Daily #99: Tough conversations

I nearly forgot again! I’m still getting back into the swing of things after my holiday, and I keep forgetting to get this blog done.

Today was fine – in fact, work went really quickly, so it was nice to feel like I wasn’t there for too long. After work, we tried a new noodle dish I was interested in, and we both liked it! We’re going to have it again soon.

I’m not going to go into the topic here, but I had a fairly tough conversation with my partner this evening. It was something that has been on my mind for quite a while, and has been stressing me out. I finally plucked up the courage to raise it, and it went surprisingly well, all things considered.

I still struggle with crying often when I have a conversation in which my emotions are laid bare. I think it’s some kind of defense mechanism. Fortunately, my very understanding partner knows that me crying doesn’t necessarily mean I’m upset, and we’re still able to have rational conversations despite me being in tears.

We got through the conversation, and I feel like I know him better now. Apologies for being so secretive – the purpose of this blog isn’t to air every detail of my relationship!

At work, we were talking about Netflix, and I got a whole bunch of new series to watch. At the moment, I’m almost finished with You, which I’m enjoying. One of my colleagues commented that it seemed too “trashy” for me – but I enjoy it. I like the intrigue, and although it can be a bit cliche at times, it’s kept me hooked all the way through. I can’t wait to see where the end of the second season goes.

In other great news, Spirited Away us now finally on Netflix! This is one of those films that you need to watch before you die – it often shows up on those lists, and for good reason. I’ve been telling everyone I know to watch it, including my colleague who is adamantly against watching “cartoons”. It has one of the few dubbed versions that I like, so there’s not even a language barrier to worry about! I’ll give here the same advice as I have my colleague. Let yourself get drawn into the world. Don’t take it too seriously, but appreciate its consistency and the craftsmanship. Don’t go in with expectations, because it’s not a film that’s made to meet any. Despite that, it sits solidly in my top three films of all time.

Another new Netflix addition that I’m interested in starting is the series I Am Not Okay With This. It seems to have a similar tone and theme to Stranger Things, In the sense that it is set around the 80s by the look of it, and there’s a girl in it that has superpowers. It looks like it could be good, and it’s got great reviews so far. Looking forward to starting it soon.

This was a bit of a whirlwind post, but I’ve had to write it on my phone this evening. Hopefully I’ll be more put together tomorrow.

(Not so) Daily #98: Unplanned intermission

Well, it was bound to happen at some point – I forgot to blog yesterday. I didn’t really have a good reason for it – I had a good few hours where I just lazed around in bed. In the afternoon, we went shopping for a dress, which I then wore for an evening out.

Although I was fairly busy, I’m not going to use that as an excuse. Nor am I going to beat myself up for it (well maybe a little). It happens, and though I’m disappointed, I’m just going to carry on as I was. There’s nothing that can be done about it, because as much as I’d like to, I can’t turn back time.

In this instance, the impact on myself is quite low. But that stance of “can’t change it now” is something that has taken me a long time to learn, and been hugely beneficial to me. I was always (and still am sometimes) someone who held onto things for a long time. If I embarrassed myself, I’d never forget it, and the negative emotions associated with it would never leave me. Now, while I don’t think anybody really forgets those embarrassing or negative moments, I refuse to allow them to keep a grip on my emotions for any longer than they should.

It’s a struggle, for sure. My mum showed me a tactic which helps me to get over something in my mind – I ‘draw a line’ with my hand in front of me, then I step over it. While that isn’t a magic trick, I’ve trained myself to let go of things once I’ve stepped over the line.

The key to using this technique is to know when to draw the line. If you try and do it too early, it’s too difficult to make yourself get over the event, and the line drawing just doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, you’ll not be able to use it effectively in the future. In my opinion, to use the line, you need to wait to draw it. Fully process the event, reason with it, work out what you’re going to do next, then draw the line. As you make your step, you have to force yourself to let go of the negative emotions around the event, and look forward.

If they start to spring back up, you push them away, behind the line. It’s sheer force of will, but once you’ve successfully achieved it a few times, you can achieve it again. The line becomes an increasingly stronger barrier, until you’re able to quite easily put things behind you.

Anyway, my missed blog is behind the line. There’s nothing I can do. All I can do is continue to write more blog posts from now on.

In other news, Friday was payday, and I got the first bonus from my new job! It’s really good to have some extra cash floating around – even though HMRC seem to have messed my tax up yet again, so I’ll need to call them tomorrow to get it sorted out.

Daily #97: Breakfast burrito

A big part of the cruise was the fact that almost all of the food offerings were free and unlimited. It was mostly served buffet-style, so you could go up and plate your own food, or staff would give you a plate for you.

For example, my partner indulged heavily in an unlimited burger bar – you go to the counter, and you’re handed an open bun containing a smash burger with cheese, and a handful of fries. You then head over to a counter where you can load up your burger with as much salad, toppings, and sauces as you like. And once you’ve eaten it, you’re free (and not judged) for going back and getting another one straight away.

This setup led to my discovery of breakfast burritos. I only recently came across burritos, as they’ve previously been limited on what they offer for non-meat eaters. But since being introduced to them, I’m hooked. And the cruise offered them to me, for free. After I discovered that they provided burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese and salad on the first day, it made up my breakfast for the rest of the week. You simply asked for what you wanted, then you could turn around and top up at the salsa bar.

Usually, I’d balk at the idea of such an open plan, unhygienic buffet. However, everyone was very respectful – there were staff hovering around, ready to clean up messes and spills and replace serving spoons, and nobody messed around with the food that was available. Overall, I was able to get past the shared food thing and I enjoyed it for what it was.

There was also a restaurant on the ship, but we only attended once. It was also free, which was bizarre. If you, for instance, ate a starter and enjoyed it, you could simply ask for another one – and once you were done, you could just stand up and leave. However, we only went once since I wasn’t a fan of waiting for the food, and the actual taste and quality of the restaurant food didn’t seem to be any better than that served in the buffet. The only difference was that the food was brought to your table, but as my partner and I are still a little picky, being unable to choose how much of everything we had was a disadvantage to us.

Another of my favourite food options was the pizza bar. It was manned by a disconcertingly smiley man, who gleefully asked us what we wanted, and would present a freshly-baked pizza to us a few minutes later for free. And it was available 24/7, so should we get a craving at 4am, there someone would be, ready to make a pizza for us. As we were sharing, we even got a heart-shaped pizza made!

Pretty pizza, pretty scenery.

Overall, food was one of the best things about the trip, and it was great knowing that no matter what, I could get on board and eat to my heart’s content if I needed to – one of the perks of cruising, I suppose.

Daily #94: Normal service

I’m back!

First things first, I was correct to take a break for my holiday. During the trip, there were multiple days when I wouldn’t have been able to get a blog post out, and I would have resented myself for it. So, being the unprepared person that I was (with no posts lined up), I was right to release myself from the commitment for a week.

I’m back in the saddle now though! I’m going to keep going to 100 posts and beyond, and see how I feel about it after having a break.

In other news, my holiday was really great. There was a lot of sun, sea and sand, as well as a wonderful cruise ship with all the free, unlimited food I could want. Each day, we visited a different Caribbean island, and got to explore for the day before getting back on the boat for the evening.

The travelling was intense – though I’ll address that in another post, I think. It was my first long-haul trip since I was literally five years old, and I wasn’t a big fan.

The cruise ship was a destination in itself – there were bars, restaurants, a pool and water slides, as well as plenty of space for lounging in the sun. Inside, there was a very 90s-looking area called the Atrium:

I think the thing I liked most about the Caribbean, and the thing which sets it apart from closer beach locations like around the Mediterranean, is the sea. While in places like Majorca, you can enjoy the beach and have a little paddle, the sea is often so full of seaweed and murky that it’s not tempting to go in much deeper than your shins.

The Caribbean Sea is crystal clear, and so warm. I’m not a beach person at all, but whenever we stopped at our ports, I’d try and get into the water at some point. The water is this cartoon blue, and what struck me is that it wasn’t just clear at the beaches – even against the rough rocks of the sea wall, it was clear enough that I wouldn’t mind getting in. We went out on a jet-ski at one point, and even when we were many metres from shore, there wasn’t a sliver of seaweed in the water. Swimming in it was like being in a bath when you’ve left the water to sit for a bit too long. The temperature wasn’t warm, but once you were in it, it felt warm.

That’s not a beach. That’s just the dock. It looks like a pool.

Getting to have a look at those seas was the highlight of the trip for me. That, and the fact that the cruise ship supplied unlimited, free breakfast burritos. I could go back as many times as I wanted, and I had far too many.

I’m going to spend the rest of the evening just chilling out. I might try and do some more of my novel draft, to get back into it after this break I’ve had.

Daily #93: Conscious decision

Firstly, my phone displayed the post I did yesterday as posted four days ago. I didn’t realise this – I definitely published it yesterday. It posted the date as the 10th as that’s when I started drafting it.

Secondly, I’m writing this on my phone for reasons I’m about to explain, so apologies in advance for any errors or nonsense.

So, a few days ago when I talked about my imminent holiday, I said I was going to be writing and scheduling enough posts to fill the gap. Alas, the best laid plans and all that – due to general life business, I’ve not had the time to ‘pre-write’ ten posts. Therefore, unless I can write a post and publish it while I’m away, there won’t be any posts over my holiday.

While it’s not my ideal outcome, I’ve made a conscious decision to allow myself not to fret about keeping this blog going throughout my holiday. I’m anticipating there will be some amount of downtime anyway, wherein I’ll be working on my novel draft. And if there’s something specific to blog about, I will make a post whenever I can.

However, due to circumstances like the Wi-Fi being highly unreliable on the cruise, I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to find the time. So if there isn’t a daily post for a couple of days, that’s why.

I think this will affect me the most – there aren’t a huge amount of people who read my posts every single day, as they’re not really that interesting. As I’ve said before, this is mostly an exercise for myself in commitment, which I think I’ve done a good job at so far.

I intend for normal service to resume the day I get back – and I’ll hopefully have plenty to talk about when that happens, too.

In other news, I finally finished proofing my friend’s novel today. While I was happy to do it and found it interesting, I’m glad that there’s one long-term task removed from my regular list of to-dos. Overall, I’m glad I did it – it was good practice for when I line-edit my own novel draft, and in observing my friend’s writing style, I found things I both liked and didn’t like. Both will prove useful to me during my novel edits.

Anyway, I’m writing this on my phone because it’s been non-stop for the past few days. We’ve been packing up, doing last-minute clothes orders and shopping trips, and generally rushing about trying to get everything sorted. Fortunately, I think we’re pretty much there now, with two suitcases and two rucksacks all packed. Now all that’s left to do is get both of us to the airport in the morning before our flight leaves. I’m sure we’ll manage!

If, by any chance, anyone misses this blog while I’m gone, I’d suggest checking out my Instagram which I’ll link below. I’ll be putting regular updates up on my story, and making posts when I can. I think it’s about time I went on a proper holiday.

Daily #91: Switch lite

I had quite an uneventful day today. I did make sure to go back to work – primarily because I have plenty to do before I go away next week. I’m finding somewhat that people have started asking me to do things that fall a little outside of what I believe to be my jurisdiction, so I’ll be discussing my workload with my manager tomorrow.

The aim for today was to go shopping and buy some swimwear and shorts. I met my partner in town and we made our way to a few of the popular shops. However, none of the stores had any summer clothes in stock. Although it’s quite early in the year, I assumed that they would have brought them in by now – but unfortunately, the shelves were still stocked with winter coats and a distinct lack of swimwear.

The only shop we could find that stocked them was a department store – and many of those were aimed at older women, so I ended up ordering the clothes online for next-day delivery.

I don’t usually like doing that if I can avoid it – with the impact on the environment, and the issues surrounding the fast fashion industry – but there wasn’t really a way around it now, as we fly on Saturday. It’s doubly bad since I wasn’t sure what size I was, so I had to order two sizes of each swimsuit, with the aim of sending back the ones that don’t fit.

After our failed shopping trip, we retreated to Costa and had some lunch, before heading back to work.

The other exciting thing that happened today was that I got a Switch lite! I’ve wanted a Switch of my own for a while, and since we’re going to go on a very long flight (around nine hours!), it’ll be great to have a console all to myself to burrow into. With that, and a book, I should be covered for the long-haul journey.

It’s also got that element of being a new thing, which is always very lovely. Along with my new water bottle and phone case, it feels like I’m swimming in new things! And my bank account has something to day about it.

It’s getting pretty difficult to come up with the words for today. It’s late, and my cold is not helping things – while I was well enough to go to work today, I’m definitely not 100% better. I’m just making sure I do enough work so that when I come back, I won’t have a ridiculous amount to catch up on.

I just remembered one more new thing – I ordered some replacement makeup for the holiday too. I needed some powder as I had literally none left, and thought I’d replace my foundation in the process. I also ordered a foundation that was one shade lighter than my current one, as I sometimes thing there’s a visible line between my face and neck. It doesn’t help that my skin is deathly pale.

Hopefully I’ll be a bit more lively tomorrow.

Daily #89: Bad timing

I went to bed early last night because I had a bit of a sore throat. I assumed it was because of the shouting I’d done while I was out the night before.

Unfortunately, it seems I’ve caught a cold – less than a week before I’m scheduled to fly to San Juan. Excellent.

I was considering calling in this morning, but my boss was on leave. Rather than just using the necessary channels to ask my boss’s boss, I went in anyway, then proceeded to sit around for five hours accomplishing next to nothing. I was drained of energy, was going through bottles of water like nobody’s business, and couldn’t concentrate for more than five seconds.

Eventually, I called it, and went to me (extremely reasonable) boss’s boss. She said that of course I could go home, and to let her know if I couldn’t make it in tomorrow. I laughed and said I should be fine – I’m not so sure now. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better. In all likelihood, I’ll be over this cold by the time I actually travel, but there are a few things that make this rubbish timing.

  • It’s prep week. We need to pack – this is the longest holiday we’ve had in a while, and the first time we’ve taken a checked bag in a couple of years. There are a lot of things for us to go and buy, and to pack – and I have zero energy to do so.
  • As I’m away for the week next week, my intention was to use this week to do my work in advance so it’s covered. It looks like that’s going to be difficult.
  • If anything’s going to make me relapse while I’m still weak, it’s an 8-hour plane journey and sleep deprivation.

I’m trying my best to get over this as quickly as I can – I’ve done some yoga just to get my muscles working, and I’m making sure to drink plenty of water to hopefully flush it out. I might call out sick again tomorrow to make sure I have enough rest to recover before I go – fortunately I’ll be able to work from home.

It can be frustrating though, because it’s really put a dampener on what was overall a good night out. I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and felt pretty good the whole time. I even avoided a hangover, which is always a bonus. However it seems that I tend to catch colds a lot of the time after going out – I wouldn’t be surprised that my immune system isn’t really up to scratch.

I don’t get ill a lot, but if I do things that tend to make people ill, it’s me that gets it. After flights, or being on the London underground for instance, I’m likely get some sort of lergy a couple of days later. In any case, I just need to deal with it, rest, and hope for the best. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow!