The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Winter Diapause

DiapauseFirst, Happy New Year! I appreciate you all so much and am thankful for the many friends and wonderful acquaintances that this blog has brought into my life. I wish you all the very best for the coming year!

Now, a bit of a downer: after much hemming and hawing and soul-searching, I’ve decided to put The Bug Geek into diapause* for the winter. My research activities this term are going to require a lot of time and energy, and lately I’ve been feeling like I’m stretched a little thin.

I haven’t taken on anything new, my teaching workload is actually dropping a fair bit, and my other responsibilities are pretty much the same as they’ve always been. So what gives? I seem to be in the midst of what is known as the “Third Year Slump” (or, more colourfully, “The Valley of Sh-t“), an affliction that affects many PhD candidates. The symptoms of this mysterious ailment include apathy, stress, depression, self-doubt and a drop in productivity.

I am still in love with my research, that’s not the issue at all. Nevertheless, for the past 6-8 weeks or so, the mere thought of having to get some work done sends me into a bit of a tailspin of anxiety. As I work to overcome this (really quite obnoxious) personal hurdle, I’m giving myself permission to do a little less than usual. When I wrote out a list of my responsibilities in order of their importance, blogging, unfortunately, fell to the bottom. I need to focus my positive energy on my research, which, other than my home life, is my main priority.

And so here we are. I may still post occasionally if I’m feeling inspired, and suspect that my normally upbeat mood (and my outdoorsy blog fodder) will return as the weather warms up.

In the meantime thanks for you readership and, more importantly, your friendship. Know that I’ll be back soon. If you think you’re really going to miss me, you’ll probably still find me chatting on Twitter and reblogging pretty insect photos on Tumblr.

*(Yes, I stole borrowed the term and title from Bug Girl. I think she’ll forgive me.)

18 responses to “Winter Diapause

  1. Morgan Jackson January 3, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    :( Totally understand what you’re dealing with, and I’m looking forward to seeing you back in blogging action on the other side!

  2. Lee January 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    No worries, Geek. I, for one, totally understand. Hope things get easier for you, and I look forward to your return. :)

  3. allthingsbiological January 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Diapause is good and occurs for a reason. Keep on posting to Facebook as the mood strikes. We all need to be entertained by each other over the long dark winter! Before you know it, all will be green again!

  4. mary frost January 4, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Will you come back as some sort or amazingly colored, winged critter???
    Totally understand the burn out. In my own life the burn out was followed by some pretty great stuff (after I stewed for several months-i called it ‘crockpotting’). Hope same for you.
    Will be thinking of you and sending good vibes. thanks for all your posts!!
    the gardening tutor

    • TGIQ January 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      Mary, I can only hope, lol!
      I am optimistic about the future, just need to work through this crock potting phase (excellent term, btw!) Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Mike Powell January 4, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Enjoy your sabbatical. Batteries need recharging periodically.

  6. Dave January 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Blogging really should be for fun – no way it should be a slog. Catch up and then share the renewed enthusiasm. I’m bludging at the moment by doing my blog circuit, and depressed that there’s not going to be much new from you, but you should always blog for yourself first. Now I’m going back to work.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Jodi January 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    I’ll miss you!
    Signed,
    Random Lurker

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  9. Miles January 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Will miss reading your posts, and best of luck with your research! See you ESO this Oct? Looking at this positively, at least this proves that you are human after all…(unlike a certain ginger who’s a blogging/researching machine…maybe its because he has no soul?)

  10. biobabbler January 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Well, I AM glad you made that list. Oh-so-important for the ol’ sanity. =) And we’ll muddle through, but be so excited when you return. Perhaps you also need some more fun socializing or exercise? Or to set up rewards you really want for X thing/accomplishment? Or a light box by which to drink or morning coffee/tea/whatever? k. I’ll stop tv-life-coaching. =) You’re a grownup. I hope your winter goes well and you get to gaze at lovely snowflakes landing upon your arm as you walk to your office. That was a new-to-me (CA girl) delight upon my 1st winter at UM.

    I guess the 3 year blahs are less of a problem if one is in a 2 year program, so the 3rd year is also accompanied by a panicked desperation to GET OUT. =) That was my experience. Then I got REALLY organized and listed only those things (including the specific figures) REQUIRED to do to finish my thesis, and did ONLY those. & then 1 of my beloved advisors X’ed out entire pages of my thesis draft which I then HAPPILY deleted. Less is more! =) All the best! =)

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