I’m not a big believer in the influences of the planets, but damn my September had the hallmarks of Mercury going retrograde. From national drama to big personal decisions and professional challenges, there’s been a lot going on – not all in a bad way, although I could have done without spending half the month sick. It’s going to be a busy autumn…
I started a new job this month, meaning spending (some) time in an office for the first time in 2.5 years. It’s been great – the people are lovely, the culture is really welcoming – so other than trying to make like a sponge absorbing information my biggest challenge has been wearing shoes and trying to figure out make-up all over again. But how did I get on with ARC August?
I took July off to catch my breath before starting a new job (eee I’m starting a new job tomorrow) and buried my nose in books until soaring temperatures and the most delightful doggy houseguest distracted me for a few days. I had to change up my plans due to a short bout of illness, which – oh noes! – gave me more reading time, so frankly? The best July.
June disappeared like morning mist as I made an unplanned trip up to the Highlands for a couple of weeks (working weeks, so not as much exploring as I’d like, but I got to work with beautiful views). The tail end of the month has been nose to the grindstone finishing off contracts, and dreaming I was back up north…
May saw me travel halfway around the world to see family for the first time in 3 years. Stir in Wyrd & Wonder, the worst jetlag of my life and ongoing family health worries and it was a good month, but a lot. It also meant I was less present for Wyrd & Wonder than I would have liked, so don’t be surprised if you get very delayed comments from me as I still mean to blog hop!
April flew past in a blur of obligation and dismay, as I interviewed for a new job and continued to worry about a very sick family member whilst rather busy at work. The combination put a dent in my reading and blogging, so I end the month in a bit of a tizz over Wyrd and Wonder prep. May will certainly be an adventure… just perhaps not the one I had in mind!
March was difficult with a capital D, thanks to a combination of family drama (a close relative nearly died, but is thankfully on the mend), brain weasels and illness. On the plus side, my scrambled brain didn’t stop me reading for once, so I put my head down and made progress on my Subjective Chaos reading list – and even my backlog – resulting in 3 of my favourite reads of 2022 so far.
February is my birthday month, so I levelled up as a human being by learning how to throw pots on a wheel and trying out yoga (both of which went pretty well and I’d like to do more of). Unfortunately the month has ended in global and family drama, so I am mostly offline at present and may continue to be an intermittent visitor over the next week or two.
I saw in the new year in a small cottage in the middle of nowhere and got to spend the first week of January tucked up with books and blog or tramping around in the snow. It felt indulgent and restorative, a lovely (and rather unfamiliar) note on which to start 2022.
The Captain America running meme has its place every year, but particularly so this year. We’ve reached the end of 2021 while my brain is still somewhere in early 2020. I keep seeing the ‘what’s your biggest 2021 flex’ and all I’ve got is ‘I’m still here’ – hunkered down, reading and reviewing, and sending love to those that need it.
November always whizzes by in a blur. As usual, my SciFiMonth didn’t go entirely to plan – while I did read a couple of novellas, I ended up focused on classic SF thanks to the glossy new dramatisations of Dune and Foundation – but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A huge shout out to our epic crew, whose annual commitment to SFnal content warms my heart – watch out for the final Mission Log round-up at the end of the month.
October has been a delightful month of downtime, kicked off with a long weekend catching up with my Mum in the Peak District and continued with two weeks exploring Ireland. It has been deliberately low-key, which extended to making reading and reviewing aspirational (if not quite making not doing either entirely guilt-free). My conclusion? I’d like some more time off please…
September has been very similar to August, but with some bright points piercing the 2021 doom and drama: Shang-Chi stormed in to become my new joint-favourite thread in the MCU and Ted Lasso stole my heart (okay fine, Hannah Waddingham stole my heart). I also got a STACK of life admin taken care of, which has significantly reduced my background stress, hooray!
August has been tricky this year, with migraines and mental health both demanding active management. By mid-month, I’d only finished one book and was still unable to engage with digital editions. I’d love to say I got loads of other things done instead, but I’d be lying – it’s just been a difficult month all round.
July was going to be my month of reading and reviewing all the books, as I had two weeks off. Instead, it turned into an unexpected reading slump and blogging hiatus as the heat dialled up and going away meant getting an awful lot of real-world things done ahead of time. Our trip to the Highlands meant we escaped the worst of the heatwave, although sadly we had to come back a day early following a confirmed close contact / self-isolation ping. Pandemics, eh.