I’m starting this post off by sounding like I’m about to break up with someone. I don’t mean for it to come across quite like that, I really just wanted to sit down and write an almost “Dear Diary…” like-post in the sense that I just wanted a good ol’catch up with everything that’s been going on in my life over the past year or so and why my posts have been so sporadic.
I’m not intending to give up on blogging anytime soon either as I love writing and it’s been something I’ve enjoyed for a great deal of my life whether in diary or blog form. It’s a great way for me to switch off from life but part of it’s finding the time to sit down and just type away.
When life gets busy, blogging is the one thing that gets shoved on the back burner which makes me sad as I feel my blog then becomes neglected. Unfortunately, though that’s just the way things are as it doesn’t pay the bills and is simply just a hobby.
As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, I work full-time, study a part-time MA and I’m currently in the process of doing up a house that we recently bought. Along with sleeping, eating, socialising and general life, fitting in blogging as well, can be incredibly hard indeed.
Staircase at the university…
I’m on the last stretch with the MA though. In theory, it should be finished by the end of March next year. Part of me can’t wait to finally get it finished with and the other part of me will certainly miss it as I do really enjoy it when I put my mind to it. As much as studying a degree online is a fantastic way to study if you can’t give up working full-time, I do find it an absolute burden which plays havoc on my mental health. There are times when I’ve just wanted to give up on it altogether but then it makes me think what a waste of eighteen months that would have been.
It’s also incredibly lonely studying online as you don’t interact with people on the course on a frequent basis and when you do, it can be hard to organise group work when you live in different time zones around the world. The other issue I find with studying online is that it’s easy to essentially shove it aside as if you’re metaphorically brushing it under the carpet and then forgetting about it because not having frequent “face-to-face” contact makes it easily out of sight, out of mind.
Trying to also juggle this around buying a house and having little sympathy from the university when you’re left without anywhere to live has also played a huge part in my mental health of late. Perhaps I should have delayed study for a while but I’m just at that point where I want to get it over and done with. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the course and I could really praise it but in an ideal world, I would have liked to have either taken a year out and studied an MA by actually attending a university and working part-time or by working fewer hours, studying part-time and also physically attending a uni.
Lives in a house, a very big house in the
The house isn’t far off finished though, it’s just getting around to finishing off those last little bits and buying extra furniture. We got so far with it but then subsequently ran out of money partly due to me changing jobs and also due to taking more annual leave than I was technically entitled to when leaving my old job. With Christmas just around the corner and Greg’s Grandma becoming ill for the best part of November, we are still recuperating our finances and as a result, finishing off the house has been put on hold for the time being.
As much as it screwed us over financially changing jobs, I really love my new job and hope that they want to keep me employed at the end of my probationary period. When I say it “screwed me over”, I didn’t take a pay cut, in actual fact, it was a pay rise. However, due to me having taken so much annual leave when we first bought the house it meant that I had taken too much and therefore owed my old job money.
It also didn’t help that we had to go up to the Lake District a couple of weeks previously to me leaving for Greg’s mum’s wedding so had to pay for that and then as I started halfway through the month at my current job which resulted in me only receiving two weeks pay. Once I received my first pay cheque it wasn’t long after that Greg’s Grandma fell ill and as we’re the closest family members it meant that we were having to make daily trips to Salisbury Hospital. Thankfully, she’s now recovered and back at home. And now there’s Christmas to think of.
Go to werk, go to werk…
I realise I just kind of went off on a tangent when discussing my new job. I work for a national UK pancreatic cancer charity (Local to me) as their Community Fundraiser. This means I look after all our volunteers by being their first point of contact and also work on the fundraising campaigns. I’ve volunteered with numerous charities during my lifetime but never actually worked for one, but it’s so rewarding and the team are so lovely and dedicated to the cause too. When I’ve told people I’ve worked for a charity, I’ve received some mixed reactions such as, “Well that’s a bit morbid!”. Perhaps so, but if charities didn’t work hard to campaign for awareness of their causes then no one would know about it.
Sometimes reading people’s experiences of dealing with relatives, friends or even themselves with pancreatic cancer can be completely heartbreaking. One example was a letter I received with a cheque from a school cake sale, it was signed from two ten-year-old boys who had lost their mum to pancreatic cancer in the last year. It really touched me as they were so little and no one should have to grow up without a parent. That doesn’t mean anyone else’s story isn’t sad to hear though. I hear a lot of sad stories through my job but because I have a personal connection to pancreatic cancer due to my Grandpa dying of it, I think I just empathise with them and give them an “electronic” shoulder-to-lean-on-attitude of, “I understand, I’ve been there too”.
I know that’s not really selling the whole working for a charity thing there, but as I’ve previously said, I enjoy working with my team and our volunteers are well and truly lovely. Some of the inspiring stories you hear from them are just endearing and feels you with a sense of pride. I think because of this and my personal connection to it, it makes me feel extremely dedicated to making a difference and the drive for us to enforce earlier diagnosis.
It’s so nice to wake up and look forward to going to work and not have that dreaded Monday morning feeling every Sunday night. I don’t know whether I want to stay working in the charity sector forever but for the foreseeable future, I’m quite happy working in it.
We’re going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…
We’re starting to seriously actually think about getting married soon! I know, it’s a shock to me too! So we’ll just have to see if we can actually get around to planning it. We recently had an engagement shoot that we won in a Facebook competition which made me decide I very much want a photographer and can scrimp on everything else.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and actually blog despite having written up and planned a lot of content in my notebook. I think I’ve also kind of gotten a bit bored of the content I’ve written as I’m not really sure of what direction I want this blog to go in.
I would definitely like to write more out and about, chatty lifestyle, foodie, reviews, and DIY on the house, maybe even some on studying my master’s posts. I also really enjoy monthly round-up posts of what people have been enjoying and been up to that month as it gives you a little insight into their lives.
Over the last year or two, I’ve kind of falling out with blogging yet wanted to still keep up with it. I love being creative but I quite often compare myself to others and then feel like I’m not good enough or people will read this and mock me for what I write. It didn’t help last year when I received a job rejection due to having a typo on this blog. The ironic thing was that their website and documents were littered with typos. On the bright side, I think this blog was part of the reason I got employed in my current job as I get asked to frequently write posts for the work blog. So silver linings and everything really do exist.
The other thing I would like to discuss more on this blog is mental health as it’s something I’ve been struggling with for most of my life but often dismiss as me being “oversensitive”. This is part of the reason for my love/hate relationship with blogging.
I haven’t really mentioned it much before as I worry it will make me vulnerable. I worry that I will be judged and that people will think “I’m joining a fad and jumping on the bandwagon”. I worry that it will impact my job and that people will think I’m a bit cray cray.
Then I thought, in order to make people not judge and think these kinds of things, you should talk about it. Mind state that 1 in 4 of us will suffer a mental health issue at some point in our lives and since working for a charity, at least one thing I’ve learnt is that without people talking about such issues, how can you spread awareness about them?
CALM states that suicide is the most common cause of death in men aged under 45. That’s why we have to remember that talking about mental health is important as although I’m not a man, it may help someone else to know that they are not alone.
I wish I could say I didn’t know anyone that’s committed suicide but I could probably count the number of people I know that have on several hands and I think all of them have been men or teenage boys. That’s when I remember why it’s important and to not give a rat’s anus about people judging.
We can’t expect our mental health to be 100% top notch day in day out. We have to remember: It’s ok to not be ok.
And that’s the end of that chapter…
I realise that quite quickly escalated into a rant about mental health, so I think I should leave it there, for now, to be discussed in another post.
Anyway, I hope that’s kind of caught you up to date. I’d like to do a round-up post on November seeing as I didn’t blog at all during that month and we’re now in December – say whut!?
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