The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 19

As you will know if you’ve just read, today hasn’t been a particularly great day, part of a rather tearful week.  However, I did get out in the garden today, to sit in the sunshine for a while, and finish Janet Evanovich’s Two for the Dough, the second book in the Stephanie Plum series.   Having finished the remaining 245 pages, I’ve now started on Three to Get Deadly.  I’ve really done nothing else productive today, except read and take notes.

I’m aware that tomorrow is the deadline for a US internship I wanted to apply for.  I will get the application in, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.  I’m a last-minute person, always have been, and probably always will be.  So hopefully tomorrow, I shall have more to report.



Mirena and the Hymen

Three weeks ago, I had the Mirena coil fitted, in a bid to stop unwanted pregnancy (chance would be a fine thing) and to try and sort out my mood swings.  My doctor had been trying to get me to pick a form of contraception for the last year and finally, I made an appointment and had the damn thing put in.

Last weekend I went to visit Whitby with some friends.  A few days earlier, I had felt that black cloud overhead, familiar not just with the Northern weather, but with the arrival of PMT.  I checked my diary, but my Time of the Month was not due for another week yet.  Hmmm.  I should have know that PMT would still be the culprit anyway, and that the coil had given it permission to come and harass me at a time other than that agreed with my period.

On Friday morning, my period arrived, which was somewhat of a relief that I wasn’t just feeling ultra-mardy for no apparent reason, but still disappointing that the coil had scuppered my otherwise clockwork-like rag weeks.  So the coil had given me irregular periods, as had been explained to me as a possible side-effect, but did it solve my mood swings?

Well, if you call crying every day an improvement, then, yep, sure.  Friday I cried because the man from Gibraltar said no.  Saturday I cried because I just felt out of control.  Sunday I actually didn’t cry.  Monday morning I cried at The Secret Millionaire.  Tuesday ditto, and I also cried at a video a friend posted on Facebook of a young high school kid with learning difficulties who got a chance to shoot a basket with help from his high school’s basketball team, his coach and a player on the opposing basketball team.  Today it was The Secret Millionaire again, my Kleenex still damp from having cried at Frasier, the one where Daphne has visions of a man who she should be with, but ends up getting engaged to Donny, with Niles left holding the dragon, the one from Daphne’s vision (if you’ve never seen Frasier, what have you been doing your whole life?  Check it out!  Channel 4 in the UK, 8:30am daily; I’m sure it’s on every day in the US somewhere).  I guess I should stop watching telly because that seems to be key to the waterworks lately.

I have only recently got back into watching telly again.  Several years ago, I was a bit of a telly addict; I watched Frasier, CSI, CSI: Miami, 24, Greek, Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl and a load of other American shows.  Shortly before I started at university in 2009, we had moved to the city, and in a bid to save money, got rid of our Sky Plus.  This is really where I started watching less TV, due to the fact that I no longer had the ability to record the shows and thus had to watch them when they were actually on, which usually didn’t happen.  In the Spring, when I separated from my husband, my television viewing was limited to watching whatever was on at family or friends’ houses, and the occasional DVD.  This continued until recently, when the last guy I almost dated convinced me to watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory, to which I’m now hooked on.  Add in the fact that my favourite season of Frasier is being repeated every morning, followed by The Secret Millionaire, followed by The Secret Agent, featuring property guru Phil Spencer, of Phil and Kirsty fame, and I’m getting to be a slight telly addict again.  I have to switch off after Phil finishes, or I’d probably be glued to the box all day.

It’s been almost a week now, and I’m wondering how long my tearfulness will continue.  Tonight I’ve had a nervous feeling within, my heart feels fluttery and not in a good way, as though something bad will happen.  And I feel glum.  That big ol’ cloud is directly overhead, threatening to pour.

I think I’ll go finish the White Zinfandel from last night, and go to bed, after finishing this blog and the obligatory Day 19 of The Twelve-Week Challenge blog.  Maybe this is why I’ve felt uneasy today; I’ve been checking my emails all day in the hope of receiving an interviewing invitation, and the same with the doormat.  Nada.

As well as my sudden attachment to television, I seem to have Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are on replay in my mind.  I had this sudden urge to listen to it on Tuesday afternoon, and managed to get it onto the ‘Music From the Movies’ themed playlist on The American Dream Team on Tuesday night, the radio show I co-host with my bud, Jack Harrison (the song was featured in the film Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in 2008, and The Blues Brothers from 1980, in case you were wondering how I pulled that one off).  I can’t say the song has had any importance to me in the past, although I do have this belief that songs do try to tell you things.  Hence why they usually end up on replay until either I get bored or another song takes its place.  Anyway, the only conclusion I can come up with is that I must not change.  Which is a bit of a bollocks, because I’m pinning all my hopes on changing my life.

Speaking of which, I’ve just had a Tweet from my Life Coach, Jon Richelieu-Booth, who I’ve blogged about before (read from October 2012 to get up to speed on what the hell a Life Coach does.  I’ll explain Tweeting another time).  He was asking where the next instalment of The Twelve Week Blog is.  I’m going to smile smugly because it will be started right after I finish this one, and it’s been a while since I got two blogs out in a day.  But mainly I’m smiling because I’m being held accountable by the person that taught me about accountability.  The Twelve-Week Challenge blog was started so that he didn’t have to do so alone, and it’s working.  Other people are now taking up the mantle of accountability, and asking where the blog is, which is nice, as well as factoring in the guilt-factor to ensure I don’t miss one of the daily entries.

Anyway, I’m feeling better now after writing this, so thanks for listening.  With regards to the coil, yesterday I wanted to rip it out.  But don’t worry, I won’t go performing any emergency surgery on myself.  I’ll give it another month or so, and see what happens.  Whether the tears are worth putting up with or not.  Experience tells me that anything that causes tears is not worth my time.  We shall see.

Tomorrow I shall do my best to keep my tears to a minimum, mainly because it is my nephew Jamie’s 1st birthday, and I shall be going round for cuddles.  Although I’m expecting that may not be so easy, for as you will remember if you read, Jamie was born two months’ prematurely, on February 29th of all days.  Spending most of those two months in hospital, I worried that he may not see his first Christmas, let alone his first birthday.  But Jamie is a fighter, and I’m pretty sure I never had a thing to worry about anyway.  I could stand to learn a lot from him. ❤

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 18

Hard to believe that today is Day 18 of this challenge.  But time marches on, and I have been reminded of that today.

Today, at 9:45am, my divorce petition was due to go before a judge.  It was not necessary for me to attend; after three years of separation, it is merely a formality.

It is not that I am especially disappointed to be getting divorced, although I am sad that my 10 year relationship could have been reduced to this.  More that I had expected to have achieved more in my life over these last three years.  I thought I would be happy in another relationship by now, but in reality I am no closer to having a relationship than I was three years ago.  I have been out with many guys, but, really none of them could be described as boyfriend material.  As well as the relationship issue, I should have graduated from university last year, but I suspended my studies due to lack of concentration and motivation, and therefore I don’t have my degree yet.  I still feel like everything is not yet within my grasp, like I’m being teased with it, like a carrot on a string.

Shortly I will receive my Decree Absolute, and this will mean the true end of my marriage.  Along with the last few university assignments, this will signal the end of an era, the close of a chapter.  The start of a new volume.  Like the rest of The Twelve-Week Challenge, the end is something to aim for.

Preparing for one of my presentations due on Friday has taken precedence today.  I have been reading Janet Evanovich’s Two for the Dough, the second book in the Stephanie Plum series, and making notes for my assignment that I have entitled “Battle of the Sexes: Femininity vs Masculinity in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series”.  If you haven’t read any Stephanie Evanovich, I suggest you do.  Think Bridget Jones with a gun.

Aside from my presentation prep, my dissertation has been put to one side until the presentations are out of the way.  Tomorrow will be a day for applying for some internships that close on Thursday.

All in all, I think I’m doing ok today.  Although that could just be the White Zinfandel talking.  But there’s only this blog standing between me and my bed.  Time to switch off The Doors playing through Spotify.  This is The End.  Time to Break on Through to the other side.  Night night, y’all.


The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 17

I’m seeing today as a kind of transition between my weekend away, and the start of the work again for the week.  I have done nothing towards either uni work or planning the future, although in my mind I’ve thought about what I need to do before now and next Monday, and mapped out a kind of plan of action for the week.

I have presentations due at university on Friday and Monday.  Luckily these are unmarked, five-minute outlines of what my assignments will be about.  I have three altogether, and two I have already decided upon which topic to base my essay, but the third is still a bit of a blank.  It’s a Hollywood film unit though, so once I actually decide what to write about, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

My dissertation is also looming over my shoulder, as I now have two weeks to provide my supervisor with a copy to read through, as he won’t review anything in the two weeks prior to the deadline.

This week I also have deadlines for a US internship that I want to apply for.  My CV is ready, I just need to tailor my covering letter to suit.

So that’s what we have so far.  I’ll fill you in on my progress tomorrow.

The Twelve-Week Blog: Days 14, 15 and 16

Before you say it, I know.  Technically, I have failed in this challenge.  The fact that I am writing the last three days’ blogs in one go speaks volumes.  I know my mission, should I have chosen to accept it, which I did, which makes this all the worse, is that I would blog EVERY DAY and at least report on which progress or not I had made towards a) finishing my university degree and b) planning for the future.

If you read Day 13’s blog, then you’ll know that I have been away for the weekend.  Some people probably wouldn’t have taken the time out during a challenge like this.  But I’m not some people.  I had an opportunity to go away, to relax, to spend some time with friends.  And so I did.

As you might expect, there wasn’t a great deal of progress made toward either uni work or future plans, despite discussing with my friends possible scenarios for the future.

Nevertheless, I promised you a daily report, so, here’s the last three days bundled up together for you, and remember, better late than not at all.

Day 14: Friday: The Man From Gibraltar, He Say…No

I didn’t do any work on my dissertation or other assignments today.  Instead, I spent a very cold day at Robin Hood’s bay, and at lunchtime, when we’d given up trying to find a fish and chip shop and gone with jacket potato and tuna (the same ingredients, if a slightly different, healthier outcome), I answered my phone to a caller, whose number was Blocked.  Hoping it would be the man from Gibraltar, and it was, I made my way out of the bustling café and into the cold to speak to him.

The man from Gibraltar is a recruitment consultant, to whom I had sent a copy of my CV to a few days before, for a writing job. I had been expecting his call for a few days.  What I wasn’t expecting was the Spanish Inquisition.  Basically, my experience in writing wasn’t enough for that particular job, and why should they relocate me for an admin job when they have plenty of people locally who can do it.  Anyhow, perhaps it is just too long since I have been to an interview, but it shook me, on a day when I’d just got my period and was feeling hormonal, and so before I’d even got off the phone, I was in tears.  I couldn’t stop for a long time, and most of my tears went into my jacket potato.  I felt low.

Day 15: Saturday and Day 16: Sunday

I did nothing towards uni work or job hunting on either of these days.  Partly because I still felt low, partly because I was away and hadn’t planned to be doing anything anyway, because I knew I would be busy.  I received an email from my lecturer telling me I will be doing my presentation next Friday, so this means I have to get prepared on what I’m going to write my assignment about, which is basically the purpose of the presentation.

I’m home after my weekend away and I’m exhausted, for one after my weekend away, which was a well-deserved break but also meant a few late nights, and after a long chat with one of my housemates over a certain situation affecting them.  Tomorrow I should have more to report on the blog, but for now, I need sleep.

The Twelve-Day Challenge: Day 13

Maybe one of my problems is that I’ve always been ready to down tools and relax.  To treat myself to something, because I deserve it.  To take some time out, because I have worked so hard.  But really, have I?  I don’t believe I have worked as hard as some people.  In fact, I know I haven’t.  I’m always ready to give myself a break, even though I probably don’t deserve one.

I’m not trying to downplay what I have done, or what I’ve gone through.  It has been tough, very tough at times, as you’ll know if you’ve been following this blog at least a while.  But I think what I realise is, that I dread to think what would have happened had I really been working so hard and putting myself under even more pressure.

I have come close to burning out on more than one occasion in the last few years, so it’s nice to have weekends away like I’ve come on tonight, to just chill out, relax, enjoy some time with friends away from home.  I’ve just spent a couple of hours soaking in the hot tub in the garden, which was delightful considering it’s like 1 degree Celsius out there.  But I needed it.  And I know I will sleep tonight; not just because my cat, The Bish, isn’t there to wake me up, but because I can relax and not worry about having to get up for anything.

Anyway, as you can gather, I have done no university work or job application work at all today.  I haven’t failed in this challenge, because the challenge was to report my progress or not, each day.  I may be slightly late but get to know me and you’ll know that’s nothing unusual (and I did have a good excuse).  So I may not have done anything productive, but I did something just as equally important.  I made time for myself.

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 12

So today has been a semi-productive day.  I applied for the job in the exotic location, sent my CV to the recruitment consultant in the slightly-less exotic Gibraltar and sent an email to my dissertation supervisor about an exciting new theme I’ve come across running through the four novels in my dissertation.  It’s not exactly Nobel Prize winning research, but I’m hoping it’ll look good in my final draft.

Here’s where I come to a bit of difficulty.  I am having a little mini-break for the next couple of nights with some friends.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing any work on my dissertation, or applying for jobs, unless something really urgent comes up.  But, this is The Twelve-Week Challenge Blog, and I did promise you a blog every day.  They do apparently have WiFi in Yorkshire so I’ll make sure I keep to my promise.  Even if it’s just to report that I’ve spent every day in the hot tub 🙂

If at first you don’t succeed…

Reapplying to a consulting employer? How to get the job this time : TARGETjobs.

As you know I’ve recently been applying for jobs, and when I came across this article about reapplying, it really boosted my spirits.

It’s very easy when you have applied for one job within a company to think that just because you didn’t get shortlisted for an interview this time, to be put off from ever applying to them again.

This article proves that it is possible to be turned down once but then to be hired by that same company at a later date.

Although this article talks about consulting jobs, I’m pretty sure it can be applied to just about any industry.  So if like me you’re applying for that job after university, or just looking to change roles, keep persevering and take heart from the positive stories out there.


The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 11

I’m writing Day 11’s blog quite early for me (10pm is early), mainly because for the last hour or so I’ve had a headache, and now I feel a bit sick as well.  I’m inclined to think it’s because I had far too much carrot and coriander soup at dinner, and also because I’m tired, but whatever the reason, I think I will be in bed fairly soonish.

After the difficult weekend that culminated in the Day 9 blog, which you can read here, , I’ve been really positive the last two days.  Maybe it’s the weather; maybe it’s because I finally got some job applications sent off and thus I feel like it’s easier now I’ve done the first one, but I feel like I’ve moved forward.

Today I saw another job, this time in a slightly more exotic location.  I only had time to start the cover letter after I saw the job advert, which I unfortunately didn’t get time to finish before I had to dash off to uni, but is on my To Do list when I wake up first thing in the morning.  As well as feeling more positive having applied for more jobs, I received a reply from one company regarding a job I applied for.  Although it looked like just a standard thanks-but-no-thanks letter, I was pleasantly surprised as I was under the impression that they didn’t contact you unless they wanted to invite you for an interview.  So despite the fact that it wasn’t a successful application, I now know that I haven’t got that particular job and can stop wondering about it, and I can feel good that some organisations do at least contact the unsuccessful people too.

Apart from what I’ve done recently towards finding a job, today I wrote 400 words on my dissertation.  I’m up to 8,400 words now, with only another 1,600 to go (probably nearer 2,000 since I’m likely to use the 10% leeway to go over).  My dissertation is coming together now, and my voice, which was starting to be lost, is now coming through loud and clear.

My head is still pounding, and my bed is calling me.  So apart from that, I’m feeling good, and I’m looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.


The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 10

Day 10 of this challenge and finally, I actually have something to report to my readers!  Stand back, and prepare to be impressed!

Today I have applied for not one, but FOUR jobs.  Even I am amazed at how proactive I have been.  I guess I just kinda got on a roll, and before you knew it, the applications were gone.  I have to say, I feel good about it, and hopeful that I might have a reply back on at least one of them.

As soon as this blog is written, I shall be opening up the latest draft of my dissertation, and trying to get half an hour’s work done on that.  It would be more, except that I have already set my alarm for 7:30am (you read it right: IN THE MORNING) with the aim of being up by 8am and having a full day to spend on my dissertation.  I have less than five weeks until the submission date, and less than three if I want my supervisor to read a draft of it and give me feedback.  Which is probably a good idea considering previous drafts he’s looked at.

Tonight I feel the excitement and hope of a future full of possibilities.  I feel the blood pulsing through my veins and my heart is aflutter.  Which is the opposite of last night, where I cried on the phone to my mum because I felt incapable of doing anything.  Depression is full of extreme ups and even more extreme downs.  Like Forrest’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get, on a daily basis.  That’s why you have to enjoy the up days while they last, and hope that they’ll appear more often in future.

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