Where did May, June, July, August, September and October go to? Please tell me! It seems that I have blinked and the time has disappeared. Next week I will be 6 months into my PhD. On the one hand I struggle to think about what I have done in those 6 months and on the other when I look at the files and folders in my PhD folder on my computer I know I have produced quite a lot of work. But the nice thing is it hasn’t felt like work to me, it’s been a joyous discovery, learning new things, developing new insights, changing my thoughts and opinions as I go. It’s been a privilege more than anything and a luxury.
What else has happened? Lots! More than I care or want to go into here or perhaps am ready to go into is more an accurate reflection of where I’m at. People told me doing a PhD was a life changing process, they were not wrong.
So today, 1 year after submitting my proposal and application to do a PhD, I received the wonderful email telling me my project had received ethics approval! I felt extremely happy to say the least. All the work of the last few months has paid off. Tonight I got to send out my ethically approved tweets to recruit for participants, and I have to say that was quite a kick. Especially to see my tweets get retweeted by colleagues I hold in high esteem and respect greatly, quite humbling really.
I had a stream of ideas for this post last night as I was falling to sleep and now they all seem to have flown the coop. My brain is fried and tired. A friend gave me free ticks to the movies tonight, I was planning on going but I cannot muster the energy. So I will make tea, put pjs on, and enjoy the feeling of seeing my PhD move forward. One step at a time, this journey will be a long one and I am sure will have some unexpected twists and turns but I AM looking forward to going wherever that maybe. Some days I have to remind myself that it is me that has to make my feet move one foot in front of the other and I am in control of that. I can choose which way my feet go, which fork in the road to take. Sometimes it’s hard to make that choice and not to want to look back, always wondering if you made the right choice, wondering what’s around the corner, what might have been around the corner on the other fork in the road. Oh decisions decisions!
So before October turns into November I will post this, put my pjs on and make tea.
It’s school holidays and that means a bit of disruption to routine and life in general at home. Child No. 2 continues pretty much as normal apart from the half day of kinder but child care continues, thank goodness. Child No. 1’s needs however have to be catered for. This means a bit of disruption to my routine and productivity. What I have realised though is that the correlation between my productivity (or lack thereof) and school holidays is not as significant as I thought! I think it is perhaps a convenient excuse I have been willing to lean on when needed. Today is no exception, child no.1 is at the school holiday program and I am not being productive. No excuses! Some PhD reading has happened but not a lot of writing like I had hoped. I think I can be productive when focused but I guess I am just not focussed right now. One of my supervisors did say to me ‘some days you just have to say f*&#k it and go and do something else!’ My head is all over the place though, so I thought I would blog instead- the something else! It might help me realise what I have achieved in the last 2 weeks!
My ethics came back from the peer reviewer on Monday. By Monday evening it was fixed up and sent back to my primary supervisor, ready for signatures and submission, which is where it’s at now. A huge goal kicked. Some writing has happened and lots of thoughts about the confirmation presentation I have to do in December- it’s time to be more proactive about that I think and take some action very soon! It will not write itself!
I have also had a few days “off” i.e. not working during the day and doing reading in the evening. On Wednesday Nanna returned from a big overseas trip. H and I went to the airport to meet her on Wednesday morning. The look on his face when he saw his Nanna again was sheer delight! I have never seen him run so fast towards her, it was a magical moment for them both I think, and for me as the onlooker. So yesterday we ventured into our city with Nanna and explored. I haven’t done that for a long time and it was a lovely thing to do with my children. We explored lane ways, walked along the river, watched a busker in Fed square, went out for lunch and caught the tram home.
I love this city that I now call home, I like the nooks and crannies to explore, the lane ways, the people wandering the streets, the art galleries, the river, the beach close by. It was good to connect with it again. I will say this as I often do but I really do need to do more of it more often! Especially the beach part. I did intend to go to the beach this week, but it rained and H didn’t want to go out, so we stayed home.
Exploring lane ways
Other things that have resonated with me recently seem to be revolving around human centredness, the complexity of life, connectedness and emotions. Some of this is PhD related stuff and some not. I was talking to someone who does ’emotions’ for a living this week and they said something that has stayed with me:- ’emotions are irrational, they don’t make sense, but they are your reality’. Very true, I am not sure whether I have worked out what that means in my world right now but in the mean time life does go on, PhD does go on and I will try and practice some self compassion. What I have realised though is I have achieved some goals in the last 2 weeks but life needs balance and school holidays are good for that.
The Yarra River