In the dense fog of the future, it is not going to matter when or how I completed my dissertation. The mountain of chores attendant to the dissertation--the approval for research, the funding, the inane "human subjects" certification course that recently came close to setting me back 2 years, the poverty, health issues, utter insecurity, student loans, threats to my life and well-being in the field...and so on...none of this is going to matter...
Yesterday, as I gave my mother a goodnight kiss, I realized that it will not matter if I checked off all of my boxes by the end of February 2009 on the long list of chores having to do with my dissertation. It will not matter if I take a few days off to spend time with her, or extend my weekend trip to see her by just a day because she is so sad to see me go. In the end, the dissertation will be here long after my mother is not.
In the end, it will matter more that these precious days were spent with her. In the end, I will have a dissertation and all of the accolades that come with a lifetime of my mother telling me to live my dreams. But in the end, I won't have my mother.
The dissertation can wait a couple of days.