100 Days of Self-Care: day 32, 33 & 34

The last few days have been a bit of a blur. I haven’t been doing grand. While I’m always now conscious of mindfully practicing self-care, I’ve been doing a lot of the same things: tea, cat cuddles, food, YouTube. A few special mentions: chocolate, falafel, gluten-free apple cake, rearranging my bookshelf.

I’m doing my best to have a better week next week. Also to talk a bit more about stuff and things. Currently doing everything from my phone as my laptop is having some issues. But happier things to come, bear with me.

100 Days of Self-Care: day 30 & 31

I’m having a bit of a hard time, as I’m sure you’ve been able to ascertain. So there might be a few more silent days, post-wise, but I’m still working on self-care.

Day 30: ice cream with strawberries, cats, books, long shower, watching this and this with my morning coffee

Day 31: morning run with gorgeous sunrise, nap, lucky charms, chocolate, honey citrus black tea, some inspiration

The cats are always bringing me precious moments. I’ve also had rain sounds pretty much always in the background. Little things.

100 Days of Self-Care: day 27, 28 & 29

Part of my self-care for the weekend was to take time off from posting. I originally didn’t want to skip any days, but soon came to realize that the challenge was for self-care, sharing was just a bonus – and if posting everyday was becoming stressful, then it would an act of self-care in itself to take a break.

Here’s an overview of what else I did for the challenge.

Day 27: a bath, hair-mask time

Day 28: pizza, reading

Day 29: sleeping in, movie, cookies

All three: cat cuddles galore, coffee, tea.

100 Days of Self-Care: day 26

Another tough day, I’m afraid. The weather looked weird – we went from super sunny skies to sudden rain and weird patches of clouds/light. The smell of rain was lovely though.

Today is filled once more with the small and quiet moments of self-care: cups of tea, turning on the heater, enjoying some rays of sunshine before the weather turned, reading, hummus. About to settle down to rewatch a Disney movie. Ploughing through, guys, ploughing through.

100 Days of Self-Care: day 25

A glorious morning run today was the biggest and most important act of self-care of the day.

It was absolutely freezing, I stopped feeling my hands really fast, and it was stressful to actually get there and back, but the run itself was phenomenal. It was a combination of four of my favorite things: the sea, sunrises, running – and speed runs in specific. More than worth facing the cold for. It’s incredible how morning runs where I get to watch the sunrise by the ocean lift my mood exponentially – my happy place, for sure. I have had countless moments like these and yet watching a beautiful sunrise never ever ceases to awe me.

The rest of the day kind of sucked and I’m still crawling at the that rock bottom, but for that little bit of time, I could breathe and genuinely enjoy being there.

 

Bonus points: a nap with the cats, books, super hot post-run shower.

100 Days of Self-Care: day 24

Here’s another thing I learned about self-care: sometimes it’s letting others take care of you.

Today was indescribable. I wasn’t sure I would be able to post today. Sometimes the whole world is barbed wire.

But then the mailman came with four packages. Honestly, sometimes the timing of things is astounding. Books I ordered for my birthday arrived, along with a birthday package from a friend that also had books but also love.

Today was letting others make & bring me food, eating hummus, thoroughly enjoying a chocolate bar, having some Moroccan mint tea, enjoying my new books, turning on the heater and hiding under blankets and cats.

I’m really grateful – today might be like lying down and taking a nap on rock bottom, but there were people in my life taking care of me and making it hurt just a little bit less.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

 

“We are the sea.” 

I have really conflicted feelings about this book, and they’re mostly a mess of disjointed thoughts and feelings (so apologies if this is a bit all over the place).

There were things I absolutely adored. The writing is simply exquisite, Kirsty Logan paints a picture of a water world that is so poignant and sharp it often prickles and hurts. She uses imagery in a pretty flawless way, which makes the book rich and beautiful, weaving symbolism and emotion in a way that’s gentle but packs a serious punch. Words building scenery and bridging to feelings – these are the biggest strengths here, and they are immensely powerful.

However. I think what let me down the most were the characters. Whilst there are two main characters around whom the story revolves, we get chapter-long glimpses into many others. This could have been the tool to give them each depth and dimension, and while I think this was the intent, I feel like it was a bit of a failure. Not the narrative structure, which I enjoyed, but the actual characters – where they could have become real humans, they remained very nearly character-types. If you’re going to play with perspective, I want you to show me a different aspect, not just confirmation from a different angle. The “villains” of the story were given motives, but remained very much within their own limited lane. Perhaps part of the reason I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to was because I wanted so badly to see that set-up disturbed and subverted – people, real people, are, more often than not, surprises, full of nooks and crannies you can’t imagine from the outside. Whenever we got the point of view of a character you got surprises but only of the unsurprising kind, given how they were seen from the outside by everyone else. This isn’t to say all the characters are flat and one-dimensional, but that quite a few of the important ones felt constrained and limited to the roles imposed on them.

Similarly, some aspects of the plot weren’t as polished as they could have been. With most of this book I felt like there was at the center a contradiction in that it was both full of depth and lacking it. To draw upon all the language of the sea, which I loved and which made me yearn to be underwater, it was in places an ocean, deep as Marianas Trench and full of both wonders and dangers, in others a placid lake, or a pond, waist-deep and lacking the salty richness of the waves.

I definitely want to read more of her work – her writing is utterly gorgeous. But this book, poised between magical realism and fantasy (a little more than one, a little less than the other), for me left me feeling often unsettled and unsatisfied, like tasting something delicious made the rest of the meal more off-putting by comparison.