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([personal profile] submarine_bells Jun. 15th, 2017 07:21 am)
It's a challenging time for me at present. I continue to battle with my PhD thesis, a.k.a. The Thesis That Will Not Die. It's almost done - I'm on the very final edit, which sounds like it should be a fairly quick buff-and-polish, but no. My supervisor Wendy is going over each chapter with a micrometer (as she should), and while this results in the numerous error corrections and polishing of phrasing and so forth that I expected, she is also finding sections that need to be completely rewritten, and suggesting new bits of data wrangling for me to do when she decides that yes, it is necessary to analyse this bunch of stuff over here that we hadn't focussed on during the actual data analysis phase Because of Reasons. So there's a lot more work in this final "polishing" phase than I expected.

I'd be annoyed with Wendy's perennial cry of "here's another thing you need to add/totally change in this nearly-finished chapter!" if it weren't for the fact that these rewrites really improve the end product. It's evolved from a pile of loosely-related findings and observations-of-interest into an actual, coherent thesis in every sense of the word. I'm very happy with the end result; I just passionately wish that the process of getting there was a bit faster. But she's (nominally) retired, and I have ADHD, so nothing happens quickly.

I'm honestly not sure if I'd have ever started this PhD if I'd had any inkling of how long it was actually going to take. I'm in Year 18 of it now, which is kind of ridiculous... but on the other hand, Wendy has been saying lately that she is very happy with the results that I'm getting with this ridiculous project - I'm doing something here that nobody else has ever attempted. It's unique, because the particular methodology I'm using is so very very time consuming and intensive that it would be impossible to do under normal circumstances. I guess most people doing PhDs don't have partners willing to support them for "as long as it takes" without complaint. Truly, I am fortunate in that respect. Also, I'm stubborn and persistent beyond reason when it comes to working on something that matters deeply to me. Which is why I'm here, still working on finishing a thesis that itself is now old enough to drink. :-)

Things have been a bit more stressful than usual lately on a non-thesis-related front, which adds to the difficulty. I'm in the throes of full-on menopausal symptoms, which includes hot flashes fierce enough to melt iron in frequent, regular succession... which is not conducive to good sleep. So I'm tired, irritable and hormonal, which I'm told makes me a real joy to be around at times. I'm beginning to understand why a webforum discussing such issues is named "Perimenopausal and Semihomicidal". :-7

Things are also stressful on the financial front. Until recently, household income has been sufficient to manage just fine as long as we're pretty frugal. But public service pays haven't risen (even for cost-of-living increases) for some years now; and at at the same time, power prices in South Australia have risen from "stupidly high" to "insane", as have health insurance premiums. The result of this is that things are really tight financially, and we now have sod-all in the way of financial buffer, it having been chewed away over time by various necessities. So we're having to pull in our heads financially, and figure out what expenses can be reduced. I realise that "being able to fly gliders less frequently" is the ultimate "First World Problem" (I hate that phrase but it's actually appropriate here) but yannow, I live for my airtime, and it brings me joy in a way few other things can, so it's a bitter pill to swallow. And I'm gonna have to decide whether I need to get a job to keep our heads above water, which sounds simple enough but I fear that if I do that, I won't have the mental energy to be able to finish my thesis at the same time. It's... not as simple as it sounds, as a solution. But it's on the table, along with other things, so we shall see.
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