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1001 Days Later

Posted Sep 29 2011 12:00am

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.

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