A difficult post this.
I’ve had to take a break from my PhD. This is allowed under the regulations of my institution. I’ve taken a four month ‘intercalation’, where I receive no supervision in this time. I’ll now submit at the end of May 2014, not January as per my long-hoped for plan.
Why the change? I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty details, but it’s become clear that I’ve been trying to do too much, and last week it appears that my body told me this in a pretty dramatic fashion. I’ve used the juggling metaphor before, and many of the ‘balls’ I have to keep up in the air cannot be easily put down. The PhD was a very large ball, and putting it back in its box for a while allows me to concentrate on juggling the other things in my life.
After my summer holiday I’ll get back into PhD reading, and may even put finger to keyboard again, but as I don’t get supervisor support until the 1st November, the progress I can make will be limited.
How do I feel about this? It’s been my decision to take the break, and whilst I was determined to complete in the the four years, there’s no use achieving this at the expense of my own health. Since it’s been agreed that I can take the break it feels that a rucksack that I’ve been carrying for a long time has been taken off my shoulders. Oh dear, this is turning into a post of metaphors.
And in other news, I’m getting involved a little more in the local community, and next week take up an independent committee membership of a local committee at Walsall Housing Group, the main social housing provider in my area.
At work my part-time secondment to another team comes to the end at the end of July, and I’ve asked for it not to be extended. I’ll return full-time to my work as an academic within the Business School, in fact as a Senior Academic as my promotion has come through and is effective from the start of August.
I’m sure even through my break there will be PhD-type things to report on, so I don’t expect there to be a four-month gap here with no posts until the 1st November, but clearly there will be less to report on.
Thank you to everyone for your good wishes recently.