Making Changes

Status Report: Do you know what happens when you press on a spring, and then you let it go? Yeah? Well that was me today. The girl at the copy shop had told me that it would be closed today, because it’s Labor Day, but this morning I received a call: the copy shop was indeed open, and my copies were ready. So I drove them to the university and dropped them off in the English Department. Here I am, ready to go to the copy shop (looking all studious, with hair pulled back, glasses):

And here are the copies in the English Department, before I put them in the appropriate boxes. This angle doesn’t give you a sense of how thick the copies are. They’re almost 400 pages. I suppose I could have waited until Tuesday to bring them in, but I knew that today it would be much easier to park.

So there you are, the copies of the dissertation have been turned over to the committee members. I’m done, except for preparing for the defense, which will consist of writing down as many questions as I can think of and trying to formulate answers. But I’ll have at least a month to do that.

In the meantime, I’m going to be working on changing my life, because I know that I can’t have the life I want unless I make changes. There are a lot of things involved in making those changes, but the first things I need to work on are myself and my physical environment. The dissertation took a physical toll, so I need to get back into shape. (I probably still look like I’m in shape. But I can tell that I’m not as strong or as flexible as I should be. I need sleep, healthy food, and exercise. During the dissertation process, I gained four pounds. That may not sound like a lot, but on my frame, I can tell the difference between 124 and 120. So I need to lose that.) And I need to get my hair cut. I mean, seriously:

In terms of my physical environment, I need to start sorting through things, getting rid of anything I no longer use or want. I’ve done some of that already, but I want to make sure that wherever life takes me next, I’m ready for it. And of course, there are a lot of other more difficult and serious things to do. But I find that getting myself and my environment ready are crucial. It’s as though, when you make changes, you have to change first your mind, then your immediate environment, and then the larger world. Change flows outward, I think. This year has been all about making internal changes. Now those changes are starting to flow outward, to change things in the external world. May that happen quickly. For me, at least, that’s what the next two months are going to be about.

(I don’t know if you’re interested? But today I also put together the website for the class I’ll be teaching this semester. Just one class, although three sections: this semester, I specifically asked for that. I wanted to make sure I had the time to focus on the dissertation and the defense. So I’m not doing the sorts of things I usually do, creating writing programs for the colleges, serving on committees. This semester is all about creating the life I want for myself. That’s the focus.

So here it is, the website for my class:

Fall 2011 WR 100 Fantasy at the Fin-de-Siècle

I’m still working on it, of course. But I rather like it. It has lots of pretty pictures!)

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5 Responses to Making Changes

  1. echo of your words–“sleep, healthy food, and exercise”–Indeed! i wish you all that, the rest will follow.

  2. Yes, rest, sustenance, and movement are all needed. Working on that myself!

    The idea of working on spatial order and maintenance of “stuff” resonates a lot. This long weekend my daughter is away so I have been catching up on writing, but also starting to go through boxes in the two small crawlspaces in the walls of my little apartment. I was a hardcore gamer for a decade and now that I have decided to focus on writing I have a lot of extraneous geegaws and crapola that need to go. It can change your perspective on your environment and give you a better footing to proceed forward with your life.

    Congratulations again on getting the dissertation done.

  3. Sofia says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! This must be so exciting!

    And your course looks great, based on the description. I want to teach it. As for the Waterhouse painting, it’s so pretty I want to EAT IT.

  4. One more ‘two cent’ Theodora…listen to Abby Lincoln “Throw It Away”

  5. Thank you all! And Michelle, that’s gorgeous! 🙂

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