Geeking by in October

October Monthly Update

Now, how would I describe October? Two things spring to mind; always behind and lergy. The month started off well enough and I had a nice peaceful simple birthday (just what I had in mind) and continued my annual birthday tradition of having some form of illness, usually something flu-like. I’ll let you read on to find out more about how my October went ๐Ÿ™‚

I used to do a monthly goals post each month before I swapped to these round up posts this year. The reason for the change was I felt that I was putting a bit too much pressure on myself in the way of setting goals. However, I feel that I need to add some sort of accountability to keep me on track with things and get me where I want to be. From now on at the end of each section I’m going to put a few small goals (when relevant).

 

Birthday Times

Before I get to the depression lergy talk let’s start with the fun stuff! I turned 33 and got spoiled by Chris as always. He says I’m hard to buy for and fusses and worries about what he gets me, but the fact is he is a champion gifter. I always feel that my gifts at Christmas never quite stand up to his because he is that damn good! We’re talking plan for 12 months kind of thing – and now I have brain fog all the time he has the added bonus of not forgetting good ideas when they pop into his head too! Grumbling aside I am very grateful to have him, and he knows he doesn’t need to spoil me so but he likes to see my reaction – and that means I get teased before I can actually open them too. This time it was the DVD shaped delivery that was “not a DVD” for instance.

The eagled-eyed among you may already see that the DVD-that-was-not-a-DVD was in fact… a DVD. You’d think I’d have learned after the time he did the whole ‘hon, I’m expecting a delivery tomorrow, it’s a book for DnD’ when it was Valentine’s Day… Yeah. Not a DnD book ๐Ÿ˜›

We’ve watched Thor and absolutely LOVED it! I’m definitely considering getting that NowTV subscription to catch up on the rest of the Marvel films and all the other films we’re behind on. Hopefully when we’re both feeling better we can watch Justice League too. I know it’s had some bad revues but I’m a DC girl so I’m looking forward to it anyway and this one comes with an awesome bonus feature about DC comics too.

The next present may look dull but it’s actually a real life saver and Chris gave it to me earlier saying ‘you REALLY need this’ and he was right. My old mouse mat was pretty disgusting. It didn’t matter how much I tried to clean it, it just would not get clean and it was beginning to screw up my mouse. Due to my hypermobility I need the supports and it’s my first time having one for the keyboard too and I’m never going back. It really makes a huge difference – and I am being extra careful about keeping them both clean too, so go me!

Then the star prize was this gorgeous statue of Sylvanas Windrunner from World of Warcraft’s Fall of the Lich King collection, and photos really do not do it justice. It is so detailed, and it is exquisite. You can view extra photos of her over on instagram. My final present was some money to buy a pet in the Blizzard store which resulted in me spending 5 minutes searching and ending up with three I wanted to buy; Twilight, Shadow and Mischief. I couldn’t decide! They’re all so cute! So Chris got the final vote and chose Twilight ๐Ÿ˜€

I got a bundle of gifts from my mother in law which include some chocolate and these make up gift sets which I will be reviewing at a later date. The lip products say ‘lip gloss’ but they looked so matte that I did a quick swatch test when I got them and I’m really not convinced that they’re glosses. I’d say they’re more like liquid lipsticks with a gloss finish. I’ve tried one of them and they’re ok. Not the best quality as they’re super sticky but they look fab!

 

Gorgeous birthday flowers from my parents in autumn shades of gold, orange and peach

I asked for money from my parents so I could get the bits and pieces on my birthday wish list and they always send me flowers. My mum used to arrange flowers (as a hobby not professionally although she did also do a few weddings, including my best friend’s one) so she knows her flowers and always picks the best bouquets to send me. This year she really outdid herself though because they were stunning! They were from Marks and Spencers and the colours were just gorgeous and perfect for autumn. I tried to do them justice with some photos on instagram, but honestly, I don’t think I could have captured them just right. It was one of those things you just had to see for yourself.

I’ve picked up a few things off my wish list but I’m spreading out the cost over a few months so I will update you guys on that another time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Health

I’m not sure if I ended up actual flu or just a flu-like virus (and it took me 5 times as long to write that sentence because Georgie was licking my fingers as I typed ><). Chris definitely had full on flu and was really sick with it. Despite his heart condition he’s not considered at risk so he doesn’t get the flu vaccine where as I do, although October/November is my most at risk time as it’s the period when I get my annual vaccine. I’m sure there’s all sorts of science to explain it but we’ve found that one of being immune/semi-immune isn’t as useful as it sounds. For example, while the flu vaccine doesn’t attack the body of those vaccinated they can still carry the virus so if I come into contact with it somewhere else I can bring it home to Chris and have done so on many occasion over the years. As with this month if Chris gets flu I’ve found that I can get some flu symptoms but not the full illness. I felt under the weather mostly, and got hit with the feeling like absolute death part of flu. My fatigue levels were just crazy high that I couldn’t do anything. I was fine once I got over and the rest of the month went ok, until this last week when all the sniffling and bunged up ickiness have returned again :-/ Bleurgh. I think my nose has entered a sneezing marathon and forgot to tell me.

Time to get serious for a moment. When I was 4 my mum was diagnosed with colitis a serious bowel condition which has had an impact on all our lives. Her biggest fear as a new parent was that I would one day inherit that condition. Over the years she was told that colitis is not genetic and that I was safe. Keep in mind that this was the late 80s and 90s though and medical research has come a long way since then but I was still pretty shocked when her consultant told me earlier this year that I should get tested. It turns out that there is a type of colitis that sneaks under the radar as it doesn’t have the same distinctive symptoms as most types, i.e. bleeding, and it is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. My mum is still recovering from an illness two years ago and so she did not really comprehend what he said to me, which in a sad way I’m a little grateful for, but I did go to my doctor asap.

Health Update - Hormones & Bowel Conditions

I underwent a test that shows up inflammatory markers; it’s really easy and non-invasive as it’s just handing in a sample (sorry if that is TMI but I want to explain so anyone else who ever goes through this knows what to expect ๐Ÿ™‚ ).ย  My results came back and I got 80 which is good and bad. The average healthy person is a 50 and colitis starts at 200, so I’m safely below the colitis but not within ‘normal’ levels either. My doctor is retesting me in 5 weeks and I think this is something we are just going to need to keep an eye on. It’s been more on my mind this month because my tummy has been a lot worse so even though the results are good news I’m not feeling completely reassured just yet. Something still doesn’t feel right.

I’ve also just had another hellish month of PMT again. I’m on the mini-pill which is an Progestogen-only pill as the normal pill is really bad for migraines so I’ve been off that one for years. For a long time the mini-pill worked like a dream; cycle went great, symptoms and moods settled down, and even better? No periods! Then over the last few months it’s been like a roller coaster of pain and hell. My doctor said that it isn’t uncommon as our bodies change and get used to the pill, or something along those lines. Unfortunately I’ve now exhausted the two pill options so it’s time to try injections or implant; we don’t want to go down the implant road just yet for personal reasons as a couple so I’ll be trying injections. I’m not bothered by needles at all so that isn’t an issue, I just really hope they work and I don’t have any issues or side effects with other medications. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Kitten chasing string - an accurate portrayal of how my October went

Always playing catch up

The aim ofย  October was to catch up with my blog schedule and other things in my life once and for all. Instead I spent most of it feeling like a kitten running after a ball of string, never quite catching onto it and when I did I’d find there was so much more to catch.ย  One thing would lead to another and another… case in point; our bedroom. We knew we had some condensation issue of some sort in our room but we didn’t realise the full extent until this month. We began to realise that the walls were getting damp to touch and so was the floor in some places. In preparation for someone coming in to check the walls for us we moved the bad and an old mattress from underneath it to find that things were a lot worse than we realised. The guy we got in to check it confirmed that we had rising damp complete with nasty spores that had spread half way around the room. It turns out that all the rain we’d had for weeks had been leaking through from the outside and had built up, meaning we had a pool of water sitting in/behind the walls. We had to get a big electric dehumidifier in and blast it for about a week to dry the room out, and of course everything needs decorating. Thankfully having the old mattress under the bed has saved our own mattress because it soaked up all the icky stuff and the moisture.

But tidying up the bedroom so that someone could come in and so we could move the old mattress out took time. We had to then tidy up another room to make room for things that had to be moved out of the bedroom. Between all the moving, tidying and sorting out it took up the better part of one week and then of course we both had the massive slump afterwards from really overdoing it. So that pushed me back for blog work, inktober and dissertation work, and from then on everything just seemed to end up in a never ending cycle of catch up.

November Goals

I’m done chasing the string. This month I’m catching up on blog stuff and my to do list. One of my blog series, the Zodiac series, has been the biggest culprit in stressing me out and has been playing a big part in all the trouble. Last month I got so close to getting caught up so this month? It’s getting done baby!

 

Disstertation Update - October 2018

Dissertation

I started writing again!!! I am so happy to be able to say that and it is a huge relief off my mind. I now have a schedule pinned up on the wall in front of me with a weekly world count of 500 words, although I’m trying to do 100 a day to keep myself floating nicely ahead. It means I can also miss days here and there if I need to. My schedule started two weeks ago and takes me up to the end of March which is when I send my supervisor my first draft, and my final deadline is the end of April. It also includes when each section will be complete so I know how my progress is going in terms of the actual content not just number of words.ย  Every two weeks I hand my supervisor the work I’ve done to that point so that keeps me on track and we are having a monthly Skype chat too.

Getting started was so hard especially with everything else going on this month, but once I got into it and pushed through the fatigue I was good! I had to knuckle down and put some hard work in to catch up a bit last week, and again that pushed me behind this week. As long as I don’t keep letting that happen and letting it get on top of me I should be ok.

November Goals

Keep up with my schedule, especially the 100 words a day and not let myself fall behind.

 

Inktober 2018 - Some of my doodles

Inktober

If you some how managed to miss my inktober post at the start of the month then October is when a well known art prompt called Inktober takes place. This was my first time doing Inktober and I was using it to kick start my doodle book, which in turn was to help me get back into art again. you can read more about all that in my Inktober plans post. As you can probably guess I didn’t keep up with it as much as I had hoped but considering how manic this month ended up being I’m really happy that I did keep going with it and I didn’t give up! There was a point there where I could have jacked it all in and I chose not to. I’ve still got 7 prompts to do and I’m going to finish it because I’ve really enjoyed it. Some drawings didn’t go as planned and others really surprised me. I found that artist inside me that I wanted to reawaken and I’ve also found my confidence again, so watch this space ๐Ÿ˜‰

November Goals

Finish the last 7 prompts in my own time – and don’t stress about it! I’ve started a photo challenge and video game screenshot challenge so I want to keep up with them. That probably seems like a lot but it actually isn’t as the video game challenge will be a quick one week post with 7 screenshots to sum up my week so keep an eye out for that on Wednesday!

 

Blog Updates

I’d really hoped to be unveiling geeking-by.net! Yep, I did it, I got the domain. I purposely wasn’t mentioning the exact name in case some nasty person snapped it up before I actually bought it, however, it is now safely mine. I just need to do the actual move. Although I’ve not been able to do that due to the hectic month, I have been tinkering around and you may have noticed some changes! I could list all the changes or I could do one better and take inspiration from the lovely Nerdily who did a fabulous video walk-through of her blog changes – which you need to check out because it looks FABULOUS!

November Goals

Actually migrate to the new domain? Yeaah ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also want to finish off the bits I noted in the video and launch my newsletter!

 

Over to You

Right, so my October was a hectic lergy mess which ended up with me likening myself to a kitten chasing a ball of string – you can tell I’m back writing something can’t you? ๐Ÿ˜› How did YOUR October go? I especially want to know about your Halloween adventures as mine were zero as usual (holidays during the cold wet season in Scotland aren’t particularly welcoming for a disabled girl even when it’s been a good month!).

How was your October?

Did you do anything for Halloween?

Did you dress up? If so what as?

Do you celebrate Halloween, Samhain or both?

What do you think of the blog changes? And how was the little walk through video – should I do some more video content occasionally?

Thanks again for reading and keeping up with my adventures as I make my way through life. Your ongoing support has made the things I’ve managed to do in October – start my dissertation again and have the confidence to make changes to my blog – possible so please don’t ever forget that. Whether you’re reading, commenting or engaging with me on social media it all means so much to me every time I see a notification or see the page stats going up. Thank you <3

Geeking By in September

Geeking By in September

September proved to be a wild month (quite literally in the case of Storm Ali!), it was unpredictable, filled with challenges and nothing went as it was supposed to go. Nevertheless I got through it and here’s my monthly recap for you all ๐Ÿ™‚

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Blogging & Projects

As I already mentioned I’ve been working on the Unique Bloggers group for the last few months, so that was a big part of my work load this month ๐Ÿ™‚ It is both terrifying and exciting at the same time but I’m still so happy that I made the move to do it. I’ve been continuing to work on building this blog up which has pretty much entailed me playing catch up after the last few months gallivanting. The Zodiac series has taken the biggest hit and I’m hoping to have caught up by the end of this month, leaving me with two more to get out next month and then I will be up to date. I really don’t want to be behind in the run up to Christmas.

Games that define us collaboration - World of Warcraft

 

I have a birthday post AND a Halloween post planned for the first time ever – yep, get a load of this organised girl! How long that is going to last is anyone’s guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve also just finished up my part in the Games that define us collaboration which goes live in November and I had an absolute ball taking part in it. I cannot wait for you guys to read my entry! Honestly though you need to check out EVERYONE’S posts. The whole group has worked super hard on this for months and the results are amazing. Even if you are not a gamer there is certainly something to be gained by reading these posts because they are about people not just games.

 

One of the things that has helped me get more organised with my blog has been the addition of a planner dedicated to my blog I’m using this gorgeous Harley Quinn notebook (featured above) that we got in a Lootcrate one month. It is a bullet journal-esque planner in the sense that I am also using it as a mindful and self care exercise to give myself a break away from the computer now and then. I’m not doing anything too fancy, but it’s fun and it’s giving me a creative outlet. I’m also taking part in Inktober this October for the first time and you can find out more about that at the start of the month. Here are the past two weekly spreads of my planner:

 

 

Dissertation

Three years ago I started my Masters in Information and Library Studies with the intention of finishing the course, completing the dissertation and by now ideally working in a library somewhere in Glasgow. Well.. pretty much none of that actually happened. I managed to complete the classes and coursework, and that was it. Since then I have been on medical leave and only a few months ago was I finally able to talk to my doctor about returning to my studies. All the months and months of changing medication, battling side effects and taking mindfulness courses had finally done some good and I was beginning to feel at least a little bit in control of my life again. I am very fortunate that I have a supervisor that supports me 110% and an exam board that has weighed my contributions and hard work against the unfortunate luck of getting a serious condition like ME/CFS just as I started my Masters. If I didn’t have those two things I would be just graduating with a diploma and honestly? My self esteem would be plummeting right now. Instead I was given the option to have one last deadline to complete my dissertation which I accepted.

 

September Dissertation Update

 

On the one hand it might seem like that was the wrong decision. After all, I could have just taken the diploma and walked away without having to write 20,000 words. The problem is that I know I would never have been happy with that. This illness has already taken the last three years from me and I love my dissertation topic. I need to finish it to prove that I can do it, to prove to myself that I am still able to do these things – that despite everything changing and the whole world turning upside down, I can still be me. If I had taken the easy way out I seriously believe my entire career would have suffered from crippling low confidence and that is not how I want to begin my career as an information professional.

Plus, I have until May. I already have 8-9ooo words already written. I worked out that I need to write a minimum of 1,500 words a month which is 375 words a week. Yeah, that sounds ridiculous right? But if I get a string of bad days or even a bad week the knowledge that I only need to get a few words out is going to help a lot. Ideally I’d love to be able to just bash it out and write thousands of words out in one day like I used to be able to; but that isn’t my life any more and I have to accept that.

 

Challenges in September

Challenges

There are a whole bunch of personal challenges this month. From dealing with guilt at not being able to stuff due to health problems, to working on some couples challenges, every where I looked I was facing something that previously would have sent me spiralling. I am actually pretty amazed and happy that I got through them all and it’s because I approached them by working through them one at a time – something that I definitely credit to mindfulness. There were definitely some moments when I felt utterly helpless and there were tears, but I used those times as outlets rather than huge breakdowns. It was a case of me letting it all out and then getting up, dusting myself off and saying ‘ok, let’s do this’.

 

Health

I don’t think there will ever be a monthly update where health is not a sub-title and I felt it even more so this month. Mine wasn’t so bad, but it felt like everyone around me was suffering. Chris has been going through a really bad period as we adjust his medication and my mum had a scan and the news was not good. Not cancer, but still not good. And I’m just left here doing all I can for them and sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it is enough.

The last mindfulness session was this week and due to unforeseeable events I missed it. Things happened and I just wasn’t able to face a room full of people. I was really upset because I’d also missed the two sessions before that, but none of them could be helped. My IBS was faring up due to stress one time and then another night I just didn’t sleep well, and sleep is crucial to someone with ME. It’s a 10am appointment so I can’t just go back to bed and get some more shut eye before it either. We have another appointment in December which is a sort of check in so I will be able to see everyone one last time then.

 

Health, Therapy & Mindfulness Updates

 

I was extremely happy to finally get my counselling appointment through! To be honest I’m well over due for more therapy. I’ve been trying to soldier on since my ME/CFS symptoms first started and since then it’s been one thing after another; my mum got sick, we found out about Chris’ heart, and so on. And then there’s just a mountain load of stuff from my past which I still need to work through. As my counsellor put it today; I’ve chipped away at my wall a lot through therapy and with mindfulness, but more bricks have been added and then some I just don’t have the right tools for yet. Thankfully he was super nice, and we clicked straight away which for me is important with a therapist. I still remember very distinctly one woman who I spent about 10 minutes with before I walked out of her office. She decided to tell me that the answer to all my problems was that I needed to ‘get out more’. So I’m always really nervous about meeting a new counsellor for the first time, and it was a huge relief to meet him and get on really well with him.

I did have to wait a really long time for these appointments but it came with some massive benefits. As it is at homeopathic hospital where I’ve been having treatment for over a year now I don’t need to explain everything all over again. That saves me a lot of time. When you’ve got 7 health problems you want to be able to drop the name, say how it makes you feel and move on. Not have to explain your whole medical history and background which can take up a good half an hour. And usually you only have 6-8 sessions with most NHS services; here I have unlimited. We will have a mini review every so often to see how I’m doing but until I feel like I am able to walk away confidently without the need for support the sessions keep going. And the final bonus was something I hoped would be possible and I’m really glad it is; he is going to do a mindfulness practise with me every so often! We were talking about how much it helped me and when I mentioned how disappointed I was that I missed my last few sessions he said we could do it! That is going to help me so much too.

 

Over to You

How has your September?

Did you have any wild weather like I did? Or has your autumn started our pleasant?

Any big events this month or any coming up?

As always I love to hear from you so let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

Geeking by in May & June

Geeking by in May & June

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.ย ((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,ย  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…

 

Family History

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!

 

Meditation

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.

 

Future Plans

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!

My Goals for August

Monthly Goals - August

Last time I got one of these done was June and then about a week later I had the flu. I’m now back on the blogging bandwagon and ready to get organised! Yeah, it’s half way through August already but I needed to do this, needed to put things into perspective and work out where I want to go this month. I’ve just started a new physio course called ‘Moving into Balance’ which essentially is an hour of theory/planning and then 30 mins of exercise. The aim is to help me find a baseline and start working to avoid boom and bust days, i.e. a good day followed by a bad day, and to stabilise my energy levels. One thing we’ve been asked to do is mindfully plan where we want our days to go, so I’m going to use this monthly post as a larger way to keep myself on track.

 

Personal

At the moment I’m taking it easy with some things, such as my diet, because flu majorly screwed a lot of stuff up. Last week was also hard due to appointments and other things going on, so I’ve had to recover a bit from that too. This week there’s just my physio so it’s get back on track time with planning, projects, and schedules. Hopefully by the start of September I’ll be back on track!

 

Dissertation

I am currently sitting at half way through my 20k word limit for my first rough draft. I think I have something like 6 months or something before the next exam board (as long as my continuation of studies is accepted), aka my new deadline, but I want it done before that. My physio’s throwing me through a loop at the moment, so taking my time and building my strength up to get back into writing again.

 

Projects

  • Blogging – Top of my list is to get back to blogging and schedule posts a month or more in advance! I already started by prepping my monthly goals posts and making up transmog sets for several weeks.

 

  • Directory Updates – Thanks to Photobucket’s ridiculous changes all my buttons for my directories have been messed up and it coincided of course with the flu. So I’m still playing catch up and several are a mess. Not to mention way overdue to a link check.

 

  • Gallery Updates – I officially finished the gallery move, now I just need to add my latest screenshots and do some admin stuff.

 

  • Bullet Journal – I want to use my bullet journal to track my energy levels, so I need to implement that and catch up with some other bits.

 

World of Warcraft

I don’t want to overdo things since there is only a few weeks left of August so just a few things;

  • Finish Death Knight Artifact Quest
  • Finish Death Knight Campaign
  • Complete Death Knight Mount Questline
  • Try for Mage Hidden Artifact skin
  • Obtain Trial of Style Sets
  • Collect Inscription Recipes from Raids & Dungeons

 

The Mystery of the Missing Blog Posts

Mystery of the Missing Blog Posts

I hate going on hiatus so soon after coming back from the last one, however, this one is for an important reason – my dissertation/thesis. This should have been done and dusted a year ago, but my ongoing health issues and eventual (still pending /sigh) diagnosis of ME/CFS meant that I had to continue to struggle along with it at snail’s pace. I’ve now come to the end of the line, time has run out and I need to get this done for my Masters and for my own sanity. The worst part is that I LOVED my Masters, I LOVE my dissertation topic and I am just so beyond frustrated with how slow my progress has been. As a student with two degrees and most of a Masters behind me, I’m no stranger to having written some assignments in the last few days and I know I can belt out 1-2k words in a day without any problems. Thanks to the flu, the following post-viral fatigue and CFS I feel like I am slogging through quicksand even writing this blog post. If you’ve never written a dissertation/thesis, let me tell you, it is NOT easy. It is not just a bigger/longer essay with more words. And I am doing it with such a massive handicap that it feels near impossible.

I refuse to give in though. I have come this far, and while I have to now live my life differently, I am not going to let my health conditions rule my life. I’ve spoken about mindfulness a few times now, and part of it is the idea of living with our bodies, with our pain. I keep seeing things online about people with chronic pain and CFS, and how much control over their lives they have had to surrender. While I love blogging, and want to develop this blog more, I want a career. I want to be a librarian. I don’t want to have to carry around anti-bacterial gel and use it every time I touch anything, worried about every single germ I could catch. I want to be able to go out, visit places, stop for coffee with a friend. And one step in that road is proving to myself that I can do this, that I don’t need further extensions (if I can even get one) on my dissertation. I also need this chapter of my life done, put away and not hanging over me while I continue to recover and adjust to this new life of mine.

It’s taken me several days to even complete this post, and honestly, things aren’t looking bright. I am gradually doubling the amount of work I get done each day and it’s just not fast enough. Hopefully I can still make the final deadline, however, I know this first draft is going to take me a few extra days. So please cross your fingers for me, send energy my way (if you have any to spare!) and hope that I can push through this fatigue to get this done! ((Banner image from Public Domain Pictures.))