I am in the last 3 months of my PhD funding. Ideally I want to finish by Christmas, but this doesn't look all that promising right now. I'm bored and frustrated, job hunting and hoping beyond hope that somehow I'll find the energy and motivation to finish this thing.
I try to see life as a gift. It is an immense joy to experience life - to live, to breathe, to love, to simply be alive. I try to appreciate it and milk it for all its worth. But, my attitude for the last few weeks, maybe even months hasn't been to accept this stage of my PhD as a gift, but rather as a curse, to be got over as quickly as possible so that I can collapse at the end of it, have my viva, make my amendments (if they tell me to re-submit or do more studies, the answer will be no way on this sweet earth), get the binded copies into the library, give one to my dad and get on with life and put this whole damned charade behind me.
But this is not a way to live. This quotation from John Woolman spoke to me.
"Open your eyes to the flaming vision
of the wonder of such a life.
Begin where you are. Now.
If you slip and stumble
don't spend too much time in anguished regrets
and self-accustions but begin again
Don't grit your teeth and clench your fists and say,
"I will! I will!" Relax.
Take hands off. Submit yourself to God...
Let life be willed through you.'
So can these next few months be accepted as a gift to unwrap and celebrate? They will be tough, I have no doubt about it. But can I accept them with joy? I'll try, I will try to stop and remember what a wonder it is simply to be. Maybe its ironic that after reading some Woolman, by thoughts turn to a quotation I read in Dawkin's 'Unweaving the rainbow' which said, 'To live at all is miracle enough.' Indeed it is - even if it means the inevitable frustration and turmoil that come with finishing a PhD.
Although damn it, I still just want a holiday free of PhD worries...)