My emotions are not as resilient as they were before the illness. I’ve had a great deal of trouble learning how to organize my research and I sometimes forget because of it just how far I’ve come as a teacher. My difficulty is that the incentive structure for teaching is better because it centers around regular appearances for which I absolutely must prepare and a paycheck that rewards that behavior. The reason I’ve not advanced in research is simple. I am a low-energy, low-focus person who is paid to do another task. I’m getting better at find incentives to structure time away from my paid time. But central to those efforts is not losing heart. This, “If at first you don’t succeed stuff” is hard on me. Going from trying a few times and then being successful to making double-digit efforts is hard. It gets me down and I get depressed sometimes.
Corny as it sounds, I need to remember Morpheus’ speech from The Matrix: Reloaded. I’m going to finish this degree not because of some magical belief in destiny, but because of the path that lies behind me. After fifteen years of post-secondary education, I need to remember that which matters most: I am still here.