Vacation and Post-Dissertation Exhaustion

I am taking a vacation next week, a sort of spur-of-the-moment decision for me. I finished the dissertation, looked at my calendar, and realized that if I don't take a vacation now that I won't get a chance to until we officially are off for our winter break here at the university. So, I am taking my week off starting today at lunch--and I am so ready for it.

I haven't had a vacation--a real one in which I did absolutely nothing school related--in about ten years. I mean, I have gone places and enjoyed myself, taken a day here or there, but always in the back of my mind were thoughts about reading lists, comps, papers, dissertation, and defenses. It is a strange sort of existence, because the anxiety of a never-ending to-do list colors your entire life for a really long time when you are in graduate school.

At this point, I am not sad about the dissertation being completed. Many of you would ask, "Why on earth would you be?" Well, some people are. There can be a huge let down after the entire process is complete. I think I am in a different situation than my other friends and colleagues going through this, because I have a full-time job and other writing/research projects in the background of all of this PhD mania. I am just relieved--and tired.

The first thing I noticed after turning everything over to my committee (as in the document they will  grill me on during my defense) was that I lost all energy for several days. It was as if my body realized that the need to keep going non-stop was no longer necessary. (Side note: as I type this, I realize how much passive voice I am using...I don't care.) I slept for over 20 hours last weekend. I couldn't do anything. I kind of feel the same right now, so I think that there will be a lot of vegging out in my future over the next week.

But I am also looking forward to reading--anything I want, for a change! Like I said, I do have some writing projects in the background (an essay due to a publisher in January...a speech to give in March....etc), but I am giving myself permission to not think about those things over the next week.

I also decided that I will attempt to update this blog each day. Not that I will have anything exciting to say, but I need to get back into the habit! So, until next time, enjoy some relaxation with my blessings.  :)


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