Long term goals are hard to keep up with. It is so easy to walk away from a project that you know you won't finish in one sitting or in one year. By the time I graduate with my PhD in May, I will have been in graduate school for 8 years. That is one major long term goal that I'm checking off the list. A good friend in grad school once told me that a PhD is a degree in literacy and persistence. I completely agree. Yes, I set short term goals for myself, mostly because I feel better when I have boxes to check off. I feel more accomplished.
Intellectually, I know that getting a PhD is impressive, but I regularly forget it. I'm remembering now more, since I'm no longer surrounded by my fellow PhD students and professors all the time. Getting a PhD isn't for everyone. Heck, most days I'm not sure it is for me. Everyone I know with a PhD has at some time felt like they are an imposter and/or like they should be doing something else with their lives. Existential crises aren't specific to academia, but we certainly have perfected them.
But I won't be deterred by the overwhelming-ness of it all. I won't let the long term goal and all the work it will take to get there scare me off. I will do it. I will do it. Instead of the little engine's model of "I think I can," I choose to know I can. I choose Dory's way of thinking, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. What do we do? We just keep swimming."
Yeah, that's the perfect motto for now.
On a completely separate note, I'm going to be really sad when the pool closes and we can't go swimming in the afternoons after school any more.