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All gone

Saturday, October 28, 2017

That little phrase is one of my toddler's favourites. Sometimes he means "all gone" as in he's finished eating and the food is gone, or someone has left and they have gone. At other times he means "all done" in that he's finished doing something and his ready to move on to something else.

It seemed the most applicable phrase for this blog as I have finally completed by PhD viva. This is the verbal defence of my written thesis and is the final phase in obtaining a PhD in the United Kingdom. It is one of those pass / fail type events, but you can pass with no corrections, minor corrections or major corrections. I passed with minor corrections, which is generally what most PhD students achieve, and also what I was hoping for. I now have a few months in which to complete the corrections, but the stress and worry is now over. I have passed my PhD exams.

This particular achievement is a twelve year old dream. With my husband's support we decided to go for it in September 2013. So, to be at a point where it has now happened is quite unbelievable. So much work, energy, stress and dreaming, and we've done it. One dream that I wasn't really sure we'd achieve.

In the midst of this we had a baby (who will be two next month - I need to update my photo on this site as he is much bigger now!) so the last two years have been non-stop in a way I have never experienced before in my life.

But, now we can stop. For a little while, at least. We can look at our lives as they have changed, and I can reflect on what a healthy lifestyle means now. I am still jumping up and down on the scale with 4kg (about 8 pounds) that I haven't lost permanently since the baby. I know a lot of that is about consistency. But I realised something else this morning. I have been approaching weight loss by trying to do it the way I did it before - I've been trying to go back to habits and behaviours that I built when I was teaching full time, living in a fast-paced city, and not yet a mother. I realised today that I need to figure out the habits that will work now, where I am a mother to a toddler, living in a quiet little seaside town in a much bigger home, and spending most of my work-time sitting at a computer, writing.

I need to approach it as something new. Not an attempt to recreate the way I did it before. I also wonder if the stress of now knowing that the thesis has been passed will help me to relax, sleep better, and be able to reach out a little less the comfort foods. I certainly feel a weight lifted from my shoulders over the last two days.

So, I'm looking forward to the discovery. I have signed up for a Race Series that runs through the winter. It's a 10km series, so an achievable distance for me without too much training, and involves running a race on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. I'm looking forward to the challenge and hoping it will bring me back into the routine of running.

Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to exploring new ways of approaching eating. I think I need to look at bulk cooking - so if anyone can direct me that way, I'd appreciate it. That may prevent us from relying on our local curry place as much as we do!

So, one dream is very near the end. It's down-hill for us. We'll be regrouping and thinking about what happens in our lives next, especially career wise for me. A young child certainly changes ones perspective on what really matters in life. But, for now, we're going to relax!

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