I do not now manage my time as I would like to, due to (a) my Reeducation related disability, (b) what my assigned schedule is, and (c) what customs are in this culture.
And I tend to be flexible and relaxed, yet structured. But this culture expects almost complete flexibility, at least from women; the only way people defend successfully against that, I note from observation, is via rigidity disguised as softness (hence the term “steel magnolia”).
In any case, I keep struggling to wrest control of my time from others, something I did not use to have to do.
In this effort I keep seeing references to the work of Robert Boice.
Boice tells you how to manage your work and writing time and what he says is largely true. People discover him and it is a revelation for them.
What I do not understand is this: how did they manage to finish PhDs and become professors without having discovered what he has to say on their own? How did they manage decent grades as undergraduates?
Did they not discover even in middle school that any longer project, especially if you have several and they overlap, has to be done in small pieces and at a steady pace?
I am not trying to be mean or critical, I just really wonder, how did anyone manage to get ahead without the Boicean ideas, whether they had read Boice or not, predated him or not?
Boice’s point about “mild happiness” as the ideal state for work, of which the post just linked to reminds us, is well taken given that we are so well trained to believe we should suffer to work.
To experience this mild happiness, however, one must have a sense of the worth of one’s project and the validity of one’s interest in it. One must also feel worthy of doing it, an not feel guilty about that feeling.
One must also not feel guilty about having a deep interest in something.
My first education and also Reeducation taught me these feelings.
Since Reeducation I have had trouble attaining that state of mild happiness. I am overcome with shame and fear, for which I attempt to compensate by inducing extreme happiness by playing things like salsa records. This makes it hard to sit still enough and work methodically enough.
My student, commenting on a novel we are reading, says the character’s oscillation between shame and joy is an emotional effect of child abuse.
And I believe that the reason we are taught to affect suffering while working is that people see we are interested in our work and become both envious about this and jealous of it.
That could be why they say it is not work, and that we should be able to produce on a dime without having put put time into it (time we could have spent caring for them, or catering to them, for instance).
Perhaps my views are completely idiosyncratic.