Breaking the Silence

As you can imagine, I’ve been adjusting to life and trying to find my feet again. I’m hoping to get back into writing again soon, as well as carrying on with the book reviews. Now I have my book bug back, I think I’ll be reading a lot more than I have been or was.

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I’m attending a book event on Thursday evening in Manchester, with the author Joseph Knox. I read his first book Sirens and tore through it. I think the fact his books are based in Manchester (my city) make it easier for me to imagine the surroundings more, I also liked the way he named the chapters of Sirens after Joy Division songs (one of my favourite bands) His style of writing is great and he makes it easy for you to fall into the story without trying too hard. I’m currently reading his second book in the series (The Smiling Man) and I’m finding it hard to put it down and figure out who the culprit is. He’s brilliant at weaving storylines within one another, often linking one with the other through the most subtle of means.

I’m really looking forward to hearing him read an excerpt from his new book ‘The Sleepwalker’ and what he has to say about his methodology when writing, his favourite character(s) and of course whether there will be any other Detective Aidan Waits books.

I’m hoping I can use reading/writing as a cathartic process and hope that at some point I may even be able to write more poetry and eventually start writing short stories again.



2016 – More About Me, Less About You

Whilst most people are setting themselves numerous resolutions for the New Year which consist of going to the gym or finding a new job, I once again find myself feeling reflective. I’m quite happy for people to make their own choices with their life but with me I’ve never been big on setting myself a list of things to achieve in a year, whilst this would probably be a good thing for someone like me (who suffers quite badly from anxiety) I just feel that it’s also quite pressurising, if you get mid-way through the year and haven’t achieved half of what you set out to do it can make you feel even worse off than when you started.

My proposal for this year is simple I’m only going to set myself tasks for things that will give me full enjoyment. My mum, friends and Dr have told me a lot recently that I put too much stress on myself, and that I need to find ways to relax more. I can’t help but feel that I need to look after everyone else which often means I neglect myself and put the needs of other people before my own, and whilst I have no intention of being selfish and making it all about me, me, me, I am going to use this year to give myself a little time to do things that I enjoy.

I worry too much about work, working in the Television industry whilst being incredibly varied and fun also means a lot of uncertainty and lacks stability. I’ve been very fortunate up to now moving from one project to another but with a mortgage to pay and a life to live the stress of not knowing can often leave me feeling unbelievably stressed. So this year I want to take my time and apply for job roles that offer permanent positions as opposed to fixed term contracts. The annoying thing about this is with the economy being the way it is, it’s going to make it more difficult but to allow myself peace of mind I feel that it would be beneficial for me to find work that is permanent.

Secondly is about embracing nature a bit more. I won’t be joining a gym as exercise just doesn’t excite me like it does with most people, but I am going to make sure that at least once a week I spend a couple of hours outdoors enjoying a nice brisk walk in one of the many parks local to me. As a child my brother and I rarely spent a full weekend in the house and we were always being taken to visit my Grandmother in Yorkshire or frolicking at nature trails and parks. So this year I endeavour to tap into this aspect of my much younger self.

More time for hobbies. I already partake in a weekly podcast and two monthly meetings with the WI and the Book Club I run for the WI (The Bookish Broads) and these are great but I want to make time for more of my hobbies. I would love to get back into sewing and making things again and would love to use some of my time for this, I also started a cross stitch last month and found it really relaxing so I want to do more. Also I now own 4 adult colouring books and have found that these really help relax my very busy mind, so I want to set aside at least a half hour every evening to do some colouring in.

I usually always set myself a target of books I’d like to read in a year via Goodreads. In 2015 I set myself a target of 50 and read 62. This year I have set myself a target of 30 and have already read 1. The reason it’s such a low number is because, due to my anxiety, I felt like I was letting myself down if I fell behind with reading. I increasingly found myself with no time or no interest in reading in 2015, largely due to my job. 5am wake ups with 14/15 hour days and not getting home till nearly 10pm had a huge effect on my reading time. Also on the days I did have time I was often suffering from a stress headache or just lacked the energy to sit and truly immerse myself in a book. So this year I have vowed to read for enjoyment and use my ‘To Be Read’ Jar as a way of helping with the decision making process, by decreasing my number it will make me feel less stressed and mean I take time to read for enjoyment, whereas I often felt I had to binge read a book to stay on target.

But above all this year I want to be healthy and happy. I’ve been going through some pretty stressful moments recently, the main one being my husband and I struggling to conceive. We’ve wanted to start a family for a long while now and about 3 weeks ago we thought we were pregnant, I was having morning sickness, I was feeling tired, my breasts were tender but then I started cramping really bad and started bleeding heavily. I was in pieces for days and went to see my Dr, I’ve had blood tests done and it turns out I have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) which can have a huge effect on fertility. So I’m now taking medication and have a scan in a week or so to make sure there’s nothing else preventing me to conceive. Since I lost my father in 2009 I know what a gift life is and I don’t want to spend it stressing out and worrying, achieving pointless things just for acceptance from people who don’t really care. So for me, 2016, is about doing things that make me happy, things that make me relax and things that will help me get one step closer to creating the only thing I truly want, a cosy house with a loving husband and a little family of our own.

Whatever your plans for this year, I hope you are happy.