General musings

Summer 2017

I've been away for quite some time. I had thought that the summer would mean that I would have more time than ever to write but as it turned out, the summer had other plans. It was the busiest summer I've had to date and there are only three weeks left until I return to work.

The summer holidays haven't always been the easiest for me. I'm not the kind of person that likes to be alone for too long, or sitting around and doing nothing. I get restless and impatient. This year however I've not had the chance to sit still and chill out too often! I've travelled to America and Canada for a few weeks and between weddings, engagements, christenings, and minding smallies, it's been a busy one.

With all of this time off comes a lot of time to think, and my brain has been on overload. I found my mental health was a bit of an issue for me at times. There were days when I couldn't stop crying, days when I didn't want to leave the house, and days when I worried about why my anxiety was acting up so much. I got very confused and was a little bit unsure as to what to do. However, in the last few days I've really picked myself back up and have done my absolute best to reframe my thinking and to feel more like me.

I've restarted my Miracle Morning practice but haven't been extremely strict on myself for timings or getting it all done within the first hour of the day. I've also started reading The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner and have been listening to Operation Self Reset on iTunes. On top of all this I've been doing journaling each night and going to Yoga every day and, even though I know that some people find it very boring, it totally centres my mind. Doing yoga each day in a yoga centre makes me take it more seriously and I have noticed huge benefits. I feel like my whole energy has been readjusted and that I am looking at the world with a more positive outlook as a result. If it's something that you've been thinking of trying I urge you to give it a go.

Obviously I've still been reading. I've read a good few books over the summer and hope that I will be able to post some reviews in the coming weeks. However I have a shocking memory and so I might have completely forgotten what the books were about! I need to get my ass in gear and return to the blog properly so that I can continue doing what I love; writing. Even if people never read this I don't think it would bother me. I write for me and it is one of my main passions in life, so much so that I am hoping to start putting my thoughts down on paper soon and starting to write more fiction. It is something that terrifies me, writing. Funny how something you love can bring so much fear. I think that writing and allowing people to read what you've created exposes you to a certain amount of vulnerability. There's a lot of fear there for me with regards to criticism, and also with putting myself out there, but I need to get over that and start doing it because if I continue to think like that then I'll never go for it!

So that's my mini game plan; get back to my blog, live my best life, start following my passion and writing fiction. Sounds simple doesn't it?!

So when I'm getting this back up and running I'd love to hear what you guys would like to see more of? It may involve a bit of redecorating in order to get my head in the game! Leave a comment below and I'll take everything into consideration when I'm writing!

Much love,
Cx

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General musings

Chick Flick Challenge 

So, I came across this today and wanted to share it with you! With a little bit of a hungover head on me this morning I watched two of the movies on this list; 10 Things I Hate About You and Save The Last Dance! Two absolute classics! And, seeing as I’m now off work for the summer (insert victory dance here!) I think I might try to watch as many of these as possible! 

I haven’t watched them all before so I’m actually really looking forward to this! 


If you have any recommendations for what I should watch next, do let me know! 

Cx 

General musings

Book Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

pre-wedding

Elizabeth is Missing is about an older woman called Maud who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Throughout this book we experience her life both past and present. We travel back into Maud’s memories when she was a young girl, living at home, and trying to make sense of a family tragedy. Flash forward to the modern day, and Maud is trying very hard to comprehend the world around her. She seems to be obsessed with one thing, that Elizabeth is Missing.

The extreme confusion that Maud appears to be feeling is a very powerful observation of what it must be like to suffer from a memory related disease. Her utter confusion about everyday items such as pencils and umbrellas is very insightful. I remember when my grandfather’s memory was going and it was very difficult to watch, but how much more painful must it be to be the person experiencing it?

In the end, we come to understand where Maud gets her wires crossed, and why things such as planting marrows are important to her. Her daughter Helen and her granddaughter Katy do their best to ensure that Maud is kept safe and try to remain patient with Maud’s relentless questioning. Are all of her queries and statements just a confused old woman’s train of thought, or does Maud’s memory serve her correctly? Will she ever find out what happened to Elizabeth, and will she ever get peace from the past that haunts her?

This book is an eye-opening read. We often sit by and observe the effects of dementia, but never give much thought to the way that the individual affected by it must feel. I really enjoyed this book and was very impressed with the ending. The book will leave you confused at times. You’ll find yourself asking whether Maud’s memories can be trusted; is she a reliable narrator? Will we ever understand what happened in her past? And, where the hell is Elizabeth?!

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A great read! Definitely worth picking it up!

General musings

Nature Therapy

Escaping to a place full of natural beauty has always been something that has helped me to de-stress. My places of choice usually include somewhere with lots of trees or somewhere with water. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it but these places make me feel so amazing.

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Galley Cove – West Cork


Going for a walk in the woods allows me to shake off all of the stress I’ve been carrying. I love to inhale the smell of the trees around me and feel disconnected from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Going to the beach always makes me sit back, inhale deeply, and realise that whatever is troubling me is not that bad. Perhaps its the blurry line of the horizon that reminds me that I’m a teeny tiny person on this earth and that my problems are really miniscule, or perhaps its the soothing sounds of the lapping waves that just allows me to let go. The point is I have no idea why these places cast a magic de-stressing spell over me, but they do.

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Sunset at The Lough, Cork


Being in nature really makes me feel free. I love to look at new landscapes and discover new sights. I’m the type of girl who would happily go camping in the rain instead of going to a 5* hotel, because I see it as an adventure and an invaluable way of making memories. Being disconnected from the stressful everyday is something that I think is absolutely essential. Busy has turned into something that appears to make us more valuable as people, however I am here to argue that this should not be the case.

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Lake in Killarney, Co Kerry


Being busy does nothing other than add stress and pressure. Yes you may feel that you are accomplishing things each day but I feel like there is no fun to be had in the Rat Race. We were not born to work, get burnt out, keep working, eventually retire, and then die! We were born to experience life in its most amazing form. Whether that is going on breaks away to see new places, having a BBQ on sunny days in your back garden, or travelling the world with your best friends. Life is meant to be a positive experience and not one that is dominated by stress and discomfort.

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Beautiful sky over Garretstown Beach, Co Cork


Taking the time to experience nature has so many benefits. Personally, I always feel much calmer, more relaxed, and far more optimistic on days where I take the time to go out and get lost in nature. It’s got this great sense of healing that I just can’t explain. I’ve never once regretted deciding to go out for a walk or drive across the county to the sea because afterwards I always feel rejuvenated and free!

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Sun shining over the Lee Fields, Co. Cork


The other day I listened to a podcast on my way to work. The podcast, Adventures in Happiness by Jessica Ortner, interviewed Jean Haner in its episode entitled Clearing Negative Energy. In this episode Jean talks about the healing energy that nature has, telling us that it will cleanse away what negative energy we might be holding on to.

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A hidden gem by Inniscarra, Co Cork


I listened to this podcast and felt that it resonated with me so much! I’ve listened to every single episode of this podcast to date and this episode was one I have taken a lot from! Nature, for me, is therapy. I can go into the depths of nature and do whatever it is I need to do; sometimes I might talk myself through a difficult situation, sometimes I might spend time with friends laughing, and other times I might be extremely mindful and soak up every ounce of the beauty that surrounds me.

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Sunrise in Cork City


Sometimes that beauty can be in the midst of the city. Whatever the beauty, as long as it’s natural, it is a gentle reminder that we are more than our jobs, more than our stressors, and more than we allow ourselves credit for. Nature and natural beauty allow me to be myself, wholly, truly, and completely. Unapologetically me. I can cry, laugh, sing, shout, and nature will still be there and will still be beautiful.

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Borghese Gardens in Rome, Italy


Do you feel that nature has a therapeutic role in your life? Let me know in the comments below! 

Sending love,

Cx

General musings

Life Updates…

Today the Universe taught me a lesson. Before 8am!

I got up, I went downstairs to the kitchen and applied my make up as breakfast was cooking. After I had eaten I went upstairs to brush my teeth, and because I was in a world of my own, I moisturised my face…. over my make-up… and ruined the whole thing…! Instead of freaking out and getting stressed I just laughed it off.

I was thinking about the moisturising incident on my drive to work and felt that the Universe must be telling me to try to focus more on the fun things, the funny things, the positive things. And I am so grateful for that lesson because it genuinely feels like the day just got worse from there. I can’t even go into it without wanting to cry so I’ll swiftly avoid the rest of the day and skip straight to my conclusions….

Working full time and studying = lots of stress
Life = lots of stress
Every day = good little things
Little things > Stressful times

I need to get my ass in gear and stop putting myself under so much pressure.
I need to do more of the things that make me happy.
I need to enjoy the ride.

This blog tends to get less of my attention as I’m doing assignments, which makes sense as I’m reading far more academic papers than I am books… I’ve been thinking of perhaps making this a book and lifestyle blog instead of just a book blog. I may have something interesting to say, and then again I may not! Who knows!

So, expect a bit of redecorating! I will still be posting book reviews but you may be seeing a bit more about me and my day to day life! (I apologise in advance if my life bores you!)

With love,

Cx

 

General musings

Where Have You Been?!

I’ve been exceptionally quiet here!
I have been working endlessly at college work and have not been able to read at all. I know this might sound very odd but it made me feel so resentful! I’ve been working so hard, day and night, to complete a fairly hefty project and in order to do this I had to sacrifice my reading time. Reading and writing for pleasure were deleted from my schedule; ironic given the fact that the tag line of this blog states “because there’s always time to read!”
I have been slowly reading The Master Key System each morning for 20 minutes as part of my Miracle Morning practice and am looking forward to reviewing it when I finish reading it! Fiction however was pushed to the wayside and, if I’m brutally honest, I missed it so much! It’s almost like a coping mechanism for me. You know that feeling of escape you get when you’re immersed in a fantastic book?! That’s what was missing for me! I felt as though I couldn’t escape the real world anymore. Not that the real world is a place of hurt or hate or torture for me, by any means! I simply missed the bliss of book reading! I’m glad to announce (and yes I’m announcing it because I feel like I have just climbed Everest!) that I have completed the project and can now get back to reading for pleasure as opposed to conducting interventions, researching academic journals and writing up findings! That is, until the next deadline comes a-looming!
As a reward to myself for completing the work, I’ve come to the rural coastline of the West of Ireland! A place where I have no phone reception and no internet! (Except for when I can tether my phone to someone else’s!) Why, you might ask?! To read in absolute peace and quiet!!! I’ve just finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult and can not wait to write up my review!
So, my fellow bookworms and bloggers, please forgive my absence! I’m back and am so glad and so grateful to be able to read and write and review again!
With love,

Cx