PhD and life musings…

So since my last post I’ve had a short break, celebrated speech pathology week at work, submitted my ethics application for peer review and have continued to ride the rollercoaster of life! 

Speech pathology week, which was two weeks ago, was fairly monumental (it took up more of time than it should have (PhD time, shush!)). We managed to get some students involved in Twitter in an #SLP2Bchat. This was quite exciting, helping them get involved in the community of practice in Twitter. Raising awareness of the 1.1 million Australians with a communication problem was quite a buzz. One of the highs on the roller coaster ride! It reminded me of why I love my job and clinical education- working with the students. It also reinforced for me why I’m doing my PhD, which I think can only be a good thing! I work with some fantastic people and actually doing my PhD has freed up some head space to actually think in work, rather than feeling bogged down with tasks and administration. This semester I’m not teaching so I have some time to try and be innovative in preparing for my subject for semester 1 in 2014. This may seem like a small thing, but having headspace in this job is no mean feat! 

I then went away with the family to the snow for 5 days. Unfortunately we were all a bit sick, full of colds and run down. Was great to be in the mountain air though and the kids learnt to ski. Although the laptop came away with me (it didn’t completely sit in the corner for me to look at and feel guilty about) I didn’t spend my week working but I did do quite a bit of thinking and some useful reading. And, I came back feeling a bit refreshed and ready to tackle the finishing bits to the ethics application for the first part of my study. 

I remember attending a workshop run by Hugh Kearns from http://ithinkwell.com.au a year or so ago when I was preparing my PhD proposal and he talked about riding the PhD roller coaster, what I guess I didn’t realise at the time was that life has its own parallel roller coaster track running right next to the PhD one and the highs and the lows don’t necessarily coincide! How could I not have known this? Of course I probably did but just had not processed the reality of it until it hit me in the face like a wet fish! On Sunday after getting back from the snow the washing machine decided to leak all through the laundry, bathroom, study and into the dining room. A first world problem in the whole scheme of things but in the state of still feeling a little fragile from having a rotten cold, feeling a bit vulnerable generally, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry- so I did both! And then I rolled up the pj bottoms and mopped up! Fortunately a really good friend had ESP I think and called in the midst of my clean up and mopped me up too! Thank goodness for great friends. At the same time the PhD roller coaster track was on a fairly even keel, even rising slightly just ahead of the submission for peer review yesterday. 

So now my ethics has been submitted for peer review, whilst that’s been looked at before submission proper I have gone back to lit review writing. I’m trying to let go of any expectations I have or may put upon myself and just write to get my thoughts down on paper for now.

Letting go seems to be an issue in general for me, I spend too much time worrying about what other people will think, worrying about what regrets I might end up with, without any sound rationale for it. In her book, ‘Lean In’, Sheryl Sandberg talks about feeling so stressed and worried about a particular event without having any evidence for how people may have perceived her or the event. She says something along the lines of ‘How can I feel something that feels so real when the reality was actually the opposite of what I was feeling?’ I hear you Sheryl and I get this completely. I’m normally quite an intuitive person but right now I really think my compass and radar malfunctioning! I think for now I have to sit tight in the roller coaster car and hold on to my friend with ESP! As Forest Gump famously said- ‘Life is like a box of chocolates- you never know what ya gonna get!’ 

I think this post is a reflection of the roller coaster right now, so apologies for the randomness- it’s one of those posts I will remind myself is for me and my reflection!