Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane Again

I swore I had already written here at least once this month, but apparently I have not actually posted anything. I'm working on a post that is not ready to post just yet, but apparently I haven't come up with anything else worthwhile to report.

I'm leaving for Scotland tomorrow for a ten-day work project. I keep forgetting that I'm going on the trip. Or rather, not forgetting, since for the past three weeks I've been prepping my team for this project, but not really preparing mentally. A lot of the practical trip-planning tasks were taken care of in the spring, and I have a manager whom I've tasked with figuring out all of the little things I'd normally worry about like how we're getting from the airport to our flat and what we all need to pack in addition to the basics (she made a specific list), where exactly we need to be and when for work, and what we should do for fun. This delegating stuff is pretty nice! I'm not good at it normally, but it has been easy in this case because a) she is incredibly responsible and b) I have been feeling incredibly lazy this summer so I'm just trying to do the bare minimum possible to keep my life on the right track.
I don't have to be at the airport until 2:00 tomorrow, so I plan to pack in the morning. I DO have the handy-dandy packing list, so I am hoping packing will go quickly. If I forget anything it's not a big deal, really (provided the thing I forget is not my passport or my credit card). I'm going to Scotland, not, like, sub-Saharan Africa.
I am excited about the trip, though. It can't possibly beat the last time I was in Scotland (when I got engaged!) but I'm hoping it will be a successful trip. Plus it's only 60 degrees there right now and I can't wait to feel cool!

I have been working consistently on my dissertation lately, which feels really good. For a while I was telling myself that I just had to work on it for 15 hours a week somehow, but that wasn't working because I kept putting it off and rarely reached my 15 hours. For the past couple of weeks I've been trying something new: I look at my schedule of appointments and commitments for the week and then I schedule in 20 hours of dissertation work at specific times on my Google calendar. It doesn't always work still because things come up or take longer than planned. Today, for example, I had to finish making the syllabus for my fall class so that I can have the secretary print it while I am out of town (classes start right after I get back from Scotland), and that ended up taking far longer than expected, so I will have to do dissertation work tonight instead. Still, I am determined to stick to my schedule from now on because this thing needs to get DONE.

I can't believe it's already almost the fall again, but I'm so excited about it. I have big plans for this school year, and I feel more inspired than ever before to wrestle my dissertation into submission. The summer has been good, but working on my summer projects has been tiring. I'm looking forward to the school year starting because, oddly enough, I think it is actually going to be a little more low-key than the summer. Here's hoping, anyway. I'll at least have a consistent routine, and I won't be boiling hot all the time. Oh, and I'll have a steady paycheck again. All of those are good things.