The week that started 20th April 2020

Words and writing

Not been writing so much, in terms of writing poetry and books. But, I’m journalling more than usual, which is helping and healing. Kinda going back to the quantities of journalling I used to do. So, that’s good. Bought more stationery to support these habits.

Last week I encountered some new words (new to me, I mean). This week I used some words I rarely use.

expunge verb obliterate or remove completely (something unwanted or unpleasant).

Artist dates

This week for my artist date I went to Etsy. I gave myself a budget, and wandered around looking at things I liked the look of. And these little gifts to myself are already starting to arrive.

lemonyjen was quick off the mark and this beautiful pigeon purse was first to arrive. HumblebeeLondon followed swiftly and now I have a gorgeous card holder too.

Remembering joy

My mission lately is to do things I enjoy or used to enjoy. It’s really important to do when mood is low (see BACES), so now’s a great time to practise. Taking care of myself is taking So. Much. Energy. right now. It’s exhausting. I feel lucky that work is so supportive; like, the organisation in general and my manager specifically.

Watching folks play tabletop games

I remembered how much I used to love watching folks playing games on TableTop. So I’ve been doing that. It’s much better than bingewatching tv. I don’t know why. Watching tv endlessly feels like eating overeating junk food, at a certain point it’s not fun any more, but it’s hard to stop. TableTop makes me laugh.

Reading

Some friends started a social distancing book club. We read The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin in the anthology Again, Dangerous Visions. Which was really hard to read from the start, because it’s full of colonialism. But there were parts I really enjoyed, unsurprisingly the tree parts, and also the dream parts. There was interesting stuff about the importance of sleep and dreams for sanity.

I read another story in that collection, Time Travel for Pedestrians by Ray Nelson, which was disturbing too. Glad I read it though. Made me think.

Next up is Evidence by adrienne maree brown in anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, which I picked. Looking forward to it.

Finally, I started reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, at last. I bought this book at the beginning of January and it’s taken until now for me to get to it. I read a third of it on the day I began, and I’m loving it.

Really hoping I continue with reading, it makes a huge difference for me.

Walking

I went for a short walk with my mum to the local woods (about 10-15 minutes away). It’s the first time I’ve been out in 3 or 4 weeks. Really helped my mood. I was pretty tired afterwards.

a spell for love and light : last year’s alder seed case (near home), cherry fruit (on the way to the local woods), field maple leaf (woods) and wild carrot or poisonous hemlock (woods)

Healthier habits: Creating routines for better wellbeing

I’ve been getting good support from the Employee Assistance Programme I’m privileged to have access to. This week we talked about routines and I worked out what I want to focus on. Namely,

  1. Daily self-compassion meditations
  2. New & improved bedtime routine

It’s often feeling frustrating that I need to re-build habits I had in my life before, but it’s really worth the time and energy it takes. (Even though it’s taking a lot more out of me than I feel it ‘should’.) Anyway, here are some of my favourite compassion meditations lately.

I keep forgetting and remembering meditation resources I want to check out. Hopefully this list will remind me again, and maybe I’ll watch/listen to one each day…

I realised on Saturday that what I want to do for my morning routine is wake, do my morning pages and then listen to a meditation talk, which usually includes a guided meditation. So, I’m thinking of messaging myself one each night, so that it’s there, ready and waiting for me when I wake… 🤔

Random things I nearly forgot to include

I was looking at a purse that allegedly has a bee design, wondering if it was actually a bee. And my explorations online led me to these amazing works of research. The internet is really a wonderful thing sometimes.

At the beginning of April I watched a documentary about eagles and and it made me want to go hang-gliding.

I learned about hanafuda, from a tabletop games website. And now I want to find (and maybe make) some cards, and play hanafuda games. Searching on Etsy mostly got me listings for earrings and prints tho.

Words new to me that I encountered this week

  • truther noun a person who doubts the generally accepted account of an event, believing that an official conspiracy exists to conceal the true explanation; a conspiracy theorist
  • bathetic adjective producing an unintentional effect of anticlimax; similar to anticlimactic, disappointing, disillusioning, mawkish, sentimental

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Why not both?

Started the week watching the Catch-22 tv series (on All 4 in the UK). I love dystopias, but bingeing on them just before bed was not healthy.

Towards the end of the week I watched My Life as a Courgette and that was great to watch in the evening; I’ll be looking out for more animated films to watch. Sweet, but not saccharine.

Wisdom

We shall not be happy unless we live like good animals, unless we enjoy the exercise of the ordinary functions of life: eating, sleeping, loving, walking…

William Morris
Okuafo pa (good farmer): A symbol of diligence, hard work and nurturing

Farming requires a lot of commitment to the job if your harvest is to be bountiful and at the end of the day, the farmer works towards a plentiful harvest, thus the need to be diligent with what they do.

Okuafo pa

The week that started 13th April 2020

Learning things So, this week I started a free course called The Science of Well-being. It’s by psychology professor Laurie Santos of Yale and it’s on Coursera (love Coursera). Grateful to my colleague for letting me know about it, because it’s brilliant. Whizzed through week 1, and now practising using my character strengths. Regardless of […]

The week that started 6th April 2020

What’s in this week: Wellness Writing, including my new & improved writing techniques My artist date this week, mostly enjoying botanical art online Creativity I’m appreciating COVID-19 and inequity reflections Wellness Re-reading what I’ve written before about how to be well and avoiding burnout (Sep 2019). Writing as healing My new writing technique is unstoppable* […]

The week that started 30th March 2020

In our black caucus at work, we talked about black authors to read, here are some recommendations… Kiley Reid x 2 Tomi Adeyemi x 2 (The Children of Blood and Bone trilogy) Colson Whitehead Brit Bennett (debut: The Mothers) Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn) The autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave […]