I have been kind of microblogging on Facebook, but it is strangely unsatisfying. It is the blogging equivalent of white flour, with all the white and distilled stuff out there, without all of the husky, messy brown bits.
And I miss the messy bits. I AM the messy bits. Nothing important I have ever learned has been without making mistakes, or without a lot of thought.
And I miss my friends out there in the cloud, with their gentle encouragement. Just to know somebody was reading was a great solace to me. This is why we do it, no?
But it’s been, what, three months or so? A busy, whirlwind 3 months. No excuse, I know. But I will summarise what has been happening here…
1. Luff (or Love or Lurrrrve)
Just the moment I thought it was all a bit of a faff, I had given it a rest, along comes somebody. Somebody lovely, who thinks of me and shows it. Who is a big hunk of spunk. Who I can cook dinner with, shop with and run with (he runs slow to keep up with me). We can do lots of stuff or do nothing (we tend more towards the doing stuff). We have met each other’s friends and families. I went to Christchurch NZ just last weekend to meet his family and he introduced me proudly as his girlfriend. We have made plans for the future.
It has passed the honeymoon phase. Fears, insecurities, vagaries and frustrations have come out and reared their less attractive heads. So, indeed, have a few farts. But we have dealt with them with understanding and good humour.
As lovely as it is, I still find part of myself standing outside it, wondering how I got this lucky. Wondering whether I am worthy of it. Fearing it will be taken away from me at any minute without explanation. All this is diminishing over time, and with a lot of therapy. With that little sense of my own worth growing, and the skill of enjoying the moment. What will be, will be, and worrying won’t change it, but will do my head in. I do understand where all the insecurity comes from, so I can best deal with it.
2. Career wins.
I lovingly and painstakingly wrote a grant application to the NHMRC for my project. Ideas need money, and this was the way to get it. The only problem is that these large grants are hard to come by, with only about 1 in 5 applications being awarded. This is among all comers, so even bigshots miss out and have to fire staff. My grant was refined and submitted by my prof.
Well, long story short, we got the grant – $600K worth, thankyou very much. I had very humble congratulations from some of these bigshots. My prof had given credit where it was due. My grant helps quite a number of people in work for the next year or two. Plus buys a few sachets of optifast and a few blood tests and xrays.
It has been a big boon to my confidence. Doing a PhD is fraught with “I am not good enough”, “what if it doesn’t work out” etc etc. This is normal. But the $$$ keep me hanging in there. They help make me proud to do what I am doing. Even though very little of it comes to me.
3. Career plans
On that last note, I am earning a bit less than my colleagues practicing full time. Don’t get me wrong, I do ok. However, when I was on my bike to work because my car broke down, I was thinking “how the fucking hell am I going to make this fucking PhD work for ME?” What niche do I sit in? How can I make things cushy? I have worked hard, I am now not ashamed to be reaping the rewards, or thinking about how I can reap them.
That old chestnut. I have lost the plot, a bit. The romance, wining and dining has not helped (it is lovely, though). But plans are falling in place. Christmas is a difficult time of year, but I am coming around to the simple things – exercise more days a week than you don’t, eat well and consciously most of the time, and drink alcohol fewer days than you abstain.
I have done a few things. I have started pilates again, and the back/butt pain with running is improving, to the point where I did my first fun run since the marathon (farrrk it was a struggle). I have entered the fella and myself in run for the kids. I have tried a few new things – stand up paddleboarding and burlesque to name a few. I have rode to work a few times. Just a matter of putting them into habit.
The theme of the new year (last year’s was courage) is wellness – in body and mind. I have had a bit of back pain, a bit more reflux et cetera, and these are amenable to lifestyle measures. I would also like to get off some of my pills – the antidepressants, the antacids. I need a bit of a plan for that.
The ex hubby’s girlfriend is pregnant. That was fraught, hearing that. A bit of “the bugger, he has had it a lot easier than me, it’s all fallen into his lap” thoughts. It might not be the reality. The grief of the whole thing has been a little exacerbated. Of course it has. And I can go on and on about it but I won’t.
Except to say, they are going to Antarctica on holiday, on their babymoon. Hmmmm.
No good can come from comparing my lot to his. I know that.
You know, for the first time in a number of years, I am actually looking forward to it? I can listen to carols without cringing? Cool, huh?
Fall down 7 times, get up 8. This has been the best little saying. I have made so many little stuff ups that I am experts in either rectifying or moving the hell on.
Christchurch – tick. CUBA – upcoming….then who knows?
Bye for now 😀