Sunday, August 9, 2009


I remember the first few years of grad school. The coursework deadlines were absolute. Every depended on your doing well in these classes: reputation amongst faculty, funding, assistantships. I was focused. Very focused. Nothing else mattered when I had a deadline. The paper or project was always the only thing in my line of sight.

I haven't had that feeling in a long time, which has been a good thing. That feeling led me to become quite compulsive about doing well. Or was it my compulsive drive to achieve that gave me the focus? In any case, it often led to stress, because I am a married man with kids, and they needed my attention more than I could offer. The tug-o-war between work and family led to great tension within me.

Life has been more balanced of late, especially after I became a doctoral candidate. No deadlines except my own. And so, I have been able to give more time to family. Problem is, as I am more relaxed, I also become lackadaisical about my work. I spend less time working, and when I do work, it is not as focused.

Tonight, it hit me that I needed to recapture that focus.

And I did. With a simple visioning exercise.

I thought back to my first three years in this program, and immediately, the focus came back like a sharp arrow drawn in an instant reflex.


Two more weeks. If I can keep my focus like this, I should have no trouble answering 20 questions in 20 minutes in front of my licensing board.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi Lonely!

I know just how you feel in this post. To focus single-mindedly on success is exhilarating; you know, in this world, how to juggle all the tools to help you reach that goal, and doing it successfully is very satisfying.

Then you have the rush of laughter and bonding with family. There is only one main ingredient to add to the existing love of family to find success--time!

I am so glad you have been able to spend more time with family. There is nothing more important! Even when you have a short-term goal you need to meet, remember how important time is to family. I think you can do both very successfully. It is awesome that you can conjure up the mind-set of the "coursework-you" and put on that mantle again, but underneath you are still a dad and a husband.

Good for you for finding a balance between academia and family!

I'm doing good on my end--no posts for a while since I officially graduated with my master's August 28th! I am on "vacation" from the blog and from deep thought till I get the bond copies (October).