Before I start this post, I wanted to say that I’ve been humbled recently by the fact that people have actually messaged me to check in because they’ve noticed that I haven’t posted a 5 Minute Coffee Corner or any other form of blog post in recent weeks. I actually never really know who’s just reading my blog posts when I post, or who (if anybody) actually waits for or expects them, so it was actually such a wonderful thing to find that people are waiting for them (aside from my close friends who are always following and reading – I’m forever grateful you gorgeous bunch!).
So for the last few weeks, pretty much since I finished with my full-time job, things have been nothing short of crazy around here. And if the truth be known, not in a very good way. I’m the first to preach about the importance of self-care and, well, I haven’t exactly been walking the walk.
I finished my full-time job on Friday 11th September, and I wanted to take a week’s break after a busy few months at my full-time and part-time jobs, as I was feeling pretty worn out. However, the stars did not align and I was graced with an opportunity to earn some money immediately. Woohoo! Obviously grateful for the work, I dove straight into freelance life with an absolutely mammoth project on Monday 14th, as well as starting my new part-time job in a beautiful wine bar on Tuesday 15th. Since then, I’ve been working non-stop to try and keep on top of my shifts at the wine bar, get through additional work for my usual writing job, and frantically working to meet a deadline for my freelance project which, in hindsight, was completely unrealistic. Achievable – yes, because I did it. But it was at the expense of my sleep, eating well (if at all) and definitely at the expense of my mental wellbeing. I was working all day and night, alternating between the three jobs, and slowly running myself to the ground. I had a 4 day pre-planned camping trip last week in the middle of it all that was supposed to rejuvenate, but I took my laptop and had to work so much of it that I felt stressed, overwhelmed and then sad for not showing up properly for my friends. Not the desired effect after all!
My deadline was Tuesday just gone, I lost track of what day we were even on and it’s safe to say that by Friday, I was crumbling. I was emotionally drained, had no energy to speak to friends, family or James and I felt so ill on Friday, and even worse yesterday. I feel like I’ve neglected my poor baby dog, and I was sent home early last night from my wine bar shift because I felt so terrible. I slept for 13 hours, something I haven’t done for years, and have spent the entire day on the couch relaxing and watching TV today. It has been wonderful and a very much needed rest, but an eye opener to how little I’ve been looking after myself.
I would never usually consider spending a day on the sofa as a good use of time, as much as I’d like to. There’s always something to be doing or somewhere to be, but I have been feeling so sick (and have been making so many out-of-character mistakes – cue smashed wine glasses, turning up late to shifts as I got my start time wrong, leaving my purse in the supermarket, and the best yet – going to my old workplace to empty my drawers of my belongings and actually leaving without emptying all my drawers!) that I knew something wasn’t right and it was time to slow down and recharge. My body just beat me to it and made the decision for me this weekend, leaving me nauseous, exhausted, and emotionally drained. Self-care is a real thing and it is not a luxury, it is vital.
It’s been an important lesson for my first few weeks of essentially working for myself. I bit off more than I could chew with the project I accepted, knowing I still had to conduct my existing writing work and new wine bar job, but I felt that I couldn’t turn down such a huge project and the money it would bring in my first week of being freelance. And I’m truly grateful for the work, of course I am. But having a day off everything today has made me realise that I absolutely need to get better at looking after myself and juggling responsibilities, if I’m going to make this whole freelance thing work. No more working all day and through the night, skipping meals and sleep just to meet a deadline. I need to be more assertive, confident and honest to myself if something is looking unachievable. And here’s my public vow to look after myself better and practice better self-care moving forwards. No more burnout!
So, life story and whinge aside (boohoo I know!) – I do have a few exciting recommendations for you this week and most of it has come from my day off today! It’s been the first chance I’ve had to breathe, and I have some fantastic things to recommend. They will brighten your day, I promise!
Somebody shared this on Facebook a few weeks back and I read it whilst waiting in a queue for something, and thought it was one of the most lovely things I’ve read in ages. It really brightened my day! A bunch of kids describe what they think love is, and honestly it’s such a nice read. It’s only a quick one – but so worth it!
I’ve mentioned before that I started watching Glee again during lockdown. I used to love it when it came out but I never watched past season 2. I’ve been ever so slowly watching season 1 for a few months now and today, I binge watched several episodes and it has drastically improved my mood. There are two things that have come out of today’s binge that I just had to share because they are so brilliant.
The first one is just how wonderful Lea Michele, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel are as actresses and singers. I’ve always adored Idina Menzel, I think she’s an absolute goddess and the best singer on the planet, so was thrilled when she began appearing in Glee alongside Lea Michele and Kristin Chenoweth. They are all mindblowingly great singers. In an episode I watched today, Idina paired up with Lea to perform I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, and it was phenomenal. Seeing such a spectacular performance made me recall a video I used to watch when I was about 16, of Idina and Kristin singing Defying Gravity from Wicked.
I told James how it takes a truly special piece of music or performance to leave me completely breathless, and Idina and Kristin’s performance of Defying Gravity was always one to do so. For me, the real awestruck feeling comes from 2 minutes 45 until the end of the video. You’ll need to open the video in a new tab to watch – but it is so worth the 4 minutes or so watch. It’s incredible!
And the Defying Gravity hype leads me to the second thing I had to share, which was when I was looking for the video of Idina and Kristin’s performance, I stumbled across this video, seemingly from Britain’s Got Talent. This gorgeous young girl with a beautiful name – Beau, performs a flawless version of Defying Gravity which had me sat once again, awestruck, with tears down my face. She is phenomenal. What a girl and what a voice!
Obviously, Glee is the only thing I’ve listened to, watched, or done this week aside from work! So it’s only natural that it features as my listen this week. Click the link above for the entire season 1 playlist, it’s got some fantastic renditions of a range of songs – you’ll definitely find something you know or love, and you might even find something you’ve never heard of but love!
Word of the Week
With my lack of any form of reading recently, I don’t have a word of the week this week. I did hear some words when I was working on the aforementioned mammoth project that I could have used, but I forgot to note them down.
Also, I’ve decided to remove this feature in posts moving forward. It was nice whilst it lasted, but I’m stripping things back to basics! I will, however, be incorporating a new weekly feature in a separate post each week, which will incorporate some of my new endeavours at the wine bar. It’ll be a Wine of the Week feature – so any wine loving followers, watch this space!
That’s all from me this week! It feels great to be writing again and doing something that’s good for my soul, and I’m excited to share some wonderful feel-good things with you all. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, make sure you rest and take time for yourself, and I’m sending you all lots of love and light. See you next week!