Welcome back to another Weekly Balance post – the weeks are flying by these days! Let’s have a look back at the past seven days in my life and what I’ve learnt 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! I am continuing to share COVID-19 update posts on my Instagram at least once per week – you can check those out here.
What I’m thinking about…
The quote by Maya Angelou – ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’
This week, social and mainstream media has been filled, not with issues related to COVID-19, but with the Black Lives Matter movement, following the recent death of George Floyd in the United States of America. I do not want to write about this inappropriately – I am a white Irish woman. I have never lived with oppression due to the colour of my skin. But I also wanted to acknowledge that I stand in support against racism, that I have white privilege, and that I want and plan to do better. I can use this platform I have here and on social media, however small, to help raise awareness about racism & anti-racism. I can, and will, educate myself, open my mind, and be proactive rather than reactive in support of this movement. I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable about any of this and so I will continue to share (as I have been doing this week) anti-racism resources and posts on my stories for you guys to review going forward. I will also do my best to amplify the voices of black persons, their messages and content on social media. There are a few things I have started doing, to know better so that I can do better (please note this list is not exhaustive and there are probably far better ones out there than mine!)
- Educate myself – it is no one’s job to do this but your and my own. Look into books (non-fiction and fiction alike), articles, Netflix documentaries, consider Podcasts and diversify your social media feed (and actually read the captions!) as a starting point. Remember, ‘You cannot challenge what you do not understand.’ – Layla F Saad. I started Layla F Saad’s book ‘Me and White Supremacy’ this week on Audible and it is a challenging, at times uncomfortable (because of my white privilege and what I am learning about it) insightful and informative read.
- Talk to family and friends about race. These are not easy conversations to have, but we cannot sit in silence. There are quite a few Instagram posts and articles online with tips on how to approach these conversations.
- Donate to anti-racism causes – in particular, there is a George Floyd memorial fund which has so far raised over 9 million dollars.
- Support anti-racism organisations – in Ireland we have INAR (Irish Network Against Racism) – part of the ENAR (European Network Against Racism). There are also a number of petitions set up in the last couple of weeks which you can support too.
- Report and call out racist behaviour, abuse & hate speech.
“The Beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And that’s the only way forward” – Ijeoma Oluo.
What I’m reading…
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is my most recent read. I heard this book described as a ‘tonic’ by another person who shared a review on Instagram and I couldn’t agree more. I adored this book, simply because it was a really fun, light read with a few twists along the way that actually, I definitely didn’t expect! The Flatshare is a novel about two central characters – Tiffy and Leon. Tiffy, a book editor, fresh out of a break-up with a pretty toxic ex-boyfriend, finds an advertisement for a flatshare when searching for a new (and cheap) place to live, shared by Leon, a palliative care nurse. The flatshare comes with a difference though – it also involves sharing a bed, except not at the same time. Leon works night shifts most nights of the week, while Tiffy only works during the day, so they share a bed but have never met – and don’t plan to. They start leaving little post-it notes for each other around the apartment, and slowly but surely, through this unusual form of communication, begin to build a friendship. Do they eventually meet?! Well, I won’t say any more than that, you’ll have to read this for yourself gang! In short, this book was just what I needed after the intensity of All The Light We Cannot See. Definitely keeping an eye out for O’Leary’s second novel The Switch – I actually couldn’t put this book down and I was overdue this kind of read.
My current read is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I’m about halfway through and loving it, so stay tuned for a review to come hopefully next week! And as always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below!
What I’m listening to…
This week, I really enjoyed a few great podcasts. First, the first episode of Season 8 of the How To Fail podcast by Elizabeth Day, with singer and co-host of the Table Manners podcast, Jessie Ware. I’m a big Table Manners fan, and it was an interesting change to hear Jessie being interviewed instead of the other way around!
Second, I devoured Brené Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us this week – I had a few episodes to catch up on, and all were brilliant. I listened to a brilliant interview Brené hosted with Professor Ibram X. Kendi – they discussed racial disparities, policy and equality, and Professor Kendi’s new book How To Be An Antiracist – definitely one that is going on my reading list. I also loved Brené’s interviews with author Celeste Ng and actresses Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, all about the book I’m currently reading, Little Fires Everywhere, and the television series adaptation of it.
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is an oldie but goodie from my blog – Turkey and Kidney Bean Chili ! You can find the recipe to give this a go here. As always, let me know if you give the recipe 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