I successfully passed my PhD defense yesterday! And best of all, my committee passed me with no revisions, so I'm done as soon as I submit my paperwork on Monday! The defense itself went very smoothly, about as well as I could have hoped for. I was a little nervous before the actual presentation, but I felt prepared, and once I got going, the nerves dissipated. I was able to start strong and finish strong. During the closed session, my committee mostly asked clarification questions about my research, which I was able to answer easily. After my defense, one of my committee members (a more junior faculty member) told me that he thought it was one of the best defense presentations he had ever attended, which made me feel proud. Overall, I'm very happy with the end result, and I'm glad I can finally close this chapter of my life.
Right now, everything still feels pretty surreal. The best way I can describe it is by comparing it to that feeling you got when you lost a baby tooth as a kid. Your tongue keeps returning to feel the gap over and over again, because it's so strange and unfamiliar. I think it'll take a while for the reality to sink in. Yesterday after my defense, J and I got dinner with a couple friends who attended my presentation to support me. Then he and I went to our favorite cocktail bar to enjoy a celebratory drink. Today we're throwing a post-defense/holiday party, so hopefully things will feel more real after that.
For the rest of this month and also next month, my plan is to be a total bum! I'm going to sleep in every day, do all of the fun stuff that I've wanted to do but didn't have time for before, watch way too much TV, read all the books on my reading list, catch up on the maintenance/chores that I've let slide for the last couple months, and clean up our place. Also, I want to lose my extra dissertation weight and get back in shape (in time for J's family ski trip in early January). There's a bunch of other stuff I need to do before I start my new job in February, but I'll worry about that in a couple weeks.
Have a great weekend!