to do dissertation work outside, are when I’m at the setting collecting data, which consists mostly of observing the kids in the classroom. But sometimes it’s an interview and other times it has been interacting with the children in some activity. Those days are productive, very productive in making progress, but it also means I’m gathering more work for myself.
There are a couple classes I am taking. One I’m auditing and the other is part of the fellowship. So those days I go out too, after of course, spending some time at home doing class-work. But this semester I have organized it so that the days I work outside and go to the TC area are also the class days and the yoga days, which are all in that same neighborhood. So most weeks I have at least 2 full stay and work from home days, which are the ones I know I will miss once the real work starts again.
Sometimes, I can’t believe this has been my life for the past 2 years (it’s gotten better, the first two years I worked at TC every day, there were no stay and work from home days then) and how lucky and easy going it seems. Other times, I just want to get on with it and go back to my professional life/job/days, feel productive every day and not have to be in this constant self-motivating, self-discipline and on my own kind of journey. But as the end is nearer, I know that when I look back, I’m going to miss these days and they will probably never come again. So here’s to right now, here’s to the present and the stay-at-home days, the days I get to choose what time to get up and what exactly to do.