Catastrophizing and making excuses

Yesterday I was reflecting on the fact that it is a pretty poor excuse to let doing research get in the way of doing good research.

I have been putting off finding my way back through some of the literature (which I really need to do in order to start exploring my data with any sort of purpose). My excuse has been that I feel so stressed out by one of the events I am following as part of my fieldwork. I have decided that I am anxious at the moment, and I am allowing that be an excuse for doing lots of things poorly.

This event seems to be making me feel anxious because I have been around long enough to want things to turn out well for parties on all sides. Some days I feel like I am watching play out one of those scenes in a movie where every word that is said, the music in the background and the way the camera zips around tells you it is all about to go pear shaped for whichever character you are supposed to care about. However, in the real world, this disaster never seems to strike.

A lot of the organising for this event is done over email so, with my smart phone and ultra portable computer I can jump on the library’s wireless whenever I have a spare few minutes or balance on my lap in bed before going to sleep, the organisation of this event seems to be following me around 24/7.

I have some clues, but I do not really know for sure, how the people doing the substantive part of the work are dealing with it all. Perhaps I am just catastrophizing both the organisation of this event and my project?

Anyway, at least I am going into my progress review next week feeling like I know what I need to do (and what I need support with) in order to be able to find the sense of direction I am searching for. That may not seem like much, but I think it is quite an improvement from a week or two ago.


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