trusting the process

After meeting with Most Brilliant Advisor last week, I amazoned (ordered from amazon) a few books for Comps. I ordered The Evolution of the Book one day last week. A few days later a UPS slip appears on my apt. door saying I have to sign for a package they will be holding at their facility. I've been to Fedex in Champaign several times but never to UPS because they normally leave packages in the office for me. So I mapquest directions, harangue M into going with me, find UPS and they are closed. It's 1:00 p.m. Their hours are 9:00-11:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. We return later in the day, after fighting with M to wake up from her nap. From the top of the hill that leads to the driveway at UPS we can see the line out the door. I park, wait in line and M stays in the car. Eventually she finds me in line and suggests I return the next day. I'm irritated because normally I don't have to pick up the packages. I didn't ask for the book to be sent UPS nor did I pay for expedited shipping. When I arrive the next morning at 9 a.m. there are two people outside waiting for the door to open. I wait with them. It takes 20 minutes to finally have my package in my hands. "Enjoy your book," the woman says as I grumble out to the car. Such a hassle. But now I have the book, so all in all it worked out but the process sucked.

The timeline for getting things read for Comps is tight. I found out that in order to sit for comps in early December my questions have to be in by Nov. 4 which means I have less than a month to get some syntheses written. What isn't read at that point will go unread, I suppose. I talked to Mom this morning who tried in her own way to give me advice. I appreciate the gesture but it always ends up irritating me because I feel she doesn't "get it." She called for a separate reason and then asked about Comps. I try to explain that the whole comps. thing is a process. It isn't as simple as it sounds. (Though I know I'm prone to complicating things.) I know she wants to help. I love her for that. But I'd love it more if she trusted me to know what I'm doing.

And I think that's what bothers me the most about her constantly asking about how Comps are going. She says things like, "Well, I know how you are." and "You don't want that hanging over your head during the holidays." or "You just have to get it done. Focus." What I hear when she talks about school with me is that I can't handle the pressure, that I'll screw it all up. I completely realize I could be projecting my own distrust of myself and my abilities into the conversation. But the point is that she leaves spaces for that lack of faith in me to fester. On the other hand my father says things like, "Don't get so wrapped up. Isn't this supposed to be stimulating? How can it be stimulating if you're distracted by deadlines?" and
"What's the worse that could happen if you don't get it done this semester?"

There is a balance somewhere that I'm striving for. I've written the deadline down on the calendar. I've labeled it WWE. I'm working toward the goal while trying to enjoy the process. I am trying desperately to stop worrying about things I cannot control along with trying to squash all those "what if" questions trying to bubble to the surface.