28 February 2012

There's a pun here, I'm sure

So it's almost March, isn't it. The end is close, approaching like... well, I'm all out of metaphorical conceptions of endings: end is a metaphor vehicle in that sentence anyway.

What do I want to talk about? Writing and running, of course. Both going well, although instead of posting word counts and times from today, I'm trying to stay focused on the qualitative descriptions of them. Because word counts in theses only matter if the words are good—I've said that. I've deleted 50,000 words of what I wrote last year. Delete is the wrong word. Set aside. What I am writing now, though, is the same thing, said differently. Does that make sense?

It's all so basic on some level: taking data from the analysis, make a table, talk about the table, talk about the three things you found and how they answer your research question. Be concise, be precise. Write a bit everyday. Don't write too much. Keep making progress, but make sure the progress follows a trajectory.

Running has been about keeping my feet from hurting. That is not a metaphor. Today I missed my alarm and got up at 5:40, panicked because I overslept. Sleeping to 5:40 is oversleeping? It can't be. I got on the road before 6 though, and the pace of running soon took over, thoughts of my thesis overcoming me, then thoughts of my daughters, then wife, then conversations from last week, then conversations from five years ago. On and on while the sun came up. You forget you are running. You are just a body. In the middle of Linford Wood, I checked my time and thought that I would pick up my pace until the end. I wanted to do eight miles in less than an hour.

I stopped recording everything I was eating at Calorie Count in an attempt to identify burnout before actually burning out. This is the next step in my healthy lifestyle, to shift from obsession to healthy care of my body. The obsession phase, I realised, is important—it serves as a disturbance in the system to move towards a different stability, but disturbance is not stability. It needs to move you towards something. The disturbance of the marathon training is a great one, but I am already thinking about what I will do the week after the marathon. What is the future anyway.

Every week is a new job application, a new job to think about. When one of these works out, when I get a ticket to ride for another two years somewhere, things will change, the end will become clearer, easier to conceptualise. With plane tickets, dates of departure. Boxes full of things to ship or sell or give away. Yoko has already started this process and I will follow soon enough.
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