Tuesday, 29 May 2012

My thesis

Next year I should be doing my Psychology Honours thesis.  Yes I know - too old for all that stuff - I've already done an Honours and Masters degree, and yes here I am again - mad or what!  Partly I thought that Psychology would be a good career change for a single mother so here I am now childless and wondering if I want to continue with psychology ....anyway just pressing on for the moment. 
I've been trying to get myself organised and not leave my thesis topic to the last minute so I put quite a bit of work into trying to find an organisation who I could do something useful for.  I had some interest from a foster care organisation and as of yesterday was pretty sorted to do a qualitative study interviewing people who had undertaken foster care training and then decided not to go ahead with foster care.  The study would have looked at barriers and facilitators for people contemplating foster care.  It would have been a good study, but there are only a small number of supervisors at my Uni who do qualitative research and so far they have either said no or maybe to me - even though they think it's a great topic.  So with underwhelming enthusiasm and the knowledge that a qualitative study is going to be harder I have just decided so 'stuff it'.  I don't want to make my life harder than it already is, I don't want to be martyr to the cause - trying to do a study that will be useful while fighting an uphill battle. 
So I've just come up with an idea that would look at childless women.  I had originally planned on doing a study on childless women, but then went warm on the idea as I didn't want to have my whole life defined by being childless, I also didn't want to be telling people my thesis topic and outwardly be admitting this is a large part of my life.  So anyway I've kind of decided on a topic, back to square one with trying to find a supervisor - a job for later this week.  Alas I can't say what the topic is as I may be asking you to complete a survey and it's really ruins the study if participants know the hypothesis.  For now I'm just going to rest in my feeling of excitement which feels great after the flat feeling of 1 rejection and one non-commital today.  Also I'll only have one ethics committee to get through at the Uni if I don't work with the foster care agency.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

What is 'my thing'?

I really feel as though something is lacking in my life, I'm searching and searching for that thing that defines me.  I guess I always thought it would be, being a mother.  I know in many respects it's not a great thing to define you either - as a friend once said to me - why is something the vast majority of people do seen as being so special? (She has children).  Yet being a mother is quite socially acceptable as a thing to define you.  As I've probably said here before  - I never wanted to be a career woman, so I really don't want my work/job/career to define me.  So what else is there.....Maybe I'm not going to have one big thing in my life that says - Here I am, look what I've achieved.  I think that concerns me, I feel the need to have something I'm proud of, something I've achieved, something tangible the world can see.  I would love to hear from other childless women about what they believe defines them, their thoughts on this subject and just the important things in their life that 'replace children'.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ambivalence, lassitude & dare I say it ....loneliness

Lately these two words describe me much more than I would like to admit.  Oncoming winter is probably partly the reason, but really it's far bigger than that.  I once had a friend tell me that I was lucky to be single as I had far more options (her partner later cheated on her and she was hooked up again within 6 months!).  Really options are great, but I have said for a long time that I have too many options, in many respects I'd like to be tied to someone, and as scary as it is in some respects, having children takes care of about 20 years of having to decide what to do with your life.  Of course you still have to do and find other things in your life - but there's a great socially acceptable thing that you're already engaged in which engages you with many others in the same situation and in that situation I think the other things are easier to find.

I'm really at a stage where I have no idea what I want to do with the next few years of my life, let alone the rest of my life.  I'm lacking the passion and drive that I used to have, when I felt, not quite that the world was my oyster, but that I was going to have a great life and make a difference somehow.  I don't want to sound completely down, but currently I tend to see this long life of emptiness stretched out in front of me.

I don't seem to be able to make decisions about anything.  I have recently been doing some foster care training and watching all the couples (I was the only single person in there) who had already raised children of their own, made me question whether I have what it takes to be a foster carer and maybe more importantly whether I even want to do it.  I love the idea of doing it with a partner, where all the responsibility doesn't rest on me and I have someone to share the highs and lows with.  When I think about doing it alone, mostly I just feel like I'd rather go back to bed.  So there's one good example of my ambivalence and lassitude, but to be honest it feels like the theme of my life at the moment.  Will I ever feel passionate again?

Maybe the only thing I do feel a strong desire for is to find someone to share my life with....the answer to that from all the pop culture you read is to have a full and happy life doing the things you love and then you'll meet that partner.  So if I'm to believe pop culture, I'm pretty shot on that front.  So for now I just plod on trying to focus on small joys like walking my dog every day and completing some Uni assignments.  I'm hoping some kind of shift may just slowly creep up on me when I'm not looking.