Good morning followers and visitors alike!
I hope we are all well and sufficiently recovered from our festive over-indulgence? It’s been about three weeks or so since my last post, and I noticed I have gained a small surge in followers, so thought it would be a good time to update you with the goings on in my world.
An update on how my resolutions are going (or not):
- Keep up with a journal – noting down daily thoughts, moods, gratitude logs, achievements etc. so that at the end of 2018 I can look back and think ‘Yup, I really kicked arse this year’.
This one ground to a halt fairly quickly, I managed seven entries in total before it came to a natural death. I am still keeping a finance log though, which is really helping.
2. Expand my artistic skillset but looking into character design. I’m already signed up for a couple of courses on Udemy, so hopefully, they will help immensely.
I am still signed up for the courses, they have lifetime access which is great, but due to other priorities, I haven’t managed to do anymore with them. That doesn’t mean I won’t, it’s definitely on my list, I just haven’t had the time yet.
3. Stop wasting money on crap – i.e. food at the work cafe. I’ve added a ‘no spend’ tracker to my journal so I can note when I’ve been good, and shame myself when I’ve been naughty!
Now, this I have been keeping up with, I’ve still done a naughty bit of spending here and there, but nowhere near as much crap, and certainly no ‘eating out’ at work unnecessarily.
4. Spend less time aimlessly scrolling Facebook/internet and more time being productive i.e. art, crochet, studying, reading. Make those 24hrs count!
Well right now I should be studying, but instead, I’m writing my blog, so meh. BUT to be fair, I am pretty much up-to-date with studying, have 1.5 commissions to do, and m managing to get some crochet in there as well, so it’s not entirely a waste.
5. On a similar note – dedicate a bit more time to studying and be more organised and focused in this. I need to look at strategies to keep me focused.
See above. Definitely, need to look at some focusing strategies though. I seem to perform better in very small snippets, so perhaps little and often rather than one long binge is key.
6. Do something ‘fucking brave’ every month. I need to look into things that will push me out of my Autistic comfort zone and set myself a challenge to do them. The achievement will outweigh the fear.
I genuinely haven’t had time to do anything uber brave this month, but I do have a few things lined up!
7. Between Apr and Nov cycle to work – this will get me fit and also save money on fuel. If I park my car in a certain spot, I can save 70miles a week in fuel and also miss out the worst of the hills.
I now have my bike, and did a test ride on it last week and it was great. I just need to wait for the weather to perk up a bit so that it’s safer to ride, as I’m not totally confident about riding on wet slippy cycle paths.
8. Actually complete a crochet project – the 365 day Granny Square blanket is this year’s project!
So I’m a bit behind on this one at the moment due to other priorities, but hoping to spend some time catching up when I’ve got my commissions and latest essay completed 🙂 They only take about 20 minutes each, so a day of crochet and Netflix will put me back on track!
9. Continue blogging, and potentially look into creative writing – I would love to publish a book one day.
I’m blogging now, yay go me!
10. Felt like I needed a 10th one so I will end with simply ‘make a point of being more kind’. If everyone did that the world would be a better place I think!
As always I try and see the best in people, I always message people/write letters to let them know I’m thinking of them, people say I’m a good friend so I must be doing something right?
So, back to the here and now. This morning I woke up to some marvelous news, I managed to achieve 92% on my most recent essay for my BSc Psychology qualification with The Open University. Suprised is an understatement! If I can maintain this for the next three modules, I’ll be saying hello to a 1st Class Degree, something I never dreamed possible! This essay and its interpretation was a challenge, not just to me but to other students as well! So much so, the OU had to release an email further explaining the requirements (though this added to the confusion). I subsequently released a Youtube video to give MY interpretation of the question, and this set off an absolute whirlwind of kind messages from thankful students. You can read a small selection of these in here. The OU, despite having no jurisdiction over social media discussions, and despite me having obtained what I believed was permission to post, was not too happy about this, and so I was asked to remove the video the night of the deadline. Most students therefor saw the video and found it helpful to get their neurological cogs turning. I haven’t heard any further from the OU, so presumably, no action is being taken. I have posted my thoughts about The OU’s apparent dislike of Social Media in my blog post ‘Don’t mention the module materials!’ here.
Anyway, rather pleased with my 92%, and looking forward to my next essay which has a reflective element and is all about our responses to urban vs natural environments. Looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into this one! Overall I am enjoying this module, more than my last one. The Natural Sciences are calling me though, and I believe I will be undertaking a qualification in this on completion of my BSc Psych.
Moving away from the digital world now, as I look out my window it is tipping it down with rain. Alas, my friend in the Met Office has not been able to wave his magic wand and make the rain disappear! The yard is thick mud, and due to the latest outbreak of Avian Flu, my chickens are confined to their muddy pen, rather than being able to free range in their usual acre. Still, 11 more weeks and the ponies will be out (hopefully!) enjoying their grazing from April – November. If the weather dries up anytime soon they will also be able to enjoy a roam around the small paddock, and other areas of grass which the landowner likes me to keep on top of.
Training-wise the ponies are doing very well. Betty, who is rising 3 in April has had her first passengers, albeit for only a brief period. She’s still a bit young in my eyes to be doing anything more. But she was quite happy to give five minutes of fun to a friend’s young children. So very pleased and always humbled by the love from these once semi-wild animals. Star enjoyed a walk out around the village last weekend. Flo is just enjoying being a youngster, and her training won’t start until next year. As I learned from Betty last year, working with two-year-olds is very challenging, and they benefit more from just having that time to be themselves (whilst learning to be handled and have basic manners of course).
My social calendar has been fairly reasonable this year thus far. I experienced a roller disco for the first time on Saturday 13th January. Having not set foot on roller skates in about 20 years, I had to be escorted into the hall by my friend’s 10 year old, and some poor man whom I didn’t know. I only fell twice – both times when attempting to save my friend’s other young child from the complete carnage of potential head and spinal injuries that was going on around me. It’s hard to remember just how resilient children are! Perhaps I’m getting old…
I caught up with my good friend for a cinema trip on Monday 15th January. We went to see The Greatest Showman which was absolutely marvelous. I’d happily see it again, definitely one to purchase when released, it was so wonderfully feel-good, and exactly as I’d imagined since obsessively listening to the soundtrack since December. We had lunch and spent the rest of the day catching up in the pub over a pint (of Coke). I do enjoy catching up with friends, but there’s always that challenge of getting the balance right, and interpreting their social cues correctly. I always worry that I annoy them, or that they’re only seeing me just to be nice. Perhaps I need to stop overthinking these things and just enjoy the moments.
Tuesday 16th January involved going for a nice meal with current and previous work colleagues. It’s always great to catch up with everyone outside of the formal office environment. I worked from home that day and didn’t have any lunch, so I was totally ready for my dinner!
Yesterday, Saturday 20th I visited Lyme Regis for some Fossil Hunting, I took my friend along who really wanted to go and we both came back very happy indeed! I found some nice ammonite pieces, but what really topped the day was a second Ichthyosaur vertebra, 2 inches in diameter! I spoke to the Geologist on site who was leading a walking group, and he estimated the animal would have been between 16 and 18ft in length, and the vertebra would have been from the animals’ neck very close to the skull given the size. Some very lucky chap was lucky enough to find an intact Ichthyosaur paddle in a flat piece of rock, with all the little bones intact, I wish I’d taken a photo, such a terrific find. I’m really enjoying fossil hunting and will continue to do it, and hopefully learn more as I go. Thank you to my good friend Ben whom I was lucky enough to meet who has sparked this interest in me.
Work is going well, I’m helping to lead a project at the moment to change the way our team works, it’s new territory for me, but I enjoy a challenge. I have lots of other mini projects happening around me as well and am enjoying the flexibility my job role offers. I am able to have a good balance between work and home life.
Art-wise I have two commissions on the go, however, they are both surprise presents so I am unable to post progress pictures, but once they have been given to the recipients, I will post the completed photos on here. I’m then going to put art on hold for a bit, until I finish this module at least (May), then really plow through some art in the summer before breaking up again for the Autumn/Winter Uni term. I will start my Christmas commissions earlier this year, as they proved so popular last year.
So there we have it, a summary of my past three or so weeks. Thank you for making it this far! I am now brought onto the subject of the direction of this blog. I have been writing since October now I believe, and I’m not entirely sure the direction this blog is taking. I feel I need a focus. Some posts are merely about what I have been up to in my life, which is all well and good, but realistically, how many people want to actually know about this? I’ve done some stuff about The OU, and also the subjects of Anxiety and Autism. The latter I believe is possibly the road I’m going to be heading down, but I think I need some kind of focus for this. What are your thoughts? What would you like to see more of? I’m also hoping to start introducing some multimedia posts as well – videos and audios. But ideally, I need to settle on a subject first. I’m hoping it will just naturally evolve, and even if the blog does become more Autism-focussed, I suppose my weekly life insights would be a welcome break from the more serious stuff and perhaps show that those with ASD, do partake in ‘normal’ everyday life, and do have ‘normal’ everyday experiences also? Something for me to think about at least…
Anyway I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend, and I wish you all my best for the week ahead.