I read thirteen books this year. I’m happy about re-establishing reading after years of total drought. Some say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit. It’s taken me nearer twenty one months. At first my concentration was so poor I had to read every paragraph repeatedly, forcing myself to put down my phone for twenty minutes at a time. Then, slowly, I began relishing phone dumping; books morphing into pacifier and portal; a way to slow down time and accelerate perspectives.
How long does it take you to make a change?
More about the malarky that is #52and40 here.
I love the odd day in Glasgow. As familiarity grows, I’m beginning to link the city up with maps, memories, family folklore and reference points in the past, present and future. I like the break from Edinburgh’s tourism too, when I’m off west. Interactions with people and the pavement feel markedly more real and more easily connected in a context where showmanship’s less prevalent. I trust myself and my reading of stories I’m collecting better without a backdrop of pressure on a place. I’ve always been easily influenced; mood is infectious, too.
More here on what the crack is with #52and40.
My mental health’s gone off kilter recently. As a health-conscious veteran of PMDD, postnatal and antenatal depressions, I know when my neurochemistry’s recalibrated in an unhelpful direction. I’m lucky SSRIs work well for me and I feel positive, mainly, about medical interventions. I like my life in full, balanced colour. So, while the palette reloads, I’m taking things easier.
Meanwhile, I’m heartened by the stigma around mental health honesty eroding. I see people responding with less shock when someone owns a decline. This rise in empathy and emotional courage really helps.
I’m battling to feel Christmassy. The weather’s telling my senses it’s Autumn. The bagels in the cupboard and alarm clock scream that school’s still in. My diary’s saying it’s a few days before my annual crying at the song in The Polar Express which I love but will make the rest of the family roll their eyes in an agony of stretching tolerance.
YET STILL I REMAIN LARGELY SEASONALLY DEAD INSIDE.
Emergency measures are called for;
- Buble’ on Spotify
- Discussions with tiny nephew re Santa
- Deployment of horrific sweater
- Rising wine levels
Read all about #52and40 here.
When the bloke I fancied told me he lived on a west coast island and ‘commuted’ to Aberdeen for work, I pictured Father Ted’s Manse and grimaced.
‘How can you bear it?’, I’d asked. ‘The flatness? The wind?’
He looked like I’d spoken in Spaniel. The following week I understood.
Sapphire sea in a white sand bay. The perfect cottage.
Mountains, seals, dolphins.
Sunsets, the Milky Way, mornings to make you feel reborn.
Him, in an Acid Croft T-shirt.
‘What about the commute though?’, I’d asked.
He put on Shooglenifity and drove.
More info on #52and40 here.
I’m dreaming of a non-line Christmas
Just like the ones we used to know
Where purses jingle
And footsteps mingle
And we all go shopping in the snow.
I’m also dreaming of a socio-political re-org for Scotland which ejects a Daily Mail state of mind for the rest of time. And a plan for my big writing project more cohesive than, ‘yes, I might need to change the whole thing again. Hmmmm.’
Clarity will come. Meantime, the thing to fill the void with is art, air, light and laughter. And non-line shopping.
More info on #52and40 here.
2015 has been the year for highly serendipitous experiences.
No sooner have I thought one thing then related things have happened, leading my thoughts to necessary places or confirming hunches that what I was thinking was right or wrong after all.
This last fortnight I’m hit repeatedly by thoughts of mismatched perspectives. Two people can experience the exact same thing and recount it in jarringly oppositional or wonderfully eye opening ways. Our eyes have different filters, our minds apply unique emotional processing, memories and logic.
Everyone has their truth – and their stories.
This post is the very last in the 52and39 series. The first post in the series is here. Thank you so much to everyone who has commented, shared and read these posts that have given 2015 such subtle but powerful writing purpose for me. Watch this space for my new blogging series for 2016.
Slainte, Heather xx