Thursday, February 20, 2014

Delusional, Dreamer or a Delusional Dreamer?

I have to say that I am writing this in a daze.  These last few weeks have been crazy busy between doctor's appointments, therapies, me starting back to work/school at WVU part time and many other things in between.  It actullay feels like time has passed on around me as I have stood still.  So many things I have on my to-do list are still there: to do.  It's frustrating and mind boggling all at once.  In my head, when I make plans "to do" whatever, it makes perfect sense and absolutely achievable, but in reality, is it?

This issue really came to light today when I had a nice meeting with my doctoral adviser this morning.  She wanted to discuss my time line to finishing up my PhD.  (If you didn't know I have been working on it for the last 5 years in the field of geochemistry.)  When I entered into the doctoral program I was a single white female with a dog.  Five years in, I'm a married mom with two kiddos on the spectrum, three dogs and two cats.  Needless to say, my life has changed.  And with that comes the reality that maybe I can't finish this doctoral thing.  Many, many times during these life changes I have come to a cross roads with my education:  should I complete it or should I wave the white flag?  Each time I say, yep, I am going to do it!  I am doing this for sure!!  I CAN do this!  I love this stuff and I have done so much and achieved so much, how could I stop now!  My husband says do it!  I will support you!  My family the same.  Yet days, weeks, months go by and I get nothing accomplished.  So am I delusional?  Am I just dreaming of another path my life could have taken?  Will I just not let go of my life before? Or can I really do this?

Now if you are pumped up on the" if you think it you can achieve it" jargon, then yes, I can do this.  But let me shed some light on reality.  Reality is five out of seven nights a week I get less that four hours sleep.
Seven nights of the week I get woken up at least twice for some reason.  Reality is my boys never stop.  And I mean NEVER STOP MOVING.  If you are a parent of an hyper active spectrum kid, then you get this.  If you are not, give your toddler a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew, with a huge chocolate bar, and two cans of Red Bull and you got yourself a hyper active aspie.  Reality is mom is main runner in the house since I only work/school part time, and hence is the doctor/therapy/appointments driver.  Reality is I still have clothes that have been dirty since Christmas that still have yet to be washed.  In essence, I can't keep up with life, how can I possibly finish my dissertation?  I have to be delusional.

And I think I am.  Actually, I think I'm a delusional dreamer, because today I heard myself say, yes I can do this, yet again.   Do I believe it? Sort of.  Does my adviser believe it? Sort of. It's just I have been saying it for so long and time keeps moving on and yet again, I feel like I, myself am standing still. It would be a dream to finish but is it really possible now?

The truth is I set out to do this education thing in what feels like a life-time ago; when things were a little easier (actually a lot) and there were less demands on me.  Now its different.  Before I planned on going to a school where I could teach and do major research, publish awesome papers and be a "rock" star scientist.  Now, I doubt I will be able to work full time for many, many years and would have to probably choose between research or teaching.  And so as I went through my day today in my zombie like tired state, I kept thinking of this meeting in the back of my head and wondering if this is even a reality or a dream that I need to give up on.

And so I asked myself this question: What would Oprah Do?  Yep, good ole' Oprah.  Don't laugh, we are the graduating generation from the school of Oprah.  When I asked myself the Winfrey question, I pictured myself on a couch next to Oprah answering her amazing "aaa-haa" pivoting questions that would let myself come to the right decision.  She would help my find my reality.  My zen.  And when I was done with my interview I would look into the cameras and say.......

I'm an idiot.  I am a delusional idiot, but I am pushing forward.  I am going to trudge through this as un-pretty, as un-organized and as un-timely as it is....darn it, I'm doing it.  I'm not giving up until they literally kick me out of the program and say, enough's enough.  I set out to do it and I'm going to show my kiddos this mom is awesome.  I think this sadistic, merciless dream, that I have started and am determine to finish, has quickly developed into something much more meaningful than a degree.  Basically, its turned into a big ole' middle finger to the obstacles that many times made me think twice about finishing.  It will be a shout out to autism to say, take that autism.  This family will take you on and laugh at you as we continue on in life successfully.  It's a "how about that" to all those who think that I can't, won't, or am stupid for thinking that I can do it.  And it will be a major, major victory for me to do something for just good ole me.  If I never do anything with it afterwards, its okay.  I still did it.  And so delusional dreamer I may be, but its what I am sticking with for this moment.  And fingers crossed, some margaritas down the hatch, and a whole lot of hope, I will someday soon I will be writing a victory speech on here.

And maybe when I'm done, I'll make the kids call me Dr. Mom!  ;)


Anne said...

Woohoo! Go for it!!! It's encouraging to hear you go for your dreams...makes me think about how much I talk myself out of something that may be really worth it because it seems hard!

Lisa Lohr said...

Thanks Anne! I Am Going To Use This Post As My Anthem. Each Time That I'm Feeling Like I Can't Do It, I Will Just Re Read It And Hopefully It Will Push Me Forward!

Jim W said...

I think I can I think I can I think I can Ithinkican Ithinkican Ithinkican Ithinkicanithinkicanithinkican!