Monday, January 17, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things:

The other day I wrote about how anxious I am about being done with my dissertation, and moving on with my life.  I also wrote about all the stuff I have read and know about in relation to my dissertation.  When I think about those things, I get a little stressed out; I freak out about the amount of work that I have to do in order to actually be done.

Tonight I handed in another draft of my last chapter.  I only have one more chapter to revise, and it is the introduction--the easiest chapter to write by far.  Of course, I will have to give all of the chapters one more look-over when they come back from my adviser, but in the meantime I started thinking about  all the time I am going to have when this is all over.  There are three things that I really love, and I am going to direct all my energy to my favorite things: reading (not for school), running, and eating.

I already have a list of books that I want to read.  The Help, by Kathryn Stockett is supposed to be fantastic, so it is on my short list for sure.  I think that I am actually going to start a book club with a few other ladies, so that I will have some peeps to talk with about it.  (If you want to read it, email me--join my book club!  We are going to get matching shirts!)  It is about a white woman in Mississippi before the Civil Rights movement, and her relationship with several African American women who are maids.  It has been recommended to me by several people, and I am excited to finally have time for it.  I am also planning to reread Ender's Game, a sci-fi classic, and its follow-up, Speaker for the Dead.  My brother gave me the first book several years ago, and I loved it.  Through a conversation about A.I. I was recently inspired to reread it, and its sequel.  I doubt this will end up being part of the book club, but maybe I will just have to start a second, super-nerdy book club with my friend Ben, who has also promised to help me perfect my theory of time travel via a very large pizza (more about that another day).

When I am not reading about anything and everything, I think that I will spend a lot of time running.  I love running.  Not in a "Oh, it's nice to be outside" sort of way, but in a truly sort of obsessive, "Yeah, I will run across Death Valley until they pull me off the course because I am hallucinating" sort of way.  Like the rest of you.  So, more than anything, when I am done with my dissertation, I can't wait to put all this time that I have spent sitting here writing my dissertation towards covering miles and miles of Massachusetts.  I have already committed (at least verbally) to two marathons and an ultra relay race for 2011.  I am sure there will also be a health dose of 5ks and half-marathons mixed in. I also want to take up trail running, just for a change of pace and scenery.  And so that one of these days I can do the Vermont 50.  It is amazing; I cannot sit here in this chair and write for more than 15 minutes straight without having to get up and putter around.  I cannot even sit through a 30 minute TV show without getting up at least three times.  But when I am running, I am there for as long as it takes.  That has to be love, right?

Of course, I can't just read and run all summer.  There is one more thing that I will be sure to make time for: eating.  I love to eat almost as much as I love to read and to run.  Of course, it is not hard to eat while reading, but I am not sure about eating while running.  I know that people do it, but I just can't imagine that I would get the same joy out of sucking on a goo packet as I do from sucking down a basket of cheese fries or a giant ice cream cone.  And that is the kind of eating that I am talking about: the kind where every bite is like a tiny explosion of joy inside your mouth, and you think "This is the best thing that I ever ate."  Obviously, I am still eating now (just as I do make some time for reading and running), but it is not the same.  Right now my diet consists of whatever I can throw together in the shortest amount of time without having to think at all. That depresses me.  Food, for me, should make you happy, not stressed out.  When I am done with school I will once again have the time to cook and to give my food the time and attention it deserves, so that I am truly happy when I am eating it. 

But before I get back to all of my favorite things, I have to finish my work.  My dissertation is about motivation, about working towards a specific goal and managing your behaviors so that you ensure attainment of that goal.  Many days, I loose sight of what it is I am working towards.  But then I just have to look at my book shelf, and my running shoes, and my Kitchen Aide mixer, and I know that it will all be worth it. 

Oh, and you will all have to call me Dr. Kortz and that will be pretty sweet, too.     

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