The excerpt "Expectation" in the photo above touched me deeply. The main character Nora is completely lost and alone and suicidal so she takes an overdose. During that state of unconsciousness and coming back to life again which I know about all too well, she gets a second chance. She gets this wonderful opportunity to visit the midnight library and try out hundreds of versions of how her life could have turned out. It's a brilliant concept, that suspension of time. I'll never get bored of it.
I found the story both beautiful and humbling. Haig writes about the darkest of subjects with such light. I didn't even know that was possible. I only know how to blacken and comedise my bleak experiences and depressed state of mind when I'm telling my own lived stories. It's refreshing and calming to know I am not alone and it's interesting to read about mental health from a male perspective.
Maybe I will try "Reasons To Stay Alive"...
Also this week.. I met another long lost friend for dinner which was lush, I had my second Covid jab (pfizer again) which means in a couple of weeks, I can travel again with slightly less restrictions than before (progress!), and my care co-ordinator made a home visit.
My last couple of mantras in yoga have been "I know. I can. I will" and "I know I am me". These are in relation to where I am in my life right now, still in recovery, possibly having ASD, living with fibromyalgia and on the brink of becoming a mother, whilst adjusting to life without travel. I often find there is too much noise from the outside world and in my head and I quickly lose sense of who I am and my capabilities. Easily overwhelmed I guess. I feel as if everyone is judging me, yet is it really just me judging myself?
Getting out of my head, I have quite enjoyed pottering around my home not having to answer to anyone, and, despite being recalled back to work as of Thursday (boo), I've accomplished a fair bit even in this heat of 30+ degrees! I've done lots of pruning, mowing and digging to attempt to rid the garden of so much foliage and expand my lawn and I also picked up some rubble, rocks, slabs and bricks for the makeshift patio and pond rockery I want to build. I've probably completely overdone it and there's going to be a payback with fibro, but I'll worry about that when it hits. For now, I'm going to enjoy my few remaining days before work starts up again.
After blogging last week, I then get a notification that I've got furlough for the whole of July and, with England's historic win at Wembley over Germany, what more could I ask for!
I've finally finished Cold Feet up to the current series, no.9. I've always wanted to watch this show and it's brilliant the way we follow the characters through their 30s and into their 40s and 50s. The highs and lows. The peaks and troughs. The love, pain, heartbreak, happiness, surprise and excitement that is Life. Shows like this ground me. It's hard to explain if you don't have mental health issues or chronic illness. That perpetual treading water of getting through each day is exhausting. Even though this is fiction, it gives me hope for my own life.
I also devoured Bosch season 7 and The Serpent on BBC iPlayer whilst sorting out my travel cabinet - despite what it looks like, I did throw some items out! So many memories here from 42 countries. I needed to remember that I did use to travel, a lot.
Yoga under canvas has been wonderful, as have the last couple of therapy sessions, where I've been able to talk very openly and honestly about the things that are bothering me. I'm always happy (and relieved) when I can find my words.
So now I'm in Cornwall for a little over a week. The weather is looking ok-ish and England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 in the Euros quarter final! Dare I say Football is definitely coming home...
Two more of my recovery pillars are guided meditation (really benefiting from the CALM app at the moment) and my regular weekly yoga practice - and when the two are combined, it's brilliant for me.
My teacher does just this. It doesn't matter how I turn up physically, mentally or emotionally for classes, she has this amazing ability to tailor the session to me in the moment. She gently challenges me, there's no pressure or expectation and she has an authentic and sensitive approach.
My favourite pose is child's pose and, if I really want it to be amazing, I use my bolster. I am also learning that inversions are very restorative. Pose of tranquility (or legs up the wall as I call it - I used to love doing it as a kid on my bed when chatting with my siblings) is one such inversion, but also a balance. It feels like my legs are weightless when I can get the block or bolster just in the right spot. This position changes the blood flow which relaxes the nervous system and allows the lower back to rest - always a good thing for me!
It has been mostly a fabulous week - the weather is lush, my cleaner has started, I had 3 lovely days off where I was able to plant all of my flowers that arrived, England beat Croatia in our opening game of the Euros, I got some furlough for June, both my kitties passed their 6 monthly check ups ok, people are still booking holidays and looking forward to life after the pandemic, and, apart from Mrs Brown's Boys live show being cancelled until next summer and me having a major meltdown at work, I have also finally started my fertility journey to see if I can have children naturally.
Getting pregnant - well, even just plucking up the courage and getting organised to arrange fertility tests for myself - has been a long time coming and I constantly feel that the chips are stacked against me with my mental health and fibro. I'm not going to comment too much today about all of that, but one of my words for the year is Forward and here's a great explanation as to why:
I am so excited about Euro 2020 finally happening and what are the chances of this - I have all the days off for the group England games! I'm still waiting to hear if I've got any furlough this month, but that's a great start anyway.
Work is intense at the minute because there is so much to remember. I never, ever thought travel would be this restricted and / or banned completely. It was time to let off steam Friday night and that's exactly what we did!
I'm enjoying House of Cards on Netflix, trying to watch it before they potentially take it off air because of the sexual allegations against Kevin Spacey. I tell you something, I don't think I'll ever understand the US government set up, but I'm finding the show an insight nevertheless. Also super excited to watch the Friends Reunion now that I know it was aired on Sky1 all along - and I have Sky1 - duh!
In other news, I think Lillibet Diana is a beautiful and very fitting name for Harry and Meghan's new baby daughter. Since Prince Phillip's passing, I've decided to tour all of the royal residences here in the UK and I start with Kensington Palace at the end of the month. A bonus is the fact that Princess Diana's wedding dress is going to be featured as part of a royal exhibition there over the summer months. I'm very excited.
I had the whole weekend off and I decided to tackle the lawns. Luckily summer has finally arrived, so the sunshine helped me get focused. The back lawn wasn't so bad, but on Sunday I did the front lawn and it was soaking wet with all the rain we've had. It took me 3 hours and, in between mowing bits and waiting for the sun to dry them off, I weeded the garden ready for the plants which are coming soon.
Something I find probably the most difficult with fibro is having to decide on one task each day only and not thinking or planning beyond that task, and also accepting that it may not get done if I really don't feel good. That's tough for me because living alone the chores quickly pile up and I get overwhelmed beyond words. I am so happy that my cleaner is going to be starting in a couple of weeks. With her coming in weekly for a couple of hours, it will be a godsend.
Back in the day when Col was alive, a normal Saturday would see me doing the washing, drying, ironing, dusting, hoovering, cooking and attending to the garden. Yes I pushed myself and it took all day to accomplish these chores, but it was do-able, and then I knew I had Sunday to myself to relax or we'd go out somewhere. Nowadays I don't even know who that person was - and I try not to think about it too much because that's a great catalyst for a depressive episode right there.
One of my highlights in the week was having my yoga class in my instructor's huge bell tent that she sets up every summer. There is something magical about practicing under canvas. It inspired me to buy my own pop up tent, not for practicing yoga, but for camping under the stars even if it's just in my back garden. I used to go camping every year and I have really missed being under canvas in the outside.
Another highlight is I'm starting to create my self care / soothing / calming bag. I've ordered some sensory toys now that I know Touch is my dominant sense, and I'm going to fill it with some of my favourite things. This was a big talking point in the Stabilisation course I did earlier this year and I've wanted to put something together since my first hospital stay a few years back.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.