10 Geeky Things I’m Thankful For

10 Geeky Things That I'm Thankful For!

I was completely stumped on what to do for this month’s 10 things. I have some ideas I’m working on for future 10 things, but wanted to reach out and see what you guys, my readers, wanted to know about me. I popped an open request up on my facebook page and got some great suggestions including this one from Alicia of EightBitBlonde to do a geeky post that ties in with Thanksgiving. As a Brit I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, however, I have a lot of US readers so in the spirit of celebrating Thanksgiving this months 10 Things is dedicated to 10 Geeky thinks that I’m Thankful for.

[bctt tweet=”As a Brit I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but in the spirit of celebrating Thanksgiving this months 10 Things is dedicated to 10 Geeky thinks that I’m Thankful for.” username=”justgeekingby”]

I previously wrote about 5 fandoms I’m thankful for in a 5 Fandom Friday prompt so this time I’m doing things a little bit differently. I’m going to talk about 10 geeky things in a more abstract way – keep reading to find out what I mean!

 

Please Note - This post contains Affiliate Links. Click for more information!

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - World Building

World Building

One of the greatest things that everything geeky has given to me is world building. As a young girl I started with stories created from my imagination, stories fuelled from worlds and characters I read in books. As a teenager  exploring the internet for the first time I stumbled upon the world of role playing and from there my interest in world building grew even further. Every tv show, movie, book and video game is set in it’s own universe that has been created by people. A world built from imagination and the possibilities are endless and it’s given us films like Star Wars, to the cheese-fests like Sharknado. There’s so many elements to it too and I started off with this one because I touch on more of them in other sections of this post.

[bctt tweet=” As a teenager exploring the internet for the first time I stumbled upon the world of role playing and from there my interest in world building grew even further. ” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Escapism

Escapism

[bctt tweet=” I could lose myself in the endless words and worlds of books, and it helped me to stay strong, to work through what was happening in the real world. ” username=”justgeekingby”]

The geek world isn’t just about escapism to me, I want to make that clear first, but it certainly is part of it’s charm. Growing up I was bullied a lot and the geeky world gave me a way to escape my tormentors, as well as helping me find myself. I could lose myself in the endless words and worlds of books, and it helped me to stay strong, to work through what was happening in the real world. As I got older and new problems replaced the bullying my geeky interests and pursuits continued to be there for me to offer solace when I needed to relax and remind myself that my every day life isn’t just filled with pain.

[bctt tweet=”As I got older and new problems replaced the bullying my geeky interests continued to be there for me to offer solace when I needed to remind me that my every day life isn’t just filled with pain.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Identity & Belonging

Identity & Belonging

A little while ago Hannah of A London Geek wrote about being a Fangirl and not being ashamed, it’s a great post that you should all check out and Hannah really hits the nail on the head with what it feels like to be embrace your geek community. I don’t remember when exactly I realised I was a geek; I was always different, I never fit in and I was instinctively attracted to geeky things. As I got older I embraced the term geek (or nerd, personally I’ve always preferred the term geek for some reason although I accept either!) and it was an important part of piecing together my own identity. I suddenly wasn’t just a weirdo, the odd one out, I was a part of a group of people who saw the world differently and shared my passions.

[bctt tweet=” I don’t remember when exactly I realised I was a geek; I was always different, I never fit in and I was instinctively attracted to geeky things.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - The Games That Define Us Blog Collaboration

 

A few days ago my post as a part of The Games that Define Us collaboration went live and in it I talk about how I became a gamer. It was a very cathartic post, and until I put my story down on paper I hadn’t even realised just how much that one game had effected my life, and that is just one element of my geeky world. Every part of my geeky interests and pursuits from this blog, to the games I play and the books I adore are what make me who I am.

[bctt tweet=”A few days ago my post as a part of The Games that Define Us collaboration went live. In it I talk about how I became a gamer and I realise how much that one game had effected my life.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Friendly Communities

Friendly Communities

The geek community isn’t all sunshine and rainbows – just ask any geeky woman – which is why this section is specifically called ‘friendly’ communities. I have been in many communities over the years that have I thought were friendly and I later realised in hindsight were toxic, however, I’m not going to dwell on those as this is about what I’m thankful for and not losing myself in the past. I make a point of mentioning them because I think it’s important to recognise the toxicity that does exist in the geek community rather than pushing it under the carpet – and in doing so it makes me even more grateful for the friendly communities I have now found and the friendships that have grown from them.

You may have heard or even used the term ‘geeking out’ before, and for me being a geek is a community thing. While I can entertain myself with my own thoughts and theories about a plot or character, at the end of the day I get the most joy from being able to talk about it with someone. My relationship with my fiancé Chris is filled with geeky moments. We are a couple that games and geeks out together, and I love that. I love that we have a room in our house dedicated to geeky things and that we agreed to decorate in a geeky way. I love seeing a tweet on twitter from a friend as they discover my favourite book or show for the first time, and their excitement as they enter that new world of wonder and magic. And I love the endless creativity and adventures of my fellow geek bloggers.

Being a geek is 100 times more fun with friends.

[bctt tweet=”While I can entertain myself with my own thoughts and theories about a plot or character, at the end of the day I get the most joy from being able to talk about it with someone.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Collectables

Collectables

I’ve always been a collector; keyrings, badges, postcards. I still have them from when I was a kid.  The internet has brought many wonders including online shopping and that’s just made it even easier to access geeky items, especially now there’s subscription boxes like Lootcrate and Geek Box. There are now so many things to collect and sites like etsy and redbubble, just to name a few, mean that we can also buy things created by other fans. Art and items created with the love, joy and attention to detail that comes from someone who feels the same way you do about a fandom. It doesn’t matter how old or obscure a fandom is there is something out there for everyone or there will be. Just the other day one of my favourite authors, Tamora Pierce, announced the first official line of merchandise for her books despite her writing for decades.

[bctt tweet=”I’ve always been a collector; keyrings, badges, postcards. I still have them from when I was a kid. The internet has brought many wonders including easier access to geeky items!” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Geeky Fashion

Geeky Fashion

You may have noticed that I love geeky fashion 😉 I’ve never been a big fashion person, style has never been top of my list and I tend to rock my own unique style that is a hybrid of geeky, boho, rock and a bit of goth thrown in. I’m very much a jeans and t-shirt girl so I love accessories to add some flare to my outfits. So it’s always been really important to me to have geeky fashion items that help me show my identify, my style to the world. I rarely like or care for the current trends – I’m the type of girl who walks into a woman’s fashion store, takes a look around at the ghastly ‘in season’ colours and walks right back out the door. However, I am a Libra and that means I do like to look good. Growing up in the 90s and 00s there wasn’t much geeky fashion at all; you could order from Hot Topic in the US but the prices were high and you had to deal with shipping prices. That was  all we had back then. So what I am incredibly grateful for now is the wider range of online stores catering to women’s geeky fashion.

[bctt tweet=”I’m very much a jeans/t-shirt girl so I love to add some geeky flare to my outfits. So it’s always been really important to me to have items that help me show my identify, my style to the world.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Spin Offs

Spin Offs

Oh no, she said the evil ‘spin off’ term! Don’t panic; hear me out. Spin offs, adaptations, accompanying material, whatever you want to call it. I’m not just talking about TV shows that spin off from an original show or books being adapted into movies; I’m also referring to book and comics that are written in the same universe as a movie or a game. My favourite and most beloved example being the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now referred to as Legends since the Disney canon reboot). I am the sort of fan that literally gobbles everything I can get my hands on. I don’t care if the movie is dodgy, or if the book is badly written. If there is one then I want to see it/read it. I still watch/read stand-alone movies and books but things that are part of a series and a much wider universe are so much more special to me. I think that is what appeals to me about the Star Wars EU, the Warcraft Universe and DC Comics Universe; there are so many characters and stories to be told. It’s why I was sad to see the Star Wars reboot happen, and also excited for the new canon because to me it’s just more stories that get to be told.

[bctt tweet=”I am the sort of fan that literally gobbles everything I can get my hands on. I don’t care if it’s dodgy, or badly written. If there is something then I want to see it/read it.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Fansites

Fansites

As I touched upon in world building every universe of a fandom has so many aspects and this has led to the creation of various virtual fan creations since the creation of the internet. Everyone has their favourite ways of consuming this content and one of those ways for me is fansites. There are so many different formats that a fan can show their love for a subject; news site, guides, shrines, cliques, fanlistings, website listing, online rpg, and more. I’ve been involved or ran my own versions of several of those over the years and I know the joy that it brings to be a part of that larger community online. I also love seeing the way in which people express themselves and their love for the subject and/or the community through their site.

[bctt tweet=”There are so many different formats that a fan can show their love for a subject and I know the joy that it brings to be a part of that larger community online.” username=”justgeekingby”]

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Fanart

Fan Art

Fan art is the other big way I consume fan creations online whether it be digital art or traditional, and I am just so grateful that there are so many talented individuals out there that take the time to create such gorgeous work and share it with the world. I know there are some artists who have been treated badly and no longer share their work, and that breaks my heart but I can understand why they feel that way. I’ve always felt a special connection to art, always been drawn to it and to see someone capture the emotions of a character, relationship or scene accurately has always been very moving to me.

[bctt tweet=”I’ve always felt a special connection to art, always been drawn to it and to see someone capture the emotions of a character, relationship or scene accurately has always been very moving to me.” username=”justgeekingby”]

This wonderful piece of art was commissioned by Chris, my fiancé, from our wonderful friend and talented artist Jen Pattison. You can read my interview with Jen right here!

 

10 Geeky Things I'm Thankful for - Inspiration

Inspiration

The one theme that I think ties all these points together for me is this one; inspiration. It isn’t just from the geeky world, or what it represents, it’s how it inspires me and others to be ourselves and to grow as people. As I was writing this I realised that I was representing just one type of geek; a fandom geek, a fan girl. I’m a bookworm, a Star Wars nerd, a comic book geek. But that’s not the only type of geek out there and that is amazing. The geeky world inspires people to be different, to be who they really are and to reach for the unknown. It can be what inspires them to go into careers in tech or science, to educate and support the next generation, or to share their passions by creating new worlds and universes for people to enjoy and explore.

[bctt tweet=”The geeky world inspires people to be different, to be who they really are & to reach for the unknown. It can be what inspires them to go into careers in tech or science, to educate and support the next generation.” username=”justgeekingby”]

Being a geek is amazing and inspirational, and I am thankful for it teaching me that anything is possible.

 

Over to You

I hope that this gave you a bit more of an insight into me and what being a geek and the geeky world means to me. What about you? Is there an identity or community that you’re thankful for?

[bctt tweet=”Being a geek is amazing and inspirational, and I am thankful for it teaching me that anything is possible.” username=”justgeekingby”]

Is it the geeky world or something else?

If you’re a fellow geek did anything in this entry strike a chord? Do you have any insights of your own to add?

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Let me know in the comments and if you’re in the US I hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Got a suggestion for another 10 Things? Pop it in the comments too 🙂

 

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 🙂

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 😛

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 😀

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 🙂

 

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 🙂 ).  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 of  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.  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.  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 😉

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 😉 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? 😛 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 🙂

Please Note - This post contains Affiliate Links. Click for more information!

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 🙂 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 😉 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! 🙂

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. ((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…

 

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!

Geeking By in February

February Update

It was really difficult to find the motivation to write this catch up because February seemed to just blow through our lives and leave a heap of snow in it’s wake. Here in Glasgow we got hit pretty badly and we still have snow on the ground now. We were quite literally snowed in, which is a first for me. Here’s a few pictures and you can also see a few videos of the snow on my instagram. ((Image from Public Domain Images. Brushes by morfachas.))

 

Gaming Bullet Journal

I seem to have splurts of activity with my gaming bullet journal, and recently I’ve been delving into the world of transmogs from Legion and Argus world bosses and rares, so this has lead to a bunch of new trackers! I’ve tried to vary my page design and styles to make them a bit more interesting visually. In some cases being more adventurous worked, while in others it back fired spectacularly. I’ve also slowly working my way through my hidden artifact pages. I decided to add illustration to them which has been harder so it’s taking longer to complete.  For now there’s just a few pencil sketches which I’m hoping to eventually colour and outline in pen. I’ll be continuing with that through March and also working on some trackers for achievements. Here’s a few photos of what I’ve been up to, but once again my instagram is the best place to see what I’m up to if you’re interested in following my progress!

Credit for the inspiration for my gaming journal goes to the fantastic Bujo Gamer Girls group on facebook!

 

Please click an image to view a larger version.

 

 

Gaming in February

While January was all about Neverwinter, in February we moved on to a new game; Divinity 2: Original Sin. I’d never heard of it but Chris is a youtube junkie, especially game playthroughs and had come across it. He got so annoyed at not finding a decent playthrough that he ended up getting it for us both with his birthday money! He also picked up the first game for himself and that looks good too, so I might try that out t some point. Unlike our usual games, Divinity 2 isn’t an MMO, it’s a co-op game with turned based combat. It took me a while to get into it because the controls are quite different to my usual games, however, I’m really enjoying it even if I do occasionally hit a friendly target instead of a bad guy… (Chris is used to it).

You can choose to create a character from scratch or pick an origin character which is a character with a pre-written background and storyline. While we’re both creative in character creation else where – me in online RPGs and him in tabletop RPGs – we love the story element of video games. Most of the games we play have a rich story and it’s really important to us, so we chose two origin characters. The abilities and spells are really dynamic in the sense that you don’t have a set talent tree; you can play an elemental mage and then throw in some rogue skills too. You just need to put points in the right abilities and get the books to learn the spells. We’re into Act 2 at the moment and while it’s slow going because we are very thorough, it doesn’t feel like a slow grind. You’re always doing something, finding a new clue and so forth. I’ll do a full review when we’re a bit further through the game.

In World of Warcraft I’ve been finishing up my class order hall campaigns and mount quests! Once they were done I turned my attention to Argus and have finally gotten all characters through that campaign too. As a result of completing all the class mount quests I managed to hit 300 mounts and now have a gorgeous blue cloud serpent in my collection. For March I’m going to be starting to farm some transmog gear, mounts and pets again and maybe get some leveling done on my second paladin. She’s the last one to get to 110 and I want her completed before we get the next expansion and start leveling the allied races.

 

Silent Witness

Silent Witness is a British crime TV show that is now in it’s 21st season. It follows the lives of pathologists as they work with the police to solve crimes by giving them evidence from the dead, aka the silent witness. I would describe it as a much more serious and hard-hitting version of Bones; there’s not so much humor, hardly any mad experiments and no grand conspiracies.  It started in 1996, so I was about 11 and it wasn’t something that I really grew up watching. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve caught the most recent seasons and after watching the end of the last season I wanted more. I have a habit of going back and watching old British crime shows right from the beginning. I’ve done it with a Touch of Frost (I’d watched a lot of this when growing up but never all of it) and then more recently with Prime Suspect (after watching the new 1973 prequel). So Silent Witness has been on my list for a long time, however, as you can imagine 21 seasons worth is a lot. It got put off until I felt that nagging need to do it and so I bit the bullet and started way back with season 1.

I’ve always been a fan of Emilia Fox and really like her character, Nikki, and her relationship with the team. I came into season 20 with the team fully formed and obviously had been working together for a while, so I wanted to know how they first met. Nikki isn’t the first lead character; originally it was Amanda Burton’s formidable Sam Ryan and it took me a while to come around to her. It didn’t help that Sam was a strong female character in a time when they were very new and still frowned upon, so the first few seasons feel like it’s just about who she’s sleeping with. Eventually in about season 3 she takes on a Professorship and the real work begins. Things get more serious, bigger and the show begins to touch upon every day issues that really hit home. In the 90s it’s AIDs and the IRA, and then more recent seasons have covered immigrants and disabilities. The later, at the end of season 21, was very tough to watch and thus well written and acted. One of the main cast is the wonderful Liz Carr who herself is disabled and an advocate for the disabled, so it was a particularly important issue for her to see raised in a show.

I’m currently two episodes into season 12, and loving the current team dynamic of Leo, Harry and Nikki. From the looks of the posters the team remains the same for a few more seasons before Harry leaves and Jack (a current cast member) joins.

 

Health

I have inadvertently left the hardest part until last. I spent the whole month struggling with my chest and breathing, and ended up getting an x-ray; only to find that everything is clear and healthy! It should have been a happy moment, instead I’m left wondering what now? I was so sure something was wrong, something that could be found and fixed. Of course, my health is never that simple. My doctor is now in the process of taking me off the new migraine medication which helped my migraines immensely because it can cause respiratory problems as a side effect. Her thinking is that there was an infection, and then the side effect was triggered or kicked in and it’s all rolled into one big mess. As she pointed out, the new medication hadn’t solved the migraine problem entirely; they were less painful but still frequent. So this is the next logical step, however, the timing sucks because we’re away at a Sci Fi convention in a few weeks – right smack bang in the middle of me lowering my dosage /facepalm. I’d been looking forward to no migraines this year after having them for three days last year! Unfortunately my breathing has been so bad that I can’t wait, and it’s a toss up between that or the migraines hampering my fun. Once I’ve weaned myself back off this medication it’s time to try another one – and we’re running out of options. I’m being referred to the headache specialist as well, which considering I’ve been suffering from migraines since I was 17 is probably a bit overdue.

 

Over to You

And that was my February! How was yours? Did you have any bad weather? Anything interesting happen? Let me know in the comments 🙂