Last week this happened. It was one of those emotionally up and down weeks as a consequence. But this week, when the reality of it has sunk in and I am realizing that I am no longer walking around with the weight of an unfinished thesis on my shoulders, it feels pretty amazing. I have started to realize just how much it's been affecting me for the past few years. The constant guilt of having something to do but no real time to do it. No time to properly relax because once everything else was done I really should have been writing.
If any of my friends had told me they were trying to do something similar (a PhD, three young children, a very busy husband and a business) I would have sat them down and said, that's all really wonderful but there is not time for all of this at once unless you have a whole lot of childcare. And I didn't want the whole lot of childcare because, for me, that's not why I had children. I knew it was mad to try and do it all. And I've known for a long time it wasn't possible, especially with the crazy start-up ride we've had over the past few years. But I didn't realize just how much headspace my thesis was taking up. Not just the thinking about the actual thesis but the worry that I hadn't finished it.
Wow, it feels good to have that all taken away. So many lovely people have been in touch over the past few days to say nice things. Thank you! And several people have talked about the importance of the PhD journey and not just the completed thesis. I did have an amazing journey, which will always stay with me. The constant worry, however, will not be missed.
Five months into 2012 and I really am beginning to achieve this year's word. A wonderful feeling!