amy1

We are now post-Regatta as I write this. Conventional wisdom in St. John’s is that the weather starts to turn a little colder and that summer weather is done for.  However, so far, we are still doing pretty well. As I review my blog posts, I see that I have done a good job at keeping up with the stereotype of Newfoundlanders who talk endlessly about the weather, and this post will be no different. I speculate that this weather talk may be due to our history, whereby paying attention to weather was essential for survival. In the past, weather impacted livelihoods, travel plans and even the food we eat. Thus, being in tune with the environment was a skill needed to survive on our isolated rock in the middle of the Atlantic. Weather would dictate what work was needed to be done that day, or would have great implications on how the work was done. And this is where I find myself as I go about my current work.  I am very influenced by the weather.  We had a pretty good summer over all and I have been getting out there and enjoying it. In my last post I wrote about the importance of scheduling and creating a calendar. While keeping up with this schedule is helpful in getting work done, I have also been flexible and adaptive when I do work, based on the weather. It’s easier to work in the evenings when it’s a little cooler. I also want to get out and enjoy the sunshine, as this can be a rare occurrence here in NL.

This summer has been a good mix of getting some work done, prepping for comps and also getting that much needed relaxation and down time.  I have been getting outside a lot, riding and biking and swimming. I spent some time training for triathlons and have completed two races, with one more to go at the end of August.  It has been a lot of work, but it has been fun, and exercise is important for my mental health. I have also been spending quality time with my partner and family this summer.  They have been incredibly supportive of my academic life, and have been understanding when I had less time during my course work. So it is great to be able to spend some time relaxing with family and friends.

The picture above is me and my sister at the St John’s Tri.  I picked this because it illustrates what I have been up to this summer.  More than this however, as I reflect on the experience of training and the completion of the tri, for me it’s a tangible reminder of how goal setting, careful planning, support from my support network, and hard work can pay off in the end. Much like this PhD program, there is a long process in training for a sport and it doesn’t come easy.  There is work, heartache, headaches and back aches, but in the end the process is worth it.  I’ll break out a cliché:  it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.  As someone who is very goal oriented, it can be challenging working towards something that is pretty far off. Thus, setting small goals is helpful, but also reminding myself to enjoy the moment and appreciate the journey that gets me where I am going, this is key.

I am inclined to start thinking about the fall and make some plans, create a schedule, and make some goals. I am already thinking about cooking for fall. I tend to be very seasonal when it comes to food, so I am thinking about soups and heartier fare. My partner and I have a little veggie patch with potatoes, carrot, onion and garlic and I am already thinking about harvesting. I am a planner by nature. However, for now, I think I need to hit pause on the planning for the fall, and just enjoy the now. We do not get long summers with sun and warm weather and fall will be here soon enough.  This is a short blog post because I am getting out in the sun and heading to the park for yoga, to enjoy the now.

Until next time…

~Amy