Hey gang! Another week, another Weekly Balance. 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…
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 social side of what we eat. In the past, I definitely had more than a few ‘food rules‘ and quite a ‘good vs. bad, healthy vs. unhealthy‘ perspective on certain foods. Thankfully, in the last few years I’ve spent quite a lot of time examining and unpicking those thoughts and thought patterns, and I’m grateful to be in a headspace now where food is to me something to be enjoyed, to nourish me, to benefit my health, and to be celebrated, especially with family and friends. I’ve had a few days back in my family home this past week to do some studying for an exam I have coming up, and it’s reminded me how absolutely lovely it is to sit down for a meal with my family, their good company, sharing food and laughter and updates on each other’s day. Eating with family and friends is something many of us have been unable to do for much of this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s definitely a simple pleasure in life that I have missed so much. Food freedom, food fun, and food to be shared with smiles – cheers to that.
What I’m reading…
This week I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I was hooked on this book by the end of the first chapter, and was so excited to sit down with it every night before bed. The Vanishing Half is a book about two female protagonists – Desiree and Stella Vignes, identical twin sisters who grow up part of a southern black community in a (fictional) small town called Mallard in Louisiana. Although identical in looks, Desiree and Stella are opposite in other ways – Desiree the more loud headstrong twin, while Stella is quiet, studious. Scarred by the witnessed early violent tragic loss of their father, the girls dream of leaving Mallard, and one day, escape it to New Orleans. Years later, the Vignes twins live drastically different lives, one escaping a dangerous relationship and fleeing home with her daughter, the other secretly passing for a white woman, living across the country with a husband and daughter who know nothing of her past. Can, and will, their paths cross again?
The story of this book was one of the most unusual I’ve read in a long time. Racism is the most prominent theme, and there are many other issues explored in depth – family ties and dynamics, romantic love and connection, loneliness, identity and the effects of living a lie on a person, and the pull of returning to who you really are.
I’ve just started An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and I’m really enjoying it so far. As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below!
What I’m listening to…
This week, I finished my most recent audiobook read – How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? by Pandora Sykes. Sykes is an author (this is her first book), journalist and co-host of The High Low podcast which is one of my favourites! This book is a collection of ‘essays on modern life’ according to Sykes, written predominantly for the millenial generation. It’s sharp, funny, and thought-provoking, and I absolutely loved it. I find audibooks can be hit and miss – the book itself might be fantastic but the narrator makes all the difference to the experience of reading it audio-style. Sykes is an engaging narrator and it really added to my enjoyment of the book.
My favourite podcast from this past week was the latest episode of the How To Fail Podcast by Elizabeth Day, in which she interviewed the British author Bernardine Evaristo, This episode was just fascinating – touching on Evaristo’s life, her most recent book (which I loved) Girl, Woman, Other, and the ‘failures’ Evaristo sent to Elizabeth Day for discussion in the podcast, as is the structure of each episode. It was one of my favourites from the How To Fail series yet!
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is my Creamy Chickpea and Mushroom Goulash – a quick and easy recipe to whip up, and ideal for a new week ahead! You can find the recipe here. A lovely follower from Instagram made these this week and tagged me in the recipe, which reminded me that I must try them again myself soon!
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 informed with the advice from your local health authority, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and be kind!
Ciara 🙂 x