You heard it here first…I just finished an entire thesis chapter!!

I have significant portions of a few chapters in the works, but as of literally one minute ago I typed the last sentence of Chapter 2. It’s still a very rough draft, of course, but like I said yesterday, it’s all about getting some words on the page so they can then be massaged and formed into a final product. This is really giving me a jolt of confidence–it is actually possible to make progress! It might not last long, but at least I can savor it for a brief moment. 😉

Today was my first self-imposed deadline for thesis writing. I was supposed to have two specific chapters done by today. Chapter 2 was actually one of the two I proposed, but I am not anywhere close on the other one I picked; for some reason, I ended up focusing on other chapters along the way, and I have made significant progress on one of them. I don’t know if I’ll get it completely done today, but even being close is encouraging. We’ll see how the afternoon and evening go; at the beginning of the week, I didn’t know if I would make this goal at all, but it’s at least possible as of right now.

In other news, I’ve been thinking a lot in the last week about my life outside my thesis. Yes, it’s dominating most of my bandwidth at the moment, and I guess I envisioned that it would be like this non-stop until my defense (it probably will in some form or another). I thought it was a good thing to pull back from a few of my activities in order to keep myself free for working on this when I needed to, and it probably is wise and necessary, to an extent. However, after thinking about it this week, I’ve decided that I’m going to not let this thesis business stand in the way of everything. More specifically, instead of withdrawing from people and hiding in a hole by myself, which is very easy to do, I am going to make just as much effort to hang out with people now as I usually do. Instead of declining invitations to get together to eat or play games, I’m going to purposefully continue to ask people to hang out like I normally would.  I can work other stuff around it. I will do this partly in pure defiance of the stereotypical thesis experience, but also because relationships are very important part of my personal ministry. Plus, I think it’s been bad for me to hide in my office all day while writing. Even at work, I should try to interact at least a little bit with my coworkers, especially since they are very generous to help me with my thesis, too.

So, somehow, we’ll see how I balance these two items over the coming months. I think it’ll help make it all more bearable so I don’t look back on it as a miserable time in my life where I let the thesis win over me and my life. So, if you want to come over and hang out, just let me know! 🙂