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Holidays: A Great Time to Catch Up?
User: Admin
Date: 12/29/2011 3:36 pm
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I urge you to stay away from thinking this way. You are in the degree process which is a long slow process. Your professors are off as well as the people running the college.  You need to walk away from your paper even if you are behind. In fact, hide the work so you do not see it every time you walk past. Others have told me they tossed a bed sheet over the desk and did not go near it for the duration of the holiday. Just the sight of the study materials is aversive and can cause stress and worry. A holiday is a time to relax, enjoy loved ones and recharge.

You get your strength from your relationships so this is a time to renew them.  So husbands, go to that “girl movie” with your wife and take her out for “comfort” food afterward. I am talking about burgers, fries and milk shakes.  Throw in plenty of chocolate and TiVo a few of the Hallmark channel movies, some romantic westerns or contemporary movies with a struggle and a happy ending. Have fun, share some intimacy and sprinkle in some flowers and small gifts. Act like you are dating again, only this time do a better job of it.

For the wives, take your husband to a police, science fiction or zombie movie (even if it is not your kind of movie). Eat the comfort food noted above and TiVo the same Hallmark channel movies. I am a guy and I hated them at first but they grow on you and they are one hell of a husband trainer. I really enjoy them now and each week we have an at home date night and watch one with buttery popcorn and later some wine in front of the fireplace.  Share some intimacy and quiet time with no other distractions.

If you are single, sometimes holidays can make you feel even more alone. Plug in the same ideas as mentioned above with friends, family or significant others. Remember, if you have been ignoring family, spouses, or friends they may not be able to shift gears as quickly as you might believe. So go slow, be supportive, and give them a little time to adjust to you being more involved again.

For many of you, if you are behind and you are mentally and physically exhausted, no quality work will be done over the holidays. If you recharge then you can hit it hard once the holidays are over. Your quality will be higher and you will have added to your stored energy that will get you to the next holiday.  You have to have joy and energy as you move forward. If you make every day the same as the last it gets dreary and you forget the excitement of the degree and what you want to get from earning it. You will lose the big picture and one day you may wake up and wonder why you are doing this? I mean you will really wonder “Why the hell am I doing this to myself?” It is like stepping into quicksand and the more you struggle with it the deeper you sink into confusion and depression. Let’s avoid this whole situation.

You have to have something to look forward to and holidays can be one of those glorious things on your horizon.  But the holidays must be a time of fun, adventure and release.  They must be full of exciting things, long hours of sleep and then wearing your pajamas all day and drinking expensive coffee or hot chocolate. If you are single this goes double for you.  Reconnect with friends and pamper yourself.

You want to have so much fun that two things will happen. First you will dread the day your holidays end and you will be angry it is time to get back to work. This is a good sign you had some fun! Second you will look at the calendar and wistfully dream of the next holiday. That also is a good sign! You have something to look forward to, a point of rest or an oasis ahead. It will add to your motivation and it will be one more thing to carry you forward.

The Poindexters will have a flow chart of jobs to be done over the holidays each with an attached completion time. This will probably be color coded and referenced. As you march towards your degree it is like walking through a desert. You will see the bleached bones of these super smart Poindexters all over the desert trail. Each will have this very large color coded project notebook in the sand next to their bones. The truth is that many of them will burn out long before the end is reached like the guy in the western movie that drinks all his water too quickly.

This advice is not right for everyone but I give it as something to think about and to compare to your present plans.  Reconnect with loved ones/friends and engage in interesting things over your holiday. Schedule mini holidays a couple of months out and take a four day vacation.  Use the hot potato technique and stay strong my friends!

My best to you,

Dr. Parker