Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Packing Is Like Dissertating Is Like _________?

As I was looking at my poor front room last night, I came to a major realization: packing is like dissertating. You work hard every day hoping that you're going to be able to feel the progress, that watching the pages accumulate will make you feel like you've done something. But actually for the first two-thirds of the project, you feel like you've got so far to go that if you focus on how close you are to the end, you'll go comatose on your bed staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out how long you can lie perfectly still just as you did when you were a child. So you figure out that you need to not look at the big picture, but recount and exult in the little bits that you did each day. And you find yourself blogging your page count and how you feel like shit because you wrote only three pages, instead of the impossible six you were planning. (And even six feels like it will be forever until you're done, so you feel like super-crap and find it hard to forgive yourself that you had to watch that movie marathon, had to spend two hours on the phone, had to browse the internet or whatever.)

In all fairness, it was Witty Sardonic Friend, who I totally miss, who told me it would be this way. He said: work every day and it will feel like you're doing nothing and then all of the sudden you'll be almost done. The thing that is so annoying and wonderful about WSF is that he is often right. With my diss, I did suddenly feel like I was almost done. Though I had been slogging through for months, it felt like a surprise. Oh, that's what all this work was for. I get it now. So as I was looking around at the simply impossible amount of stuff I have everywhere, I figured out that I've just got to work at it every day and then suddenly in like a week and a half, it'll be almost done. What's more, the movers will come and hurriedly pack whatever I've left.

I wonder what else is like dissertating and packing. Maybe all big projects are like this? You work and work and work and are sure you're going to die before the project is over or at least it's going to kill you and then suddenly it's almost done. (I will say that often that last third feels like pulling teeth compared to the nice clip you realize only in retrospect that you've been going at for months. Case in point: Works Cited -- gahhhh!) Maybe all those books that people like Dr. Crazy and Maggie May have been writing? Perhaps remodeling a house, like Dr. Four Eyes?

So in the spirit of blogging wee progress, I thought I'd fill in the rest of what I did last night: I went through all the desk drawers and organized them (though I didn't bother packing the stuff away because I can just slip the drawers back into the desk after it's moved), another big "everything" kind of drawer, boxed a set of my notebooks (I have notebooks and journals and writings going back to when I was a girl -- I always imagine that I'll go through them and come to terms with Little Earnest when I am pregnant -- until then, I'm carting them around from place to place), and reorganized some stuff I'm taking with me to Adventure City.

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