12.15.2009

Prayers Please, Advent Prayer Buddy!

Okay, because hopefully my Advent Prayer Partner is reading this, I am going to come clean with something I need major prayers for.  Something I am ashamed about and don't really have the words to express, but because I need prayers I am going to try.
In 2003 I started a doctorate program.  While this is still a program and a career path I believe in, a lot has changed since then.  I applied for the program before I met my husband.  I got in while we were dating.  The entire contents of my blog happened while I was in the program (I found out about IF, we got engaged, we got married, we had 2 miscarriages, we got pregnant with our son, I had my son, my son is now 1).  I would say that is a lot.  But I have used this excuse and used this excuse and now it can't be used anymore.  The truth is that I simply don't have the same level of passion at the end of the day.  I don't have the energy for it.  I don't desire to spend the precious time I have with my son, the precious time I have with my husband while my son is sleeping, or the precious time I have to get the things done that being a wife and mother and home owner require.
A doctorate will serve me well in any career path.  I want to write a book about my faith and IF and our journey.  I want to speak on the topic as well.   I still want to help schools and children.  My doctorate (since it is behavior focused) will open many career doors for me outside of schools, with consulting, etc.  I can literally write grants on a number of areas and do a wonderful combination of research and direct service provision.  My area relates to policy and systems change as well.  I have the ability to impact real change and make things better for children and families.  It is still a worthy cause.
I can't quit.  Trust me, I have considered it.  I have spent too much time and too much money.  I have obligations-to my coworkers, to my advisor, to my peers, to my husband, and to my goverment (my money is tied to a service obligation-I cringe now, 2 years for every year of funding I took or I must repay it).   I am so close to the end.  I have taken all my courses, passed my comps, I have data for my dissertation.  But still I have to propose it.  I have to stand before a committe and be convicted that what I did was necessary and important.  I have to believe it myself and then convince others. 
My advisor wants me done by May.  That means basically April.  He wants my proposal rough draft by Jan. 15th.  I can't believe I am saying this outloud (sort of).  I am close to 7 years in the program (this summer). Here is one of the problems: my proposal is basically half of my dissertation.  And then, after that (and data taken) they could still say no and back to the drawing board.  Additionally, my advisor is nice and brilliant, but he is losing his mind.  Literally.  Very very forgetful.  It can be infuriating.  The process is so political and sticky anyway (I am not all savvy about these things, very naiive in fact) and so this makes it that much tougher.  I have seen folks do everything right and then almost fail or have to make huge changes last minute because someone doesn't get along with someone else etc.  To see all of this, makes it so so hard to put one foot in front of the other. It feels insurmountable. I feel like, why bother to be shut down.  Even on good days when I feel I can do it, I don't want to.  I want to do other things with my time. 
I was fortunate to recently hear Imaculee Iliabigiza (sp?) speak on her Rowandan experience.  She spoke of how there are always two voices and the voice of doubt is always louder, telling her who would want to hear her story, a girl from Rowanda with barely any English, etc.  But that was the devil.  The truth is her story was on the New York Times best seller list within 2 weeks or something crazy.  So I have to get past this voice, these doubts.  I know this!  I think the worry and stress has taken years off my life!
I am tired of feeling the weight of this on my shoulders.  I am tired of confessing it (because basically I just indulge in what I want to do, not what I should).  Not that I am off drinking martinis or something-too much of a Martha for that!, really just folding laundry, watching a show with dh, running errands, or reading my son a story...but I know that I am not trusting God with this, I know that I am not making him happy or glorifying by my behavior.
That is it.  That is my dark dirty secret.  That is the weight on my shoulders and the cloud over my head.
I would much rather focus on what I like to call my honorary PhD in IF. Or my son, or my husband, or anything really. :)
I never used to be a procrastinater.  I had fire and momentum and I had passion.  But I also have a plan, a timeline, and when I get derailed from that like with IF etc, I have a terrible time getting back on track.
And now, the time is coming.  The time that we have been waiting for to ttc.  That is how most of this started-you all know how easy it is to make doctor's visits and home research a full time job.  And what have I been doing this last year?!  Where has the time gone?  Why didn't I make the most of it in terms of working on my dissertation?  I think if I had a 40 hr a week job away from the home it may have been easier.  But instead I work from home and have childcare 2 days a week (outside of the home).  It is enough to do my work, but not my dissertation.  To get that done I need to do it on my own time or pay for additional help and be away from my son more.  I hate that-the time and the money thing.  Both.  So we don't.  I think I will do at night and then I don't, or when he naps.  But other things are calling my attn-needs and wants.  I call it productive procrastination.  Good grief, you know I am an expert if I have coined a term for it!  I digress.
I need prayers, lots of them!  Prayers to put one foot in front of the other and just do it!  Even though the thought makes me nauseated just to think about.  I have rambled long enough.  Prayers please.

4 comments:

Ann - Building a Nest said...

Prayers!
I know this is scary and overwhelming and has been "hanging over your head" for a long time. I wouldn't look forward to dealing with the politics and the forgetful advisor, but you are going to feel so much better and so accomplished when you finish this. The only way I could ever get the amount of work done is to treat it like a job. From _:00 to _:00, I'm working on my dissertation proposal and it doesn't matter what household item needs to be done (of course, I don't have a little one so it's easy for me to say that).

On the productive procrastination . . . I SO understand. My DH and I both have been there. The only time my DH ever cleaned the bathroom was when he was studying for the bar exam. He said it "just needed to be done." Really? And it never needed to be done the previous 3 years. Sometimes you'd rather clean a nasty toilet than work/study. We've all been there.

You can do it! Prayers & best of luck.

Joy Beyond the Cross said...

I second Ann's comment above. The night before a mid-term exam in college I noticed the bathroom sink was draining slow and I decided that I needed to at that very moment unscrew the drain pipe and clean it out. I had never done any plumbing stuff before...but I figured it out and yes, there was a ton of gross stuff built up. After cleaning the junk out, I did feel really great and went back to studying. I think the exam went okay...I can't remember... But, I will say some prayers for you today! Good luck and God Bless!

mrsblondies said...

You can do it. I definitely understand productive procrastination. I'll be praying for you.

WheelbarrowRider said...

Thanks so much for your comments, ladies! I really felt renewed getting that off my chest and I know the prayers gave me grace. I have made some headway in the last 24 hrs. Keep it up-I sooo appreciate it!