The Weekly Balance – #35

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…

My recent break from social media. Two and a half weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, does it? But in the current climate of a global pandemic where every day can feel like a week, it sure felt like a good stretch of time to me. But that might also be because I’ve spent that time offline, studying for exams – which I finished this week. I announced a break from social media over two weeks ago & literally deleted all of my apps there and then. I anticipated struggling with it a little bit. Maybe more than a little. Sure, there were a couple of times when I’d reach for my phone only to remind myself that of my social media break, but overall? I honestly loved the break, and its made me think very differently about how much time I spend online. Here’s a few thoughts.

  • You have so much more time than you think you do. Time zips by when you spend it scrolling. Try taking back time and see how it feels.
  • You don’t need to share every highlight of your day. And sometimes, doing so stops you enjoying that time. Being in the moment.
  • Listening doesn’t happen if you’re on your phone while someone is talking to you. Give them your attention – you’d want theirs.
  • We used to take photos to hold onto memories, not share online. Less of the latter, more of the former.
  • A distracted mind makes for a distracted life.
  • If you’ve got a deadline, getting rid of social media definitely helps focus on the task at hand.
  • Social media IS an important way to communicate health information. I did miss, but also didn’t miss the pressure of doing, my updates.
  • Taking a break from the online world when it can be such an intense place, can be a breath of fresh air.
  • It is 100% okay to sit & do absolutely nothing. The brilliance of boredom – letting our minds wander & see what we come up with.

What I’m reading…

I recently finished two books that I loved. First, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, which is a book that I had been wanting to read for quite a while. It is the first of seven autobiographies by Maya Angelou, and is the story of the early years of Angelou’s life, beginning when she and her brother Bailey are sent to live with their grandmother in a small Southern town in America. Later, when sent to St. Louis to live with her mother, Angelou is attacked by an older man, an assault which has enduring consequences on her life. Angelou somehow finds incredible inner strength during these early years of her life, to survive, to understand herself and the world around her, and to love, despite the abandonment she and her brother so keenly feel. I had heard to much about this book, and it is I hope the first of many books by Maya Angelou that I will read.

Grown-Ups by Marian Keyes was one of the most fun books I’ve read this year. I confess that I haven’t read many books by Keyes – though I’ve listened to a good few podcast interviews with her and really enjoyed those. This book is a story for escapism, a deep dive into the lives of the Casey and Kinsella families, an intertwined bunch of individuals, each with their own highs, lows, triumphs and losses. There are several protagonists, but really the book focuses mostly on three female leads – Jessie Casey, Cara Casey and Nell. Nell was my favourite character! Really, this book is an unraveling story of family secrets, told over the course of many family gatherings and events, and the days in between. The book begins at a dinner party where chaos quickly erupts, and then the story rewinds six months backwards, moving forward from there. It’s so well done – I was very excited to read this book each night. Definitely one to add to the list!

As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is How To Stop Time by Matt Haig.

What I’m listening to…

This week, I’ve really enjoyed a podcast interview on the Armchair Expert podcast with NFL footballer Tom Brady. It’s a really interesting conversation with Brady, an NFL and sporting legend, and as with every Armchair Expert episode it’s a marathon listen, over 90 minutes!

I also loved the latest episode on the Michelle Obama podcast – with her friend and former boss Valerie Jarett, discussing mentorship and personal growth in the workplace. I absolutely love this podcast and tune in each week – there is also a follow-up episode to this one where Michelle has a conversation with her mentees, so inspiring!

Lastly, if you also love Brené Brown’s podcast, you might be as delighted as I was to know that her podcast has returned with a season two! The first episode is called Day 2 and it’s a really insightful listen.

Recipe of the Week

The recipe I’m loving this week is my Strawberry Banana Bites – a quick and easy recipe to whip up, and ideal for a new week ahead! You can find the recipe here.

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

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