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I could use some advice

I'm not managing to get anything else done today, and I have the time, so I think I might ask you guys for your patience for a LJ post of my own.

You guys all know what Charlie and I have gone through so that we could be together - all of the years of separation, the traveling, etc. I'm so glad that I got the opportunity I did to move out here, and I'm so glad that we don't have to fight as much to spend time with each other anymore. I know I have a lot to be grateful for.

But.... things aren't going as well as I had hoped with all the other things I'm supposed to be doing. I just finished my coursework and my exams in May, and everybody thought it was going to be a quick turnaround getting my diss proposal passed and getting started on research. But it's just not happening. I have a draft of my proposal, but it's not a great one, and I just can't seem to get myself motivated when I'm sitting here alone. Pretty much ever since I moved here, I've been sitting in front of my computer procrastinating, except for the one week when I went back to NJ and actually wrote this proposal draft while riding back and forth on the train to NYC. I feel like the part of me that does this work is missing, and I can't get it back.

I think part of the problem is that I'm incredibly lonely. Charlie works nights, one week on and one week off, and on weeks that he works, he is asleep all day, and then he goes to practice, and then I see him for about an hour and a half while we eat dinner, and then he goes to work. I have no friends out here really, and certainly no one who challenges me and gets my brain going the way my friends at school always did. Also, I'm realizing that I am really bad at the housewife thing - I never want to be a SAHM.

I could go on and on about lots of other things that are bothering me, including the fact that I am not the size I would like to be, and also the high likelihood that I'm going to have to go to DC next year and I'm not sure whether Charlie will be ready to come with me, but I don't want to make this too long and pathetic.

I know I need to do something to recharge. I've made my choice to come here, and I know I made the right choice with the information that I had in May, so I don't regret it, but I have to find some way to make this work so that I can get going on my dissertation. At this point, I don't know what that is, but I'm hoping that just talking about it will help. You guys are the closest thing I have to a support group at this point.

Thanks for listening.
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Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?

Re: I could use some advice

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    ...Vacation?

    If that's a viable option, you should do it.  Really.

    I wish I had more concrete and realistic advice - you poor thing :( All I can think of really is to just stick with it.  Your life won't always be like this, so you just gotta keep plugging away.  Keep your goals in sight - you will reach them.

    Also - lean on Charlie.  I know it's tough because your schedules are so out of whack, but even though you don't have a lot of close friends around to lend an ear - he is there.  And he's your number one.

    I wish I could help more!  *hugs*
    panther
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    I don't really have any advice, but I will offer up some hugs. ::hugs::
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    <3

    I don't have any advice, but I do have plenty of e-hugs. /hug
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    I'm sorry you're going through all of that. I don't know your whole story, but it sounds like you're going through a lot of changes which can be hard (to put it lightly). Being lonely is a horrible feeling and trust me - that will pass as you make new connections. In the meantime, here is a hug!!

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    I think maybe you need to find a new hobby. Or rekindle an old hobby with a group of women in the area. It can be hard to break into a group, but it can be so worth it. I find that the busier I am, the easier it is for me to concentrate on the task at hand. For example, if you knew you had a social obligation later in the day and needed to get a certain goal met on your dissertation, you would be more motivated to meet that goal. Now, your goals are just somewhere out there, and there is no incentive not to procrastinate, because you don't have any other activity waiting for you.

    I know that is a rambling mess, but I hope some of it made sense . 
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    I'm sorry you're lonely, I get lonely a lot too with H's schedule. What does Charlie practice? Maybe you could go with him. If it's a sport of some kind, there may be other wives, girlfriends, friends, whatever, at the field for you to hang out with and befriend.

    As for the motivation, I sometimes have a lot of trouble getting motivated to work on my books. I've found that the best way for me to get back into it is to reread what I wrote, then envision exactly where I want it to go. It helps me get excited about it again.
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    Sarah - Sorry to hear you're feeling so lonely. Moving is tough. My sister moved to PA after she got married and it's hard being 2-3 hrs away from family for her, especially now that she has kids and doesn't have my mom available as she would be if my sis lived closer. She was really lonely at first not having a job for the first school year, no friends, family etc. But she did make friends, found a job and has adjusted pretty well. She still gets home sick from time to time, and sometimes wishes we were all closer, but they refuse to move back to NJ.

    As far as working on your diss. goes I would suggest try leaving the house. Take your laptop and go to the public library, a coffee shop, wherever. Perhaps you'll be more focused there. I know I get terribly distracted when I try to work from home. And put yourself on a schedule as if it's your job. Dedicate hours to research, writing, editing, breaks etc and try to stick to it. I know it can be very challenging as it's a daunting undertaking to write a diss, but you can do it!

    Oh and you don't need to be a housewife, if you're working on a diss. sounds like you may have bigger plans Smile

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    Sarah- I don't know if I can help with the job part of all this. I just wanted to commiserate with you. I've been there. When I moved 3 hours away from my entire family including my son. And it's just DH and myself. It takes a lot of adjustment. I didn't have a job when I moved up (part of the reason I moved when I did), but I was depressed and just wanted to sleep. I'm just now after 2 years feeling like I've found my nitch...KWIM?
    And now he's talking about moving again.....Argh! I just want to let you know you are not alone. And I know there are plenty of others who are right there with you. Just know we're here for you. {{ hugs}}
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    I can't imagine what you are going through. The stress of a new city, school, not knowing anyone. I can't relate as I have lived in the same place for my whole life, but I can imagine the fear. Like AATB mentioned, is there anyway you can sneak away for a while? On one of Chalie's weeks off maybe?

    It is true that pit bulls grab and hold on. But what they most
    often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart

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    Take a class, any class. It will get you out of the house, stimulate your brain and you'll meet people.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_could-use-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:0d48b92d-c787-486f-bd3d-7a27b163ff7cPost:16816f36-4d51-4b5e-acb2-c4becd405999">Re: I could use some advice</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks guys, for all the hugs and advice. A little backstory for the new-timers: Charlie and I have been together for almost five years, engaged for more than two, and until September we were LDR, him living in Milwaukee and me in Delaware. We were apart because he speedskates and I'm trying to get my Ph.D. in Art History, but this year some no-strings-attached funding allowed me to come out here. So that's where we are now. It's comforting for me to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.
    Posted by sarah0725[/QUOTE]

    PM me if you feel like talking Sarah. I lived in the same place for 42 years. And we did LDR for 5 years too, I know you dream of being together and not having to deal with so much travel, and time apart.
    But once you do get there it is a real shock to the system. I cried for 2 weeks straight. I know Sookie is having the same issues with moving here recently, and I think if Missy were here she'd tell you the same. You are NOT alone.
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    To answer a bit of J&K and rhonwyn:

    I've had kind of a struggle-bus relationship with the gym lately, mainly because I've been trying to lose weight for a long time but nothing has been happening. I also tend to feel guilty when I go because I feel like I should be home working. But I see your point. I think at this point anything would be better than what I'm doing, which is sitting in front of my computer in my pajamas beating myself up.

    And as for what got me motivated before, I think it was being in that academic environment. I could always go and talk to my advisor or sit in on a seminar or have coffee with a friend and talk about my project, and then go home with lots of new ideas. I don't really have that here, so I am trying to figure out how to get that energy some other way.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    I don't have any advice but I'm really sorry you're having such a rough time of it right now, Sarah.  It will get better, and I hope it does soon.  Hugs.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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    I only moved from the city of Chicago to western 'burbs, but sometimes it feels like I moved states away.  I cannot imagine how you feel actually being states away Sarah.  I can only agree with the others - put yourself out there by joining a group, a gym, a hobby, or taking a park district class.  I'm pretty introverted except at work so I have really not made any friends in this area.  H and I socialize alot with other couples (who are his friends since he grew up here), but I find that I cannot seem to take the first step to socialize with the wives and girlfriends on my own.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_could-use-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0d48b92d-c787-486f-bd3d-7a27b163ff7cPost:242b8be3-6a89-45bc-95c0-aca66dbf85ad">Re: I could use some advice</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: I could use some advice : PM me if you feel like talking Sarah. I lived in the same place for 42 years. And we did LDR for 5 years too, I know you dream of being together and not having to deal with so much travel, and time apart. But once you do get there it is a real shock to the system. I cried for 2 weeks straight. I know Sookie is having the same issues with moving here recently, and I think if Missy were here she'd tell you the same. You are NOT alone.
    Posted by kd.joseph[/QUOTE]

    Thank you thank you thank you. You know, so many times I end up feeling guilty, because for years all I did was cry about how I wanted to be here, and now that I'm here I'm dying to go back. And I don't want to lay too much of that on Charlie, because it feels unfair to him.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    Get outside.  Find a coffee house or yoga class that is nearby?  Maybe just getting out and forgetting about it for a bit and all the pressure you are under will help?

    Sorry just suggestions.  Hang in there!  HUGS!
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    Sorry you're feeling so stressed.  LIke some of the PP's suggested maybe a new hobby or fun class just to get your mind off things.  I had a friend teach me to knit about 2 years ago. It's wonderful and stress relieving.


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    You guys are all right.

    I think step one is getting out of the house. I've been trying to stick around here because I actually have an awesome office setup here and everything, but being here is just making it way easier for me to procrastinate. So that may be what I have to tackle first.

    I also really like the idea of trying to come up with more of a schedule - ever since adopting the kitties from the humane society I've been thinking that I'd like to give back to them a bit for saving my girls. So... this is what I need to do.

    I feel a lot better after putting it all into words. Thanks, everybody, for getting through all that.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    Sarah-  I know you don't know me, but I've done the dissertation/procrastination/frustration spiral and it stunk so badly I feel required to offer up some support.  So here's my advice (take it or leave it). 
    1. It's hard.   No matter the personal situation.  No matter the content.  It just sucks.  Nobody who does anything worthwhile gets through it easily.  So there- it's going to be redonkulously painful- it's not you.
    2.When I got in the procrastination/frustration funk, I took a day or two off and tried my best to not feel guilty about it.  Guilt is your enemy.  You can't think all the time.  So let it be ok not to.
    3.Alternative:  Tell yourself "Today I'm going to work for one hour- no internet, no tv, just work", then when you finish the rest of the day is yours.  Often (but not always) the hour turns into a half or even whole day of productivity.  I think it's because you can feel proud about anything more than the hour instead of guilty about anything less than 12 hours.
    4. Make tiny achievable goals.  Something you can cross off.  I seriously made lists with "Format Title Page" or "Find a good funny picture to represent x" so that something would be DONE each day.
    4. To get your brain working you don't necessarily have to think about your subject.  Maybe it's better not to.  What about watching a fun random free university lecture on physics?  Or the biological evolution of sexuality?  Or go have a political debate online.
    5. Like others have said find *something*.  I wasn't athletic at all before my dissertation but exercising felt good and made my brain stop.  If you have some issues with the gym, try something new that you have no history with.  Yoga?  Ballet?  Tag-football?  Ultimate frisbee?  Swing dancing? Road biking? 

    I feel your pain.  Good luck!
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    Meg, I am saving your advice in a file to read whenever I get stuck. All of that is really true, and excellent.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    Wink
    PM me anytime you need to.  It's always better to beyotch on the interweb and try hard to keep some of that negativity out of your real life. 

    I (and I'm guessing many of the ladies here) are ready and willing to lend an ear for venting and shoulder for crying!

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    Is there a public university nearby?  If you need that academic "energy" to recharge you could just go sit on campus somewhere.  Or at a coffee shop near campus or similar.  It wouldn't be quite the same but might help. 

    You'll get back at it Sarah, everyone has given good advice.  Don't beat yourself up about it.
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    edited October 2010
    I just realized how unicorny my post was.  Here's an a propos irreverent comic to cover my embarrassment:
    www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive/phd032410s.gif
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    allisong23allisong23 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited October 2010
    Have  you heard about Meetup.com?

    http://www.meetup.com/

    Its a website that lets you find people with common interests in your area. There are meetups for everything - academic interests, cooking, wine, sports, health issues, dancing, books, whatever. I found an MS support group through it.

    Ditto PP on volunteering as well. How about in an art museum?
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    I know the feeling. I started school before H and I moved in together. And once he did... well, my mind didn't want to focus on school. It's like, I have to play to his schedule. I can't eat dinner whenever I want. I have to make sure they house isn't a total disaster. So I get it.

    The one thing that helps is going to the library or campus, shutting off my wi-fi, and buckling down. Is there a campus near there you can get library access to? Even being on campus again might help with the creative juices department.
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    Hey, I know I'm late to this, but just wanted to say hi and that I feel for your FI with the night shift. I am night shift and my H is day shift and it has been really hard to be home alone all of the time. And even harder to sleep with him home! If you ever need someone to talk to you can always PM me.
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    Hey Sarah, did you ever get to that Racine pizza place I recommended to you forever and a day ago? :-p

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    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_could-use-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0d48b92d-c787-486f-bd3d-7a27b163ff7cPost:d2a1086f-8781-4449-8911-b39ff8926628">Re: I could use some advice</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey Sarah, did you ever get to that Racine pizza place I recommended to you forever and a day ago? :-p
    Posted by J&K10910[/QUOTE]

    Still haven't successfully. We went once, but it was a Sunday and it was closed. Could you tell me the name of it again? <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-embarassed.gif" border="0" alt="Embarassed" title="Embarassed" />

    In happy pizza news, we discovered a pizza place in Wauwatosa called Cranky Al's that is actually quite decent, although the crust is somewhat cracker-esque and the people try way too hard to be snarky when you call on the phone to order pizza. It's nice to be able to get something resembling pizza in the Midwest, though.
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    Our Story MAJORLY UPDATED 8/6/09
    Wouldn't it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?
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    Wells Brothers.  I haven't been there in years and it makes me sad.

    I'm glad you've found a suitable pizza place though!

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    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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