Welcome to 2019!
I’ve been posting a lot about New Year and the associated resolutions this month and it seems appropriate to outline my blogging aspirations for this year.
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, like and comment on my posts. When I created this blog a year ago it was purely personal and I couldn’t imagine anyone reading it, let alone engaging with the content. Thank you!
I considered quitting so many times over the past year, and it has been a big lesson in perseverance which has aided my recovery and stimulated my mental well-being.
Now, I want to move forward.
All posts providing blogging advice emphasise consistency in producing material. This blog has had neither consistency of content or regular posting.
I have very much been learning whilst doing with this blog (having a lot of fun!) and it has taken a long time finding its feet. I outlined in my Dreaming of the Temple posts the initial ideas and expanse of topics I was considering exploring. In my very first post, I described my approach to blogging as ‘talking to myself’ and to be honest that isn’t going to change.
What will be different this year is that I have refined my content. I have 3 main areas that I enjoy posting about: mental health (which I am particularly passionate about and it the primary focus of the blog) accompanied by lifestyle and creative writing.
Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning know that this year I am intending to return to university for postgraduate study. Last year, blogging helped me gain the confidence to apply for my masters and practice writing. This year, I’m looking to get back into the habit of deadlines. So the intention is to have a much more regular posting schedule, requiring me to create worthwhile content following a reliable timeline. The practice is especially required with the new arrival. Study, research and work with a new baby requires juggling, extreme time management and a flexible, yet diligent schedule.
I’ve finally done it!
I have finally sent off my application for postgraduate study.
It probably shouldn’t have been a big deal but a lot of indecision was involved. I wasn’t sure whether I could handle going back to university. I wasn’t sure what pressures it would put on my mental health, and by extension my marriage. I wasn’t sure about the financial pressures, whether I could keep up with my job whilst studying and the impact that would have on paying off the mortgage and starting a family. I wasn’t sure what would happen when that hoped for family got started. What benefit would the extra degree be if I didn’t pursue a career in academia? What if I was a stay-at-home-mum or remained in my current job (which I greatly enjoy)? Would it be a waste of time and money? Would it be ‘worth it’?
I couldn’t even make up my mind what ‘worth it’ boiled down to. I have a very specific reason for applying for the degree course, to continue researching the building I studied for my undergraduate dissertation. I needed to choose an extract of that dissertation to include in the application, another thing that made it difficult. My depression started during the final year of my undergraduate degree and my dissertation is one of the main triggers for it.
In the end what helped me push through all the doubting and anxiety was a book entitled Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. The book focuses on eating disorders but at its core is an examination of compulsive behaviour and personal values. My initial inclination for reading it was because it offered a different perspective on exploring spirituality. But it has prompted some musings which I hope to write about. I think that writing the blog helped me complete the application. The exercise in writing that this project originated as seems to have paid off. I haven’t worked on my book at all but it seems to have assisted me in articulating my thoughts.