Archive for the dissertation Category

coming up for air.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, disney princesses got nothin' on me, dissertation, drama drama drama, etcetera, faith is action, i love my life, magic, me on June 5, 2009 by drbolte

hi all.

thanks for letting me vent in the last post. thanks to those of you who chimed in with responses.  i’m sure it will all get done and i am sure that i will get better at asking for help. in the meantime, though, i came up with a plan that is already helping me.

a. stop worrying about the dissertation.

that’s right. i’m officially calling it.  dissertation is going on real hold (not that actual hold that it’s been on while i fret and worry and feel guilt-infused over not doing it) until after the wedding. i just don’t have time, even if i used every available moment of my spare time, and even if i did, i am too frazzled to do much of substance.  so it’s on hold.

and, as my wise mama said, if we are prioritizing tasks based on their due date, that one’s last anyways.

she’s brilliant, my mom.

b. read wedding blogs every day. specifically, in my days of stress, weddingbee is keeping me sane. i skim it over, revel in the bridalness, and am suddenly grateful that i am doing things the way i am doing them.

and it usually inspires me to start thinking/planning things that i need to be thinking/planning.

c. be kind to myself. or, in the wise words of a friend of mine, create small manageable goals.

yesterday, that was to workout hard and to straighten my room.  i did it. i also tried to make homemade donuts, which i realized i have neither the patience nor the oil stores to do effectively. therefore, yesterday was a success.

i also painted my toenails. crappily, but they’re painted.

in the new vein of being kind to myself, i’m just going to let them be crappily painted until i have the wherewithal or the time to do it again.  and lighting. i clearly need better lighting.

d. keep breaking the chain.

did i tell you about our paper chain?  i can’t remember, so i’m telling you anyway. if you’ve already heard this, could you, i don’t know, talk amongst yourselves for a moment?

we created a paper chain, the bff and i, to count down to our wedding. you know, in case the countdown on my facebook page and on my blog wasn’t enough (which it’s not).  we wanted some kind of tactile way that we could do it.

it makes the days when it seems like it will NEVER get here go by faster.

especially as we are getting perilously near the two month loop. whoo!

e. find things like this...

and just know that, come what may, my wedding is going to be amazing. and very much me.

Advertisements

i’ll admit it. it’s beginning to get to me.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, dissertation, drama drama drama, etcetera, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, sigh, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, wish i may wish i might on June 3, 2009 by drbolte

last night, while i was sitting in institute, i realized that i have about zero weekends between now and the wedding that are not already planned/carved out/offer no opportunities for relaxation or beach trips.

this weekend: friend of bff’s visits, i meet for the first time despite having an email/facebook/texting relationship. i will be cleaning. also, one of my roommates is moving out for reals (i.e. she’s been gone for a while, but her furniture’s still there, so…she’s really leaving this weekend.  so…there’s that.

next weekend: otown for bridal gown bolero shopping/measurements/planning. take dress to be altered. father’s day.

weekend after that: in NC (finally! i haven’t been home since march and not since i was officially engaged) with mom, doing all sorts of wedding stuff that will hopefully alleviate some stress but is likely to be jampacked with wedding stuff, including meeting with my NC bridesmaids to talk dresses and jewelry and squee a little and my bridesmaid/photographer to talk shot lists and to get her what she needs.

weekend after that: my first shower in otown, filled with people i don’t really know yet very well. note: this is the weekend before i begin teaching my summer class(es).

weekend after that: 4th of July. i’m guessing we’ll be up north frolicking on the boat with the bff’s family. sounds like restfulness, but it’s still somewhere to be on my best behavior. depending on the teaching schedule, i may or may not bow out of this. however, i get friday off…so maybe it won’t be so bad.

weekend after that: my NC shower. i fly out on friday night, attend the shower on saturday late morning (which i’m REALLY excited about), fly out on sunday afternoon.

weekend after that: my gville shower on friday night (aka girls night…). saturday i have free, but will likely collapse. or, don’t forget, that i’ll be teaching, so i’ll probably be grading grading grading grading.

weekend after that: the weekend before i move, aka the packing weekend. i very much doubt i’ll get much done before that.

weekend after that: we move all of our stuff into our new apartment. as of right now, me and my stuff will be homeless for about 2 1/2 days.  i’m hoping to use my considerable powers of persuasion to convince the apartment complex to let me stay. we’ll see how that flies. but i will take up residence in our new place that day, and the bff will stay at his place until we’re married.

weekend after that: WEDDING!

this sounds like complaining, doesn’t it.  i’m not complaining.  i’m just…absolutely overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.  my attitude used to be to chuckle and say WHOOO! when i talked about how crazy things were going to be.  but i’m tired already, and i think it’s simply the weight of everything that stands between now and august 8th.

i have classes to plan for that i haven’t even started, really, other than constructing a syllabus. i have an online gig that i have to finish. i have to find out if i’ll be teaching another upper-division class in the fall and, if so, i’ve got to plan that deal because i sincerely doubt that they’re going to let me not have a syllabus to them as it gets to be a month or so before classes begin. i have a room to pack and, what’s more, i have TONS of crap to wade through and get rid of.

(luckily, mom is doing a yard sale in NC when i’m there the first time, so i’ll be hauling copious amounts of stuff up there to see if i can sell it. if not, it will go to goodwill there and i will be done with it. but when will i have time to gather all of that stuff together?)

and let’s not even talk about the dissertation, which i haven’t touched in a month. at all.

this all sounds like complaining still.  like everyone doesn’t have a busy life.

i know.

i’m venting.

it’s my blog. it’s where i do such things.

but…how? how do i do it all? the bff, oh how i love him, says i can do anything and, thus, i can do everything.  i adore him for thinking that, but i want to know HOW.  how can i do it all?  how can i get everything done?

it seems impossible.  truly.

and how do i keep my wits about me when all the world is losing theirs?

oh, let’s face it…when i’m losing mine?

suggestions? is this normal? am i a bridezilla?

i think i have lost all perspective.

grace in a million little things.

Posted in bff, dissertation, etcetera, faith is action, Life, me, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, will work for food on May 20, 2009 by drbolte

for a while there, at the beginning of the year, a bunch of bloggers were doing this thing called grace in 365, where they listed five things about their day that made them feel as though they had been blessed. it was a fantastic idea, and one that i remembered often during that time and thought about doing myself.

i am reminded of it as i try to encapsulate what’s been happening in my life lately.

i thought that i would talk about the  daunting nature of my training for a new job. i’ve mentioned it a few times, mainly in passing about how busy i am, but not in any real detail. i still don’t want to speak of it in detail, because i don’t think it’s appropriate, but it’s the second of three stages of interviewing to see if i can hack it as an online instructor.  i like the training. it challenges me in a different way than every other challenge that i have in my life right now, and i like that very much. i’m already online way too much, so at least now i feel like i’m being productive.

and this job is one hundred percent a blessing from God.

i’m a little more than halfway through the second stage, and as i began the second two-week training, i found myself staring at the syllabus, feeling paralyzed almost by nervousness. i don’t know why. yes, there is more to do in this two-week training. yes, i am trying to balance potential out-of-town plans and invitations and all of that with this. yes, i had gotten a bit tired at the end of the last training.

but why would i be so daunted?

i am tired. straight up, lots of things in my life make me tired. life, right now, is a struggle. it’s not bad.  i am in no way depressed. but job searching, and worrying about that, and planning the wedding, and thinking about that a lot, and working on training, and hoping that i’m doing enough for that to get the job, and interviewing for more jobs, and praying fervently that i will get it, and thinking about how i’m not doing my dissertation at all, and wondering if it will even be possible to do everything that i had hoped to do this month–it’s all just a lot.

i think i kind of have a right to be tired.

but as i was walking back to my car from work, in the rain, i realized that despite all of these things, i keep moving on. i keep making progress. sometimes leaps and bounds of progress. and it’s an extraordinary gift. the gifts have been piling up of late.  here are just a few:

last night i didn’t want to go to institute. i was tired. it was rainy and cold and the thing i thought i wanted most was to curl up on the couch and wile away some hours doing nothing but cuddling.  but thing that i needed most was to go. and there i felt the Spirit and felt instructed and comforted and directed in ways that i needed.

i went to the store, shopped some serious sales, and got $175 worth of groceries for $100. the bagger lady said that she should go shopping with us because she was so impressed with the deals we got, one of which was HEAPS of pork chops for free (buy one tray, get two free).  as we were breaking them up into individual freezer pouches, we realized that not only were they much larger than i thought, but there were more in each pack than i thought. that means more meals for less money. that is a blessing during the very lean month before Summer B work starts. oh, how i hate the summer sometimes.

in the midst of these challenging times, i feel my faith growing. i have been wondering why the struggle is important for me–the job struggle, specifically, is what i mean, but i suppose the way that all of these major life events have come together at this time also contributes to the nature of the struggle that i feel every day to keep on top of things–and now i’m realizing that the struggle is the point. you’re shaking your head at this point, aren’t you? duh, drbolte, of course the struggle is the point. but sometimes, when you’re struggling, you think the point of the struggle is to get where you want to go. sometimes you think that the reasons that the answers haven’t come or the reason why things are challenging is because maybe you’re not putting in your best effort or maybe you haven’t found the key to all mythologies yet (and, uhm, if you get that reference, i’ll give you a cookie).

i’m realizing, again, probably for the fortieth time at least, that this struggling? is where the lessons are.  i approach things that are hard now with a sense of determination, an internal fierceness that is grounded in the idea that i will do whatever i need to do, whatever He wishes me to do, in order to keep the Spirit with me, in order to stay close to the Lord.

that determination is probably the greatest gift. because in the moments when i don’t know what to do? like when i’m looking at a syllabus and don’t know if i can muster the energy to do it?

i dig deep. and it’s there.  i just decide that the best way to get through it is to GET THROUGH IT and i dive in.

and the RWC is quiet and i manage to get all of my reading done and my assignments and participation done and ta da…i can work on something else.

all of this is surrounded and wrapped up in the most amazing fact that, in all this struggling, the bff and i are growing closer. we struggle together. i can’t even do justice to how much that means to me, that our love is growing and the pressures on us are just teaching us that we are absolutely essential to each other.

in a million little things, and in one or two huge ones, i am being shown that the struggle is the prize.

it’s the struggle where the grace truly lives.

that’s what keeps me going.

updated. that’s you.

Posted in dissertation, holy smartness batman, me on April 28, 2009 by drbolte

chapter 4 has gone through the first, and usually the most painful, stage of revisions–the director’s cut.

it is now complete and in her hands once more. i have clarified and bumped up the thesis, expanded in some areas where it needed expanding and have chosen not to expand in others because it is my chapter and i’ll expand if i want to, added in some KILLER criticism (including, unexpectedly but rather serendipitously, an article by my director!), and constructed a works cited page that was quite a bit longer than i thought it would be.

for those of you keeping score at home, that’s four of five chapters complete.

that’s about one hundred and fifty pages.  this one is by far the shortest.  i’m not really surprised, since i feel like i’m losing steam.

one more left.  i am aiming for may to be the month when i actually get this beast done.

(excluding the introduction and conclusion, of course, which won’t be touched until after i’m married for a month or so probably unless a) i miraculously speed through my last chapter and feel inclined to tackle the introduction or b) i’m INSANE and just decide to work on it during summer b anyways even though i’ll have two seriously demanding teaching jobs and a wedding to plan.  yeah. like i said. not happening.)

i’m not sure what it will be like to have EVERYTHING drafted. to actually have all of my chapters complete.  what will that be like?

regardless, today i met my goals. tomorrow i hope to do the same.  it’s rather a good feeling. definitely a unique one for me, that’s for sure.

if exhaustion was a biscuit, and i was a little hot dog, my life would be a pig in a poke.

Posted in bridal diaries, dissertation, i love my life, me on April 16, 2009 by drbolte

i feel so tired.

at first, i just thought i was whiny PMS girl.

but then, yesterday, after sleeping the bulk of the day, i took a shower to go to Institute.  and even after taking a shower and feeling like i didn’t look like gum on the bottom of someone’s shoe, i still felt like i was walking through mud.  that usually means that i am a) sick or b) dying or c) sick or d) dying.

i’m going with a and c.

but it’s not the kind of sick where you’re like sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head give me the 90 proof nyquil sick. it’s the my body is clearly fighting something off but i still feel guilty for not running stadiums or shredding or for eating cinnamon toast in general instead of dinner.

so yeah.

if exhaustion was a biscuit and i was a little tiny sausage dog, i would be one of those pigs in a blanket things that are yummy to eat with grape jelly.

in other news, i will be spending all weekend in my bed, probably with turtle pajama pants on, working on a) revising the dissertation chapter that i’ve been reading crap for for two weeks and b) the wedding, for which i have created a master to-do list which feels VERY incomplete but which makes my life feel more manageable. this weekend i will likely break each part down into infinitely smaller pieces.  that will also help me make my life more manageable.

also, why are all bridal bouquets insanely expensive and is it possible for me to just order an arrangement of gorgeous flowers and wrap the dang thing myself with the $2 ribbon that i bought at michael’s? because my mom thinks that we should get my bouquet done by someone PROFESSIONAL rather than gathering Publix flowers together on the day before, and i see the merit of that position, but everything i’ve seen online is UGLY and white or all red roses and HELLO I DON’T WANT ROSES AT ALL and in order to talk to someone you have to sign over your first born child and guess what all i want is red and yellow and orange flowers with some sunflowers and daisies the end.

but the minute the word wedding is involved, suddenly the price skyrockets and my head starts throbbing with the wholesale injustice of it all.

so i might just order a summer bouquet, with the caveat (that’s the word of the day, folks…the $10 word of the day) that it must contain gerbera daisies and sunflowers (small ones are good!), and not tell them at all that it’s for a wedding because HELLO who cares i can wrap those bad boys with floral tape myself who cares.

but we’ll see.

so if you know of a decently priced florist in orlando (lindzml, i’m lookin’ at you…), let me know.

so yeah. turtle pajama pants and big time productivity. they go hand in hand, don’t you think?

collateral damage.

Posted in c, dissertation, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall on April 6, 2009 by drbolte

i’ve been thinking about consequences lately. not in terms of “oh holy crap i’m being punished for what i’ve done” but more the idea that, regardless of your action, there are long-lasting implications for what you do or do not do.

if you’ve been around a while, you know that me and my body have a pretty love-hate relationship. well, i shouldn’t say i hate my body. i don’t. not really at all. i love that it can do so many more things that i thought it ever could. i love that i take it running up stadium stairs and i love how light it seems lately. i love that it can bend and move and dance and frolic much easier than it ever has before. i love that i can listen to it and know what i need to do to keep it running smoothly. i love the way it responds to when i baby it–especially when i’m getting enough sleep.

so i’m pretty much a fan of it overall.

but losing 130 pounds leaves a bit of collateral damage.  i don’t say that to be woe is me or to even really complain. just mainly to muse on this fact and perhaps reconcile myself to the fact that me and cap sleeves will never, ever be friends because i will always, no matter how hard i shred or do tricep presses, will always have flabby arms. it makes sense, really. an entire other person used to occupy my skin with me.

that’s gonna leave a mark.

but it’s hard for me, probably because i am getting married and am thinking about how comfortable i want to be with my body on that day, to be accepting of that fact.  i am not feeling any pressure from anyone outside of my skin. the bff loves me for exactly who i am. if i lose more weight, great.  i think he’d be happy, but really just because i would be happy. because he has the purest most loving heart ever.

but i want to feel comfortable in my own skin. and i guess i figured that, somehow magically in a  mystical turn of events that doesn’t really make much sense at all, there would be no real marker left of where i’ve come from.

let me tell you what. that is NOT the case. i have marks.  i have evidence of those bygone days.

the lingering aftereffects of choices remain, in a much less concrete form, also on my dissertation.  i have not used my time as well as i could have. i don’t regret the things i’ve done, particularly, but i regret the time i didn’t take, the discipline i didn’t work hard to develop, the moments that i wasted.  there were lots of times i could have been doing something else. instead, i was pretending that that bill was never going to come due, that i would have infinite amounts of time to complete what it is that i must complete.

the consequences have been a whole lot of discouragement, self-doubt, and the consequences of my lack of diligence.  it’s not a good place for me to be, the valley of self-doubt, but i’m climbing my way out and am committed to a plan that i knew i needed to implement months ago but only now feel repentant enough to do so.

oh me and my stubbornness.

but there is collateral damage from that as well.  i will have to work harder to remember where i was in the process, have to balance more things in my life, have to still be working on it after i get married, more than likely once i’m working two or three jobs to support my little family.

that’s hard to swallow too, sometimes, but i wonder if it isn’t really just a part of the process.

am i learning something from it? oh yeah. i have turned into quite the planner, necessity being the mother of invention. i have realized that consequences are just as real for the things you choose not to do as for the things you do.  i have realized that the road to the valley of self-doubt is distraction, and i hope i’ll be more quick to see the detour.

but the body thing…i’m not sure how to get over that. i’m not sure what else i can do, except to try to have peace about it. no one is perfect–i know this–but i live in a culture that screams at me that all women are size 2s, have perfect perky boobs and flat stomachs, and have never had to struggle a day to do what i struggle every day to do.

i guess i don’t want to be reminded of the negative choices that i made, reminded of the person i was before. my life is changing so much…i guess i’d like to just live a new life in a new body, devoid of any tracks of the past.

the chasm between who i was then and who i am now seems large.  the chasm between what i think i should be and what i am also seems large.

that’s where my musing head’s at.

conquering this day.

Posted in bridal diaries, dissertation, domestic goddess, etcetera, i am not a gym rat, i love my life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, perfect brightness of hope, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL on March 30, 2009 by drbolte

i woke up with hopes of getting a lot done today. i quickly felt daunted by how to do it all and fit it all in.  they’re all such disparate tasks–everything from stadium stairs/ramps and a mega cardio workout to harassing my apartment building into finally submitting the stuff for the new apartment to lighting a fire under my butt and starting the dissertation again to talking to my mom about the wedding and life and everything since i haven’t talked to her in a week–and it felt impossible to really do them all.

that’s a pretty common theme in my life. i do okay if in one day i am asked to do three things that are all common–laundry, clean the house, cook dinner–but if you ask me to use different skill sets, i start to wonder if it’s possible.

i’m not sure if that’s pretty universal. is it?  i’m not sure if i’ll ever get better at it.  will i?

but what i know is that when i start thinking that way, everything gets colored by the stress crayon and i start to see things in a completely skewed way. i don’t love it.

so here i am again, focusing on the positive.  and updating you.  see? i’m multitasking already.

1. found a dress this weekend.  it was the cheapest one that i tried on. it fit PERFECTLY. it was simple, elegant, and beautiful, it had everything that i wanted but never knew i imagined that i did want.  i can picture getting married in it.  and i cried a little. oh. and it’s on sale.  🙂 did i mention that i looked small?

2. found a reception site. it’s perfect. it has a really good homey feel to it–not too spread out and big, not too small.  it has hooks in the walls already so that we can hang lights and do all kinds of things.  we figured out how we want to set it up and it was an amazing feeling, planning the day with the  man that i love.

3. i went to the stadium this morning, even though i thought that i would skip it. success number one.  i burned 757 calories. success number two. i ran some, in several interval spurts, and i felt lighter on my feet than i really ever have.  no trudging, really.  success number three.

4. i’m about to go make this new apartment thing happen, since i’m tired of waiting on the incompetence of the world.

5. i’m not letting the fact that i am seriously and 100% plateaued with the weight loss freak me out too much.  all i can do is all i can do, right? i just REALLY want to be mega hott for my wedding.  all i can do is all i can do.