I have much experience with starting over. I feel like I did three actual PhD programs, 2 in Kentucky and 1 in Mississippi. That "starting over" in Kentucky was probably the most significant starting over of my life. I sat in a meeting with my committee after having spent the entire summer reading for my comprehensive exam only to hear the dreaded words that I needed to scrap everything I'd done and "start over." I went home and cried...and felt miserable for a few days. Then I got angry and determined.
We buried that reading list in the backyard of our little rental house, went out to dinner (probably at Tony Roma's where the girls ate dirt cups), I rewrote my reading list, read it, and aced the comprehensive exams.
And then I decided that I'd done enough on that PhD, we moved to Mississippi, and I started another. And I finished that program last year. Some days it still doesn't feel real.
What I have noticed that does feel real is that I was able to finally find time to do stuff I enjoy in the evenings. I don't have to worry about the fact that I'm avoiding writing or reading something. I don't have to dread the next meeting to see if I was going to be told those awful words: "start over." Instead, I can enjoy conversation with my husband over dinner (thank you David for putting up with me for all those years of stalls and frustrations and for jump starting me when I needed it), knit while watching mindless tv, and weave to my heart's content.
This is all to say that even though I had to rip out the work I'd done over the weekend on the sleeve, I did start over and now I have it going correctly and it'll all fit and look wonderful in a couple of weeks.