Yesterday was PhD talk's first birthday. One year since my first blog post, and I must say it has been a great experience.
I started off this blog to keep track of how I am doing with my resolutions (stay focused and find a work-life balance), but this blog has taken many directions. I've found a way to write about my research, what it means to do research, and many other remotely related topics.
Here's a big "Thank you" for my readers and subscribers! I never thought my writing would be read in the first place, but I'm glad to see your comments and input! Thank you all so much!
So, after a year, how am I doing with my resolutions?
1. Stay focused
Major improvements! My ability to focus and concentrate has greatly increased - partially because I have been training my concentration "muscle", but also partially because I feel more time-pressure on the different tasks I am juggling, which makes me gear up to a higher mode of concentration.
2. Work-life balance
I still spend more hours on my PhD than what you'd spend on a "normal" job, but I enjoy it a lot, and get a lot of energy and joy out of doing research - especially when I "find" something. It looks like a work-life balance to me means a large shot of work and a large shot of "life" in there, and as little "idling" time as possible. I've been working out a lot, playing music a lot, writing in my dairy, blogging, occasionally writing poems and drawing, reading Good Books, modeling, making scrapbooks, spending time in nature, spending time with my family, traveling, sleeping more and trying out new recipes (to mention a few). You might get tired by simply reading this list, but I've found that to keep going is what really fuels me. An evening in front of the TV just feels like wasted time to me.
Research-wise it has been an amazing year, too. I've started to feel confident about my research and to grow as a teacher. Currently, I'm juggling a crazy amount of different tasks - and I totally love it. Since I have a problem with authority, the freedom of academia seems to stimulate me to perform in an optimal way.
Personally, too, this past year (I was 25) has been among my top 3 favorite life-years ever (together with 23 and 17).