The shorter days, the whipping windchills, the ice laden sidewalks, and snot dripping noses. Cozied at my desk with a blanket and coffee, the very thought of my new winter existence makes me shiver. I have managed to escape Montreal winter for the past two years in guise of conducting fieldwork in South America. Yet, my ideal creation of eternal summer has come to an end, or at the very least, a brief hiatus.
With my thesis fieldwork completed, I find myself in Montreal, in January, in the midst of winter. Not only am I faced with the seemingly unavoidable, unbearable reality of snow and cold, it is compounded by another unavoidable, at times unbearable task… writing my thesis. Maintaining constant motivation to write during the dreary winter months has been quite the challenge for me.
While other kids in elementary school counted down the minutes to recess in anticipation of new snow to play in, I spent my breaks borrowing the washroom pass and hiding indoors. Following the trend, I thought I would be quite content in adopting a life of a grizzly bear and hibernating in my apartment or the library to keep warm and dry, whilst ruminating over cultural theories of psychiatry. Having tried this method for the past few weeks, I realized it is not working for me. I need fresh air. I needed distractions- even if it comes in a cold, ice covered form. So I did what I do best- I made a list. For those who know me, know that my obsession with list making can sometimes get out of hand. But this time my list is different. It isn’t a schedule of things to do, or tasks to complete; it is bucket list of celebrating winter. It was a weekend craft project that now hangs proudly on my wall as a reminder that both winter and thesis writing can be enjoyable and conquerable.
As the winter weeks continue to roll on by, I hope to make steady progress on both my list and thesis, and keep you all updated.