New Year, Same Old Me

I've been absent from this blog for a couple of weeks, for a couple of reasons. The main one is that I've been exceptionally busy working on essays, but also Christmas, work, and the traditional hibernation instinct that afflicts many of us at this time of the year!

If your home was this cosy, you wouldn't want to leave it either!

However, it's the start of a new year, and nearly time for a new semester to start, so I've got my mojo back, and I'm ready to go!

I've really struggled with one of my essays. I have had two to complete, we'll call them essay 'A' and essay 'B', and I left essay 'A' until second, as I know the subject relatively well already, and thought I'd be able to get it done fairly swiftly. However, the opposite turned out to be true: despite essay 'B' being well out of my comfort zone and experience, it only took me one afternoon to complete a first draft, and, although I've reworked it a couple of times since then, I'm actually fairly pleased with it. 

Essay 'A', however, not so much! It took me a good couple of weeks to even find a way *in* to the essay. I sort of knew what I wanted to write, but couldn't figure out how to go about it. I struggled getting started, then keeping going, and then I struggled to formulate coherent sentences, let alone complete arguments! 

I spoke with a couple of friends about my dilemma, and they suggested that maybe because I know the subject from the inside, so to speak, I had trouble looking at it objectively and academically. I think that could be right, as I found it mentally draining to write about. I managed to put a draft together, but it was basic and uninspiring, and, thinking I'd written about 1,000 words, I did a word count - the total was 346! Less, even than my abstract had been! 
However, once I reworked it from my initial intention, I suddenly found that I was nearly twice the amount over the word limit! I *think* I've got it now though. I suddenly found an angle to approach it from that, although not what I had envisaged at the start, allowed me to get to the meat of my argument, and now I'm actually quite content with it.

Although, let me leave it for a couple of days and come back to it, and I'll be mortified at what I've splashed onto the page!

Coffee, books, and lots and lots of words!

It's traditional in January to make New Years Resolutions, but I think I've got quite enough to be going on with for the coming year, so, instead, I'm going to have a look back over 2017 and be proud of what I achieved. Despite some aspects of the year being pretty miserable, it's actually been a good one overall - especially when I look back at my blog from last January:

* I was accepted onto, and started a Master's Degree!
It has always been a life goal to go on to further study. During my 20's I guess other things got in the way, and I can make all of the excuses under the sun as to why I never took the plunge: money, jobs, dancing, age, etc, but I don't know, I wish I had done this sooner. I may be the oldest person on the course, but I don't care, I'm doing something that I love, and I'm super proud of myself for getting on with it!

* I reached my target weight!
In late 2016 I decided to do something about the weight that had crept on over the last couple of years. The main reason for this was the wedding of one of my best friends - I didn't want to look like a puffball in the photos! I stuck to the diet plan, started yoga (which is another thing I'm really proud of in 2017), and I reached my dress size and weight goal with a couple of months to spare before the wedding. I have kept it off so far, and feel so much better for it.

Bride and maids


* I started performing again!
Yep, I dusted off my alter-ego, and popped her back on stage. It was actually quite a difficult decision to make, and I deliberated for a couple of months, but I'm back in a glittery alternate universe a couple of times a month, and I love it again. It's nice to step outside of 'real' life for a couple of hours, and it's allowed me to reconnect with a couple of people that I had lost touch with somewhat.

* I learned photography (a little bit)!
My boyfriend is a really good photographer, but the problem was that whenever we went on days out, he would spend ages taking photos, and I'd get cranky. So, over the summer, I decided that if you can't beat them, join them, so I got him to teach me how to press buttons on a proper camera. I actually quite enjoy it, and it means I don't get into a strop whenever we go off for the day.

Camera Buddies

So those are a couple of the things that I've been proud of in 2017. 

Hopefully everyone else had a lovely Christmas and New Year - I'm all ready and raring to go for 2018 and whatever it may have in store for me. Coffee, bubbly wine, cats and books will all feature heavily I'm sure. So, New Year, but the same old me!

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