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PhD Watch - The Final Stage (!!)

I am on the final stage – the final, final, final stage!

And am I so glad to be at this point.

It has been a very long few months waiting, in limbo. Three months and 28 days to be precise (not that I am counting).

I am actually going to call it straight and say it has been harder emotionally than actually doing my thesis. At least then, while it was hard I was doing something - I had a very clear path and goal….I do not do ‘waiting’ and yet I have had to.

Constantly at the back of my mind has been that worry of “did I actually do enough?”…."what if I have failed?”…."what if the last four years have just surmised to nothing…then what will I do?"

I am really glad that between the boys, home and exciting business projects life has kept me pretty occupied. But I have also been ‘stuck’ in some regards, unable to move forward in quite the way I envisioned – and then have felt guilty because I should be happy with where I am at and happy to have ‘more time’ to spend on other things. Haha as if time was a currency that mums actually had. It has not been that I have been unhappy...just really without a clear direction, which for my very goal driven personality it has not been easy.

On Monday I received the examiners reports for my Doctoral thesis. This is standard protocol for me to have exactly 7 days to prepare the oral defense of my work. I was extremely nervous opening these – actually my heart was thumping and my tummy tense but they had to be opened there was no going back. The reports were better than I expected. I had braced myself for my work to be torn to shreds so when there were actually positive comments I was surprised (and very relieved!).

It has not been until I now when I have the date for my thesis oral exam that I realised how much it’s secretly been creeping in the background for me. The doubt and uncertainly just sitting there everyday; all the while juggling the everyday challenges of motherhood - sick kids, locked bathroom incident, Smushie going backwards in sleeping through the night and still trying to find our new 'normal' in work/life balance (I actually think I should just give that last one up). So while this week is going to be tough as I prepare with everything I have got for my exam - I am happy to have a clear line of action to take.

Am I nervous about my exam? Yes. To my very core.

Success, however, is the only option.

This is my life's work and I will defend it as such.

Following the exam I will need to make the last changes (we are aiming for as few changes as possible) and then it finally gets passed off – and then….well I can’t imagine right now exactly what it will feel like?!

For now it’s another week of burning the midnight oil at our humble kitchen table - I have already volunteered for the grave yard shifts as I will be awake anyway - but plenty of time for sleep (another haha) once this is done!


See you on the flip side!

xxxx (nearly Dr) Julie

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