The Price of Resting too much: Chaos

Hello everyone! Wishing you all a great Sunday and a great week!

Life has a habit of presenting us with times of unusually busy schedules right after often very stagnant periods. It looks like nothing is happening for months and then boom, everything happens at the same time. Maybe we are presented with those stagnant times first so we can rest properly and get the energy needed for the upcoming busy chaotic times. That is exactly what I did.

Last fall was a bit stagnant for me (though I was working on my dissertation and looking for jobs). But I knew the start of 2022 would be crazy busy, so I did not rush. But life surprised me with the level of chaos I found myself in. What I was expecting is to defend my dissertation by the end of February. A few weeks after, I would start interviewing for jobs. Busy, but not crazy busy. Instead, here is what happened: I moved out (selling all my furniture) 4 days before my defense; I defended my dissertation, which is the result of 7 years of work; 4 days after the defense, I had a very important job interview. After these, job interviews followed, coupled with some revisions I had to make in my dissertation while also trying to adapt to my new place.

I am glad I took the fall months off. I partially foresaw this coming. Things are calmer now. Dissertation is completely done. I adapted to my new place.

I will dig into this period in more detail in upcoming weeks. Here is my main question for this week: Have you noticed this pattern in life: being extremely busy after a dull period? If so, please tell us:)


31 thoughts on “The Price of Resting too much: Chaos

    1. Hmm, interesting. I think I actively tried not creating things to do for myself last fall. I only did the absolutely necessary things. But it was a conscious effort.

  1. Thank you, Betul, for sharing this post with us! I think the issue of harmony (of seasons for this or that) is very important in life. 🙏 Congratulations on defending your dissertation!

      1. The pattern of being crazy busy is enjoyable up to a point, especially when it results in an accomplishment such as successfully defending your dissertation. In my case though, it is sometimes followed by the extreme fatigue and brain fog of a fibromyalgia episode.

        All the best, Betul, on your PhD, and on finding the job of your dreams! <3

      2. Ah, yes, that end result is not very motivating. I think what kept me going is the result I was going to get. But if the busy schedule is accompanied by uncertainty.
        Amen to that!

  2. It’s good that you recognized the pattern prior to defending your dissertation, even if events conspired against you somewhat. I’ve noticed this myself: perhaps it’s related to the “things come in threes” pattern we like to think we observe?

  3. Oh yes! Very recognizable. Totally had that experience when I was about to defend mine: I became a father just before submission, had three job interviews (nailed them all), selected the best fit, and then moved countries.

    I started my new job a week before defending the dissertation, so had to travel back for it. It was horrible. Too much. But I pulled it off.

    Stagnant times, since then, have been rare, aside from holidays and parental leave… I wish I had a few stagnant weeks at work!

    1. Wow, this sounds very intense. But I am glad you pulled it through in the best way.
      I actually kind of like the stagnant times. I don’t know if I will have any when I start working. It doesn’t seem possible based on your experience, huh?

      1. It depends… I work in academia (by choice, obviously). That is pretty intense, because of the pressure to publish, acquire funding, and eventually find a permanent position. Combine that with teaching, supervision, admin work, and the challenge of building your own research portfolio, is tough. I have been at this job a little over two years now. I learn a lot, but it’s ‘always on’. I do set limits. No work on evenings or weekends, take up all holidays. I’m now enjoying a monttof parental leave, being on the road with the family. I do still find it incredibly hard to shut off, though. That’s why I struggle with finditthe valuable stagnant time.

      2. That is exactly why I decided to leave academia. It is really hard to keep work-life balance at all and the constant pressure. Kudos to you for managing it! I am sure you are doing it much better than I would ever have done if I had stayed in academia.

  4. Yes, busyness seems to come in seasons, but one thing i’ve noticed at work is that certain maintenance problems come in clusters as well. You may not have had, say, a sink issue, in a long time and then suddenly you have five in a row.

    Btw, what was the subject of your dissertation?

    1. This made me laugh out loud because it is so true! I wonder why that happens.

      I worked on how Turkish grammar handles different perspectives, like the perspective of the speaker, hearer, other people. Essentially, how language is intertwined with the notion of perspective-taking. It is theoretical linguistics.

  5. Indeed. I have noticed this pattern over and over again in my life. In fact, I start feeling a little anxious when life comes together like clockwork. Because, I have experienced the most unpredictable chaos after days like these. Its like nature gives me a chance to gather up my strength so I can deal with whats coming ahead.

  6. It is after the chaos that the mind becomes still and this I believe strongly and made an impact on my life. Initially would be unbearable to make sense of the happenings around which eventually gets enlightened at the end.

  7. The dull or down period usually ends after the completion of a major project. I am finishing production on my latest novel and the down period is here. I’ve learned to accept and just go with it. I’ve found it is definitely part of a pattern.

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