Today I took a day out of work, the app, coding and the Mother Unplugged 2.0 summit to focus on one thing. Tomorrow I have my Viva, the oral defence of my thesis, this is the final exam for 5 years of work. The thesis has to be a Times New Roman word document (kind of boring), but I could not help to allow the presentation to authentically reflect who I am. To walk into that defence as me. My preparation has been:
1. Meditation: This morning I did a 10km run and light yoga. These are my forms of mediation and it got me in the place to disconnect all the other 'me's': mum me, corporate me, friend me, wife me and just focus on Dr. me. As mothers we play so many roles in life, and we need to look at the space for each.
2. Story Telling Whats my 'Why?': One of my favourite Ted Talks of all time is Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action. I started with my 'why', my passion and why it's important. At the time of my doctorate my son was not even born. However, I start with the first words the university Dean said to me 'study what you are passionate about.' I looked at my son in complete joy at beating his sister in junior Monopoly. He had tried so many times in Danish (currency is in 100's DKK), German (currency is in 10's Euros) and English (currency is in 1's and 2's GBP). He won, it was the right level for him to make sense of the game and beat his sister. At the bottom of the picture you see on my screen above, you see a transformer, and he's not looking at me. He is totally partying with his transformer. Now he's coding lego We Do himself at the age of 4! That special ingredient to success in adulthood is my research over the last 5 years. What are the variables that define success in our children later on in adulthood, their: cognitive ability, perseverance, leadership, job satisfaction and happiness. So that's the story I will tell, of course research led but from the point that matters.
3. Practice mummy brain: I've practiced so much today but 20 year old me is not the same as 39 year old me. Pregnancy brain even when your child is 4; is an actual thing!!! I know there is research on depleted oestrogen levels, but I don't even need that to tell me my memory recall is slower.
Tonight, I know I've done as much as I can. Mentally, physically, my mindset and knowledge is walking into that room tomorrow. Incidentally I am 1 of 14 students who started in 2012. Of those 14 students there was only 1 woman and 1 mother; me. Many have found it too tough and dropped out or have extended again, and to date only 1 has graduated. This year myself and another colleague who is a CFO and ethnic minority should graduate. Fingers crossed!!!