January seems to have flown by. There were a number of meltdowns, hard days (and nights) but now it's over. It started off positively, my brother and dad visited me, which was really nice. I loved starting the year with them around, my dad especially as I don't remember the last time I saw him for such an extended amount of time. Work was stressful but it could've been worse had my schedule not been reduced before Christmas. A number of staff left, some have demanded unfair (salary related) conditions and others, like myself, just seem to be getting on with it despite the occasional spanner throw and often tedious nature of it all. I've tried to be helpful, I've tried to stay positive but January was a month where I found myself quite often getting worked up. I visited the psychiatrist, who has agreed that my escitalopram should be gradually moved up from 5 mg to 10 mg, which is in the process of happening at the moment. Anxiety is something I have had a problem with since childhood, I think early puberty was where it peaked and now as an adult, I've had enough. I know how ridiculous it is, I know how ridiculous I am but I can't help it. Sometimes I feel like a little girl trapped in the body of a grown woman and I hate it. I hate it. My mind overpowers me and I just shrink into myself, my petals fold over my eyes and I close up the way a tulip does when it protects it's pollen from the rain.
I have however managed to complete and submit three essays this year, which I'm quite proud of. I will upload them once they've been read, reviewed or marked (I'm not sure how it works at PhD level) and then I'll share the links on my blog and via social media. The essay titles are as follows:
My auto correct keeps trying to turn Bauman into Batman so I had to go through my essay on him with a fine tooth comb just to make sure there were no awkward sentences! I think I'm most proud of the essay on contemporary counterpublics, this was a relatively new area of interest for me and I managed to apply it to my prior knowledge of the artworld in a way I felt proud of. Although, I surprised myself whilst researching Bauman, I'm not his biggest fan but I spent an entire day (15 hours) reading his work. I fell asleep two or three times but as soon as I woke up, I got on with it and kept reading! There were some problems regarding submissions as I was unaware of protocol regarding physical print outs of essays. Higher education strikes me as being very different here in Poland when I compare it to the UK.
I planted some chillies recently too (from seeds) which have grown into little seedlings. I also planted some dill seeds which are growing a little more slowly it would seem. Hopefully they will catch up soon enough. If I'm able to grow plants and herbs at home from seeds, I'll be so happy. I've tried in the past but they always end up dying. The houseplants I a year and a half ago are still alive and thriving though, so perhaps there's hope for me yet. My January short-term goal was to drink more water and I feel as though I was relatively successful with that so I bought a hamster. It might seem like a strange reward for a month's worth of goal achievement but I've chosen a reward at the end of every month which I feel is very personal to me. For example, the reward for my birthday month of July is simply 'something special' and for August it's a 'cinema trip'.
We (my SO and I) were looking once again at dogs up for adoption online but it's just not the right time. I'm willing to wait but when I walked into a pet shop and saw an adorable Syrian hamster, I bought her and named her Panda. I will write a post about her soon, she's lovely. I have also started a monthly chore chart which is helping me get at least two or three things that I have to do, done. It's monthly but I've chosen to use the chart slightly differently. Every day I have several chores to do so I've put a tick in the boxes which correspond to both the day and the chore. It just makes remembering to get everything done a little easier. On Saturday, I have the most chores and on Wednesday I have the least. It's working relatively well so far. My February short term goal list is a little more difficult as it involves exercise so I need to work a little bit harder.