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A Mishmash Update

Image by Alexander Schimmeck (Unsplash.com)

This week, rather than blogging on a particular subject, I thought I’d give you an update of what I’ve been doing.

Firstly, my all-important morning walks have fallen behind. Instead of getting up every day (or most days) at 6am for a peaceful walk in nature, I’ve only been getting up some days to do this. While still admirable, it’s reminded me of why I do this and how important it is for my general wellbeing. So I’ve made a concerted effort to get up early most days this week. Again, all the blessings gifted to me on these walks have reinstated that wonderful feeling of freedom, of peace, of observing the natural world and everything in it. It’s that magic time of day; not fully formed yet somehow more whole than any other. So I’ve been stepping out the door with my coffee, the caffeine and cool air filling me up, further filled by the wonder of the journey. It’s okay to fall behind, as long as we examine the why of doing it in the first place. If this is strong enough, we will find a way back.

Last night I saw a dear friend perform the part of a blind woman in the stage play, Wait Until Dark, revived many times and currently showing at Nantwich Players Theatre. This is a tough role to play, but as always, I could not have been more proud of her. It’s delightful to see her in her element, to be immersed in a live performance, and to support the creative arts.

In other news involving dear friends, I received some snail mail (you can view my blog post on that topic here) that made the end of last week extra-special. I couldn’t read it fast enough but also didn’t want it to end, so I tried to pace myself. It’s the kind of letter I’d like to read again, and again! It was a shimmering mixture of allll the emotions, and a lot of out-loud laughter. If you’re reading this (and you better be), thank you. And text me. I need to see your face!

Lately, I’ve been trying to use my phone less and have switched off all social notifications other than regular text messages. At first, this felt amazing. It was a great sense of peace. I hate that I’m sometimes so enslaved to this device; it bothers me. Overwhelm seems to happen three times as fast with my phone nearby, and sometimes it’s the only reason it happens. I’m sad to say that screen time has crept up again this week: checking notifications by clicking into apps more times than I’d like to share, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, and googling every little thing that goes through my head. Again, I’m reminded of the why in the situation. Why I reduced my phone use in the first place, why I switched off notifications. In a nutshell, it makes me unhappy. In the weeks ahead, I’ll reduce my phone use yet again, reminding myself every day of how much better I feel when I do.

Lastly, I start my masters in creative writing and wellbeing on Monday. I’m very much looking forward to it but also a little freaked out! I’ll be balancing this with a full time job and it will be wholly online, which comes with its own sets of challenges. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot and be posting about these things here, so you too can benefit from the links between creative expression and good mental health. Plus, I saw the cutest Teesside Uni sweater online (which I’m obviously going to buy) and this, along with copious amounts of coffee, will clearly make me a better student. That’s how it works, right?

So, friends, I hope you’ve had a manageable week and that your Monday feels like a Friday and your Friday feels like … a better Friday. Leave me a comment below if you can. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to and how you’ve been feeling. It’s important to check in, so why not here? Above all else, take care of yourselves today.