Posted by: nedlnthred | April 9, 2016

Resistance is…effective

Pushing the Wall

Photograph of sculpture at the Barber Motorpark in Alabama

I have a problem. It’s a work thing, as in “I have to do it”. Which is fine, that’s normal, I’m not special here. Except there’s also this PhD thing. Which is also work, and even also my job, but it’s not the paying job and there is where the problem comes in.


gorey just writer

Edmund Gorey, ganked from the ‘net again

I have used up the energy that got me through working 3/4 time while taking (and doing well in) 3 graduate classes a semester. Health issues and work issues and age and discouragement have drained me of anything extra, especially in the winter. I just looked up and realized that I’ve been at this PhD for ten years. Ten long years of my life, in which my balls have been busted in every way I can think of. I know my adviser still doesn’t think I’m going to finish. I know my uber-boss wants me to move on from this job. The one task is dependent upon the other. I’m working on it, but I see nothing like the kind of progress I know I must make. 350,000 words. I’m still at 3,000.

The combination of two cruises and three comp exams in 6 months = lost waistline

The combination of two cruises and three comp exams in 6 months = lost waistline


I take my frustration out on myself in many (awful) ways. I have gained 40 pounds since I began. Since my student loans have gone into repayment, money is tight, so I can’t even buy myself clothes I feel decent in.




I'm having such trouble that the dress I'd been planning for a friend's wedding was still largely pinned together at the ceremony.

I’m having such trouble that the dress I’d been planning for a friend’s wedding was still largely pinned together at the ceremony.


Sewing, which is my passion, my vocation (alongside writing) is so hobbled by my cares that it dare not show itself. I remember getting an idea and putting together a dress in a weekend. Now it takes me a year. Or more. My lovely house is a filthy, overstuffed mess. Urgent renovation projects are on hold, and I haven’t kept up the yard, either, when gardening used to be my Sunday afternoon’s delight.


couch of fuzzbutts

Mom’s sitting! Everyone pile on!


My heart, half broken from these efforts, has not been strong enough to forbid the local fur population from my house, so I’ve become a cat angel, or hoarder, as the literature calls us. Maybe I’m a witch?


Let’s not begin to address my hopes to remarry and have a family. Those are long gone, sometime during the second semester taking three courses, writing for the Oxford dictionary of art, and covered in exzema head to toe so badly that I felt like I was aflame.But those were things I wanted, wanted badly, and will never have the way I’d dreamed.

But when I come home each night, even the nights I read the scholarly stuff for a few hours, I am eager to shut my brain down with mindless television: someone else’s stories, to distract me from my own. And my gut is so adamant about being “off” during this time that I cannot bring myself to cook dinner. I look at the kitchen floor and even though I, too, am disgusted, I cannot bring myself to put off the “off” time long enough to do anything about it. Clothes lie on my floors, and carpets are thick with fur. Things I was taught to clean up, but simply cannot find the extra effort to care about now. My inner Beth just wants to stare at something, while stroking a few cats.

The fight to remain unexhausted by all the “Must-Do”s is using up all the energy I need for managing my daily routines. The resistance is winning. Must. Work. Harder.

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