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 value of taking breaks from social media. This past week, I deleted Instagram from my phone for a few days, using it for short periods of time in the evenings after work and study. I have to say it was a lovely break and gave me some perspective on how much of my use of the app is mindless versus purposeful and constructive. Technology is keeping us all connected, which is brilliant in a year when in-person connection, at home and abroad, is very challenging and often not possible. But it’s important to also take breaks from it. Your life is happening in real time – make sure you’re not spending yours scrolling through the highlights of someone else’s day.
What I’m reading…
This week I finished a really wonderful book called The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Oh MAN I loved this book. You know the joy of a book you can’t put down? Yes, this is one of those. Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? That’s the central question in this book, a fiction novel which tells the story of young woman Nora Seed, living in Bedford in England, and struggling. Struggling with her mental health, with her choices in life, and with her regrets, which weigh heavily on her, as do the expectations she perceives others have had of her. When she reaches a point where she’s not sure if her current life is one she wants to continue, she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a place filled with books of the many versions of her life she could have lived, depending on the choices she made along the way. With the help of an old friend, Nora now has to figure out – what is her perfect life? Does it even exist? I adored this book. I’m fascinated by the directions our lives can take following very small and very big choices, and how these can affect the lives of others too. I’m sure many of us have at least one of those choices we reflect on – I certainly do – and the premise of this book, the chance to see the many avenues you might have travelled, was such an enjoyable, sad at times and heart-warming read. I couldn’t put it down.
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is The Pull Of The Stars by Emma Donoghue, which I’m about a third of the way through and really enjoying. I’ll share a review in next week’s article!
What I’m listening to…
This week, I’ve been checking out episodes of the Armchair Expert Podcast by Dax Shepherd and Monica Padman. There are a LOT of episodes on this podcast, but this week I listened to a new one with American doctor and author Atul Gawande. I loved Gawande’s books as a medical student, and this episode is a really interesting and thought-provoking conversation. I also really enjoyed the episodes of Armchair Expert with Elizabeth Gilbert and Malcolm Gladwell – well worth checking out!
There were two other podcast episodes I really enjoyed. First, an episode of the I Weight podcast where host Jameela Jamil interviews actress Debra Messing, which was a conversation about Messing’s career and her struggles with anxiety, depression and body image. Second, I loved an episode of a new Irish podcast called Not Without My Sister, by Rosemany MacCabe and her sister Beatrice MacCabe, which was titled ‘All Bodies Are Good Bodies (Except My Body)’ – this will make you laugh to listen to but also made my reflect on how we view our own bodies, shape and size versus how we see those of others. I’ll be checking out more episodes of this podcast for sure!
Recipe of the Week
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