I’ve been ABD for close to four years now, meaning it’s been almost four years since I finished all studies of my master’s degree, that is All But Dissertation. I have never officially given up on the degree, and have taken great care to keep things around as proof of my intention to finish.
That includes a dozen hefty books from the national library, which I have brought in every month for renewal during this time. I have opened each of them once, on average. Every few months I have promised myself and the world that things will change, which usually means I manage to find a relevant paper online, print it out in a very efficient and study conducing format (four pages per side per sheet, printed both sides, flip on long edge) and add it to the shoulder bag I carry between home and work everyday and only open to place my daily planner on my desk, which I in turn never actually open to consult with.
I got this planner through a subscription service, where each is made for three month chunks, and so four planners are delivered each year. So far I have seven of these planners, six of them unopened, and the first one halfway done with mostly empty pages save for the date at the top. What’s more, the planner encourages regular check-ins for your projects, with daily, weekly and monthly summaries. Those pages have basically become scribbled full of numbers and names of weeks and months, signifying each time I meant to reset the program and really try this time.