New Year Resolutions and I never really got on. The only one I’ve stuck to is the one I made three or four years ago about using up skincare products and make-up before purchasing new ones. I used up my, not insignificant, stash and largely stick by a one product in, one product out system. Yet, in the run up to January 1st I found myself full of ideas.
I’ve been struggling to write, with any real meaning, this year. Sometimes I write, but when read back it feels forced. Sometimes I write, but it goes round in circles until I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Sometimes the words flow easily, like this post about grief. For the most part, I’ve spent my time staring at a blank screen. My mind is full of ideas, but I can’t make sense of them on paper.
Enter Laura Jane Williams and her #AskTheQuestion series. These weekly emails, where Laura is honest about the things in life that are hard to do (emotionally and physically) and poses the same question of her readers that contributed to the story she shared, sounded exactly what I needed to reignite my writing spark. Laura is one of my favourite writers. Her writing is raw, honest and often times heartbreaking. It always makes me think and sometimes makes me cry when I didn’t realise I needed to, but it’s cathartic. Her ebook, The Book of Brave, helped me let go of the guilt I felt about some of the mistakes I’ve made.
The questions from weeks one and two definitely got me thinking. They got me talking, during therapy, but the writing still didn’t come. This week’s question is different. This week’s question hit me hard. The answer came immediately. The answer is part of the reason why writing has been so hard.
The question – What truth must you reveal to yourself, so that you might let somebody else in?
Grief is a strange thing. It can sneak up on you, even after time has passed. Sometimes out of the blue, sometimes you know the reason. Today is my nanny’s twentieth anniversary. I knew I would feel it, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of sadness and loss that hit me yesterday. I miss her. I know I’m not the only one who does. This makes it a little easier, but doesn’t change the sense of loss.
Back in October I recommended 5 podcasts, today I’m back with 5 more podcasts you should listen to.
Opia Scented Candle White Amber, €2.50. Opia Scented Candle White Cardamom & Sage, €5.00. Torc Fine Fragranced Candle Cocoa & Cedar Woods, €14.95
I love scented candles, considering my love of perfume this probably isn’t a surprise. Candles are a great way of exploring fragrances without completely breaking the bank. Two of my three favourite candles at the moment are from Penneys (Primark for those outside Ireland).
There is nothing I enjoy more, at this time of year, than lighting a candle and curling up in front of the fire with a good book.
You’ve booked your flights, got your passport and packed your bags. You’re good to go, right? There’s one more important thing to consider if you have a chronic illness, how will you manage it while you are on holiday? Following my recent trip to Barcelona here are a 5 tips for travelling with a chronic illness.
I love podcasts. I listen to them much more frequently than I do music or the actual radio. I’ve usually got a podcast playing while I’m blogging, cooking, cleaning, walking or running. I enjoy hearing other people’s stories and there is always something new to be learned or a realisation to be had in the process.
If audio is your thing, here are 5 podcasts you should listen to.
One of my favourite things to eat, at the moment, is curried chickpeas with stir fried broccoli, tamari soy sauce and brown rice noodles (because they’re gluten free). It’s quick, it’s tasty and there is usually enough left over for lunch the next day.
I’ve been trying to find dinners that don’t have a million and one ingredients or take an age and a load of kitchen gadgets to prepare, even if there is marinating time involved. This pork dish, adapted from a version in The Naked Paleo – Food Stripped Bare, fits that bill nicely. I often marinate the pork and prepare the quinoa the night before and the pomegranate and scallions add a lovely crunch.