Planning a wedding - and writing a blog - are not my only creative projects right now. I'm supposed to be finishing my PhD dissertation, in environmental policy and management (hence the 'green' theme of my wedding). It's shockingly easy to avoid coding interviews and writing chapters by perusing wedding websites and shopping for a dress!
When preparing to start writing the dissertation, I read a book on the topic that suggested minimizing distractions in one's life during the dissertation year. This is the time to turn down unwanted social obligations, it said. The key piece of advice I remember from that book was not to move houses during the diss year.
Well, Mr. Barefoot and I moved in together right before Christmas, in our newly purchased house. Combining two households turned out to be a bit of a challenge, as both of us have lots of stuff -- kitchen stuff, outdoor gear, books, souvenirs from travels, etc. We're still settling in, and the newness of the place makes it hard for me to focus sometimes (make that: often).
Another good piece of advice I remember from my first days in my graduate program came from another student, several years ahead of me, who was trying to graduate. "Don't try to finish your dissertation and plan your wedding at the same time," she said, as she struggled with the printer and looked totally frazzled. The image of her standing there, waiting for her huge document to print is seared in my brain.
Who knew that shred of advice would be so important someday?
But what to do? One can't put one's life on hold indefinitely, and there's never a perfect time for these big life transitions, much as we try to plan them.
Now, I'll try to keep track of the third piece of advice I received, again from another grad student: Don't get pregnant while you're finishing your dissertation! Use birth control!