The Happy or The Hamster (‘cos you can’t have both)

So, in the spirit of being available, I was keeping an eye on the PhD studentships that are going, because, well, you never know.

But also in the spirit of being available, I went to the ladies cake thing at my church on Wednesday night. And gave a lift to a friend. And entered something in the cake competition. Although I didn’t bake it exactly …


(you have to click on the instagram link cos I can’t quite figure how to do it directly.)

And it won a prize, for quirky creativity. So there you go. This bodes well for future crochet projects. This made my Inner Happy (which I have only just recently become reacquainted with) Very Happy.

And then I saw that a position I had applied for previously had been reopened, so obviously they hadn’t found the right research proposal or something. This was the interview that I went completely blank on, and, in the spirit of availability, I contacted the potential supervisor. She said, yes, I could reapply but I would have to rework my proposal. Which I know I could do, although given the time constraints this would be stressful. And even if I got the post I would have to move house. And Little Person really likes school.

My Happy was not so happy anymore. The spirit of availability would seem to dictate I fling myself with all zest and energy into the research proposal, even though there is a good chance it won’t work out. Flinging myself into that means less time and energy for Little Person, for friends, for family, for creative expression. For vaguely amusing blog posts. I lost precisely half a night’s sleep over this question and then remembered one of the reasons for my Inner Happy. It comes from a mind trained to think of the positives. There’s a verse in Philippians which talks about thinking about whatever is good, positively noteworthy, inspiring, excellent, praiseworthy, admirable, and that is how I have trained myself to think. Except when I have research brain switched on and am trying to engage critically with things. Did I mention it can be really difficult to turn research brain off?

So that’s been the difference over the last few weeks – my Inner Happy has come to the party because I have remembered to think about the positives, the noteworthy and excellent things in my life and in the world around me. The stuff I would give prizes to. Didn’t I just win a prize for something?

And the availability thing? Well, that’s about the people, isn’t it? About collecting Little Person from school and having the energy to bounce around on the trampoline with her for half an hour, about having the time to think up new sandwich fillings for The Dude (today was ham, chutney and cucumber, I’ll let you know what he thought), so that life dies not get predictable. If I’m going to be available, I would rather be an available Happy than an available Hamster, because Hamsterlife just seems to miss the point some times.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to never apply for another studentship, but rather that I’m going to take care of the Happy.

Anybody for a crochet cupcake? Lots of fibre.




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