Getting a PhD takes a very long time.
I knew this, of course, and I’ve engaged in a wide variety of mental tricks to get me through (almost) two years of my five-year program (before fellowship). Most days, I think Husband and I have our routine down pretty well with the shared chores and the box of planned meals arriving at our doorstep each week, but other days, I’m tired. I’m tired of more rounds of midterms and final projects and required signatures and mandatory meetings. I’m tired of having no say in my class assignments or course schedule. I’m tired of making my weekend plans based on the whim of a supervisor’s requirements. I’m tired of driving so much that I actually look forward to a night in.
I miss having a benefits package. I miss having an 8am-5pm schedule. I miss my friends.
Iceland showed me that I’m ready for a change-a new house or a new city or a new baby. I’ve lived in Indianapolis for seven years. I love it here, but I’ve done the things.
There are things I like about school, of course, like the constant challenge, frequent supervision, and student discounts! But I’m really starting to look forward to new things, like saving for retirement.
“It’s all about the journey,” I tell myself as I pack my backpack for another day of client appointments, research meetings, class time, and homework.
I know this time will be a blip on the screen of my life story and a blip that I will forever thank myself for, but right now, it just feels irritatingly long, like an extended train stop when you’re running late or an unending parade when you’re scared of clowns.
I’m trying to learn patience, to remember the virtues of staying put, and to anticipate the rewards from hard work, but I’m not always that good at it.