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

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.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

I’ve been thinking about this quote and other similar ones a lot over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been really struggling with my mental health on and off – feeling low and also anxious. I realise that I need to find happiness (or perhaps contentment is a better word) within myself and not expect or hope for others to make me feel that way. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes and we can’t expect to be happy all of the time but contentment would bring peace.

When I was a child I had a little plaque with a quote by Mother Theresa on my wall. It said “If you don’t enjoy what you have how could you be happier with more?” For a long time I lived by that and I made the most of everything I had and didn’t feel the need for anything else. Something happened though and I started hoping and dreaming for a more fulfilling life – was that wrong? I don’t know. I guess I became dissatisfied with the way things were.

I’m still mulling this over I guess. I’m not sure what the right balance is. I don’t think it’s wrong to want more necessarily but I suppose I have to look to myself (or to God) for that and not to other people? What are your thoughts on happiness? How do you find happiness and contentment? Should we have any expectations around happiness coming from other people?

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.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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If you haven’t read this book yet – do it! I know I’m really behind the times and people have been talking about this for ages but I’ve been kinda busy over the last couple of years/ my life and I hadn’t made time to check it out.

If you enjoy warm, funny, raw, honest real-life fiction you will love this book. It’s so easy to get into and I love the way the author drip feeds you information about the characters. It’s like making a friend getting to know Eleanor. I finished the book a couple of days ago and I kinda miss her.

I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read it but there are a few themes in the book that are quite relatable such as struggles with mental health, image, love and friendship.  The author addresses these in a very honest and thought provoking way.  Probably one of the best fiction books I’ve read in ages.  Totally recommend it.