Tag Archives: guilt

The desire to achieve outweighs the negatives.

28 Aug

I made the choice to do one post every few days rather than posting every day because it was getting a little bit repetitive. So here is what I have been up to and a little bit of information on my progress.

Enjoy and I hope you do not find it too repetitive or tedious.

__________________________________________________________________________________ 25th: After a restless night’s sleep I woke up at 12pm and laid in bed thinking about what to do with my day. After much pondering I sat up, turned my laptop on and uploaded some photos to Facebook (this surprisingly took me 1 hour to do; there were lots of photos and I had to add captions, dates and so on). Photos uploaded, captioned and tagged I made myself wake up by jumping into the shower. Feeling fresh and awake I proceeded to the kitchen at 1.30pm to do some university work. As I sat at the kitchen table I browsed through some web searches on research paradigms and decided to continue with the tasks set on the previous day (to read around research and to start thinking about what paradigm/methodology will underpin my research). I continued reading until 4pm when I stopped to make myself something to eat. Akin to most afternoons I made myself some toast along with a bowl of salad and a mug of mint hot chocolate. Sat at the table eating my food I became panicky and worried. Why? I honestly do not know; It is a sinking feeling that I get, it is like the books are drowning me and I cannot push myself out of them without being worried. Worried about what? The answer: misinterpreting the information, overcomplicating things and over reading. Whilst I ate I sat staring; Motor spoke to me and talked me around to thinking positively. With a more positive mind set I continued to read… I took a 15 minute break at 6pm…and by 8pm I was making myself poached egg and spaghetti rings on cheesy toast. Reflecting on the day, while I stood waiting for the egg to poach, I felt overly worked and fed up. I am running myself deep into the ground and not letting myself have a break. I cannot go one day without doing work and I think this is becoming detrimental to both my health and to my knowledge acquisition. After I had eaten I came to the conclusion that it was probably reasonable for me to do something unrelated to my research. Thus I opened my laptop and made a photo movie from the photos taken when I went to Rome with my partner; shockingly I was sat at my laptop doing this until 2am. I pulled my out-of-focused eyes away from the screen, packed my books, notepad, pens and laptop away, and proceeded to move myself to my bedroom where I laid in bed watching TV until 4am. I thought about the day I had had while I laid in bed trying to sleep and started to question my ability to do research. Becoming anxious I sat up and started to cry.

I CANNOT DO THIS; I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH; I AM RUBBISH; I DO NOT EVEN KNOW IF I AM READING THE RIGHT THING; I HAVE BEEN DOING THE SAME THING FOR AGES NOW AND I AM GETTING NO WHERE; I CANNOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING; NOTHING I HAVE DONE HAS HELPED ME SO FAR; I NEED ADVICE; I WANT TO QUIT; I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS; MY IDEA IS RUBBISH; I DO NOT KNOW WHAT RESEARCH METHODOLOGY TO USE; I DO NOT SEE A POSITIVE OUTCOME.

By 4.30pm I had stopped crying, I had wiped away my tears and I was laid back in bed with the duvet pulled over me.

I ended the day in a devastating state.

Sad!

Sad!

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26th: I was meant to wake up at 8am to make sure I wasn’t late for my hairdresser’s appointment but I slept through my alarms and work up at 10am. I jumped out of bed and rushed to the shower and by 10.15am I was stood waiting for the bus feeling a little bit annoyed with myself for not waking up when my alarms rang. I wanted to get up earlier to allow time to do some last minute holiday shopping before I went for my hair cutting (I knew that I wouldn’t have time after because I was going to meet my university friends to go for lunch and to the cinema). The bus arrived at the town centre at 10.45am giving me just over half an hour to do my shopping. After rushing around the shops I arrived at the hairdressers at 11.15am (I managed to buy everything on my shopping list, despite the groceries)…45 minutes passed and by 12pm I was speedily making my way to Morrison’s to purchase some groceries. Groceries purchased I swiftly went to the train station, caught the train and made the journey to the cinema. As I stood outside the cinema, waiting for my friends to arrive, an overpowering feeling of guilt was present because I was thinking about the fact that I was going to take most of the day off from doing any university work. I told myself to stop being silly and to enjoy spending some time with my friends. By 5.30pm my friends and I had had some lunch and watched the film ‘the expendables 3’. It was pleasant to have had some time away from the realms of university work, and I had thoroughly enjoyed myself, but by the time I arrived home at 7pm I was sat at the kitchen table doing some university work. Yes, you guessed it, I cannot allow myself to have a day off from doing any work, especially when I am going on holiday for two weeks at the end of the week. 2 hours passed by and I stopped reading at 9pm to make myself something to eat. I felt sick and didn’t want to eat anything but I knew I had to, so I had some salad, toast and a cup of tea, followed by a bowl of fruit. From 10pm onwards I did some reading at a leisurely pace and at midnight I made the move to my bedroom to watch TV. Despite being tired and nauseated I could not get to sleep; I tossed and turned in my bed from 1am for what seemed like hours. At 2am I gave in to the restlessness I sat myself up, grabbed some books and proceeded to read random chapters. I finally put an end to the day at 5am when I drifted off to sleep whilst reading.

Books, Books, Books...

Books, Books, Books…

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27th: My alarm rang at 8.30am; I pressed the snooze button and fell back to sleep for another hour and half. Instead of my usual ‘shower and then get dressed’ routine I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, had a quick wash, got dressed and by 10.15am I was on the bus to town. I had to go to town again to do some more shopping, seen as I forgot to buy some yoghurts, and to take some books back to university; I also had to go back to the hairdressers because she did not cut my fringe to how I like it. After returning the books and purchasing an A3 notepad, an expandable file thing and some yoghurts I made my way to the hairdressers; as I entered the building to the hairdressers I became nervous about going in and having to say that I was not 100% happy with how she had cut it. I even considered turning around but deep down I knew that I would have regretted that decision. There was no need for me to be nervous because she was happy to sort it out for me. Fringe sorted I headed home at about midday. Traffic, Traffic, Traffic… the bus journey felt like a lifetime but at least I had some entertainment in the form of my radio and a newspaper. I arrived home at 1pm and jumped into the shower to wash my hair before doing any university work. The clock read 2pm when I was in the kitchen making myself some lunch (you guessed it… I followed my usual lunch ritual by making some toast, salad and a hot chocolate) and by 2.30pm, after initial worry, I had started doing some university work with the hope that I would do the task set for the day in a competent, successful and joyful manner.

Task for the day: to create a mind map outlining my research methodology identifying sections such as the paradigm, research design, methods and data collection and analysis.

….time passed extremely quickly; I was working happily and before I knew it, it was 6pm. Pens down and kettle on I stood at the kitchen table looking down at the work I had done so far; it did not look like I had done much work but I felt pleased with it regardless (my research paradigm and design had been identified, and I remember thinking to myself ‘I finally understand what ontology and epistemology is; this mind map is giving my research a direction… Fingers crossed it is all ok’).

mind map

Mind Map progress (yes I own a lot of pens)

After having a mug of tea and another slice of toast I continued with the mind map in high spirits and in an extremely motivated manner.

8pm called for me to stop working and I proceeded to make myself my evening meal. After deliberating what to cook I concluded on having a baguette with cheese and a salad (it was a huge salad with mixed lettuce leafs, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, raw beetroot, carrot, butternut squash and lots of cheese). As I ate I reflected on the work that I had done and I am pleased to tell you that all my thoughts were positive. I had managed to complete the basic mind map and I was pleasantly surprised with how helpful it was to do.

I made the choice to do some reading on research ethics and on doing a research proposal when I had finished my evening meal (the proposal, as well as the initial search of the literature, is the next thing I have to start to do). Reading was suspended at 11.30pm and by midnight I was upstairs watching TV and painting my nails. 2 hours later I attempted to sleep but failed. I do not know what is wrong with me as of late; I cannot sleep when I try to and my mind never seems to switch of from the university work. I opened a book and read for an hour until I felt my eyes closing.

I ended the day feeling content: I had managed to complete the task set and I had given some form of direction to my research methodology.

Mind Map Complete (with some spaces for additional information)

Mind Map Complete (with some spaces for additional information)

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Today: I’m not going to bore you with my usual morning routine; to sum up I woke up at 11am, got a shower and so on and then proceeded with the day’s tasks. With all the tasks that needed to be finalised before I go on holiday completed I decided to take it easy by setting myself the following tasks: Task 1, clean my bedroom and change my bedding; Task 2, pack everything that I can for my holiday; Task 3, iron any clothes that need ironing; and Task 4, continue to read about ‘doing research’ looking particularly at sampling and ethics. With the first three tasks finished by 3pm, I took myself to the kitchen to do some university work; before I began I had to make myself some food and as I did so I felt hazy and lethargic, and was not really feeling in the mood to do any work. Surprisingly by the time I had finished my food I was more motivated; I reminded myself that I had done the tasks that needed doing before I go on holiday and so there was no need to stress or worry about the work I did, or did not get done by the end of the day. I read at a leisurely pace until 8pm (stopping at 6pm to have a hot chocolate and a slice of toast, and to finish packing for my holiday). After a two-hour break I continued to do some reading until I made the choice to go up to my bedroom to watch a film at 11pm.

Today was not very productive on the university work front and I do not feel like I have used my last day before I go on holiday wisely. I even attempted to find some more secondary data relating to my research topic but that was not very successful and I was left feeling downbeat for a short period of time.

Green=done=progress!

Green=done=progress!

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As you can see I have made progress and managed to complete all the tasks that I had set to do before I go on holiday. I have made myself a mind map for my research methodology and I have finally concluded on the paradigm that will underpin my research (an Interpretive/constructivist epistemological paradigm).

My emotions have been up and down, I have had moments of panic, I have questioned by ability and I have even wanted to give up. But I have overcome the negatives and I have finished the week feeling content and ready for the next stages of my dissertation journey. The desire to achieve outweighs the negatives.

I am likely to have strong feelings of guilt while I am on holiday (due to the fact that I will not be doing any university work) but I will try my best to manage with this; I know deep down that I do need to have this break before I go back to university, and you never know it might revitalise me and make me even more determined and motivated.

I will continue with my blog when I get back from my holiday but for now Thank you for reading

All packed and ready to go on holiday...EXCITED!

All packed and ready to go on holiday…EXCITED!

The overwhelming feeling of guilt fails to let me have a complete day free from university work.

24 Aug

After a restless night I wake up at 12pm (late I know but I didn’t actually get to sleep until 5am). I lie in bed gazing up at the roof thinking about the previous two days and the fact that I have not really done any work (this is not necessarily a bad thing because I cannot be doing university work all of the time. For some reason though I feel guilty when I have a day not doing any work. I shouldn’t but I do). An hour passes by and at quarter past one I decide that it is time to get myself up and out of bed. I push the duvet away from me, force myself to get out of bed and scrape my tired body to the bathroom. Leaning on the wall while I wait for the shower to warm up I start to consider what it is I should do today. I set myself 2 main tasks: the first, similar to what I have set myself over the past week, is to read around research methodology, paradigms, ethics and validity/reliability; the second is to decide on what paradigm/ framework will underpin my research.

Tasks set I proceed to take a shower and as I do so I try to wake myself up by humming and jigging about. I finish in the shower and follow by getting dressed into something comfortable. Ten minutes later: I have made the move to the kitchen and I am working on a task, unrelated to my university work, for my partner which involves editing images.

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A bit about the previous two days:

Day 1: Before going to my partner’s house I went into university to do some reading. Staying for 1 hour I managed to read and make notes on generalizability and transferability. Once at my partner’s house I continued to do some university work but I took it at a very steady pace; I did a few more hours of reading and I searched the web for more sources on ‘doing research’ (I purchased a book titled ‘How to do your research project’ by Gary Thomas (it seems quite good)). Throughout the day my emotions were up and down like a rollercoaster I was not in a great mood and I felt very overwhelmed by the whole dissertation task; my thoughts were very much negative and motivation lacked. I proceeded to procrastinate from about 6pm until tea and then again after tea. This made me feel even worse because I was wasting valuable time doing absolutely nothing when I could have been trying to get my head around some of the confusing aspects of research.

Day 2: I was ill and didn’t feel like doing anything at all so I spent the day with my partner planning out the things we will do when we go on holiday (I also helped him with some of his work tasks (he works from home)). I ended the day back at home feeling haunted by the fact that I had not done any university work and I could not resist having a read over one of the chapters in my new ‘How to do your research project’ book that arrived earlier in the day. So, the day was almost work free but my guilt was too overpowering and I had to do some reading before I went to bed (I need to learn to not feel guilty when I have had some time away from the work; I cannot expect myself to do it nearly all day every day).

My new book.

My new book.

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At 3.30pm I stop to go and dye my hair. Hair dye on I walk to the kitchen to make myself something to eat. I pop a couple of slices of bread into the toaster, flick the kettle on and chop up some salad stuff. Toast, salad and tea eaten/drank it is time to go and wash this hair dye of my hair…

Hair dyed, washed and dried I make the move back to the kitchen table to make a start on the tasks set earlier.

I pull my head out of the book that I am reading and look at the clock…it reads 8pm. This shocks me as I have, in my opinion, not done much in the vast amount of time that I have been reading and note making. Surely I can be happy with what I have done though, can I not? This is a question I ask myself but I do not give myself a rational response, I become anxious and stressed. I have read a couple of differing chapters from one book titled ‘Research methodology, a step-by-step guide for beginners’… I tell myself that this is not substantial. Motor interrupts and makes me aware that I should be happy; I have made notes on varying aspects of research and this will all come in use when I start to do my research proposal and dissertation. I sigh a breath of relief and give myself a virtual slap into reality; it is better to read a smaller amount and understand it then it is to read a lot and end the day confused, isn’t it?

I pull myself away from the table at 8.15pm to make myself some food. Exploring the fridge and the cupboards I decide to make myself vegetables in a stir-fry sauce with chicken. As I prepare the swede I consider how I can achieve the tasks I set myself today and the conclusion I come up with is: ensuring successful completion of both task is impossible so the best solution is to continue with them tomorrow. I will continue with task one after I have eaten and hopefully it will be near completion when I go to bed. Solution formed I continue with making my evening meal.

10pm- Food eaten, plates cleaned and a cup of tea made I take myself to the living room to continue with task one.

A couple of chapters read I stop at 11.30pm. I am tired and I do not feel very well but I have had a good day of reading. I will go to bed satisfied with the progress I am making.

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A lot of my time is being spent reading around research methods/methodology but I am hoping it will be worth it; it will help me with choosing my research method(s)/ methodology and ultimately with the whole dissertation process.

Tomorrow should see the completion of the tasks that I set myself today, or at least the completion of task one. Task two could take me some time because I really want to be positive with the paradigm/ framework that will underpin my research.

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At 11.45 I make the move up to my bedroom; before I go to sleep I am going to do some more image editing (for my partner) and then I might watch a film to help take my mind of university work.

I go to bed hoping for a successful, productive and stress free day tomorrow. Oh and fingers crossed I motivate myself to get out of bed earlier!

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I do not know if I am going to continue to post everyday because all my posts seem repetitive and I am sure this is getting annoying for my readers. What do you think? Would you, my readers, like me to continue to post daily (when I can) or would you like less regular and repetitive posts telling you about my progress?
Comments are warmly welcomed.
Thank you for reading.