As you can tell from how amazingly late this is, my May didn’t really go to plan. Well, the first half did. I’d planned for this to be just a single month update like normal, however, once I got started I ended up talking about most of June as well. Including the last two weeks, which is the first two weeks of June, also helps me catch up a bit too and is one less thing I need to schedule this month.
A Blogging I Will Go
As explained in last months Geeking by By, I was launching a new blog schedule this month and I was doing great. I rolled out the new Zodiac series, I had not one but two 10 things posts on the go ready to be completed in a few days – one for the following week and one for June. Transmog Tuesday was ahead of schedule with three completed sets ready, and the posts coming together without any rushing happening. It was great. Unfortunately what happened was not something that could be predicted nor was it anyone’s fault. We sadly lost Chris’ gran, and the following days and weeks naturally threw my schedule into upheaval. ((P.S. You may be wondering why I’ve said so very little about Chris’ Gran, while speaking so much about my own. It is not a slight to her; she was very dear to us and much loved. However, Chris is a private person and in this I respect his wishes.)) Despite everything I only missed two things; 10 things and Blog Links. I was so close to getting 10 Things done! I’m pretty happy that the changes I had put into place appear to be much more manageable and only under terrible circumstances did I have problems keeping up with the new schedule.
I’d planned to get back on track at the start of June, however, the UK got hit by a massive heat wave and while in Glasgow that meant for a few unpleasant nights, in London it’s absolutely unbearable. Since being diagnosed with ME I’ve become aware of an increase in my sensitivity to different things. Sound and light especially, however, it appears that I am also extremely intolerant of heat. As I found out last week when I was visiting family in London, and after one of the hottest days nights I found myself with a violent migraine and hugging a bucket. Not fun. On the plus side I haven’t done that for well over a year. So despite the trials and tribulations with migraine medications this year, we are making progress! The heat was not conductive to thinking, let alone focusing on blog writing and plus I had other things to keep myself busy…
I have been fascinated with history for as long as I can remember. I know who’s to blame; my grandad. My mum’s dad, who we used to holiday with a lot and would take me around museums and point out things to me. He also loved antiques, and through him and my dad (who I’m pretty sure got it from grandad too!) I grew to love everything historical. So naturally my first degree was an Art History one. My love for art came from my dad’s dad, who I have a vivid memory of sitting down in his and nanny’s front room teaching me how to draw. You could say that my first degree is a combination of what they taught me. Sadly I never got to know him. He died when I was 5, so I have that strong memory and not much else to go on. So when I was given the opportunity to view old document and photos that had been released after my nan’s passing a few years ago, I snapped up the chance. I’ve spent most of the last 10 days with my head stuck in old documents, relics from World War II such as flyers from RAF dances, photos from my grandad’s RAF unit in various countries, and old photos ranging from my grandparents childhood up to my own childhood. I also managed to grab some time to raid a fraction of my mum’s photos which were gathered from her mother’s house after her passing. I got lucky and the one bag I looked through had a fantastic mix of old and young generations as well. I spent a lot of time using my parents scanner and now have a bundle of photos to edit and identify!
I made myself a promise; from 1st May I would start doing meditation once a day. I knew I wouldn’t be attending a new mindfulness course for a while as I had to decline an invitation to the next one due to overlapping dates. That means the next one will probably not be starting until July or August. I wanted to get a head start, I wanted to go back and say ‘I’ve been working towards something’ and I guess a part of me wanted to stick a finger up at the meds that stopped me completing the course in January. I was ready to go then, I just needed to take that final step. You know that hard one, the one where you need to make yourself get your ass in gear. My meds were getting sorted, I was beginning to feel like a person again and I had a month before dissertation work really began. Now was the time to do this.
And you know what? I did it! I kept it up for two weeks solid. After that I still managed it once or twice a week, including once on the train down to London with a migraine. From the first session it made a difference, and I’m so glad it did because I needed that reminder. Without it I would have struggled to settle down, to push through those times when I couldn’t get comfortable or my cat was driving me up the wall. Thankfully the weather warmed up so I was able to coincide my meditation with kick his furry butt outside to get those five minutes of peace. I did try to up it to 10 every other day after the first week and it just didn’t work. I think I’m much better sticking to five minutes and just doing it at two different times of the day.
Even when I wasn’t actively meditating I found myself employing elements that I’d learned from them. I’ve just been using videos from Youtube (you can see my playlist here) as I’ve found I can’t meditate to a male voice and the recordings we were given with our course are a male voice. Therefore, each youtuber has a slightly different technique and I’ve picked up a few things from them. The one I use the most is from, and it’s simply ‘breath in happiness, warmth etc.’ and ‘breath out negativity, anxiety’ and it’s been helping me a lot. Especially at the end of the day when I was starting to get really bogged down with anxiety and negative thoughts for some reason.
Obviously getting back on track with my blog and meditation are top of my list. This week is going to be my scheduling catch up and hopefully *touch wood* I can get things under control again. As I said, the new changes seem to be working so it’s just a case of getting them in place again. I’m also going back to reviews! I have two in the works and a few more on the way, plus I just won a massive prize bundle of beauty products which I cannot wait to try and intend to review as I go! I’m planning to put together an actual list of products (mainly beauty, and some stationery/bullet journal ones too!) so that you guys can let me know if there’s something you’d like me to feature first. Thanks to a random chance encounter on my train back from London I met a lovely lady who I’m talking with about working on somethings as well, so watch this space *wink*.
Despite everything I’ve also managed to keep up with my dissertation work so by the end of today I’ll have finished stage one of my ‘get back into work’ plan. Stage one sounds very simple, but keep in mind that even the simplest tasks for someone with ME/CFS can be the hardest. I knew I couldn’t just throw myself back into it and hope to float; I’d have sunk and I don’t just mean metaphorically. I’d have sunk mood wise too. I’d have felt useless, and more importantly overwhelmed so I had to start slow. I’ve written about half of it and the “official” dissertation period is three months (ish – ish because I can’t remember the exact deadline date in August :P); June, July, August. So I’m ahead of schedule because I’ve done the reading, I’ve got my notes and research and half is written! That doesn’t mean I can slack though and I don’t intend to – I can’t. Everything takes me thrice as long. So back to ‘stage one’. I started by reading through just one page of my first draft a day, making notes and highlighting anything that sounded wrong or I felt needing clarifying.
I’d intended to finish stage one by the end of May, so I’m a bit overdue but to be honest I’m thrilled that I’m not that far behind. I’m also feeling pretty confident with actually starting stage two and three. Two is re-reading my notes on the rest of dissertation and catching up on what needs to be written now that I’ve reminded myself of where I was going with my arguments and discussion. Step three will be starting to actually write up the next one, and go from there. I do need to get signed off by the doctor though to be able to officially go back to my studies so hopefully next week I can confidently say ‘yes I am ready’. I definitely do feel that we changed the meds at the right time and that we are on the right track with the new ones so that helps a lot.
I’m not going to go into much gaming stuff this time around as I’ve got some plans for that. So just a small update; picked up Destiny 2 in last months Humble Bundle (woot!), been working on World of Warcraft stuff as usual, and Chris has gotten back into Terraria and we love playing it together so we’ve been playing that again too.
Over to you
How have your month and a bit been? Do you fare well in the heat or do you hate it like me? Have you completed a dissertation/thesis? If so, what was it in? Let me know in the comments, as always I’d love to hear from you <3 Thanks for reading and keeping up with my geeky life!