But the visiting academic has gone home now, back to his prestigious US university, so my brief foray back into academia is over again, and I'm feeling a bit sad, and realising just how much I'm going to miss it (it didn't help either that when I filled in the census forms the other day, for the first time in many many years I had to tick the "no" box to the question "are you currently enrolled in formal education").
I think though that I did make the right decision in dropping the paper. Life is still kind of messy, and even though I loved sitting in on those lectures for the last couple of weeks, just keeping up with the reading for them was a real struggle - if I was having to also do all the data collection and writing response papers that the real students were doing alongside the reading, there's no way I'd have coped. And with the end of term looming up in a couple of weeks, and the first assessments starting to come due, I'd have been seriously stressed by now.
In other words, my head knows I made the right decision to put study on hold for a year, but my heart isn't entirely convinced.