So many deadlines, so much to do…

My proposal defense is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 23rd. I’m not really too worried, but it concerns me that I will be out of town at a big conference the week before that. Speaking of conferences, I need get my analysis and presentation finished in the next week or so, but I’m missing one crucial bit of data (my advisor has to run the data for various reasons) and I won’t get it until at least early next week. I feel like I’m cutting it awfully close, and I hate this feeling. I also have two more proposals to write before May 1; one for a symposium my department is doing and the other for a conference in October.

After the chaos of this semester ends, it only gets worse. I basically need to have done all of my analysis for my diss data by about mid-June because I need to be able to discuss it at the big conference in July.  I also have to put in three different requests for funding with three different entities in hopes that I can have most (or maybe even all) of the trip paid for.

This is all in addition to a million different social and work obligations I have coming up as well. I’m not nearly as social as I’d like to be, but at the same time I can’t just shut the world out. Taking breaks really enhances one’s productivity, and so I try to make the most of them. We hosted some people for dinner last night, a mix of old and new friends. Upon inviting them to dinner, the new friends told us that they were on a special detox diet, and we said, “Hey, no problem.” When we got the list of verboten items, I nearly fell out of my chair. I won’t list them all, but the ones that stuck out for me were no grains, legumes, potatoes, or onions. I think of myself as a decent vegetarian/vegan chef, but this took things to a whole other level. Everything turned out great, but it was a challenge (albeit a fun one).

I’m also trying to be healthier overall. I’ve been going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, avoiding junk food, and eating more reasonable portions of healthier foods. There have been some small improvements in my body, and it’s really motivating me to stick with it. I’m not on any kind of diet or anything, I’m just limiting high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and favoring lower-calorie, healthy foods. These past few weeks, I’ve felt much healthier and more energetic, and I hope that comes across in my appearance, too. I’d like to lose about 5-10 lbs, but I’m doing it very gradually in order to make my habits sustainable. Even if it takes me a year, I’m OK with that.

It’s rough for me right now, but if it means contributing to the field, making a name for myself, and ultimately getting a job, then it’s all worth it.