Wednesday, May 03, 2017

It's Not Over Till It's Over (But It's Almost Over)

Today I took the 25% cotton paper and my 200-plus pages of thesis on a flash-drive to the FedEx Office shop, trusting that tomorrow I will receive back from them four printed copies.

It has been quite a saga.

At some point a few months ago, I came across a little book on spiritual growth, written originally in the 1400's, I think. It had a good section on sloth, with the admonition to "begin, bravely and quietly with one" small task, rather than letting yourself be overcome with the sense of exhaustion and discouragment that comes when you think too much on how big the task seems. Those words helped me get through that final chapter that I struggled with so much.

At one point, I bought myself a special mug, sort of as a mascot to encourage me to keep going, keep going. The mug says someting about changing the world, which sounds grandiose, but somehow it helped me just as a reminder that it really is through the little things each of us does that the world is changed. And I have to believe that this thesis will do something, somewhere, at some point, to change someone's world.

And of course, I had to remind myself repeatedly to simplify. Sometimes that meant redoing a sentence so it wasn't so long and complex. At one point it meant just not writing an entire chapter I had hoped to include.

My counseling office became a second home for quite a lot of weekends. It's going to look strange when I finally get all the stacks of books and papers off the shelves.

My carrel at the library has been a less-frequented hangout, but an important one when I needed books, or when the heating and air conditioning at my office was too extreme.

Several months back, while working on this, I decided to do an art therapy online course. One of the assignments involved making a picture, and then (gasp! she hadn't told us this on the front end) cutting out parts of that picture and using them to create a new picture. It nearly killed me to cut up the first picture that I had so lovingly done. But I did it, and this is what I came up with next.

And that turned out to be a wonderful help as I found myself more able to make changes, cutting and rewriting, in that final chapter that took so much work. I had gotten to a point of feeling really stuck with it, and it was the art that helped me get un-stuck and moving forward again.

And now, even though I can hardly believe it, I have done all I can do. It is at the printer's, and I am simply waiting (and hoping nothing goes wrong with this part of the process!)

It has been so much a part of my life for so long now, it is strange to think of not having to think of it anymore. And of being able to focus on other parts of life. I guess I will "begin, bravely and quietly, with one" I just did in writing on my blog, something that's been neglected for several years.

Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get the impatiens planted.....

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