Things I have not done since I started the PhD:

1. Crafty stuff with the kids. I had grand hopes of being super-involved due to work flexibility. Ha! My schedule got so out of control, I could barely manage an extra 45 minutes with them. I mentioned this to one of the mums at the kindy and she said: “Oh don’t worry, I don’t work and I don’t do crafty stuff. To be honest, it’s quite boring.” Feel better.

2. Exercised: I was sure I’d lose a tonne of weight because surely I could get an hour in every day. Ha again! I ended up not even completing the yoga class I signed up for, which frankly, I didn’t miss once when I was working.

3. Read a lot on my topic: This is the biggest irony. I have not even been able to properly work on the thing I’m supposed to be researching. Because I loaded up on coursework and had a tutorial to take. Gahhhh

Things I have done:

1. Read a lot about French feminism and developed a love of Luce Irigaray even though I don’t agree with her final position on the question of difference.

2. Bonded with fellow students who I think don’t think I’m the boringest aunty around.

3. Dropped Benji to school a fair bit and developed relationship with teachers, other mums, hosted play dates, etc.

4. Written a paper, which might be of some use.

5. Completed a semester of being a tutor and impersonating being a teacher who knows what she’s doing. I have some ideas how I might do better next semester.

6. Seen a very good counsellor.

Normally, this would be the time to take stock of the year etc. But frankly, I can’t be arsed to get into it in detail. It’s been a crazy year, and frankly, the part of it when I wasn’t in the PhD programme seems like another life. My marriage has been a rollercoaster, and its still a work in progress though I don’t have much patience about working on it anymore. The breakthrough is that we have an underlying bedrock of love or affection or whatchamacallit that counts for something and are communicating a wee bit better after the fact if not pre-emptively. Lost interest in certain old friends – I used to feel bad about these relationships drifting and now that I’m going to see them, I realise I don’t care if I do or don’t, though seeing them might change that. Honestly, a part of me is done agonising, if that’s possible with me. I feel like I should just bludgeon chaotically on and not feel too bad about having not thought things through.

Normally, I’d have some existential goal for the coming year. But I’m very clear what I want:

1. To present a paper at at least one conference.

2. To catch up on all the reading I haven’t been able to do.

3. To be a better teacher. Though I don’t care tooo much about this.

4. To count to 10 more before reacting to the husband. How many years have I been saying this though? Should I give up on this goal since it’s clearly not happening? It’s a fine line between silence and resentment that just simmers and screaming to everyone’s alarm.

That is all. Back to the books.