In front of our house, there is a Japanese maple tree. As autumn has plodded along its colour has been slowly changing, to the point now where it is an incredible deep, rich red in colour. These photos really don't do it justice - I'm sure I'll be taking more and trying to capture it properly until it finally sheds all its leaves for the winter.
Life has slowly been settling back into a routine. I think I'm finally getting used to doing full time work! Even though some of the work is very similar to the stuff I did while I was a PhD student, it feels very different - I can walk away at 5pm without any guilt, and if I do any extra work it's because I want to, not because I have to.
One of the things I was looking forward to most was actually having disposable income, and I'm still waiting - a profusion of bills have meant that I'm still almost as poor as I was before I started. I can at least console myself in the knowledge that if I were still doing my thesis, I might have been in serious trouble - running out of PhD scholarship meant that I had to work part-time to help support myself and deal with Centrelink all at the same time as finishing the thesis, which wasn't good for either my financial situation or my sanity.
One thing that makes the struggle to get on a sound financial footing that little bit easier is knowing I have a mainland trip booked for July - I'm really looking forward to going on holiday and continuing to be paid!
For the past few years I've only been vaguely aware of the passage of time, stuck in a haze of work and procrastination. Having more of a life now has certainly helped to keep me more in the moment, and especially having a growing kitten in our house. We've only had her for a little over a month, and she's already getting much bigger...
It's amazing how quickly things change - looking back, I don't think there's a time in my adult life where I would have been able to predict what would happen over the next year or two. Something unexpected always seems to come up and change things, for better or worse, in small ways and big ways. Watching the change of the seasons always makes me wonder what the next surprise is going to be!