This is Bunny. I was given him by my Auntie and Uncle when I was a baby, and he was my favourite toy. As a kid, I would take him everywhere. On car trips he would sit next to me on the back seat. He was there through a lot of good times, and also a lot of horrible times. To my very young self, Bunny was more of a toy, he was my best friend. Even when I hit my teens and the bulk of my toys I used to play with had been stored away, Bunny was still there, perched on a table next to my bed.
As I grew up and moved onto university and adulthood, Bunny eventually joined the other childhood things that had been carefully put away. Those childhood things later became lost under a pile of grown up things (you find out when you move back home from uni just how much crap you acquire). I was worried that I would never find Bunny again. Both my Auntie and Uncle had passed away by then, so I was more upset at the thought of not being able to find him.
A few days ago, on my 38th birthday, there was a shiny pink box among the presents. I was told it was a special present, so I left it until last. As I lifted the lid of the box, there was Bunny. My sister had found him on the floor of our bedroom, a bit dusty and his ears having come apart a little. The people renovating our house must have uncovered him while they were moving stuff around. Mum had washed him twice and stitched him up. When I took him out of the box, he looked good as new, save for his eyes being a little bit scratched, the result of the time that I tried to make him fly as a toddler. Seeing him there and holding him once again got me all emotional. Out of all the presents I got that day, this was surely the best one.
Bunny now takes pride of place next to my bed. And I’m not going to let go of him.
.. I should have done this post a lot earlier. It’s probably a bit late now to do the Happy New Year thing now isn’t it? Ah who cares, it’s still the first post I’ve done this year.
I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I did decide to try and do somethings this year. Granted a few of them are on my list of things I want to do before I’m 40 (click here for that post), but there’s some things I want to give a go.
I’m going to read more books. I started out aiming to do this last year and I started well enough but I could have done better.
I’m going to use my camera more. Again I said this last year but this year I really am. I got a mini tripod for Christmas and I bought a book on photography as a present for myself. I’ve had photography books before but this is the first one I’ve read that I’ve actually really learnt something from – namely how to use settings other than Auto on my DSLR. It’s OK, I’ve only had my camera for like, nearly five years.
To sort myself out. Mentally and physically. Last year gave me a wake up call that I really need to begin to put myself and my wellbeing first. I’ve already begun to make steps towards that in the last few months.
Spending less time on social media. Yes, I know for me it will probably be a bit of a challenge in the case of Twitter. I have however, been thinking about cutting back on it for a while, for the sake of my mental health. Twitter is a completely different beast from what it was when I first joined it (ten years next month, bloody hell). It used to be a fun and friendly place. Now it’s a not really fun at all place where everyone screams abuse at each other for saying something they don’t like. Blame Brexit, Trump or whatever, it gets worse by the day, and it’s easy to find yourself drowning in the toxicity of it all.
(I haven’t looked at Twitter once since I started writing this post. Go me.)
That’s my plans anyway. Whether I can keep them going you will surely find out about here.
Have spent most of it without taking my anxiety medication (which I only use when I need it). There were two situations when maybe I should have done but I’m trying not to become dependent on them and only using them when I feel I have to.
Managed to do one night of sleep during the working week without waking up at 4am and struggle to get back to sleep until I have to get up.
Emailed the counselling team confirming I want to access the service. Actually emailed them twice seeing as I realised that in the first email I’d sent them I’d got part of the email address wrong.
Realised I should have used my walking stick at least once this week.
Really want to get a SNES classic mini, because I never had one and always wanted to play Super Mario World.
Found out how I might look with purple hair.
(Yeah, probably not.)
(Because I am less than three years away from it and I should probably start to aim for them now)
Learn to drive.
Get a Smart car (after I’ve passed my driving test, obvs).
Get my own house. I know it’s an extremely long shot but I hope to be able to afford one at some point.
Become a published writer (and like, totally earn money for said writing).
Go to the Edinburgh festival. I used to go on holiday to Scotland nearly every year during my kid and teen years and it was nearly always when the festival was on. Nearest we got to it was watching stuff on it on BBC2 (we were staying up in the Highlands).
Go back into studying, even if it’s just for a short course.
Attempt NaNoWriMo again and actually complete it this time (or maybe just get further than I did the last time I attempted it).
This post will be edited as and when I complete certain things and/or think of new things I want to do before I hit the milestone.
As I write this, I have been on the sick from work for almost a month, thanks to my arthritis deciding that it wanted to attack my right knee as well as my left. My right knee swelled up so badly my GP managed to get me an appointment with my consultant the same day who gave me a steroid injection. I thought I would be back in a week, but it has taken me a lot longer than anticipated. I still can’t bend my knee much, I still get a bit of a limp and I have trouble going up the stairs, but it’s not as bad as it was.
At first I felt a bit guilty about it. I haven’t been off this long in all the time I’ve been working. It has been a source of worry at times and I have been stressed out whenever I have had to contact them, but it has been a wakeup call. All too often, I have gone to work when I really shouldn’t have done. I’ve gone to work when I’ve been feeling sick, when I’ve had barely any voice from throat infections and colds, stomach cramps. When the arthritis was at its worst in my other knee I practically limped in every day. And in the weeks before my latest episode, I’d felt twinges of pain in my right knee and in my feet, which I’d put down to being on my feet a lot (which happens a lot in my job). All the times I’ve done those things it was because I didn’t want to let anyone down or cause any problems not being there. Now I know that I should have listened to my mum and my sister all those times when they told me that my health was more important than my job. I realise that I have to put myself first more often and that trying to work through an illness is not always the best idea.
When I go back to work, I’m going to have to be a lot more careful. I’m going to have to sit down more often. I’m even having to consider getting a walking stick, just in case I have any bad days. I have been putting it off for a long time to be honest, part through thinking that I really didn’t need one and part through fearing what people would think of me walking around with one. There isn’t any point in worrying what others might think now.
Recently new things have happened. I’m in a new house (rented, temporarily, while ours gets sorted out). I am a new age (it was my birthday the other day. Guess how old I am). I’ve been trying out new things and been considering options that I hadn’t really thought about until now.
I’ve been seriously thinking about making a particular change for a while. I’d been reading up on it online while feeling pretty down about where things were going for me, particularly job wise. I abandoned it for a bit until I saw a course on one of those online course sites that was on special offer. I signed up to it as I thought it might be helpful to improve skills and give a bit more of an idea of what it was I am interested in doing. The more I’ve read up on it, the more I feel like I could give it a go, if only just to make a bit of extra money in the first instance (yes I have read up on the tax things although I don’t expect to make shedloads of money from the start).
All I need really are the ideas and then I’ll be good to go… I think.
Those days following Christmas Day and Boxing Day always feel weird. The first day back at work seems to go as slow as anything and it’s hard to adjust and remember exactly what day of the week it is. Normally, I’m ok with it, but this year I seem particularly bad. I woke up this morning at about 4:50am and struggled to get to proper sleep again (I usually get up for work just before 7am). All through the morning I felt tired and found it hard to concentrate. When I did come home in the afternoon all I wanted to do was sleep (at least today was my half day). I didn’t want to do anything else at all.
It’s not just today that it’s happened. It’s happened to me a lot in the last six months. I feel tired and devoid of energy. It’s a struggle sometimes to get up and do things. On days off I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything apart from stay in bed. As for work, I try and manage, but sometimes I find myself struggling to focus on what I’m doing. Often it feels like I’m doing too many things at once. It doesn’t help when it often feels like you’re the only one in the workplace (and a lot of time it is just me and my boss). It also doesn’t help when you feel that your manager doesn’t really want to know or give you any support, as illustrated by their body language and how abrupt they are with you when you even try and talk to them. It’s got to the point that I want to hand in my notice, but I don’t have another job to go to. I’ve applied for stuff in the last few months, only for them to come to nothing. One never even bothered to tell me that I hadn’t been shortlisted.
Everyone says I should hold on until I’ve got something else, but I don’t know how much longer I can. I’ve been down about my job a few times over the years, but not like this.
Today I got another “what do you want for Christmas?” text. I still have no idea what I want. Well, there is something that I would like, but I’m pretty sure that neither they or anyone else could get it for me. Sometimes you find out that there are things in life you have to go and get yourself. People can help you, but it’s down to you if you want it that much (I know I am venturing pretty close to “inspirational quote BS” territory here. Forgive me).
Mind you, I don’t see why I should be so quick to hit back with a present idea for myself when a reply consisting of “what would you like?” gets a “I dunno really” in return. But it’s fine. We all know it gets harder as we get older and find ourselves earning money that we can just as easily spend on ourselves as anyone else we know.
If life is a motorway, then I am stuck in a never-ending traffic jam while everyone else is moving forward at various speeds.
You might be able to tell that I’m not in the most positive mood today. It did start well enough. I guess every now and again, the amount of stuff you see and hear of people you know who are moving away, having a baby or getting engaged takes its toll on you a bit. Sure you’re happy for them, but you then realise that in some ways you haven’t progressed any further from where you were a year or two ago. In some ways, you may even stepped back. We carry on, work our arses off and make the best of the situation we’re in, but it doesn’t feel like we’re getting anywhere.
Maybe I should stop looking at Facebook, shut down my account. I have thought about it a number of times in the past, then decided against it as I still really wanted to stay in touch with the majority of those I know on there. The plus side is that I don’t have many people on it so my Facebook timeline isn’t heaving with every little detail of people’s lives mixed with the odd inspirational quote and stupid meme. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what others are doing that you don’t focus on what you’re doing and what you’re capable of doing.
I’m straying into self-help territory, so I think I had better end this blog now.
Another week of work is done. I am tempted to hole myself up in my bed all weekend, but I know I will have to get out and do things. I always find myself getting more tired at this time of year. Maybe it’s to do with the changing of the clocks, or the heating being turned up and knocking you out in the process, or just the increasing need to be in or on something cosy (steady).
There is nothing more cosy than your own bed. Especially when it’s just you in it.