The Weekly Balance – #64

Welcome to another Weekly Balance post! Let’s take a look at the last seven days, what I’ve been thinking about and what I’m recommending to you guys from this week.

What I’m thinking about…

The importance of rest. I had a lovely conversation this week with a fellow medic, Dr. Sarah Murphy, on the latest episode of my podcast, which you can listen to here. We spoke about COVID-19, pregnancy and vaccines, and Sarah also shared a few things that help keep her balanced outside of work – one of which was rest. Sarah spoke about the importance of guilt-free rest – AKA, literally having zero guilt about having a few minutes, an hour, a day, a weekend, where you can just…be! And that really resonated with me, as someone who finds it hard to not be doing ‘something’, especially on days off or weekends. I wanted to share the value of this message with you. So today, Sunday, try to find some absolutely guilt-free downtime just for you – and most importantly, enjoy it!

What I’m reading…

This week, I’ve been reading this month’s book club pick, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I absolutely LOVED it. Hannah has quickly become my new favourite author – her character development is incredible, as is her ability to place you right in the centre of the world she has created in her novels. The Four Winds is a story set in the Great Depression in early 1930s America, in Texas. We meet the protagonist Elsa as a teenager, cut-off from the vibrancy of life by her strict and controlling parents. When Elsa meets Rafe, a young man living in a nearby town, he opens her eyes briefly to the world around her – and changes her life in just one night, as she becomes pregnant with his child. The story unfolds over the course of Elsa’s life, from an adolescence she has to grow up quickly during to motherhood in the Dust Bowl era (a period of severe dust storms in America). When Rafe is no longer able to cope with the worsening poverty and dangerous weather, he leaves, and Elsa finds herself, her children and her in-laws left with little food or money left – just hunger and hopelessness. Should she stay, and hope for rain, or follow thousands in the same position migrating to the possibility of a better life in California?

Now that I’ve just written that review, I’ve been reminded how absolutely wonderful this book was. As usual with Hannah’s story-telling, it warms and breaks your heart in equal measure!

As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below, I’d love to hear! I’m currently reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

What I’m listening to…

Here’s my top 3 podcasts from this week.

The Irish Balance Podcast: Yes, I know it’s a little cringe to share your own podcast on your own blog, but hey, if you can’t on your own blog when can you! This week there is a new episode on my own podcast with, as mentioned above, with a fellow medic, Dr. Sarah Murphy, on the latest episode of my podcast, which you can listen to here. We spoke about COVID-19, pregnancy and vaccines, and Sarah’s career to date in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I hope you enjoy our conversation and learn something from it!

Sentimental in the City: I’ve shared my love for the podcast series Sentimental in the City previously, and this week was the final episode, which was perhaps my favourite of all of them! Host Caroline O’Donoghue and guest Dolly Alderton discuss the highs and lows of the Sex and the City 2 movie, and then the majority of the episode is a Q&A session, which was the best part of the episode really. Well worth tuning into for SATC fans!

Desert Island Discs: This week, after reading about the tragic passing of actress Helen McCrory (may she rest in peace), I decided to listen to her interview on this podcast, one of the few she ever did I think. It’s a really special listen, and her music choices are wonderful.

What I’m watching…

The Flight Attendant – after a few recommendations, I decided to check this one out. Starring American actress and producer Kaley Cuoco, this one-season (so far!) show is a thrilling watch – Cuoco plays a flight attendant in denial about her alcoholism who wakes up after a night in Bangkok to find the man she spent the night with murdered. Sounds dark, and it is in parts, but it’s very good at the same time. I’ve one episode left and I hear it’s coming back for a second season!

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 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance and be kind!

Ciara x

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