Spent the weekend trying to work, and even working some.
I spent last summer agonizing over my thesis for hours each day in a 95-degree apartment while construction crews rebuilt the street in front of my building from sunup to sundown while experiencing terrible asthma*. So this year is definitely an improvement.
Instead of my thesis, I'm working on research publications of my own. Instead of construction workers, I have ants swarming throughout my apartment that have suddenly taken to biting me after four years of peaceful coexistence. Instead of terrible asthma, I have much-improved asthma and really, really terrible eye allergies 24-7. (I'm thinking maybe it's actually pinkeye. Or eyeball-eating bacteria.) Have also had unbelievably terrible cabin fever due to the isolation.
Thank goodness for the improved asthma and the lack of the giant street-stomper machine!
Awoke two hours later than usual with a hangover. Headachey, groggy, nauseated, dehydrated...only--wait a minute, I haven't had so much as a glass of beer with dinner in about two weeks! All I did last night was stay up until midnight redoing the regression tables in my results section. Maybe this is that "getting old" thing I've been hearing so much about.
Today I met with the advisor I have over the summer. I told him that as much as I claim to like writing, I sure am finding this process agonizing, even when I know what I want to say. He assured me that was normal.
Still, it seems that there must be some better way. I know people typically find themselves feeling "unmotivated" and they get stuck because of that. However, I have been feeling motivated, yet I still feel stuck. (Motivation is not all it's cracked up to be.) It's something else that is making this agonizing. It feels like when you're learning the tasks at a new job, or first speaking a foreign language, or ... some other activity where you have to feel your way through algorithmically, step by step, because it's not yet intuitive.
I have had flashes of that feeling of "flow" (you remember your basic Csikszsentmihalyi, right?) while doing research and research writing; there must be people who feel like that a lot of the time. I want to be one of them!
*Me, not the construction crew. In fact, scratch that whole sentence. Replace with this one: "I spent last summer agonizing over my thesis for hours each day in a 95-degree apartment while experiencing terrible asthma as construction crews rebuilt the street in front of my building from sunup to sundown ."