Particularly poor folk like me who have come from the gentle warmth of the European summer back to a chillier than usual winter in Melbourne.
So I have gone from this:
It's a shock to the system, but I am getting there. I am even beginning to get my head around post PhD work life. Getting back to reality has been hard, and I had a bit of "woe is me" time this week. It passed.
I've heard it said that the species who survive the best are the ones best able to adapt. And my nanna had a picture that said "things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out"
So that year out with baby that I planned may not materialise, and I don't know when it will. It makes it hard to plan, but I am doing my best to secure gainful, flexible and rewarding employment (Ha!), and enjoying what I have. In this environment, things for everyone are getting harder, with budgets tightening, and opportunities diminishing, even for the highly trained. It can get discouraging, but I am nothing if not adaptable. It is one of my strengths. Plans A, B and C are in progress.
I have even registered for a short fun run. I have lost a bit of running fitness with one thing or another, it's now time to get it back.
I realise I live in a bit of a rarified environment. I roll with many people who are highly educated, highly paid, secure and successful people, who appear to "have it all". I realise what a trap that can be, both from the point of view that you lose your perspective of what is reasonable in life, and that those who "have it all" often don't. I am happy to say that I mostly stay away from that trap, and resist the temptation to "keep up with the Joneses".
This morning I had an acute dose of perspective. My sister is now getting heavily pregnant. She has developed a painful inflammatory condition of the wrist, and now cannot perform her job as a waitress, or pick up her little dog (doesn't bode well for baby). She has to see a plastic surgeon and that is expensive, and she has not two pennies to rub together.
One of the things that drove me to achieve as I did was the motivation to avoid the financial situation I grew up in (ie with not two pennies to rub together). It breaks my heart to see my sister struggle like this, and I know how common it is.
It was a timely reminder that my situation really is good.
I have also done my bit to ensure my little niece has a mumma whose wrist works.