I shouldn’t be blogging because the truth is I have the most pressing deadline ever – like seriously. But life is feeling beautiful albeit a bit stressful. Can’t explain it, I’m just feeling grateful and remarkably happy despite the stress. And so as I am working on my writing, I am listening to Boney M sing Auld Lang Syne. 😳😱🤭🤫#GuiltyPleasure. My heart is so happy, so I want to capture this moment on my blog.

Back to “Dala what you must” – It’s is colloquialism in my community and my best friends and I use it quite often. It basically means “Do whatever it is that you must do” or “Do whatever you decide you can or must do“. So the phrase can have a positive connotation or a negative one, but generally when we tell each other “Dala what you must” it’s typically when one of us needs to get out of trouble for some or other reason. For me it’s an endearing term.

See I am so over dala’ing my Puh Huh Duh (PhD) project. And I cannot wait to bow down to the universe with gratitude and respect when this is finally done and say Thank You for the lessons that this part of my journey has taught me –  but then also be so glad to be done with writing chapters on Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry in South Africa!!!! Yawn…..

I want to get on with my life now. I want to start the next phase. Besides the academic component,  in personal capacity I have grown so much during the time that I have worked on this study. I have gotten to know myself really well, my weaknesses and my flaws. I’ve learnt to love myself, truly unconditionally and deeply. I have finally also learnt to stand up for myself and say an unequivocal No, when something makes me unhappy. And probably the most important is, I have learnt to forgive myself.

So in April this year when my supervisor said “send me your first draft by end of June” and I still hadn’t done my final interviews, I blerrie knew that was practically impossible but I continued working as if I was going to make it.

Then in July she told all her students who were coming to the end of three years (this is a PhD study hey…three years? #SlaveDriverMuchMaybe…. but I push my own self hard too, so I’m  not complaining), to send her all our chapters by 17th August.

And then the 17th August came and I only had chapter one in a presentable format. To explain that – see when you a write a thesis, I would argue that no one in history has ever submitted what they wrote when they started. Yeah, you start writing, then you do literature review and then what you wrote changes, and then you do data analysis, and then what you wrote changes, and then it changes and then changes and then it changes yet again. But I was definitely starting to see my work come together, so I sent her an email and said I’m sorry I didn’t make her deadline. However I asked her permission to send her one chapter per week for the next eight and she said Yes, and I said “Bless you Shalini

And then end of September came around and I still wasn’t done. Admittedly I wasn’t working completely non-stop like I did with my Masters Degree. But the thing is working non-stop on that degree is what led to me being clinically depressed in that year, and so this time I know better and therefore I strove to do better. I continued to be involved with family and friend activities – took days off to celebrate the birthdays of two of my best friends, celebrated my own children’s birthday and hosted a party at home. I engaged in some other research on educational technology and my abstract was accepted to present a paper at the RITAL conference the end of this year – and I was asked to write a chapter in a book that is being published. I even dated a really nice guy for a bit. Busy but balanced? I was learning and growing.

When we know better, we do better- Angelou Maya.

So back to now. Back to my chapters. I sent my supervisor four chapters last night that I am very proud of and I admitted to her that the others aren’t ready yet. The others are about 70% done, but truthfully I’m feeling excited about them. My voice is getting stronger in my writing because I can see what my OpEx Model looks like. And I’m feeling confident about my work and proud of my work. And so she has given me another two weeks, which I am delighted about. I can do this!

So why Auld Lang Syne?… I don’t know… It just makes me feel happy. Doesn’t it make you feel happy?

Dala what you must

Photo Credit: Vannie Kaap (https://shop.vanniekaap.com/collections/vk-mugs/products/dala-what-you-must-2)