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Reflecting on 2018

This entry was posted on Monday, December 31st, 2018 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: walking, travel, thesis, running, phd, inspirations, homeland, holidays, happy, goals, faith, ego, edinburgh, celebrations

As 2018 winds to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year and how I’ve fared over the last 12 months. And, as always, I am trying to focus on the positives. Well, I say I am focusing on the positives, but I am also thinking about the negatives.

Although to keep the upbeat tone of my annual reflection, I am concentrating on the positive outcomes of any negative bits of the year.

Negatives, such as how I struggled to get my thesis completed. There were several glitches along the road to submission (starting from the beginning of my PhD) that meant that I was writing like mad up to the final deadline. The final few months were extremely stressful and took a lot out of me. (The stress probably contributed to my short hospital stay a few days after I submitted my thesis!)

But the positive outcome is that I finally submitted my PhD thesis!

And as that was my number one aim for 2018, I am quite pleased with the year’s success!

Note: I had intended to submit my thesis and complete my viva before the end of the year. And it was a plan that almost worked out. That is to say, I did submit my thesis and I did have my viva scheduled for the week before the university closed for the holidays. Only my external examiner had medical issues that meant she had to pull out of the viva team, which meant finding a new examiner and rescheduling the viva in the New Year. But I am still counting it as a success.

My second goal for 2018 was a running goal. I didn’t make a big public announcement for the goal as I decided to keep it quite simple: A sub-30 5K. No races; no big mileage goals; just a simple 5K in a relatively adequate time.

I was quite pleased to have beat that running goal in May with a time of 29.49.6. And as I still had more than half the year to go, I decided to move the goal-posts to a sub-29 5K. Frustratingly, the negative bits of life meant that I didn’t manage the new goal. (It’s one of the frustrations of being chronically ill!) I did, however, manage to shave a few seconds off my time though and ended up with a new 5K time of 29.44.

The year was filled with lots of other positives, too. Mostly in the form of adventures:

I took the weekend off from my PhD studies to re-focus my brain with some healthy fresh air with a wee pilgrimage to St Anthony’s Chapel and a walk around Caerketton.

I spent a day adventuring around Cramond and Cramond Island.

I enjoyed a summer visit to the Homeland where I had the honour of becoming Godmother to my nephew, Cameron.

I took part in a fun, blood-themed scavenger hunt around Edinburgh after recovering from my post-submission deathbed visit.

I explored the Pentlands over the Christmas holidays with a visit to the Rullion Green memorial, Castlelaw, and the Tytler family memorial.

Overall, I have to say that 2018 has been a good year. After all, I managed to survive it despite the trials and tribulations that were sent my way. I hope that you’ve had a good year, too!

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