I wish I was a PhD student with time on my hands!

I realise the dichotomy in the title phrase, as there just never seems to be enough time when studying at this level.This week makes me think of I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair by Sandi Thom.  You know when you move on to a different way of being but you hanker after a different time, probably through romantic pink tinted hippy glasses.  This week has been so busy at work, I have for the first time since I started this doctorate journey thought ‘I don’t know if I can do all of this’.  I receive one day every two weeks from my employer for my studies, which I had this Wednesday. I had a WP_20151019_002really productive day.  I got something in each section of my impact plan, draft 1 for my supervisors to look at. I read and reminded myself of Kotters’s 8 steps of change (http://www.kotterinternational.com/the-8-step-process-for-leading-change/) and common errors. I felt better about my up and coming next deadline.  However, before heading home from the university café (not saying which one as I don’t want any one to find me!), where I had been hiding to study, I checked my work e mail and that feeling of doom fell upon me! One day out and over 100 e mails, because I never really caught up with post holiday e mails at the start of the week. My sense of a doctorate achievement day began to diminish before me. However, my mood was lifted when I got home by these gorgeous flowers from my mega supportive husband, who feels my pressure and wants me to try to slow down a bit. The e mails erased from my mind! I’m not sure why flowers help me see his concern, but they do!

Then back to the day job 8am ThWP_20151024_002ursday.  In class at 9am supporting Erasmus students who will spend 3 months in Europe from the end of January. Out of that into a module meeting, where I am the module leader; we are developing and delivering a new programme just approved and started this September. Some contentious issues of insufficient cover, mixed views in the importance of adhering to referencing guidelines, how much activity should be in a 2 hours tutorial but some good vibes from the students who are saying positive things about the module; with apparent unawareness of the panic preparation for delivery going on in the background! I live very close to Uni, so can pop home to pick up my oldest for Uni very easily. This is what I thought I was doing after my meeting. In fact I was coming home to listen to him frantically practice his 4th year reflections on his recent engineering placement for over an hour! Helping him, mattered more to me than my ever growing to do list at work!

Back to work I decided to NOT look at e mails and concentrate on looking at the tutorial information I had just received for the sessions that I would be delivering on Friday at 9am. I also really needed to finish the tutorials for my own module for this coming Monday and my lead lecture for next week too. The topic Person & Family Centred Care, ahhhh my comfort zone! I felt such a sense of satisfaction at being able to use my style of personal experience linked with good evidence that will hopefully inspire the next generation of nurses to see that person and family centred care is at the heart of quality nursing care. I used my literature review from my doctorate in all the learning materials, lovely to see a link and immediacy of impact from my studying. Pity it took me until 9pm to finish it. Before I came homeI looked at my to do list with dismay , completely overwhelmed, then looked at my calendar for next week. The only way I will stay sane and get my prep for teaching done was to cancel my doctorate day next week. However, the following week I get to be a PhD student with time on my hands as WP_20151024_001I have booked all week off, using up 5 other cancelled study days from early on in the year. So this compromise will hopefully facilitate balance in my chaos. I saw this Lion King cartoon earlier on in the week and thought of others in my personal life whoWP_20151019_001 had just had what they possibly thought was one of the worst days of their life and pondered with my usual positivity that for them and for me that tomorrow will be better.

Friday was better, with only intermittent doctorate thoughts. Today, after we all eat pancakes, bacon & maple syrup we are all heading 4 hours south to celebrate my mother and father in law reaching 50 years of marriage. I will take some papers to read in the car, but will also blether with my husband and sing out loud. Might even put some Sandi Thom on!

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