ETHICS – you pain me but you are necessary. Ethics is the flavour of this month and probably next as I get all those pesky details pinned down. There is so much to do on ethics it blows my mind, research on topics around children harbour so many risks it is scary. Still needs must. This is helping me to really apply what came up as a result of my annual review and it feels like the bigger picture is coming together. I don’t feel so lost even though I know there’s so much work to do.

I feel like if I had any advice for anyone struggling to make progress during their PhD studies, give yourself some quick wins that you can hammer out in less than a week or two. Ethics should be that for normal people. Once the outline is laid out it is easy to make quick progress as it becomes like a to-do-list and you’re just ticking off the points that need to be covered. Win, win, win. All positives. Positive reinforcement will make you feel better about what you’re trying to tackle and might change your approach or perspective to future problems. At this point in time it is everything I needed to feel positive again about my research.

DUBLIN, I took my Mum to Dublin. It rained 80% of the time but the other times it was absolutely stunning or between storms! We did so much and did so little, it was great to get away from uni work and work, work for a couple of days. This is the kind of life I’ve always dreamed of. Balance is an art I do not always get right but I feel like this is the first time in my life where things are panning out ok.

We stayed in a village by the sea called Balbriggan and though it gets cut off from society towards the evenings, I have no regrets. Watching the sunset and rise on the water was stunning and refreshing and I hope I remember the view forever.

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