Unrealistic Christmas List

A list of three things I've asked Santa for but won't be finding under my Christmas tree this festive season.



The older I become, the more I struggle to answer the inevitable "what do you want for Christmas" questions that float around in November or December, depending on how organised your friends and family are. It's not that I don't know what I would like, it's just that the things I want have become increasingly intangible and therefore difficult to put a bow on and place it under the tree. So while I've told my family I'd like things like solar lanterns for our newly renovated garden or an Audible subscription so I can listen to audiobooks as I walk to/from the office, I thought I'd share with you all what I'd really like for Christmas. So here's my unrealistic Christmas list, if practicality and hypothetical wrapping weren't an issue.

The journal response I've been waiting on for over a month
The thing I want most this Christmas would be to not feel the compulsion to check the submission portal twice a day for updates I might have missed. I started writing a (very rough) draft of this paper when I came back from Christmas 2020. I submitted it first in September only to have a desk rejection within 24 hours. After some reformatting, I then had a nightmare of trying to submit it again in mid-October. I was beyond thrilled when it went out for review at the beginning of November, but since then I've had radio silence. I'd love to hear back from the reviewers, even if it's critical just so I know where I stand and to have the opportunity to do something about it. Therefore, a response about my paper is top of my unrealistic list this year.

A "good" sleep pattern
I'm a certified night-owl forced to live in an early-bird world. Before my PhD, I used to study sleep and its relation to mental health which made me acutely aware of my sleep pattern. Without any external pressures like social outings or work meetings, my sleep pattern is naturally about 3am-midday. However, even though I try to pull it forward to a more socially acceptable 11pm-8am cycle, it doesn't suit me. I sleep poorly in the first half of the night and am always in the middle of deep sleep/dreaming when my alarm goes off in the morning, leaving me feeling groggy until just before lunch. Morning-people assured me that once I had a regular working routine that my sleep cycle would naturally fall in line. It's been 18 months of working roughly 9-6 every day and my sleep cycle is still as bad as ever. If I forget to set an alarm on one day of the weekend, I'll still naturally wake up at 11 am and then stay up late into the night, ruining my hard-fought cycle for the next few days. Based on no promising evidence to date, I still hope they're right and eventually waking up before 10am won't feel like such a struggle. Therefore, I'm hoping Santa can bring me a socially-acceptable sleep cycle.

My teaching timetable for next semester
The final slot on my unrealistic list goes to my teaching timetable for the spring semester. As it's the last working day of the year today, I was hoping I might have heard by now. My master's students keep asking me when our sessions will be and I have no answer to give them other than "I wish I knew". Alongside my lead GTA role and all the standard meetings involved with being a PhD student, I also work as a private tutor a few hours a week. This semester, I moved all my tutoring sessions to fit around the days and times I'd be on campus to teach my masters students. I'd love to know my timetable for next semester so I can give my private students as much notice as possible and hopefully hang on to most of them.
If I could add an extra caveat to this Christmas wish - it'd be to know my timetable and to have no 9am teaching!

Aneira checked - There are no journal responses under this Christmas Tree!