7 things 2017 taught me

2018 I have been so looking forward to you. Mainly because it means the epic flaming shitshow that was 2017 is finally over. Don’t get me wrong, there were many moments of grace, of wonder and a beauty. Watching Nibs grow has been every bit as wonderful and knackering as I imagined it would be. But I don’t think I’m alone in being glad to close the chapter on this year and move into another one.

Long-term readers around this parts may remember that I like to write a year in review summing up the major events and lessons of the year. You can find previous yearly review posts here: 201520142013, 2012, 2011. (With the exception of 2016 because sleep deprivation destroyed my brain.)

I am doing something different this time. Because if I have to look back at pictures of the last year I think I may curl into a ball and just cry and cry and cry. Some years are about thriving and some years are just about surviving. Finding a way despite the odds to grit it through. So instead of writing about what happened, I am going to talk about what I learned: what served me in 2017 and what I will be happy to leave behind.

7 things 2017 taught me

Perfectionism doesn’t make me better, it makes me weaker

Ah perfectionism my slightly shitty old friend. One of my longstanding myths is without perfectionism driving me, I would achieve nothing and be left worthless and unloved. At first when Lauren’s accident happened I was able to let myself off the hook and recognise that I was doing my best in an almost unbearable situation. But as the crisis passed I began to slip back into my old perfectionist ways. I often felt I was failing as a sister, as a daughter, mother, partner and friend. Trying to do everything right hurt me as I got increasingly drained, depressed and ill. But it also harmed my relationships most notably with Nibs and HWSNBN (He Who Shall Not Be Named). I was often exhausted and short-tempered with Nibs – a hollow shell of my former self. And when it came to being a loving and present partner to HWSNBN there was nothing left. By trying to be everything to everyone I ended up being failing on every count and tearing myself to pieces in the process.

I wish I had been kinder to myself. I wish I could have offered myself the same love and support I tried to offer others. I wish I had put some boundaries in place before I began to drown. I wish it hadn’t taken almost collapsing with exhaustion to realise I needed to start taking care of myself. This year was never going to be easy but it would have been easier if I was less hard on myself. At the time ‘Only Human’ By Rag’n’Bone man was a big hit and I couldn’t get that song out of my head. As the year draws to a close I am happy to say that I am being a lot gentler on myself. One of the big lessons of this year has been that even though I would love to be perfect and untouchable, no matter what life threw at me – I am only human, after all.

Self-caring like my life depended on it (which it kinda did).

This year I finally mastered self-care. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit but at 35 years old I still struggled with the basics like making sure I was getting enough sleep, let alone making time for myself.

Because so much of what was happening this year was completely out of my control, it inspired me to finally put my attention where it mattered: on the little things I could do to make myself feel slightly better. 

I am going to start with the biggest thing I did. Immediately after Lauren’s accident the hospital offered the family individual therapy with the Major Trauma team. In the past I would have hesitated but I said yes immediately. Having a space where I could go weekly and talk about everything that was happening was essential amidst the chaos. I will be forever grateful for Kara my therapist. I am also very proud of myself because week after week I put the work in.

When I found myself overwhelmed in the middle of this year and I realised how much my need to do it all was harming Nibs, we enrolled him at nursery two days a week. It caused so much guilt and anguish at the time (especially as the first nursery was not right for him so we had to repeat the process all over again). But he loves it at his second nursery. He’s developed and grown in confidence so much. And it’s given me some essential time to think, to mourn and to sleep! The time we have together is richer and I have so much more to give now I’m not with him 24/7.

The time freed up meant in the latter half of this year I finally worked my way through a long list of nagging personal care tasks like seeing the hygienist or blood test. Self care isn’t a cure all. Booking a dentist’s appointment didn’t help me heal my broken heart. But it did mean I wasn’t distracted by a cavity and could focus on the things that mattered.

Watching Nibs grow has helped a lot. As a strong-willed toddler I know that I need to make sure he’s fed, well rested, entertained but not overstimulated… I am slowly getting used to asking myself the same questions: am I fed, rested, what do I need?

How I numb out

To get through this year (relatively) intact I’ve been numbing out. A lot. I’ve become very aware of how often I tap out of difficult moments. And why in my family that was such an essential skill to develop growing up. This year I’ve bought all the things, I’ve scrolled endlessly through social media, and immersed myself in many fictional worlds. (I have not one iota of guilt about the last one). Thank god I’ve always had an inbuilt off switch when it comes to drinking and I’m too much of a control freak to enjoy drugs. Food, the least rock and roll of all addictions, is my weapon of choice. I eat when I’m sad, angry, frightened, bored and hurting. I eat to comfort or punish myself, to numb and to distract. And this year has been replete with all the feels.

Given everything that has happened a part of me just wants to surrender and dive head first into a bowl of salted caramel cookies. If it wasn’t for one thing – HWSNBN and I want another baby. As much as I would love to be one of those super-fertile women who decides they want another baby and just gets pregnant; it’s likely for me the journey will not be that simple. To conceive Nibs I had to undergo a complete lifestyle overhaul and lose three and half stone. I couldn’t care less about how I look but I based on previous experience I am pretty certain I would be unable to conceive and carry to term at this weight. Losing weight is one of the key ways to manage my PCOS, help me start ovulating again and put me in a position to conceive.

I’ve been trying for six months to get pregnant and lose weight. I’ve tried the body coach (this worked last time), the slow carb diet and keto with some success. But after a month or so something will happen: Ash will get ill or my sister will go back into hospital or I will self-sabotage. And then I will eat and eat and eat. If I want Nibs to have a sibling, I need to stop eating emotionally and find another healthier way to weather the storms. If anybody has any tips or wants to be a fitness or healthy eating buddy let me know in the comments. This is going to be one of my big challenges in 2018.

Morning pages

Envy. No other feeling makes me feel as monstrous, uncomfortable and wrong. But it has always worked as a beacon signaling me towards something I desperately want. Years ago a chance remark from a colleague that she was training to become a counsellor triggered a wave of envy so intense it nauseated me. I signed up for a beginners counselling course the next day. This summer I bumped into her again and she talked about becoming a writer. Envy felled me again. I love writing but I’ve barely written a thing since having Nibs (oh hai severely neglected blog). Committing to writing another novel feels too much. But I could try the morning pages that she mentioned.

That was six months ago and I’ve been writing my morning pages religiously ever since. It’s simple really. All you do is write three pages of whatever is in on your mind when you wake up. That weird dream you had about the mouse castle, the fact your best friend hasn’t messaged you back, the many ways you are screwing you’re child up… It can be as boring or a deep as you want. (A lot of my early pages where me boring on about how tired I was). All of those repetitive thoughts, moaning and worries of my monkey mind go down on paper and for some reason they don’t seem to bother me anymore.

Its very simple yet ridiculously effective  for me. It works as a foundation practise. If I do this I know I’m likely to workout, to meditate, to tidy, to reach out and connect with somebody. Feeling like I’ve achieved something at 6am means I more likely to tackle hard things. Deliberately not writing my morning pages is often a sign to me that I trying to avoid some uncomfortable emotional revelation. And if I start skipping pages I notice a massive knock on effect on how I felt for the rest of the day. Next year I am definitely going to keep up with my morning pages practice.

Purpose matters

I was due to go back to work in February. It’s December, as I write this, and I am still not working as a counsellor. I cannot absorb any more emotional pain. I am at capacity.

I know I am very lucky that we are in a position where HWSNBN can support me financially (something that would have been impossible a year and half ago when we were really broke). I am lucky I get to spend time with Nibs, time that many of my friends who work full time would kill for. I am lucky to have a job I miss and love; rather than one where I lived for the weekend as I did for many years. But I don’t feel lucky, I feel bereft. I miss having purpose. I miss using my brain and my heart. I miss having a structure to my days. And the way I feel currently I am not sure I will ever be able to go back. I am trying to tell myself that for everything there is a season. That what happened to Lauren is so huge that it will take time to heal. But I feel adrift.

People ask me all the time when I am going back to work. Unwittingly it triggers a shame spiral. Because if I was stronger, better than surely I’d be ready by now. We derive so much of our purpose from work and without it – am I enough?  I know I cannot work as a counsellor now but what am I going to do instead? Now Nibs is settled at nursery, my goal is to figure out what I want to do with my one and precious life.

Sleep is everything

I always find it amusing that when it comes to our children we had bedtimes and set routines to help lull them to sleep. But when it comes to ourselves… anything goes. Nibs’ sleep has always been variable but he went through a really unsettled patch this autumn. I noticed that after spending all day being used as a human trampoline I was staying up later and later trying to desperately eek out some ‘me time’. But I was too tired to do anything except scroll on my phone and try and fail to not fall asleep in front of the TV. I’d sit there knowing I should take out my contact lenses and brush my teeth but felt too exhausted to move. With Nibs still not sleeping through the night the sleep I was getting was fractured. And during the day the tiredness built and built and affected everything my mood, my diet and my relationships. Something has to give.

I decided to set a ‘go the fuck to sleep alarm’ for 10.30pm each night. But I found it didn’t work. I resented the alarm. I always felt rushed and not ready. And in a weird in between state of exhausted and too wired. I realised I needed more of a run-up to get to sleep. There’s significant evidence that the blue light from devices can affect our melatonin. So installed a blue light blocker on my devices and starting wearing these weird orange glasses when watching TV.  I also realised if I wanted to go to sleep at 10.30pm I needed to get ready for bed at 9.30pm. So I started changing into my pyjamas, brushing my teeth and taking my contacts out as soon as Nibs had gone to sleep. Then at 10pm, I’d switch off all devices (phone and tv) and read before falling asleep at 10.30pm.

At first it made me feel a little like a grandma. I had a bedtime? Seriously? But within a week I was noticing how much better I felt and how getting enough sleep before Asher decided it was time to wake up made everything easier. I could write pages and pages about sleep especially the importance of vitamin D so I might write a separate post about this at some point.

That within me there is an invincible summer

In the books, they call it resilience. I personally labelled it as my ‘Fuck you’ instinct. But I prefer Camus who perfectly expresses what I discovered this year.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
‘And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.’

This year, it seemed like the world threw everything it could at me and my family. It was, without a doubt, the worst of times. But even drowning in darkness, and friends it was dark, I still found a glimmer of light within me. There was something within me that made me get up, go to therapy, play with my baby, cry with my husband, go to the hospital but also to the beach and keep living. Some ‘fuck you’ part I found within me that wasn’t going to let the bad things win. The key part of those sentences is that I found it within me. Often well meaning friends would try and offer hope or cheer me up because they found it too unbearable. It had the opposite effect of making me aware of how alone I was. I had to find the hope for myself and it often meant sitting in some dark places emotionally and accepting that this was where I needed to be. Only then would the glimmers of light show themselves. I still have to do that. What happened earlier this year is life-changing and the ripples for my sister, my family and me are still being felt and will be for the rest of our lives.

Even bruised and broken there is still within me an invincible summer. A ‘fuck you’ instinct that will not give up.

There’s a moment in Buffy at the end of season 2 which I’ve always loved. She’s fighting Angelus and she’s losing. He knocks her to the floor, her weapon is out of reach. And he stands over his sword raised for a killing blow, taunting her.
‘That’s everything huh? No weapons… no friends… no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?’ She closes her eyes as if anticipating the blow to come. And as he raises the sword to strike, she says ‘Me.’ And begins to fight back.

What’s left after last year took so many things away? Me. And as long as I am I will keep keeping on. And despite 2017 knocking me down again, and again and again – still I rose.

What did 2017 teach you? Let me know what your taking forward into 2018 in the comments

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Making a living vs making a life

never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life

The busy trap

‘I don’t have time for personal counselling.’

It was just an off-hand jokey comment that slipped out without me thinking. A friend had asked me if I was planning to see my personal counsellor again. (It’s OK, she’s a fellow counsellor, we have conversations like that. ‘Honey, your process is showing.’)

We both laughed. But that sentence kept on echoing in my head. And after a while it didn’t seem funny anymore. I’m a counsellor. I fundamentally believe in the value of counselling yet why wasn’t I doing what I recommended for my clients for me? Was I really so busy I couldn’t clear a 50-minute slot in my schedule for myself?

Yes.

It’s become fashionable to moan about how busy you are. As a person I have a tendency to try and do all the things. Collapse with exhaustion. Clear space in my schedule. Forget, and try and do all the things. Well, you get the idea…

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But let me run through my schedule for you. From 9-5 I work at the day job, five days a week. From 6-9 four evenings a week I work in my dream job as a counsellor,  I sees my supervisor, I update my website or I go to peer group. From 9-11 I see my husband, eat and ‘relax.’ Two weekends a month I do counselling training which left a luxurious six days of freedom a month which I filled by seeing friends and family. Looking at this now, it sounds insane. My life wasn’t meant to be this way. When I trained to become a counsellor I was searching for a job that made a difference, fulfilled me and paid the bills. After graduating and setting up my private the first two conditions were fulfilled  but earning enough to support myself… that’s been tough. Books are expensive, you guys!

When did you stop dancing?

I’ve hinted around this in this blog but for the last six months if you are a friend or family member you will be intimately aware of how fed up I’ve been recently with my day job. For a year now I’ve searched for a way out and felt increasing stuck at work. Writing about it here felt like revealing my secret shame that I wasn’t where I wanted to be life-wise.

In many ways the day-job has been the best job I’ve ever had. I love the people I work with. Plus it’s a editor role, in Brighton. Aah, the wonder of the no commute.

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That doesn’t change the fact that I feel as if I’ve been at work, oh about four years too long. It bores me, the same questions, the same drama. I feel as if I am making a massive difference when I am counsellor but as a editor I’m just moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

It made practical sense to stay in my day job. Staying there allowed me to do my counselling training without having to pay tuition fees. It gave me time to set up and grow my private practice. It’s supported me financially.

But I became sick of being practical. The urge to leave and to strike out on my own over the last year has become almost unbearable. We spend a huge proportion of our lives at work and if you no longer enjoy what you are doing that’s a huge proportion of time to be bored, frustrated and unhappy. I needed a change, stat.

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The treadmill

In February, I was offered a role as a counsellor. I was ambivalent. Pros: a counselling job. Cons:  it involved a massive pay cut, a commute and HWSNBN’s job was shaky. I couldn’t make it work. I chose my head over my heart and stayed in my day job.

Returning from holiday in March I asked to go part-time at work. The week after my head of division left and we were absorbed into another team. The day job became thrown into chaos. I have the best timing. The answer was of course, not now. Wait until things calm down in a couple of months, hah!

For next couple of months I continued my superhero life – editor by day, counsellor by life. I asked periodically at work to go part time but was told ‘wait’. At this point I was only working three nights a week in a futile attempt to keep exhaustion at bay. I was getting increasing unhappy and frustrated in my day job. Even though when I was counselling I came home at 9pm at night I was animated and happy. On my nights off when I only worked my day job I was drained and miserable. Why had I trained so hard for two years to become a counsellor only to go back to exactly the same life?

I felt stuck. One job paid the bills but I was beyond over it and the other I loved but couldn’t yet make it work financially. I was in limbo.

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In May, I made the decision to lean in. If I took on more clients in my private practice I could earn enough to leave my day job and just work as a counsellor. As a back-up plan I applied for every counselling job I saw. But I wasn’t hopeful. Getting a paid job as a counsellor in this economy was a tough ask. I started actively hunting for more clients by rehauling my website and advertising. I increased my prices. Instead of counselling three nights a week I began working every weekday and training at the weekend.

The more clients, I took on the more exhausted I got. Even my eyelashes felt tired. I was working 12 hour days and in between trying to fit in friends and family. I felt like I was failing at everything. If only I was better, cleverer, quicker I could do it all (hah-fucking-hah).

Around this time I said ‘I don’t have time for counselling.’ I don’t have time became my mantra. I didn’t have time for anything. Everything I enjoyed fell by the wayside. I stopped dancing, writing, reading. I worked, I worked, I slept. I began getting sick because I was so run down. Life was a treadmill and I just needed to get off.

Finally I snapped. It was a Sunday and I was so tired I felt like I was moving in slow motion. My parents asked me to fed their cats while they were away. I love feeding the cats so much. But that day it felt like one tiny weight being placed on back that was already bent double. When you don’t have time to feed cats you know your priorities are messed up. They asked if there was anything they could do but there wasn’t really. I had been flailing around hoping somebody would say ‘Rowan. You need to stop.’ (They did often. But I was too tired to hear by this point. My thoughts felt confused and lumbersome.) But I needed to take that decision myself. I sat on the beach crying so hard my glasses filled up with salt.

I asked work to go part-time again the next day. I told them if it wasn’t possible I would have to leave. I may not have any money but I would find a way to survive. I just had to jump and have faith that I would find my wings on the way down.

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As I waited and waited and waited for an answer I desperately tried to make a life as well as make a living. I started meditating daily which had a huge affect on my thoughts and mood. I did acupuncture. I started 100 days of happiness in order to fill my life with more things that nourish  me.

In July the day job told me it wasn’t possible to allow me to go part time but it would happen once we’d recruited more people in October. I knew that if I stayed I would lose parts of myself until there was nothing left. That severe exhaustion was looming for me. That given the chaos at work it was unlikely they would recruit before January. I started drafting my letter of resignation.

That day I got a phone call about a job I applied for months ago. The same role I turned down in February except this time it was in Brighton and for a little bit more money. I expected that they might be asking me to interview. But they were so impressed with my previous interview, they offered me the role. It was part time which allowed me to continue my private practice. It was a life-raft that I grasped with both hands. I handed in my notice that day in a gesture my lovely colleague labelled ‘Sticking it to the man.’

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I still can’t believe it but in a month I’m going to be a full-time counsellor. Life changes in a instance. I’ve got so accustomed to tragedy falling from the sky that I’ve forgotten about joy. Dreams do come true. It still feels miraculous that a year after graduating I will be working full time as a counsellor. I’m filled with lot’s of worries. What if I hate it? What if they hate me? What if I am so broke all I survive is Cup-a-Soups?

I’ve learnt a lot this year about myself. Life lesson’s learnt:

Be flexible – 2014 wasn’t meant to be the year of the career. But life had other plans and the more I fought against that the more stuck I felt. The minute I realised that I needed to stop settling and find a new job everything fell into place.

Avoid being a victim – I have a tendency to go ‘poor me’ especially when I am tired. I desperately wanted somebody to step in and save me this year. But there was no millionaire waiting in the wings to pay me to help people and keep me in bon bons. I chose to be a workaholic and although my reasons were valid I needed to take responsibility for taking care of me. In the end I learnt how to save myself.

Self-care is fundamental – eat well, sleep, meditate. If any of these fall by the way-side I’ll know I’m in trouble again.

Work to live rather than live to work – I have work-a-holic tendencies to equate being busy with being effective. This is bullshit. Working effectively means taking a lunchbreak. It means taking five minutes each hour to stretch the cracks out of my back. It means saying No to things.

Take more risks for big payoffs – I am not a natural risk-taker. I like certainty, lists and big books full of big words. Risks terrify me. However, once every half a dozen years I feel something outside of myself begin to move me to take a chance.

When I was 14 I cut my hair of at home in the bathroom mirror. My family and friends thought I was having a break down. But I knew this was my rebirth

When I was 22 I left my cushy job to travel by myself driven less by a desire to see the world than to get away. I hated it at first missing my family and my new boyfriend (now husband). But when HWSNBN and I travelled together I changed. When I returned I moved to Brighton, he followed two years later and we never looked back.

When I was 28, based on a feeling of envy. I took an introductory counselling course and then another.

When I was 31, I took a risk and left a comfortable job to become a full-time counsellor.

And in one bound she was free.

Don’t settle.

I learnt a lot of things at University the first time around, but not the things they wanted me to learn: about postmodernism, Spain in the twenthieth century and epistolary novel. Nope at University I learnt far more valuable lessons like: never drink in the club, 102 pasta recipes, that baggy purple jumpers are not my friend, nothing good happens after 4am and, most importantly, why you should never settle.

I’ve talked before about my personal happiness mantras but I thought that ‘don’t settle’ was interesting enough to deserve its own post. It was a phrase coined by me and my awesome flatmate Sam at University. There was a certain type of girl at Uni: gorgeous, smart, kind. Basically the type of person who only exists to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves. This perfect girl would introduce you to her boyfriend and Sam and I would like at each other like ‘Him, really? She’s totally settling’*

*Except not out loud we weren’t that bitchy and judgemental. Yet.

Because despite all the aforementioned amazing qualities that girl was terrified of being alone. We were younger then and I don’t think either of us knew about the particular kind of loneliness that comes when you are all alone in a relationship. But we knew then that relationships were tough enough when you loved that person. And you were settling, not willing to invest everything you had? You were so screwed.

So ‘Don’t settle’ was a mantra we whispered to each when either of us was tempted to give up on our dreams and aim for something for more comfortable. Settling was one of the worst things you can do. It meant aiming for mediocrity wasting you potential on people and opportunities you didn’t care for. ‘Don’t settle’ we whispered as we kissed frog after frog and jumped from crappy job to crappier job.

And I listened and I waited and I never settled for anything else but love. But in my career? Guilty…

In Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech, which you should watch, he says:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

But I did settle. True confession: I’m almost 30 and I have never had a job I loved. Growing up, I never wanted to be one of those people living for the weekend. But until this October, I was. I’ve had a lot of jobs: good, bad jobs and jobs so horrifically awful its almost funny. I was the klutziness waitress ever for a short-lived period where I thankfully avoided scalding anybody. I was a crappy PA, double-booking meetings like there was no tomorrow. I worked in supermarkets and libraries, with the police and beauticians. Until I finally got a job, in my dream field, publishing.

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer. However, until I made it I needed to find a way to buy quills and other writing accoutrements. So I settled for the next best thing editing other people words by aiming for a job in publishing. It took me two years but when I finally got that dream job, albeit at a non fiction publishing house, I was ecstatic.

It took me two years to realise I was settling, 23 months longer than it should have done. I wanted to work in publishing so much I ignored that the commute exhausted me, the work bored /infuriated me, the pay was a pittance. In fact I hated everything except my colleagues who were lovely and saying I worked in publishing. Saying I worked in publishing made me feel like somebody and that brief blush of joy at achieving a lifelong goal almost made everything better. But then there was that other sensation like I was constantly holding a balloon after water, pushing myself to be something unnatural.  I ignored the signs and if it wasn’t for one thing I’d probably still be there: the boss from hell.

He still is the worst boss I’ve ever had: mercurial, selfish and mean and I thank him everyday. Because if he hadn’t been such a horrific example of a human being I would have settled. I would have sacrificed a large part of myself just so I could say I worked in publishing,  while everyday I died slowly inside. Instead I left for a better job where I stayed for years, colouring inside the lines not risking everything for another career as a  counsellor because I could not bear it if I hated that too.

Yes, I was an idiot and finally I faced my fears and took the plunge. Best decision ever. Thankfully, I love being a counsellor and I don’t have to cut off or ignore parts of myself to do it. I’m no longer settling. Best.feeling.ever. But here’s the thing I still feel guilty admitting. Much as I love working as a counsellor I don’t just want to do that. Saying that one job is not enough, it makes me feel greedy as if the world is a cake and I’m demanding the largest slice. I’m almost ashamed to admit how ambitious I am. But I want so much for myself and I’m not going to tear myself apart pretending that is not true. I won’t settle not anymore.

So I’m putting it out there. I want to be a counsellor.  I want write books. I want to blog. I want to be a good friend, wife, daughter and eventually mother. And I want to live a full life.  And I’m not going to apologise for wanting all those things and so much more. Here’s to having ambitions goals and never settling. What do you want?

Easter is (almost) here

The sun is shining, Cher and Sonny are playing on Spotify and there’s just one working day left before the Easter holidays. A sneaky g’n’t may have been proposed at the student bar for lunchtime. My lovely colleague has bought in a Lindt chocolate bunny which I will be ritually sacrificing later to sate my hunger. In short, I’m a little excited about the Easter holidays.

Thanks to Wills, Cate and baby Jesus I only have to take two days of annual leave to get almost two weeks off!

It feels like it’s been a long slog from Christmas to here, but we’ve almost made it. As always I’ve made grand plans for the break: wedding dress shopping, drinks with friends, BBQs, seaswimming, birthday parties. Even the fact that I am under Dr’s order to not use my foot can’t dampen my spirits. But mostly I am just looking forward to lying in my parents garden watching the cats, and being throughly busy doing nothing.

Hope your break is equally idyllic and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Links-a-plenty


I’m having one of those days at work when the normal rules of time don’t seem to apply. The task that is supposed to take five minutes (and have been sorted on Friday) eats into a morning*. While something I thought would take all afternoon, I’ve finished in half an hour. Along the way I’ve discovered all sorts of nifty photoshop tricks and my desktop has started to look like the graveyard where files come to die.

The above picture is courtesy of the lovely Irayla (I get to be Belle, because who wouldn’t be wooed by a library? swoon (also am I the only one who thought the Beast was more attractive as a Beast then the freaky weird human he turned into at the end of the film? I always preferred the Angela Carter retellings of Beauty and Beast, lush, sensuous and creepy)).

So this amused me.

As did this even more celeb cameo heavy response (Harrison Ford!!!).

I’ve also found out about this: Dunning Kruger effect which explains every ignorant bigot I have ever met. Basically people who have little knowledge tend to judge their grasp of an area higher than those who comparatively have much more knowledge but rate their expertise more critically. Ignorance is bliss.

I’m off to book group tonight, (I’ll discuss this month’s book in tomorrows’ post). Book group always makes me feel delightfully grown up not at all like the real me, who has three savings accounts and no savings, who is still learning to drive, and who ate nothing but chocolate for supper last Friday.

*Sadly this is almost entirely down my extreme stupidity, quelle surprise, n’est-ce pas?