This week (today, in fact) I begin my comprehensive exams, a series of three days of 4 hour written exams for my PhD. Two weeks from now, there will be an oral defense of my comps, in which my committee and I talk for two hours and they ask me questions, which sounds like a panic attack waiting to happen, except that I love my committee and they’re all wonderful supportive people. This represents a sort of midway point in my doctoral progress. And I’m fine, really. I’ve studied, I’ve prepared, I’m confident, I’ve eaten ALL OF THE THINGS in my house. That last bit might not be such a good sign. In my defense, I tried healthier coping mechanisms first, like reading a good book and going for a walk and getting a haircut and brunch with my little household and snuggling the dog on the couch. And then I reverted to what I know best, which is excessive TV watching (Season 2 of Call the Midwife on Netflix, in under 48 hours) and dispatching the Halloween candy, the Pop Tarts, and what was left of the pimiento cheese. And the cheese crackers. Also half a toffee chocolate bar. Whatever. I’m not going to beat myself up about that. It seems like a reasonable time to stress eat. The thing is, some weeks you try what you know is a good choice, then you live with the choices that follow. The key thing is to survive. I just have to survive my comps, and hopefully pass them, and probably buy some salad and fruit at the grocery store next week for a fresh start.
Today I’m up bright and early and watching the sunrise, about to make tea…and I’m eyeing the Pop Tarts again. Oh boy. I reserve the right to perfect the art of stress eating until this is over. And then…a good stiff drink, a long nap, and the end of breakfast pastry as a food group. Here we go!