Research and a PhD during the COVID year….

This last year has been anything but what I expected.  COVID happened when Janeen and I were living in beautiful Newport, Oregon with our pup Max. Luckily we were able to take him for walks to keep our sanity. But then in July, he went over the doggie rainbow bridge and our house felt very empty.

We decided to leave Oregon in our Sprinter van and camp for awhile – get outside as safely as we could so we didn’t go stir crazy and mourn the loss of both our fur kids. We both missed the sunny days of southern California and eventually ended up back here in Ventura County on silverstrand beach.  This has been much easier for me to get my work done while I attempt to finish my PhD this year.

Thanksgiving weekend I almost lost Janeen in an acute case of sepsis from complications with a kidney stone, something that most people painfully deal with and move on.  I really thought she might not make it home the first few days.  So once she was home, we decided it was time to grow our little fur family again and we picked up Ollie right before Christmas.

Yes, this whole time I have been “working on” my dissertation, however, I definitely have a much better balance now.  I don’t work on the weekends, if we decide to sit and have a long lunch together I don’t stress out and I took all of my “work apps” off of my cell phone.  I am actually getting more done now than I did before as my time is much more focused when I am working.

I have set my dissertation defense for September 2021 and am working hard to get it done. I have been very fortunate to work remotely with different groups of really cool colleagues on some side projects as well as write some grants as a group with some really smart people.  I am excited for our next adventure – definitely going to be in a warm place… Hawaii is in our future.