Do you know about flow? That intense state of being, when you are engulfed in the present moment, totally devoted to what you are doing…immersed, to the point of no sleep (or getting up at 3 am to write), no food (I completely forget about meals, me? the foodie? yes!), no external world whatsoever, and totally loving it?!
Yes, I skipped my morning shower yesterday. And I even got to notice it, so maybe there is still some times when I switch off and leave my realm. On top of all, I am still recovering from a nasty cold, but I have found this to be a very flow-like time for me.
When I started my doctorate 6 months ago, I was initially completely lost, almost drowned in all the information out there that I just had to take in with no theoretical framework to hold it together, to contain it. And you know what this means? Just that. No. Framework.
It’s like a very complex painting that has no frame, and it is all over the wall, spreading outside of the room, leaving the premises of your house only to explode in a big blotch of colours, shapes and meanings. Quite post-modern, I may say…but only recently I became aware of this, and even of the above comparison. Because, clearly, we don’t know what we don’t know, until we go back and realize what we did not know.
Naturally, there was a havoc. All previous ideas, quite influenced by others, went to hell and I started my project from scratch.I am building it right now. Reading and writing, then doing more reading, and more and more…At times, I just want to throw it all away, as learning more about things and all the ramifications that come from a single piece of information, are utterly confusing. It creates tons of anxieties. It makes me feel so little.
I think I am beginning to see the scaffolding of things and this is what keeps me going, as I now have the shoulders of a giant to sit on, and this is very reassuring. As much as I wanted to be a pioneer I still need others’ shoulders (and other body parts presumably) to begin my own adventure from.
I guess what this all means is that I find meaning in what I do! And it is so rewarding! It is flow.
And thank goodness for husbands who take care of children in moments like these! I would have never done this without you. Period.
When you have a toddler who brings you fresh batches of viruses and Aussie bacteria, when you are coming from the other end of the world and are used to your own kind of bacteria, when you spend the day talking to people or traveling on public transportation (which in Brisbane is more like a mini holiday as I take a 1-hour ferry once a week to visit my favorite UQ campus – St Lucia), it is inevitable that you will end up with a cold!
Can’t help it. No amount of hand-washing, sick people-avoidance, and then more hand-washing will help you. Cos there is the entire predisposing factor of daily stress that gets in the way. As I said, you have a toddler, and your stress level is unmeasurable, lack of sleep – check, and all sorts of unhealthy habits start to creep in your routine…to prep you nicely for the newest batch of flu.
Guess what though? No time to lay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. So we just try to stick to a more relaxed schedule, sleep a bit more (like past 5.30 am, all the way until 6, while Sami is finding ways to entertain himself), overdo it on tea, squeezed lemon juice, tons of garlic, chillies on everything, Manuka honey, cinnamon, and fresh fruit! Oh, and don’t underestimate the healing power of good music and laughter!