I thought it was time for a general Life Update, because a lot has been happening, and failing to happen, and generally getting on with, lately.
1. I am now the proud owner of my first ever rejected paper! Yes, it was my first ever submission to a journal, and YES I know this happens to EVERYONE, but I still have The Sad (fyi the paper is a redrafted version of my dissertation study exploring stress experienced by ambulance dispatch staff).
2. The proposal for the larger study, which was hoped would incorporate my PhD, was submitted for grant monies. That, too, was rejected, and that decision is much harder to come to terms with. My supervisor is quietly confident that the feedback was positive and, with some simple amendments, could be resubmitted. In the meantime, I am exploring my options.
3. I made some wool! See? Happy stuff happens too.
4. Ben is still hunting for permanent employment. This has been a rollercoaster of emotion. Please all be keeping fingers crossed and that.
5. Flossy has “sub-clinical asthma”, which basically means she doesn’t have asthma, but sometimes when it’s cold/hot/dusty/damp, she does a lot of reverse sneezing which really freaked us out until we found out what it was. She still does it, but now we can tickle her chin until she swallows and that seems to make it better.
6. <other negative event removed due to it being a point of contention with some friends, needless to say this event has caused considerable inconvenience and hemorrhaging money>
7. I still haven’t written up my qualitative study about knitting, in the hope to submit THAT to a journal, but given that Point 1. just happened today, I’m not really in the mood right now.
8. One of the nurses (I have two) in my team at work is on holiday until MARCH and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to explain to her patients that I am Holding whilst she’s away that No, I’m not a nurse. No, I’m not clinically trained. No, I can’t give you specific medical advice. Yes, in this situation I am about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Look, most days I know that what I AM good at (psychological support, talking therapies, and Actually yes my active listening skills are a big deal, and I bet you weren’t expecting a 26 year old with blue hair to be quite so erudite and understanding and at times actually profound. I realise this sounds ridiculously big-headed, but it is what I do well. I think I’ve earned the right to be proud of skills I actually do possess), but when someone with metastatic cancer is asking questions about their specific anti-emetics and shaking a blister pack FILLED TO THE BRIM with what could be Smarties for all I know in my face and asking me why they put the wrong pills in and which ones are they and can they take them out…. Well, um, I could GUESS but I think that’s generally frowned upon, so I ask the GP, but then couldn’t we have cut out the middle man and why am I here again…?
Not every day is like this, but some days I honestly feel like all I’m saying is “how are you getting on? Oh, lots of specific questions you say? Well, have you tried asking your doctor…”.
9. Other work related thing is that I think about death a LOT. Please don’t get worried about that (I have quite a philosophical view of death and dying, and I find the concept of dying a lot less depressing that the concept of existential isolation, hence a certain level of social detachment and limited emotional stamina (there is a longer blog post in there somewhere)) but it has lead to a lot of circular internal arguments which are quite exhausting.
10. To regain some focus, I downloaded an app for the Pomodoro Method (thanks Sam), and actually, it’s been very helpful. I think I still have to unlock some of its potential, but I’m going to try out a few other apps, and who knows, maybe there’s a blog post in that, too.
Right, to round off, some blog clichés to restore some of your calm (I know this post has been a bit… uh?… so perhaps some familiar blog memes will comfort you) –
what I’ve been listening to:
a lot of alt-J
little else besides… am I late to the party? You can see what else I listen to over on Last.fm
what I’ve been reading:
Robin Hobb – The Fool’s Assassin SUPER stoked that Hobb has started the next Farseer trilogy. And it’s making me revisit the earlier books to recap
Russ Harris – The Reality Slap I’ve been doing a introductory course to ACT (a style of therapy I’ve blogged about before) and it is SO NICE to get back into the Harris grove. I love that his writing style is so conversational, and not stuffy or la-di-da
A lot about dementia because it’s a gap in my understanding. And because cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly, and dementia is predominantly a disease of the elderly, there is a proportion of my patient group that have co-morbidities, that I currently don’t feel I have a deep enough understanding of. Educate yo’self.
What I’ve been watching:
Rubbish! on telly, that is. I watch a lot of crap, because it’s background noise and movement whilst I sew/spin/knit
Great British Sewing Bee What the hell, Alex?? Can you not finish ANYTHING on time??
YouTube videos galooooore I seem to have developed a real Thing for moody interpretive dance to modern chart hits, executed with minimal costume, set or props. HOW CAN YOU NOT CRY AT THESE
All the feels.
And that’s it!
Finally, a little disclaimer: yes, I realise I’m not a Jolly Blogger (“zomg ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS”), I’ve given it a go, but really, really false for me. I’m a Whinge Pot, it works for me. I have always been a big BAG OF WHINGE and honestly, I think it’s just how I process things. I am not looking for comfort or sympathy or pity, I just need a space to go WHAAAA and then get on with Business As Usual. Nothing is particularly terrible right now, I’ve just been bottling, and that is noooot working. So welcome back, whingey me! Did you miss me? 😛