Just Me Again!

Hey everyone. I’ve been wanting to write something for a while but I just couldn’t. The last couple of months have felt pretty tough again. I think it’s something to do with the end of the year and the start of the new one (not to mention the significant dates that happen around this time). I thought about posting a reflection on the past year but for some reason last year just seemed to merge with the previous couple of years and I couldn’t figure out what to say. I don’t want it to sound like I’m miserable all the time, I’m generally a positive person. It’s just that there are layers of me (do I sound like Shrek? – maybe I’m really an ogre? 😆) and if you peel a few back there’s still a lot of pain underneath that sometimes seeps out whether I want it to or not. I wanted to write about Christmas but it’s just not the same any more. I used to love Christmas; but now, while I still love bits of it, other things – like Christmas songs – are just painful. Christmas songs are a bit like fairy tales – and I don’t think I believe in fairy tales any more – maybe it’s a bit naive that I ever did? I wanted to write about the New Year but I’m struggling a bit to dream about possibilities. Having said that I do have some nice plans for camping and things with friends this year.

Could this be a self-portrait? 😂

That all sounds a bit dramatic, right? So let me lighten it up a bit for you. This year started with the delightful news that I had Covid! I’m fine – I didn’t struggle with the severe symptoms some people have had. For me it was pretty much like any other cold or flu virus. I had a couple of rough days but other than that I was fine. The worst thing was being stuck in for 10 days. It gave me a bit of time to contemplate my word for the year though. Last year’s word was a total flop! I think I chose the word ‘articulate’ in the end but I can’t even remember. The idea was to be authentic and vocalise my own thoughts, needs and opinions. Well that didn’t happen! 😝 – So here’s hoping I have more success this year. I’ve chosen a couple of words for the year 2022 – ‘clarity’ and ‘confidence’. I feel a real need for clarity just now and I’m hoping my therapist can help me a bit with getting that. I also need confidence – in God, in myself and to be able to follow through with whatever becomes clear.

I’ve also decided to keep track of any books I read this year. I do read quite a bit but a lot of it is for work or study right now which means I’m dipping in and out of books rather than just reading them for interest or enjoyment. I was so impressed when LA posted that she had read 113 Books last year. Initially I thought I’d be doing well to set myself a target of 10 but after thinking about it for a while I realised that I probably already manage that in a year by the time I read a couple of books with friends so we can chat about them and a few on holiday (vacation). I usually have 2 or 3 on the go most of the time; it’s just that I don’t have much time to read just for fun. Anyway I’m going to stretch my target to 15 and see how I get on. It would be cool if I can really surprise myself and do more but I’ll be happy if I can achieve that.

After having to quarantine with Covid I was glad to be able to get back to the gym and the pool and out walking again. I’m not the fittest person by any stretch but I like to be active and you always get some random chat at the local sports centre. Church is back in person again – I’m not sure what I’m going to do about church going forward (maybe I’ll write about that sometime) but for now I’m back and it’s good to be around people and worship together. Work and study always keeps me busy but I think my capacity is not what it used to be so I’m really glad that somehow it always seems to work out to just the right amount to keep me busy but not overwhelm me. It must be a God thing because I don’t plan it that way.

Well I think that’s all I have to say for now. I hope you’re all well and I’ll check in again sometime. x


Nighttime Brain Dump

I haven’t done this in a while but I’m awake in the night – up drinking camomile tea in the hope that I can get myself tired enough to get back to sleep. I was planning on reading but now I’m debating writing a blog post. Correction – I’m debating posting this writing.

There are several things going through my mind that are possibly contributing to my being awake at such an ‘ungodly hour’. Ha! Where does that expression even come from? Surely there are no ungodly hours?

Anyway I’m thinking about funerals, suicide, death, judgement and acceptance, happiness, love, divorce, marriage, addiction and illness among other things. Is it any wonder I can’t sleep?

I’m not going to start writing about why I’m thinking about all of this right now. I would literally be here all night. Thing is I’m not just thinking it – I’m feeling it too. anyone else like that?

I’m going to keep this brief and actually try to sleep again since I have college in the morning. Maybe I’ll stick my headphones in and put on a meditation? I have a couple of favourites that sometimes do the trick.

Goodnight my friends. Sleep well. 😊

Just Checking In 😊

Hey lovely WordPress friends! It’s been a while. When I said I was taking a break back in February I really didn’t expect it to be for this long. At this moment I’m not actually sure I’m done having a break – I just wanted to say ‘Hi!’

So far 2021 has been pretty much as weird as 2020 was. Some things seem to be “going back to normal” but the reality is that everything is still different. In my house almost everyone is still working from home at least 4 days per week. Church is still different, and my course which I started during the pandemic is still online; although I have met a few of my classmates in person now. From September we get to go in to the college for one day of the course weekend. I’ll probably get a train in to the city those days – that’s still different too as masks are required on public transport.

Anyway, boring, boring! Is anything interesting actually happening to tell you about? Apart from the fact that two of my family currently have Covid? – Don’t worry they’re okay. Fortunately just a mild dose by the look of it.

Probably the most fun thing that’s happened this year is that my friend K and I have been getting into car camping. We made wee window covers for our cars and we’ve been collecting camping kit (mostly for feeding ourselves) in boxes. We pack up our cars and drive for an hour or two to our meeting point and then we’ll maybe go for a swim in a Loch, make ourselves dinner over a camping stove and share some wine or cider, sleep in our cars and go for a hike up a hill the next day. Or perhaps do the hike at sunset and the swim in the morning? Anyway, that’s kept me going through this year of ‘no events to go to’.

I’ve joined up with a team doing street work with the homeless once a month. That’s been interesting too – not in the same way obviously. It’s good to meet people and hear their stories though and hopefully be an encouragement and a help to them too.

I’ve managed to get myself off the antidepressants this year too. The CBT training and therapy helped a lot with strategies and stuff. Some days I still struggle a bit but on the whole I can manage my mental health and my emotions a lot better. I’ve got back into exercise again too which really helps. I joined the local gym and I’ve been swimming twice a week, going to the gym a couple of times and doing my Piyo class too, now that it’s started up again.

Other than that I think life has ticked over with work, walks with friends and hanging out with family and my wee friend B. My highlight (apart from car camping) was getting to go to the Eden Project in Cornwall in the summer.

Would you like to see what’s inside?

So that’s you all caught up with the excitement that is my life! 😆 I may or may not drop by again. Depends if I can decide what to say. The problem is probably not that I have nothing to say – just that I don’t know where to start! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Take care my friends. I hope you’re all well, healthy and happy. X

Taking a break.

I thought about doing this a few months back but I didn’t end up going through with it. I’ve decided to take a little break from WordPress (among other things) – I’m not sure how long for. I’m feeling the need to simplify my life for a while. I’ve got quite a bit going on between work and studying and life in general. I’ll miss this wee community and reading all your blogs but hopefully it will clear a space in my head for other things. Take care of yourselves blogging friends. I wish you all well. 😊💗

Wednesday’s Wisdom

There’s not much I need to add to this wisdom really. I guess it resonates with me because for a long time I tried to be the person I thought I needed to be. The person I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I did this to the extent that I didn’t really know who I actually was any more. I lost myself while trying to be what I thought I should be. Losing yourself is hard and it’s not helpful in the long run. Now I’m trying to find myself again. I’m trying to discover who I really am and to be real.

Does this resonate with you? Have you ever tried to be someone you’re not to please others, or for some other reason? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

I’m not sure of the origins of this piece of wisdom. It’s one of those quotes that many people have incorporated into their own ‘wise words’ in various ways. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the last few weeks since one of my cousins posted something about it on Facebook. I guess it just got me thinking again about things in my life that have been hard to accept and how I’ve wrestled with them. I realised that acceptance can be a lot like trust if you have faith in God – trusting that He is in control and working things out for your good even when you don’t understand what He’s doing. It reminded me at the time of the prayer that is popularly know as the serenity prayer.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

What is your experience of this ‘wisdom’. Has acceptance brought you peace or lack of acceptance created turmoil? Are there any circumstances where this quote doesn’t apply? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

Apologies for the fuzziness of this image but I grabbed it off a friend’s social media and I have no idea where it originated. I really wanted to share it though because I love the sentiments although I’m not sure how many will be achievable this year. With Covid restrictions still in place some will be more difficult than others – like being more social. I can’t wait till that one can happen personally; I’m so missing being in a group of friends and being able to hug them. I know for some people that’s no big deal but I need that connection.

I have started by making one small change though – I’ve decided that for a while at least I’m going to take a day off social media each Friday. For me that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn (I’ll let you know how that goes sometime.) I’m not counting WordPress at the moment because I feel it doesn’t have the same mindless scrolling effect on me. I became aware a few weeks ago just how much time I was spending on my phone and realised that I used to spend a lot of that time reading. I’ve often thought that I don’t have much time for reading these days but if I swap out the scrolling I can definitely fit more in. 😝

Which of these sentiments do you like best? Is there anything on this list that you’d like to put into practice this year? I’d love to hear how you plan to go about it too? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

What’s the word I’m looking for?

I’m tired today. Maybe because the howling wind kept me awake half of last night? And maybe because I’m tired I’ve not had the most productive of days. I managed a food shop this morning but I just couldn’t get my head around the studying I was trying to do this afternoon. Eventually I gave up. It’s not so bad though – when I think back to this time last year I couldn’t manage two productive days in a row and last week I had a really productive week and got things done every day. I must be doing better 😊.

Anyway, since I wasn’t getting anywhere with studying I thought I’d ask you guys for some help. (That in itself is growth – I’m not good at asking for help). I’m looking for a word. Sort of a word for the year? I don’t really do resolutions and I’ve only picked a word for the year a couple of times before. I prefer to make goals and set targets as I go along rather than set them up at the start of a year. Having said that, since the start of 2021 I’ve been thinking about something I want to work on this year but I’m struggling with a word for it. I want to use my voice to make myself heard and make my needs known. To find connection too I guess but it’s definitely got to be something about speaking out. It’s something I’ve struggled with at times and I want to overcome it.

I had a chat with my good friend K about it and we came up with a few words between us: audible, aloud, distinct, emphatic, resounding, apparent, clear, vocal , vocalised, acoustic, articulate, convey, express, declare. But I’m still not sure which of these to go with or whether there’s something better? Can you help? What word would you pick to encapsulate what I want to achieve? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

N.B. I actually wrote this post yesterday but, as often happens, I didn’t end up posting it. I kinda didn’t want to just leave this one in drafts though because I really do want to know what word I should choose, so I’m getting round to posting eventually.

Pushing through 2020

Copied from a friend’s Facebook

I’ve been thinking about writing something for a while. It’s that time of year – I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas but I didn’t quite get round to it. I want to reflect on my year but I’m not quite sure where to start right now. There have been lots of good things happening and I’ve grown too but there have also been times that I’ve struggled and it’s been an effort to push through. The last few weeks have been a struggle but I’m still getting up in the morning. I’m still pushing on and by the grace of God I get through the days and sometimes I’m even able to be a blessing to others. I’m getting great feedback in my business, my family are healthy and I am blessed with a lovely home, food and clothing. I have some amazing friends who are there for me whether I’m feeling great or needing support. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I’m not sure what next year holds, or even tomorrow but I know that God will get me through. Some might see my faith as a crutch – something to hold me up because I can’t manage life on my own. Maybe that is one word for it? I don’t mind admitting that I can’t do this on my own. I tried being strong (and for a long time I managed it) but even then I had faith. Now I don’t think I’d have made it this far if it wasn’t for my faith. For me, the reality is that the other coping strategies I have are not enough. I need Jesus every day and I thank God for Him.

In case I don’t get round to posting anything else in the next few days I just want to wish everyone who reads this a very happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2021. I hope it will bring many good things your way.

I’m not a good blogger!

I’ve been thinking about this lately – I’m not a good blogger 😅! Good bloggers are consistent, they write regularly; some once or twice a week and some daily. If you follow this blog you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for weeks! Maybe it’s even months?

Anyway, I’ve realised recently that I have a mental block (or something) when it comes to consistency. I started thinking more about this after I lost my 300 day streak on my Bible app a couple of weeks ago. I beat myself up about it, whining to hubby that I’m not consistent. He kindly pointed out that 300 days is actually pretty consistent – I’m just not perfect. After mulling this over for a while I realised that this is my problem (or one of them) – I equate consistency with perfection in my head. I put so much pressure on myself to be consistent/perfect with a bunch of things that I lose the point of doing them and the joy of doing them in the process. Sometimes I even lose the motivation to do them because I feel sure I’m going to fail.

I’ve been experimenting with this a bit over the last week or so. I’ve deliberately been trying to just ‘go with the flow’ more and not put myself under pressure to do certain things at certain times or do things daily even. I’m ignoring those little red bubbles on my screen and the warnings that my streak is in danger. It’s been interesting – I’ve rediscovered some energy and motivation to do things just because I want to and not because I HAVE to. On Friday I actually WANTED to go for a run!! Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before you read that! 😂 I know… I never thought I’d actually write that either!

This morning I felt like sitting down to write this post. The truth is I actually feel like sitting down to write fairly often and I have ideas of things I SHOULD write about quite a lot too. I think I feel guilty about spending the time on writing though – that’s probably a thought for another post really. Anyway, it will be interesting to see if being less ‘consistent’ will actually result in me blogging more. 😝 Don’t get me wrong – I do understand that consistency is a good thing – I think it was just my view of it that wasn’t helpful. If anyone has any tips on how I can be consistent without putting too much pressure on myself I’d love to hear them.

Is it just me or does anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with the consistency/perfection balance?