Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.  Then I looked at my To Do list and realised that, yet again, I’ve fallen behind my own schedule.  The reason all my troubles seemed so far away?  I was enjoying a lovely few days away in the Cairngorms with my husband.  During our few days away, we managed to squeeze in a trip to Inverness where we had an unexpected evening at the theatre watching The Cavern Beatles. 

Now, I’ve always been a fan of The Beatles (perhaps obvious, given previous blog post titles), having spent my childhood listening to them on LPs that once belonged to my dad.  Obviously, I was never going to see them perform live, so the opportunity to see the next best thing was something I wasn’t going to turn down.  Yes, I should have been studying, but I was on holiday, so I figured it was allowed.

What I hadn’t realised, until after the show, when I was thinking about some of their songs, was that the Fab Four had clearly been working on a PhD when they were writing their songs.  Think about it:  

  • Help
  • A hard day’s night
  • Carry that weight
  • Don’t bother me
  • Eight days a week
  • Fixing a hole
  • I should have known better
  • I’m so tired
  • It’s all too much
  • Long, long, long
  • Magical mystery tour
  • Paperback writer
  • Tell me why
  • The long and winding road
  • Think for yourself

Believe me; I could go on.

One of my personal favourites, however, is Imagine.  I like the lyrics, I like the tune, and I like to imagine that one day, despite my current inability to focus on my studies for any more than about 10 minutes at a time, I might end up with a PhD. 

I once read that if we visualise ourselves doing well, graduating, being healthy (or whatever our ambition is), we are more likely to achieve it.  So, for the next week, I’m planning to visualise my literature review as complete.  I’m going to imagine that I’ve read all the articles I’ve downloaded, and I’m going to picture myself writing.  By the end of the week, surely, it’ll be finished

Ok, so I guess that’s not how it works, but I think one of the difficulties with this chapter is that I don’t imagine that I’ll ever finish it.  I know it’s a chapter that will need to be updated, changed, and probably completely rewritten before the end of the PhD.  This has been quite off-putting, and I need to change my mind-set.  I need to imagine the chapter as a complete draft, not as a complete chapter.  I need to get to the end of this draft – it’s the first draft, there’s no way it’ll be right, but it needs to be completed to let me move on. 

Somehow, I don’t think John Lennon had PhD students in mind when he was writing Imagine; his mind was more on world peace.  I’m going to ignore that, however, and I’m going to use my imagination to get me working on as full a draft chapter as I can over the coming week.  Hopefully, by the time of my next supervision, in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to hold my head high.

That’ll be the day!

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