It's been a year... in more ways than one

It's been a year since I last felt the urge to blog, and this year has been quite the year already. This month has felt like quite a year to be honest. The term "unprecedented" is being used a lot where I work. These are indeed unprecedented times for us, but the world has recovered from this type of event before. And I personally hope that we learn so much about what our priorities are and what we want our new normal to look like after this period of unprecedented change. My life already looks vastly different. Before Covid I was commuting for an hour each morning to get into the office. I begrudged my job, because I spent 13 hours of the day out of the house just to complete a 10 hour work day. Now my "commute" is thankfully 1 minute as I have been afforded the privilege of being able to work from home. And I do see it as such a privilege, with so many of my friends being furloughed, losing their jobs or bravely risking their safety and that of their famil

What do you want?

It’s a fair question, right? I’ve been reading Rachel Hollis’ latest book “girl, stop apologising” and she asks you to think of what you want the next ten years to look like... As someone who spent most her life thinking “I just need to get through the next twelve months” it’s quite a challenge. What do I want from the next ten years? The more I think about it, the more I realise why she set the task. There’s nothing you could want for yourself that you can’t accomplish. Want to be an author? Write a book, send it out to as many publishers as it takes or hell, just self publish. All the reasons I have for not accomplishing any of my goals are all self imposed. My mind limits me, daily. My mind tells me I can’t be happy. My mind tells me not to trust anything good, because it must be a trick or a trap. My mind says I can’t, and I allow it to, I believe it. “I don’t have time” is the most common of excuses I use to not write. This is closely followed up by “I have writer’s bloc

Scared to live

The first time I remember experiencing fear I was four years old, I'd started a new school in a new country and I went and hid in the bathroom. This was probably my first encounter with anxiety. Not knowing what is going to happen, the unknown, or not known how to do something are really big triggers for me. Of course, at age four all I knew was that I was in a room full of strangers and it suddenly made me very uncomfortable. Hiding in a small bathroom, with four walls and a closing door, felt like safety. That is until the teacher came to coax me out of there and back into the classroom. As life would have it, anxiety was not something I grew outgrew. I suffered it when I had to go to school after being picked on by the older girls the day before. I suffered it when I thought I didn't look pretty enough, or thin enough. I suffered it when there was a test at school, usually in PE because back then physical exercise was not something I loved! I'm sure you get my point,

Inktober is over, onto the next

I love inktober. A whole month of drawing prompts, calling for ink based drawings. It’s definitely my type of challenge. And I do love a challenge! I’m not sure when I first picked up a pen to doodle, or even when I first picked up a pen to properly sketch. It was years ago now, but it can’t have been that long ago, as it wasn’t something I ever did at art college. Firsts are something I always romanticise. Always have. Maybe it’s because firsts stick with you. First day at school, first time you ride a bike, first pet, first kiss, first love. The older you get the more import these firsts have. My first story I ever wrote was about a little boy who made friends with a robot. I’m sure I’ve talked about this before. My first ever “completed” novel was called Santos, and it’s a supernatural thriller with gargoyles that come to life and a prophecy that’s been waiting for the right person to come along a fulfill it. This first novel was completed in one month, during my second attemp

Learning that life is about progress, not perfection

It took me 31 years to learn that I was needlessly worrying about not being perfect, and not only that, I was expecting everyone else to be perfect too. I have started and restarted this blog post three or four times within the last couple of months. And the thing is, I still don’t know how to express my feelings in a perfect package. But that’s kind of the point of this post I guess... Perfection is an illusion. It’s a farce. Once you really know that (and trust me I still have days where I feel perfection is possible), you’ll be happier. Am I saying you should give up on your ideals? Nope. I am saying you'll have to compromise certain things, but you should know where your boundaries are, don't lose sight of those. Asking me what I want can sometimes be a bit like asking me to perform a quadratic equation... As in please don’t. I'd probably be better at solving the math problem than at pinpointing exactly what it is I want. Does anyone really know what th

If you were to put yourself into a tumble dryer

Or how anxiety and my chronic illnesses like to make pals and render me temporarily useless.  @KarinaLawrence on twitter @karina_lawrence on insta I just spent the better part of 3 days in agony, not being able to eat and having nightmares when I managed to fall asleep. Finally being on the other side of this feels like absolute heaven, even though the chronic illnesses that caused it are never going anywhere. I also know from personal experience that there are people that are way worse off than me, and they're my absolute heroes and keep me fighting for a better quality of life. Eight weeks ago I decided to stop letting my illness dictate what I could and couldn't do. Now, my illness is just as stubborn as I am, so it's more a case of balancing the scales in my favour. My two goals are to get stronger and be healthier. The difference between this latest case of my body attacking itself and the numerous others I've had over the years? I knew the causes, fr

My mindful bootcamp: if you treat yourself like garbage, you'll feel like garbage

Just like puppies aren't just for Christmas, mindful treatment isn't just for everyone else around you. If you're anything like me, taking care of yourself hasn't ever been much of a priority. Sure, you probably "reward" yourself with the odd treat, often food (we'll get back to that subject later), sometimes new clothes, books, games (whatever brings you instant joy, you know what it is), but you're not actually taking care of yourself. Eight weeks ago, amongst other things, I was constantly dehydrated from not drinking enough water. It made my headaches worse, I was cranky and tired, and my skin did not look great. Yet I was aware that I should be drinking a couple litres of water a day, it wasn't something I discovered for the first time at age 31 and felt absolute horror that no one had told me about before. I knew I should be drinking more water, but why didn't I? If you're a pet owner or parent would you leave them without enoug