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…
Hard work. This week, I received some good news – a paper I’ve been working on for several months now has been accepted to a medical journal! It’s taken a LOT of hard work, persistence, and team efforts (the support from my supervisor especially has been incredible) to get this project over the line and I’m very excited and relieved to finally have made it through. This research paper is based on my Masters thesis which I completed over a year ago now, which examined shift work and it’s effects on dietary intake and physical activity levels. I’ve been a shift worker myself so the challenges this pattern of working brings is definitely familiar to me, and I know a lot of you following my page on Instagram are shift workers too. I will hopefully share a summary post about the project itself, what we did and what we found, when the paper is published in full. For now, my message about hard work this week is to keep trying, especially if its something you feel passionately about. Your best is the best you can do.
Galway looking pretty in the sunshine this week!
What I’m reading…
My most recent read was An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and this was a book I had been excited to tuck into for quite a while! This novel tells the story of Celestial and Roy, newlyweds in Atlanta, Georgia, only a few months into their marriage, with plans and dreams ahead. One night however, staying in a hotel, their marriage is torn apart when Roy is arrested and jailed for a crime he did not commit – and faces a 12 year sentence. Celestial, devastated, tries to continue to make it through each day and earn a living with her own business, finding comfort in her childhood friend André. 5 years into his sentence, Roy is released, and makes his way back to Atlanta, keen to resume his pre-conviction life. But what of their marriage is left? I can’t say any more than that without giving it all away of course! I enjoyed this book – its an intricately detailed story and heartbreaking to read of a marriage torn apart so soon after its beginning. The story is told from the perspectives of Roy, Celestial and André which really adds to the hook of the book. I didn’t feel like I really got to know any of the 3 characters very deeply as a result of that I think, but part of that is perhaps the sadness of the story itself – none of the characters are living normal lives by any stretch of the imagination in this book. I do think this would be a great book club read for sure!
Okay, so I literally listened to this entire book, Olive by Emma Gannon, in 3 days and while its fresh in my mind I wanted to share a post about it! It’s my latest read on Audible. Olive is a story about, you’ve guessed it, Olive, a young woman living in London, working as an editor of a popular magazine, trying to figure out where she is in life and what she wants from it. When we meet Olive, she is sadly just out of a break-up of a long-term relationship, and feeling, understandably, adrift and heartbroken. On top of that, her three best friends, who she has been close to for years, suddenly seem to have migrated in the direction of motherhood and marriage, with little time or desire for anything else. But Olive has realised that she’s not sure if her life choices will match theirs. Olive’s story bravely tackles the ‘taboo’ and stigma surrounding a woman’s decision to not have children, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that addresses this before. The book is engaging, funny, sharp and actually, heart-warming, and also looks at the challenges women face in navigating motherhood, work and maintaining a social life too. Told through Olive’s perspective, the book still manages to share the ups and downs of her friends, too, whose life course differs to hers many ways, yet as friends they try to understand and support each other’s choices too. I wasn’t sure how I’d find the audio version of this book but actually the narrator (who is not the author) was brilliant, and I found myself quite absorbed in the story as I listened. The book is quite recently released and I’ve seen hard copies in book shops so definitely one to add to your list if you like the sound of it from this review
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! I’ve just started City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.
What I’m listening to…
This week I found a new podcast (recommended on the latest episode of The High Low) called In Writing, by journalist Hattie Crisell, which is a podcast which features interviews with well-known authors and discusses their process for and style of writing, and the books they’ve written. It’s fascinating – I’ve loved episodes with authors Elizabeth Day and Kiley Reid this week, definitely one worth checking out!
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is my Satay Style Chickpea Curry– 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