The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 46

The weather is turning cold here in lovely lovely Edinburgh. It is currently 10C (50 F) and rainy. The sun is setting earlier, and the leaves are disappearing. It is the type of weather that makes me want to curl up under blankets, drink hot chocolate, and watch Disney movies. I’m not smart enough to figure out if the heating in my place actually works, and for the moment it makes focusing on my work a bit hard. I spent all last week pouting about the way my job is going, and unfortunately that has put me behind in my work for the PhD. I have a friend who made a schedule, worked diligently every day was able to stay on a strict timeline. I have the best intention to do that, and somehow I never quite make it. I have things to do, but all I can think about is the fact that I am not really making progress in my work beside reading literature. I have a conceptual paper that needs to be written, but I feel like what I have written so far is not good enough to meet the standards of the PhD. I have academic writing PTSD and I am not sure how to get past it. I’ve been trying to just write for ten minutes a day, but even most of that is just complete and utter pish. I need a drill instructor to yell at me whenever I stop working, or fail to open a word doc.

Something that has been helping me is technology, which happens to be the focus of the gratitude challenge this week. Thanks to technology, I am able to Skype with my friends and family in the States, and just those little bits of time with them make me laugh and feel better on an off day. Technology is allowing me to stay current with the wombmate’s pregnancy, and will allow me to be present at the birth if I cannot make it back to the States in time. I can send photos, emails, and see people face-to-face thanks to technology. It is one of the reasons that my move here was pretty easy. Instead of having to wait a week to send a letter through the post, or make a phone call once a month because it is expensive to call international, I can get an almost immediate response to text, email, or picture message. This week I went to the National Museum of Scotland and wandered through the exhibit on Victorian photographs. It was really interesting to see the way that photography was done in that era, and how it has changed over time.

While the technological advancement was interesting and the photographs on display were amazing, it was fun to get dressed up and go to the museum after hours to see the exhibit, and then stay for a Victorian themed party. The people watching was incredible, the music was interesting, and the drinks were tasty. It was a fantastic date with an even more fantastic man, and one of those fun, non-touristy things to do in Edinburgh.

Perhaps the best thing about technology to me right now is the fact that in less than a week my mom and brother will be getting on a plane to come see me. They will be here for American Thanksgiving, and it has been almost five months since we have been in the same timezone, and I cannot wait to see them. It is my brother’s first time in Scotland, and I cannot wait to show him all of my favorite places.

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