December: in review

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I’m writing this month’s round up a little earlier than usual, which I suppose could be seen as cheating but I thought that this time round, as I’ll be posting a review of the whole year on the 31st, it only made sense to space them out a little.

December is always a funny month for me with a myriad of emotions. It always begins with a touch of sadness, as early December was when my mum died. I’ve never been one to make a big deal of the anniversary but it has a tendency to take hold of my heart for a good few days even so. That aside, I don’t know about all of you but I also find it much harder to feel festive in general these days. There’s something about the lack of end of term feeling, the pressure of gift buying and trying to be ready for everything the holiday season holds (let’s be honest – it’s not a glossy, insta-perfect dream for most of us, is it?). This year I struggled to rouse the Christmas spirit, as I’ve been battling a little bit with burnout, but I’ve tried to make the most of festive plans all the same. Here are the contents of my mixed bag of a month.

health

After a couple of months of balance things slipped a little in December. I’ve definitely been feeling stretched and that has taken a toll on my health – both with my usual symptoms flaring and finally succumbing to a cold (the very evening I finished work for Christmas, no less).

That said, I managed to crawl over the finish line of my 2018 commitments and have been rewarded with a much needed fortnight off, so I’m pretty proud of how I’ve coped with not just this month but this year as a whole. I’m hoping that some rest and TLC over my time off will help me to bounce back into better form in 2019 because, I’m telling you now, I have a hell of a lot of plans.

work

December has been pretty jam packed with work, from my project with Rethink Mental Illness and facilitation work with Future First and The Mix, to securing a brand new client.

I spent my last working day of the year with MyKindaFuture, a social enterprise focused on designing and running employability programmes with companies and schools across the UK. My role with them is different to what you might expect, though –  I’m not the one running the workshops this time but the one designing the content. It felt really nice to get back into a workshop development headspace – I’ve always been a bit nerdy when it comes to creating resources and get a kick out of designing engaging learning experiences. It must be the former teacher in me, I suppose! I’m looking forward to spending more time with them in January, stretching my creative muscles to create interactive sessions for their corporate clients.

life

My social life has definitely taken a hit this month, as the combination of chronic illness, burnout and a heavy workload aren’t the best of friends. However, I’ve managed to enjoy some lovely moments with friends and loved ones. From festive film nights and lunches to a second trip to see part one of The Inheritance, the build up to Christmas had a good few magic moments.

Christmas itself was quiet overall, spent at my Dad’s house in Buckinghamshire. It was nice spending time with my sister and sharing some rather indulgent meals (including Christmas lunch which sent me off for a two hour nap!) This year I asked for gifts that would help me move forward into 2019 positively – arts supplies, places on creative workshops and some new reading material.

For the final few days of the year I’m dog sitting, resting, writing and spending time with some of my favourite people. I hope you all have a wonderful end of the year and I’ll see you on the other side.

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