You may or may not have noticed I’ve been somewhat quiet on the blogging front of late. I very deliberately took a bit of a break from it all as I was putting too much pressure on myself.
Now I’m at a point I feel ready to get back on the proverbial horse and carry on with my journey.
So, what’s been happening with me in the two months since I last checked in? Well, I wrote a book (actually I wrote it about 14 years ago but who is counting) and then I got it published via Amazon as an e-book, with a paperback version to follow shortly.
I became an auntie! My brother and sister-in-law have a beautiful baby girl who is the motivation I needed to get my book published and I cannot tell you how happy I feel to be Auntie Claire.
I’m still taking Sertraline and for the majority of the time it seems to be helping immensley.
I’m gradually ticking off my 40 by 40 which is both surprising and impressive. Those who know me know how flightly and whimsical I tend to be.
I’ve been asked, and have agreed, to take part in a video about mental health and the stigma around it. Watch this space for that one. I’ll put up a link as soon as it’s finished.
That’s about it for now but I’m happy to say I have the urge to put pen to paper again and I promise I’ll make sure I write more often.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m 38. Time is running out before I hit the big 40 and there’s quite a bit I’d like to do before I hit that milestone. A little while ago I put together a list of things I’d like to do before I succumb to the ravages of time. Then I put the list in a drawer and didn’t look at it again. Given that I have recently (and am still) having a bit of a challening time mentally it seemed like good time to dig that list out, cross half of it out and re-write it (because frankly, the last one sucked).
So I’m putting it here and this time I’m going to get moving with it because 1 year and 9 months isn’t a long time.
- Overcome my fear of heights. I’m rubbish at heights and can’t even climb a ladder without feeling a bit sick. I’d like to do something the make that fear go away or at the very least get up into my loft and find the Christmas tree.
- Swim in the sea. Nowhere fancy, preferably shark and jellyfish free, and defintily no rouge poos please.
- Donate blood. I’ve been on tablets for so long and always assumed that it would mean I can’t give blood but apparantly being on antidepressants doesn’t automatically rule you out so I’d like to look into that and give a pint or two to do a bit of good in the world.
- Piece together a new outfit entirely from charity shops. I have no sense of fashion or style to speak of and it could be a fun way to try and get some.
- Have something published somewhere. Be it a book (doubtful), a poem or an angry ranting letter to the local paper, at some point within the next 21 months I will be published.
- Try ten foods I have never eaten before. Nothing too weird here, I’m not going for snails or tripe or anything gross, but I would like to broaden my horizons somewhat.
- Do a car boot sale and make loads of money (or at least more that £20). I’ve done one once before but that was ages ago and I’ve got better quality tat to sell these days.
- Sing karaoke without a drop of alcohol. This could be more of a challenge for those having to listen than for me.
- Have a family portrait taken and put it up in the flat.
- Buy a houseplant and keep it alive.
- Teach Dolly how to lay down on command. (Actually I’ve already done this one but I thought I’d leave it on the list so at least I can say I’ve made a start).
- Take a self defence class. I’m always saying I’m going to do this and never quite manage to get round to it.
- Get a tattoo. This is a big one. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but never really know what. People say if you get one it should mean something and that way you’ll never regret it, so I’m going to get one of Dolly’s paw on the back of my shoulder.
- Have a go in one of those water zorbing floaty ball things. They look like fun and it looks significantly less dangerous than the ones that hurtle down hills.
- Bake a rainbow pinata cake (pretty).
- Learn how to say “Thank You” in 10 languages. I’m actually doing pretty well on this one and only need another 4 to cross it off the list.
- Have a massage. Always wanted one, always felt a bit weird at the idea of paying someone to rub my body.
- Enter Dolly in a dog show and win a rossette. She’s so much better now than when we first adopted her, I’d like to show off how well behaved she is.
- Get one of my photographs printed on canvass and hang it in the flat. I love photography but rarely print any of them out.
- Eat something I’ve grown myself (this is going to be a tomato as I don’t have a garden and tend to kill most foliage).
- Be retweeted by a celebrity. I probably need to tweet a bit more for that one to happen but we can work on it.
- Win something. I’m not sure what yet – maybe a tenner on a scratch card, maybe a Facebook giveaway, or maybe a nobel peace prize?
- Be organised for Christmas before the beginning of December. I’ve said I was going to do this for as long as I remember and somehow always find myself running around the shops in the week before Christmas trying to find something nice to give people. This is going to be the year I get organised, food, drink, sweets and presents all sorted out by November (and if not, there’s still next year).
- Do a fun run for charity. I was going to leave this one out as I am not much of a runner but that’s exactly why it needs to go on the list. If I was sporty there’d be no challenge her. I will get fit and buy clothes that have lyra in them and trainers that are aerodynamic and I will jog my way to victory.
- Write a letter to the young version of myself. I could give myself some very good advice, if only I could invent a time machine and deliver it.
- Drink a Jagerbomb. I seem to be missing out on something here. I’ve never been brave enough to try one mainly due to an irrational fear of Red Bull. What’s the worst that could happen? It seems like a good time to try.
- Go camping with JJ and Dolly and spend a bit of time in the great outdoors (preferably somewhere with a working toilet).
- Have a holiday. It’s been so long since JJ and I had a break together, just the two of us. We’ve either been spending time with family or supporting disabled people on holidays. All of those things are lovely but I can’t remember when we went away just the two of us (plus Dolly of course).
- Try as many different flavours of icecream as I can find. I’ll aim for 20. I always go with the chocolate option which is fine, I love chocolate, but there’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and icecream is a good place to start.
- Get a makeover. Not a biggie but I do love makeup and the way it can change how you feel about yourself. It could be fun to see what somebody else could do with this face.
- Drive a car. I’ve learned to drive and I have no intention of taking my test but it might be fun to have a go and see if I could be any good at it. I’ve got a bit of time so it should be achievable but if not there is always go-carts.
- Be on television. Preferably not the Jeremy Kyle Show or Crimewatch but I’m ruling nothing out. Might be fun to go on a game show or be an extra in a soap or even just hang around in the background of a news report.
- Make gingerbread men. Sounds odd but I’ve never made it before and always fancied it. I’ve made biscuits, cakes, merringues and even had a go at chocolates but never made gingerbread men (except when I was small under supervision). I think I’ll make them some fancy-pants outfits to wear too.
- Do something spontaneous. Obviously I”ve no idea what this will be or else it will defeat the object of it. You can’t plan to be spontaneous, just open to the idea of it. I’m notoriously crap at acting in the spur of the moment (except when it comes to hair cuts) so at some point between now and 40 I’ll do something radical when the oportunity presents itself.
- Make something crafty. This was originally going to be ‘learn to knit’ but I tried that and bugger me, I’ve no chance. I almost lost my temper and threw the wool and needles at the nearest wall so I’ll leave that one and try something else. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know but I’m thinking maybe decorating something with something else (like broken stuff I find on the floor). We’ll keep this one open to suggestion.
- Take a dog grooming class. I’m not sure if that’s something that actually exists or not in a day course but if it does, I’m in! I don’t want to be a dog groomer but I do like to do Dolly’s haircut and it would be great to get some professional tips for how to do a good job.
- Find and watch the uncut version of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Until very recently I didn’t know there was an uncut version of this film, it’s long enough already, but apparantly there is and now I want in. I loved this film as a hopelessly romantic teen and I’ve no shame in admitting I had quite the crush on Kevin Costner. I will always be grateful they didn’t put him in tights.
- Write a poem. I used to write poetry all the time, it was my thing. But then I stopped and for some reason never started again. I’d like to sit and write a poem, just to prove to myself I can still do it. None of the tormented wistful stuff of my youth though, something funny and witty and entertaining.
- Lighten the fuck up! I overanalyze everything and constantly worry. I need to throw caution to the wind, jump in without looking and live for the moment from time to time.
- Watch the sunrise. I’m 38 and have never stayed up all night or woken in time to watch the sun come up. I definitely want to see that. Yes there’s plenty of time and if it doesn’t happen this side of 40 it’s not the end of the world but I’ve been struggling to fill this list and now I’m not!
There… list finished. Now all that’s left to do is get off my backside and start ticking them off. Watch this space!