Jesus has risen from the grave! And so have I!
Yes, this has always been true in the spiritual sense, but “resurrection” has meant for more me this year. As many of you know, I’ve been toiling away at my dissertation for the past four years, and more intensely this past year, and even more intensely these past few months. In January I submitted what I thought was my final draft—but apparently it was way short of what it needed to be. So since then I’ve been spending every extra hour in my office and every minute of the day focused on writing the dissertation.
I’m thrilled to share that on Holy Wednesday I offically submitted the dissertation. It was strange waking up on Holy Thursday and realizing there wasn’t anything else I could do about it. By the time Easter came around, I felt like I was alive again.
This process has caused me to strip away things in my life, one by one. It began with things I enjoyed but didn’t need to do (like this blog). Then it moved to things that were more important but not immediate, like working out. I cut down social time with friends until I barely saw anyone these past few months. With the exception of watching the new Star Wars a couple of times I essentially stopped going to movies or watching TV, and any book I read had to do with my studies. By the end, even time with family had to be cut back—a painful choice! But I was comforted in knowing that 1) I was doing this for my family (keeping my job, promotion, etc.) and 2) it was only temporary (though it didn’t feel that way!).
The one thing I clung to and that got me through was prayer. “Seek first the Kingdom of God” was my mantra, especially as I was continually tempted to ditch Mass or prayer time to squeeze in a few more moments to finish a thought or read another source. I was certainly not perfect in that focus but that, above all, is what got me through.
Now that the dissertation is behind me, I feel like I can breathe again. I’m spending more time with my kids. I’m hanging out with friends (the first Geek Night of 2016 was last night). Started running (though my brain thinks I can run farther than my body agrees with, at least for now). I’m catching up on all the emails I’ve not been answering these past months (sorry if I owe you one). And I’m watching Daredevil on Netflix with my boys without feeling guilty about not studying. Life is good!
Thank you for all your prayers during this time. I’ve got one more hurdle: I’m defending the dissertation in England on July 2nd. However, things are out of my hands now. Not that they ever were! That’s something I’ve learned through all of this.
I’m alive again! Hallelujah!