Stir crazy

Today, I sat down to work on Chapter 1 of my thesis and, after staring at the computer screen for 45 minutes doing almost nothing, I thought, “I have got to get out of here!”

I do not think I am the type of person who can work from home.  After spending several hours a day in the study (our fancypants name for the second bedroom in our apt.) I have gone a little crazy.  Actually, I think it’s more the fact that I very rarely leave the apt. for any length of time.  I go to my knitting group twice a week and that’s pretty much the most time I spend outside of the apt.  I find myself running to the grocery store to pick up one item.  Or, going to Target to wander around for a half an hour or so.  Today, I knew that wasn’t going to cut it.  I went to the yarn store for awhile, then to the bookstore to buy a book, get a chai tea and read for awhile.  It felt really, really good.

I think this does not bode well for my idea that I would be a stay at home mom whenever it is that we manage to have children.  I really thought I would be just fine, but I think I have finally met my limit in terms of spending 23 hours in the same place every day for weeks on end.  It’s not even that I just didn’t want to work on my thesis (although there was probably some of that in there, too).  I tried sitting in the living room and knitting for awhile, thinking that might make me feel better and I could go back to work, but no such luck.

So, I need a new plan for writing.  A plan that includes a coffeeshop with free wi-fi.  I need access to pubmed.  I need lots of papers, too, and it will be a pain in the ass to carry them around with me, but I have to spend time outside the apt.  I haven’t worked at a coffeeshop yet because it’s hard for me to focus for more than 45 min. at a time, so I work for 45 min., take a short break, then start working again.  It seems like it will be a little harder to do that at the coffee shop (can’t get just get up and wander around for 10 minutes or so) but–and I can’t stress this enough–I have got to get out of here on a daily basis or I am going to go insane.

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5 thoughts on “Stir crazy

  1. I have to comment on your thought that maybe you won’t like being a stay-at-home mom since you are going stir-crazy in your apartment trying to write your thesis.

    I have two kids and though I’m not a stay-at-home mom, but my husband was a stay-at-home dad all last year and I can attest that it is so wrongly called “stay-at-home!” Pretty much every day they were going someone – grocery shopping, to the library, other errands, etc. etc. Also, there is so much more WORK to be done at home once you have a kid – more laundry, lots of time feeding the kid, bathing the kid, changing diapers, not to mention cleaning and cooking, that it’s a lot different feeling.

    I’m not saying you’d like being home with your kids, I know I wouldn’t like it full time, or rather, I really love my job and wouldn’t want to quit, but I do think you won’t be able to judge if you’ll like it or not just based off of a completely empty apartment with an unfinished thesis hanging over your head!

    Good luck!

  2. I think finding a coffee shop sounds like a good idea. The other alternative is a library — where I am, there are numerous branches with free wi-fi. And at the end of 45 min., it’s easy to take a break by browsing the shelves 🙂

  3. I was also going to suggest a library. Sounds like it might be the perfect place because it’s quiet, has wi-fi, and you can get up and move around a bit.

    I agree with Kate on the stay-at-home-mom thing. I think you’ll have lots to do when you have a child, and you can always go for walks with them to get out of the house.

    Sounds like you’re making good progress on your thesis in any case, so that’s great!

    I’d love to see some of your knitting projects if you’re willing to share.

  4. Sounds like a plan. You might consider adding a substantial morning walk to your routine. I think this works for a lot of people. But myself, I always like the coffee shop route. The ideal coffee shop feng shui can be tricky, so it may be worth checking out a bunch of shops until you find the one that works for you. In the right place, you ought to feel like you can stand up every once in awhile. But yeah, you don’t usually want to leave your laptop unattended for more than a few seconds.

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