I have that feeling in my stomach tonight - a gurgling, writhing, fluttering, slightly slippery feeling. It's one of those gut-turning sensations; the result of a mixture of conflicting emotions - excitement, worry and vague dread . The cause? In a few hours my life is going to change and I don't really know how I feel about it or what it's going to be like.
Tomorrow I'm going to London. I'm going to re-register at the University as a returning postgraduate, coming back after 20 long years to try, once and for all, to complete my PhD.
Up to now, I've been looking forward to it, but now I feel in an ever-so-slight panic. Am I really ready for the work? The commitment? The inevitable stress and the toll that will take on my family? Suddenly I'm not so sure.
I've just been checking last minute arrangements; train timetables, emails, paperwork, checkbooks..but even so I feel thoroughly underprepared. My new supervisor - almost half my age I'm sure - has already suggested a raft of books I should be reading. But I haven't had the time, nor the opportunity, nor the access to the library.
I am only just realising the enormity of the task ahead of me. I've no idea just how it will all work out or how well I will slot it into my life, but one thing's for sure: it's going to be hard hard graft from now on. No more coasting, slacking, relaxing, or indulging.
But I have to do it. It's my last chance to finish this thing , so wish me luck, because (dramatic emphasis) at the moment I don't know whether or when I'll have a chance to post again.