Life goes on…

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. Southbank

Southbank

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

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

The Yarra River

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Fear and stuff….

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot – Eleanor Roosevelt

So I have kind of worked out that this blogging lark is a bit self-indulgent but this is for me and I am trying not to feel guilty about that, after all this is MY PhD!

I think this quote encapsulates another reason I am on this PhD journey now. At work I was in a happy, comfortable place, where I felt competent (most of the time- I am a speech pathologist and suffer from Impostor syndrome quite severely) so stepping outside of my comfort zone was and is a challenge. There’s a tension for me between the drive and need to study to move on to something new and to stay where I am. A bit like giving up my comfy ugg boots for something perhaps better in the long run but certainly not as comfortable to start with!

This is absolutely a luxury and a privilege to be able to do this. I am lucky to have been awarded a scholarship, I can work for 8 hours a week (in a job that I love) and I have a funded research training place- how lucky and fortunate can a woman be?

So why then do I question if I can do this, I am intelligent enough? Last year I set up a session for my students with a counsellor from the Uni counselling service about managing stress whilst on placement. I looked back at his presentation this evening and found the quote above. It captures quite nicely and succinctly how I feel at the moment. I need to remember that I cannot do everything at once, to take one day at a time, to make time for my friends and family, to be outside, to feel the sun and rain on my face, feel the sand between my toes and go to the beach much more than I do now. Last night I went for a run, I hadn’t done that for quite some time- it felt good. Most of all I need to remind myself to go easy on myself. I will look fear in the face and try not to worry about what other people are thinking about me, and I will use that brain space for my PhD!

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