The stipend is OVAH!

So. My non-living scholarship has come to a close, 3.5 years of a mighty useful addition to all the other things I do to keep the wolves from the door. Now what? I am still registered as a full-time grad student. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up the full-time status if I have to find more work.

Something’s gotta give. I made a satisfying, pragmatic decision this week. I’ve already had a good break from the PhD – my holiday in July and then two weeks of conference has added up to a full three weeks. But, you know, I have other things to finish too. I have a co-authored paper to revise for IJME. I have a 28 chapter book to edit. I have some research work to complete. I have at least three chapters of a book to write and I have to write an article for another co-authored paper. I want to do some unpaid work for a friend who’s organising a music theatre charity event and I would really like to sing some more. I need to exercise and lose weight and we need to work on the house – insulation and air-conditioning being two of the important things.

I have to find more research work and I need to fund our fast-approaching new year’s bills. (They double in the new year, you know.) So, I’ve realised, the PhD can wait. I’ll go to part-time status.

It will be sitting at the back of my head, sniping away at me, as bete noirs are wont to do. I will finish it. Frankly, I need to let go of it for a while. I’m tired of it, sick of it, and I’ve not achieved anything with it at present. I’ll see how I feel in a month. Perhaps I’ll just read one article per day to keep up with the reading. I don’t know. Maybe this will work, maybe not. But I’m giving myself permission to not do it for a while. I hope that letting go of the guilt of not working will give me the freedom to renew and refresh, so that when I DO come back to it I’ll feel invigorated by it.

So, there’s my decision. A huge one, no? But a good one, I hope. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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