The Waiting Game

Waiting sucks.

Especially if you’re an eternally impatient person like me.

Especially especially if you rely on deadlines to get things done like me.

I have quite a few projects that I’m working on at any given time and I like it. It keeps me busy and prevents boredom (when you get tired/frustrated with one project, just move to a different one for a bit!)

But on every.single.project I’m currently playing the waiting game. Meaning, I’m floating in this weird space where there’s a lot that needs to get done, but I’m stuck waiting on others.

I have 3 paper drafts that need to be submitted to journals: I’m waiting on professors to give their feedback

I have a sweat wicking project: Waiting on the spinning lab (which is running behind) to finish some new yarns to test

I have a knitting project: I need help with some software and everyone who is able to help is wrapped up in other projects and does not have time right now

I have a heat spreader project: Waiting on a guy in Switzerland to get back to me on a material I need that may or may not exist

I have an energy harvesting project: Waiting on the new student to fix the code for the app so I can resume human trials

There are other deadlines, but they are too far out to be motivating.

So my current grad school work consists of bashing my head in frustration on the nearest hard object….and grumbling about the cold and rainy weather we’ve been having.

Honestly this is part of it. There’s an ebb and flow in grad school and I’m most definitely stuck in a purgatory of nothing.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m looking forward to the end of the semester so I actually have things to do….sheesh!

I wish this post were a little more upbeat but yeah….this is what’s actually going on and I like being honest. And in the spirit of being honest, this funk is really affecting my mood. I despise feeling useless and that’s all that’s going around right now. So not only am I frustrated from not having things to do, I’m also frustrated that my finances are shit (so I can’t go do fun stuff cause fun stuff costs money), and my mood was on the rebound and now I’m frustrated that I’m frustrated which in turn makes me a pretty grumpy person. And apparently a rambling person as well….

I’m really hoping things pick up soon…

Here’s a puppy pic to close out this post because PUPPIES

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Just Do It

Nike’s slogan isn’t hugely popular for no reason.

You just gotta do it.

I’ve made a lot of excuses recently that have allowed me to sit on the couch and marathon Netflix while letting everything else fall to the wayside. Were the excuses valid? Of course! I’m hella tired after a 13 hr work day so of course imma sit my butt on the couch and watch trashy TV. But I was only making excuses to avoid responsibility

I don’t know about anyone else, but my world just seems to function a bit better when I have my shit together. Now let’s not go crazy and say that I do my meal prep on Sunday and laundry every day and I always remember to feed the dogs on time and the apartment is clean. By having my shit together I mean I remember to actually feed the dogs, take a shower, feed myself, realize the clean dishes actually need to be put away.

It doesn’t take much. You just gotta do it. Just a little bit. And eventually that little bit will seem smaller and smaller.

This week was terrifying and awesome and terrifying for me.

I found out that I’ve done enough research to plan for my prelim (pre-defense defense) in June! That’s a whole year earlier than I expected!

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The downside is that I had to make my committee and start some paperwork.

Some people have no problem going up to others and asking questions or favors and such. I am not one of those people. It took me 4 DAYS to work up the courage to walk to two offices of professors I know (who like me and we chat on a semi-regular basis) and ask them to be on my committee. 4 DAYS Y’ALL. And even then I was definitely in a caffeine-induced stupor and making less than stellar decisions. Just to do something that took me 10 min. (In my defense, people are scary and asking people for things/help is panic-inducing)

But. Anywhoo.

It seems like my theme for this week was JUST DO IT ALREADY. Not just in academics but also in my running life <-it exists again!!!

In other news, as part of the ever challenging PhD program, I learned how to make a box.

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It’s a beautiful box. Idk what to do with it. But it exists.

I’m off to figure out what I’m doing for the weekend (besides panicking)!

TTYL

 

 

Bed: 0 Luna: 3

Sup?

So this is gonna be a wordy post and one that’s a little more introspective than usual.

Luna has officially destroyed 3 beds. 2 of which are were Indy’s. #overit #fedup

A foam party is not the thing you want to come home to after a rough day. Especially when it’s the second day in a row that you come home to a foam party after a rough day. For clarity, I’m not talking about the fun foam party that’s kinda sketchy but super fun and usually hosted in clubs. I’m talking about bed foam EVERYWHERE. Seriously. Say a prayer for my vacuum cleaner.

Anyhoo

Today was not a bad day. It was a rough day. It was a why-am-i-in-grad-school day. Not just because it was hard but because it was one of those days where I wonder if I should even get a PhD.

My brain is not a ‘typical’ engineering PhD kinda brain. Nor is it a ‘typical’ science PhD kinda brain. These brains I define as: people who meticulously plan experiments to prove a hypothesis that will agree with the field standard while adding new knowledge to that field. The people I interact with on a daily basis are constantly proving new science based on old theory. They study equations and understand the theory of why ‘things’ act the way they do. They model and prove their experimental data with fundamental knowledge of whatever particular field. Which is totally how this should work!

I really really wish my brain worked like that sometimes.

Compared to said professors and students that I interact with, I’m total chaos. I make decisions based on my engineering/science common sense and gut feelings. Sometimes I go back and prove my work with math. Sometimes I  meticulously plan out experiments (rarely actually). I especially don’t come up with a hypothesis in a field that follows fundamental laws and can be proved with said meticulously planned experiments and tests.

Instead, I come up with off the wall crazy ideas that may or may not work and may or may not be actual research. Sometimes I can run with them and a ‘scientific sounding’ paper comes out because I can go back and add an equation to my gut feeling. However that is a very painful and drawn out process that frustrates me and my adviser.

What usually ends up happening is I come up with a super cool thing. Companies like this thing. People like this thing. But it’s not research, it’s a prototype or demo.

Demo =/= PhD

When someone grills me on theory and math behind my work, I freeze up and end up talking a bunch of nonsense until someone (my adviser) jumps in and actually explains what I’m trying to talk about. Then a circular argument develops and the conclusion is that I need to science better.

Will my brain work in an industry job that develops cool stuff? aw hell yeah. But I honestly don’t know if I’m ‘wired’ for this whole PhD thing.

Add this version of impostor syndrome to the already pretty severe female-in-engineering/typical-grad-student impostor symptoms and my mental drug cocktail starts to make a little more sense.

Well, this wasn’t the most exciting post, but oh well. Shenanigans will return soon!

Adulting

How do you get motivated when you have no motivation?

Adulting is hard….cleaning, showering, exercising, working, paying bills, eating, and it just never stops.

Adulting is hard..I hate adulting

 

I’ve been pretty lazy about this whole half marathon training thing. I’d like to completely blame it on the fact that I may or may not be able to afford the trip out to San Diego to the run the thing in the first place. It’s hard to stay motivated to genuinely ‘train’ for something when you’re not sure you’re even going to run it!

But, because we’re being honest here. I’m going through a bit of a lazy spell. The motivation to work out every day just isn’t there. Hell. The motivation to shower and cook and survive every day just isn’t there either.

Trigger warning about depression and possible spelling errors ahead.

Can’t medication be a magical cure all?? Seriously, that just needs to happen. The alternative is just too much work. It’s really frustrating when everything is going great and your life is chugging along like The Little Engine That Could and then all of a sudden your sweet childhood book looks something like this..

Not gonna lie, August was a little rough in the PhDeviant household. Puppy + ACL surgery + Last min trips + start of school = a household just trying to make it through each day in one piece. A whole month of that usually results in forgetting how to return to functioning normally.

Aaaaaaaand that’s exactly what happened.

So much energy was spent on making sure each day was accomplished that now that the pressure is off, my brain is kinda off in no-mans-land

My instinctual response to winding up on a deserted road is to resort to ‘depression-state’ or the lesser known ‘lack of motivation state that leads to depression state’.  Either way, it’s not awesome.

The best thing to do at this point is to just continue on with life as though nothing is different and the motivation will come back at some point I think.

To end this post on a happier note, here’s a Calvin and Hobbes quote because those are awesome

 

 

Spring Cleaning

Hi everyone!

I would like to announce a huge moment in my life yesterday…

I managed to throw a giant Harry Potter (I think it was the 6th) book in the toilet from a room away!

Now before you get mad at me for purposefully throwing a perfectly good Harry Potter book in the toilet and ruining it, hear me out. It was baggage. Emotional baggage. From a previous relationship. My ex-boyfriend gifted me a paperback Harry Potter set one year and wrote love letters on the inside of each cover.

This was very sweet and touching at the time, but now, 3 years later, it’s just emotional baggage that I can’t sell at a garage sale <—let’s be honest, who would buy the Harry Potter series with sappy love letters on each inside cover.

Steve and I are getting ready to move into a smaller apartment (YAY less cleaning) so I’ve been going through my things and trying to downsize.  While I was going through my things the other night and loudly singing along to my Broadway Hits Pandora station, I came across a bunch of cards, pictures, and things from that relationship. If you’re thinking how weird it is that I kept these things for so long well….it’s one of those things where the last time I moved, I was still hung up on everything and not ready to let go. Sooooo all that stuff got put up in a box on a shelf and forgotten about until now.

And I cried. A lot.

It’s easy to remember why you break up with someone. You can blame them and make them the “bad guy” for whatever reason. It’s a lot harder to find memories of the happy times. Especially when they catch you by surprise. You’re flooded with all the happy memories and start to wonder what happened to ruin the life you set yourself up for years ago.

Luckily, I’m dating this pretty rad guy –>Steve<– who sat down with me and talked it out. We talked about getting rid of that baggage that you don’t realize is still there (aka Harry Potter books). I was originally going to burn the books as a way of therapeutic release, but I’m also extremely impatient and didn’t want to try to build a fire.

So, Steve and I sat on our bed across from the bathroom and read each letter one last time. At the end of each letter, I tried to throw the book in the toilet. 5/6 books missed. But one made it and it was so satisfying that I cried again (from release this time).

On a separate note, I also signed the application for my first utility patent yesterday! Now I can put that annoying “Patent-pending” thing on everything I do (evil laugh)

Also Indy has been having a rough few days 😦

She ran into a tree and hurt her shoulder

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Most pathetic look ever! It was hilarious how sassy she got when we tried to ice her shoulder.

She’s also been having some stomach issues and has let us know by lying dramatically on the bed….

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We have plans to traumatize her with some time at the lake and a beer festival this weekend so I hope she feels better soon!