1001 days ago (approximately 2.75 years), I set out on a 101 in 1001 journey – 101 goals I wanted to accomplish in the next 1001 days. I started on January 1, 2009, which brought me all the way to September 29, 2011 – a date that seemed quite far away. Even though I didn’t purposely set it up in this fashion, I loved the symmetry – starting on the new year according to the Gregorian calendar, and ending on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. There were tasks I was positive I’d accomplish, some which I hoped to, and others which I thought might be a long shot, but I was confident I’d tackle my way through most of the list.
Big, fat, monstrous, depressing, huge fail.
Every single one of the goals I was most interested in accomplishing related to my professional career and life with Husband, and I didn’t meet a single one. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. 1001 days ago, I could not possibly wrap my head around the idea that I would still be in graduate school. There was no way I would still be one of those terrifying seventh year graduate students. I figured I’d certainly have killed myself before getting to this point.
My program requires the acceptance of a first author paper prior to obtaining permission to write. Because I have not yet accomplished this, I haven’t even been able to attempt the following off my 101 in 1001 list:
1. Learn to love science again. 6. Submit a paper as first author and have paper accepted. 8. Successfully defend thesis – become Disgruntled Julie, Ph.D. 9. Regardless of when I defend, return to D.C. for graduation ceremonies. 10. Figure out what I want to do post graduate school. 12. Find a job in desired field in Philadelphia area. 20. Move to Philadelphia to live with Husband. 21. Buy a house or condo. 22. Buy/lease/inherit (from Husband) a car if we are not living in a public transportation friendly neighborhood. 23. Find a synagogue we like and become members. 24. Actually drag Husband to services at said synagogue. 25. Establish long-term primary care physician in Philadelphia. 26. Make new friends in Philadelphia. 27. Host major holiday dinner at our new abode in Philadelphia. 101. Be happy with whom I am and the direction my life is taken.
Sure, there are many other things on the list that I did accomplish… but they were the cherry on top of the goals that really mattered. These aforementioned list of un-accomplishable tasks – that’s the entire rest of the sundae. The cherry may be lovely, but it’s merely an accoutrement. A sundae without a cherry is still delicious. A sundae without the ice cream, caramel sauce, hot fudge, whipped cream, and sprinkles is… well… just plain depressing. If I order a sundae and get only a cherry, you better believe I’m going to ask for a refund. That pretty much sums up how I’ve felt about the past 2.75 years of my life – this isn’t what I ordered, so I’d like a refund, please.