I’m forty in a few months. As much as I like to say, “I’m fine!” whenever anyone asks me about my health, the truth is I’ve started to pick up a few grumbles here and there.

My right knee likes to ache. My lower back shouts at me several times a year. Various pandemic-related restrictions – both externally-ordered and self-imposed – have reduced my overall fitness, and increased my waistline.

Maybe more than a few grumbles! But this is now a time to take stock and do something. Not to skate further in one direction, but change path, look into things that concern me and make them better. Little grumbles get bigger, they won’t just go away, and I won’t always be able to put them to one side probably.


What are your viva grumbles? What do you push to one side when perhaps you need to pay a little more attention? If there’s a question, a problem or an idea that you’re concerned about, then you can probably do something to make it better.

Small grumbles with your thesis, your research or your confidence won’t go away by themselves. Nerves about the viva will only magnify any issues. Reflect now on the causes of your grumbles, then figure out what you can do to improve the situation.