It has been 18 months since I sat my PhD Viva. 18 months of chaoticness. PhD amendments, publications, moving into academia full time, teaching over 1500 students, marking, new research projects, media interviews, lectures, and zooms. And that is only what went on in my career, there was also a worldwide pandemic and everything that went along with that. It has been exhausting, as I am sure it has been for everyone. Now 18 months on from my Viva and over a year in academia full time, I think that perhaps I am finding my rhythm. I am taking a breath.
I have posted many blogs about work / life balance (or lack thereof) in academia, and I still have much to learn in this space. I think I will always work hard and invest not only my time but also my energy, heart, and soul into my work. I think that is what academia is. However, I am making an effort to slow down too: slow down with the blog (as you may have noticed). Posting less and only when I genuinely have something to say. Slowing down with social media, again posting less and spending less time scrolling, less time getting caught up in the comparison and the FOMO. Slowing down on my weekends, having many moments of calm and getting comfortable with the idea of ‘doing nothing’. Slowing down with work when my body and mind tells me too (it’s a start…). Slowing down when my body needs to, acknowledging that living with endometriosis is challenging and exhausting.
I think that slowing down is not just a post PhD thing, but perhaps a late twenties thing. It seems to be a good time to prioritise and implement small changes and mind shifts.