Thursday, 4 February 2016

2015 | Enjoy

2015 ended with my uncle’s sudden death, began with the nerves and flurry of starting Uni and continued with the stress of being behind, it was probably the most stressful year of my life so far. That makes it sound like a horrible year, but I really just wanted to get that out of the way, because 2015 was a good year, despite all that.

I was behind in my studies for a good three quarters of the year, but, with some powerful affirmations, I managed to get on track by the end of the year and prove to myself that I can study on time. I also, with the help of those affirmations (words are powerful, if you ask me), begun to study more positively and work on fixing those terrible habits of doubt and negativity that had been the result of being behind for so long. I moved back to my positivity, even when I didn’t feel positive, I used my optimism to balance the doubt and stress – something I’d totally forgotten how to do.

The year felt like it was all about study and that’s really how it needed to be. But I learnt so much about how I study and how to try and study better and more positively. I think the work I did last year will help me greatly with the challenges of studying on-campus this year.

2015 wasn’t completely about study, though. Or maybe it was, because I also started to learn how to do other things as well as study (still getting the hang of that!). I didn’t write for a good 6 months and that was actually good for me, because it gave me an opportunity to miss writing, to choose to write and that felt good. I’m now writing more regularly and determined to keep it that way, even if it’s just silly nonsensical writing.

My word for 2015 was Enjoy and it was the first word I’d chosen that actually felt like it was meaningful. Its purpose was to remind me my main activity needed to be study and everything else had to be something I did because I’d enjoy doing it, no pressure. Obviously, this didn’t work 100% of the time but it did help me, especially in those first 6 months, not feel guilty if I couldn’t do much other than study.

Enjoy is a word I feel I need to remember and continue with, as I kept telling myself last year – if I’m not enjoying it, what’s that point? There are some things you need to do, enjoy or not, but I put a lot of pressure on hobbies and it’s not worth it if all it does is stress me out!

Enjoy also helped me make a tough decision that I am so happy I made – to change degrees. After my placement in May/June, I kept asking whether teaching was right for me and secretly came to the conclusion that, no, it wasn’t. Maybe one day, I don’t know. School, as I discovered for the first time at 71/2, wasn’t for me.

I’ve successfully switched to a Bachelor of Arts and am really looking forward to studying History and English and German this year, as well as some random things. I feel this is much more in line with my dreams of being a writer. I’m glad I tried teaching, because now I know. Writing is too much of a passion to wait years while I build a different career (trying to change a whole system as I did) before I could make time for it.

So, goodbye 2015! Hello 2016!

Monday, 18 January 2016

currently reading The Red Queen

I am currently reading Isobelle Carmody’s The Red Queen, the long awaited final of the Obernewtyn Chronicles, one of my favourite series and a huge inspiration to me as a writer.

Due to December events, I didn’t read much that month, but with the New Year I’m back into the swing and making my way past the beginning of the book. Normally I’d say I was half-way through a book at 200 pages, however this novel is 1000+, so I still feel I’m at the beginning.

I feel conflicted about this book, I’m at once full of omg-I-want-to-read-it-I-want-to-know-what-happens-this-is-too-exciting, and I-don’t-want-to-read-it-I-don’t-want-it-to-be-over! I’ve been reading this series for ten or so years and I’ll miss it. It inspired me in my early writing days, Isobelle started Obernewtyn at 14 and as a 14-year-old writer that really encouraged me.

Currently, I’m really loving the novel! I’m a bit worried in two regards, one: this prophecy business –I’m hoping for some twist. A prophecy that turns out exactly as predicted feels like a bit of a letdown. Two: I miss Obernewtyn (the place) and am a bit sad to think that it won’t feature much (I’m guessing).

But overall, so far, so awesome!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

2015 | December

Firstly, Happy New Year!

It’s been a hot start to the year and that makes it hard to get started. Still, a new year always brings with it a sense of optimism and while this year will take me uncomfortably out of my comfort zone, I’m excited for what’s to come.
I’m hoping to slowly move this blog from a journal-like space to a place to share thoughts on writing and books, as well as some fiction and pieces of my life. But I’ll talk more about that soon.
I won’t be doing monthly wrap-ups this year, however I’m one who likes to finish a series, so here is a wrap-up of the last month of 2015….

Oh, December. It wasn’t a month that really went to plan. As I mentioned in my last post, my uncle died suddenly on the 1st and life was thrown into chaos. We had a quick, sad trip to Queensland and, determined to celebrate, had a pulled back but lovely Christmas.
Christmas didn’t feel quite like it normally does and I found myself looking to next year’s (this year’s!), a hopefully more joyous one. But it was peaceful. I captured the holiday in film and hope to share those photos soon-ish.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A quiet Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve Day, which means we’ve in full swing of preparations for tonight’s major celebration and I feel I should really get off the computer and help or wrap my presents!

We’ve decided to have a pulled-back Christmas this year, with everything that’s happened we just didn’t have the time (and probably energy) to celebrate like we normally do. But we’re determined to still celebrate! Just in a more relaxed fashion.
We’re spending Christmas at home, with most of the usual delicious treats, and then heading to Adealide to spend Boxing Day with Babcia. I plan to relax and plan for most of this time – plus bake and watch tv, of course!

I’m undecided what to make for new year’s eve decedent sweet-wise but we have decided that this year will include watching True Lies (old favourite pick) and Into the Woods (new to us pick) and sipping cocktails! (er, diluted ones for me, though, as my tummy is not that fond of alcohol)

We are aiming for a peaceful Christmas this year and I wish the same for you!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

2015 | September, October and November, oh my!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. But my uncle died suddenly, tragically, at the beginning of the month and it felt too frivolous. But I thought it was about time to review the last few months…

The uni holidays started and that means I can finally start to do other things, which has felt like a massive relief. I decided to take this month off because I needed it and I know I need to be careful to balance being productive and enjoying the break by relaxing.

Over the break I’m hoping to work on the blog - figure out what I want it to be-, prepare for moving for Uni next year (!!!) and begin two novels. Among other things, of course.

September was really busy with study, but thankfully I managed to get caught up during the break! It was also Vickie’s birthday, so – cake! Always a good thing. It was also the beginning of the blossoms and blubs, which I eagerly anticipate and they do not disappoint – so pretty!

Oh, October. October was crazy, I felt it was really full-on study-wise, especially towards the end, but I got through! I attended an interview and was offered a place at my preferred residential college for next year!!! It was so exciting but really makes moving to the city real.
In other news, Amy turned 21 and the flower display continued.

Study started to slow down for November but I had an exam to prepare for – my first ever! It went surprisingly well and after I was done the holidays begun! It’s a bit strange, but I think I’m used to it.
We also went to a number of big markets late November/December period.

It really feels, thinking back at these months, that it was all about study! But I learnt so much and I hope it will really help me keep a better balance next year.
For now I’m going to focus on healing, celebrating and relaxing!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Blossom and bloom

This spring was been the usual wonderful abundance of blossoms – peach, apricot, apple, plum & nectarine – and also the bulbs Mum and I planted late in autumn. The ranunculus gave an incredible display of yellow, pinks and reds. They are probably my favourite bulbs.

I can’t really remember what the not-ranunculus bulbs are, but they were also incredibly pretty. And despite not really feeling I had time to blog, I did seem to find some inspiration to go out and document our garden display, which was a nice study de-stresser.

+ A very happy birthday to my little sister, who turns 21 today!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

One hundred words of now, vol. 2

Day-dreaming. Planning. Stories. Long. Short. Getting back into writing. Daily. Occasionally. Oranges. Stress. Study. Catch-up. Guidance. Appreciation. Spring. Blossoms. Blubs. Blooming. Sunlight. Early morning. Photo-taking. Crisp air. Future thinking. Excitement. Daunting. Scary. Applications. Changing courses (literally!). Blog. Changing tack. Slowly. Words. SIS (sister in Scotland). Missing. Chatting. Emojis. X Factor. New ideas. Scheming. Hope. Big dreams. Celebrate. Nonsense. Relearning old lessons. Lists. Pushing through. Relaxing. Deep breathe. Piano. Stress released. Mottos. Reading. Light shirts. Open. Today. Sleep-in. Slow start. Sun. Warm. Lazing about. Playing with Holly. Tea. Apple. Biscuit. Pinterest. Cooking dinner. Blogging. De-stress. Happy. Chocolates. Recharge. Rest. Enjoy. Now.

*Inspired by Susannah Conway’s ‘One hundred words of now’