Welcome back to another Weekly Balance post – the twenty-first in this series! Let’s have a look back at the past seven days in my life and what I’ve learnt and loved from it.
What went on in my doctor life…
I think that, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I’m going to leave out this section of The Weekly Balance for now. I can’t share the specifics of my day to day work – its not appropriate for many reasons, but confidentiality is the main one. I would also guess that many of you, like me, enjoy taking time to switch off from all things pandemic, and I hope these weekly posts might help with that a little. I hope you guys can understand that, and thank you!
What I’m thinking about…
The value of creativity. As many of you who follow me on Instagram will know, about six weeks ago I started writing, both as a means of digesting and making sense of my busy mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a starting point for a book idea I had been thinking about for a few months (but was afraid to start). I’ve made a daily habit out of writing, aiming for around 30 minutes or so every day, sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night, sometimes both. Many thousands of words written later, I’ve found it to be an incredibly therapeutic and cathartic process, and it’s the process I’m enjoying more than anything. I’ve read very little of what I’ve written, and sent a little bit to a couple of friends for their thoughts. Once I feel I’ve finished writing it all out, I’ll read it back and decide what I want to do with the raw unvarnished product of my creative endeavours. I’ve felt very grateful this week that I got over the fear of starting and just went for it. Having a new creative hobby can be a great way to take our minds off of all things pandemic and COVID-19, and I think its so worth exploring how that sort of hobby might look for you. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s cooking or baking, maybe it’s painting or doing jigsaws or puzzles, maybe it’s music – there are so many options! So that’s my little tip for this week. Explore your creative side and see where it takes you!
P.S. I also found this gorgeous Irish company this week called Badly Made Books and ordered a new journal from their online site which I can’t wait to start using. Definitely worth a peek if you’re looking for some notebook inspiration or a nice gift for someone!
What I’m reading…
I finished Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan last weekend, and thought I’d share a short review here. Exciting Times tells a story through the eyes of Ava, an Irish girl who has left home aged 21 for a job as a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teacher in Hong Kong. She meets Julian, an English banker, there and they begin a friendship which revolves into something more, but not romantic. She moves in with him, and later on with him away, the plot thickens as she meets Edith, a Hong Kong lawyer who, unlike Julian, actually expresses her feelings articulately. Ava is an over-thinker at the best of times, and this story picks up speed once Edith enters it, with confusion and love and connection all inter-twined, and like in Normal People, the gap between thoughts and feelings left unsaid and unexpressed is wide and palpable, a gap which can change the course of someone’s life. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I definitely did. It did remind me of Normal People, in the way that it captures the angst of life in your early twenties & navigating love in all its forms. The style of writing, the abstract way Ava observes her own feelings and the narrative running in her mind, and her self-loathing at times, reminded me a bit of Marianne in Normal People. It’s a book that you have to take all the way to the end to figure out what you made of it. Its a very readable book (if that makes sense!) and it also made me keen to visit Hong Kong someday!
This week I started All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The reaction I got on social media when I shared that I was going to read this book was CRAZY – so many of you messaged me to say you loved it and thought it was amazing. Always a good sign! I’m over 200 pages in and I adore it. It’s an incredibly intricate story and the way it is laid out and written in very unique and engaging. I can’t wait to share a review of it!
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below!
What I’m listening to…
This week, I started a new book on Audible called What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue. This is a short listen on Audible (just under ninety minutes, possibly the shortest I’ve ever listened to!). I’m halfway through and finding it a very inspiring listen so far. Chidera has a second book out since earlier this year called How To Get Over A Boy which I heard great reviews of, so that’s on my list too!
My favourite podcast this week was the latest episode of the How To Fail Podcast by Elizabeth Day with actress Daisy Edgar-Jones, who plays Marianne Sheridan in the BBC adaptation of Normal People. It’s such a wonderful episode, and I was absolutely delighted to see Elizabeth Day bring Daisy on as a guest. A fantastic way for me to continue to indulge my obsession with Normal People – if you haven’t watched it, I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend it!
What I’m watching…
This week, I started The Last Dance on Netflix, a docu-series about the Chicago Bulls. I played basketball for several years as a kid and teenager, and its still one of my favourite sports to watch. I’ve watched one episode so far and loved it!
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is the latest to be shared on my blog – my Chickpea Fajita Wraps! You can find the recipe to give these a go here. As always, let me know if you give them a try!
And that’s a wrap for this week gang! If you want to get in touch, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and be kind!
Ciara 🙂 x