I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning, got up and had a read, then went back to bed. Had to be up by 0730 to meet the prof, my PhD supervisor.
Met him and told him about my job. He cracked it a bit, saying that I should not be doing “so much work” (I am doing 3 sessions, taking a pay cut from my current job). He did the “I ate gravel for breakfast, you should too” line, and implied (but not said) that I should be devoting myself entirely to the PhD.
I explained my situation (the small matter of the mortgage, the fact that I did not get a scholarship etc). He settled down a bit. I was glad I was able to stand my ground. He backed off a bit, just “claiming” me for Thursday morning. In the end, he agreed to it, and the meeting ended on a positive note, stating that he was “very excited” about my project.
Even though he settled down, I was still very stirred up – I do not deal with these confrontations well psychologically, particularly in my current state. I also had a bit of a panic about whether I could actually mix the work and the PhD. I went home, had a sulk, had a cry, then had a nap – I was tired from my early morning waking.
Woke up and felt a bit beter. I even braved running group. It is the first time in nearly 2 years that I have done running group.
The advanced and beginners group was amalgamated, and only 3 people rocked up including me. I was upfront about my slowness. We jogged to the park – a warm up pace for the others was a good-going pace for me!
We then did a Mona Fartlek – 2x 90 seconds fast then slow, 2x 60 seconds fast then slow, 4x 30 secs fast then slow, 4×15 secs fast then slow. Yeow, it was hard, but I did not walk.
Then we caught our breath and did a lap around the park – 1km in 6:47 – not bad, given my legs weren’t fresh.
I felt a lot better after the run. I even had a moment of clarity – I realised that the prof needs me more than I need him – as far as I know, I am the only one with a medical background (as opposed to a science degree) doing a PhD with him, therefore the only one doing clinical research, and he is trying to get his centre established as a centre for excellence (involves getting more$$$) for which my (all clinical) research is a part of the plan. I also need to keep my skills up – first and foremost, I see patients, and taking me away from that would be like clipping my doctor-y wings.
I hope I wake up feeling better tomorrow, ideally not at 4am.