Hello and welcome to September!  We’re finally entering the last month in the summer and I thought it would be time to share a bit of a personal update as a few things that have been happening with me lately and some of this affects both my blog, its schedule and my tbr (to-be-read) reading pile which is currently (I hate to admit) a little bit big and out of control!😳

Mindfulness

So, the last year has been a pretty difficult one for me to cope with.  Almost a year ago my grandmother was suffering from health problems and another family member was then diagnosed with cancer.  Soon after my grandmother had to go into a care home and despite an improvement to her health after a while she suffered badly from some problems and died in January. 😥  This completely rocked my world, more than I thought it would.  My grandmother lived most of her life in Poland though she regularly visited for long periods here.  And even though I wasn’t able to be as close and see her as often as I wanted to, her death really did afect me more than I wanted to admit, especially as it wasn’t the most pleasant of passings and was directly affected by the lack of treatment in the hospital due to the virus response (having to wait between patients to disinfect, change PPE, etc).

Losing my grandmother messed me up and made my reading and health spiral downhill worse than I liked to admit, and my mental health suffered greatly.  I thought I was doing alright but it’s only in the last few weeks of August that I now feel like I’ve turned a corner in my mental state and am now managing to cope with daily life, and it’s the first time I’ve felt like smiling.  In fact I feel more positive than I have done for ages and I feel a renewed energy I didn’t feel before which has made reading so much easier in the last few weeks.  I’m starting to tackle a reading pile that I couldn’t face before.  I’m also eager to start doing more on my blog including tackling the Inktober challenge again which is coming up in October! 🙂

The out of control tbr pile

I’ve always had a set of books that need reading for publishers and I’ve always managed to keep on top of this pile but ever since things happened to people in my family, I felt unable to cope with the books I had.  I’m never a fast reader and like to mood read my tbr pile when I can but I found it ever harder to keep up with all the books I have gotten and have fallen behind with quite a few I had promised to review.  You my have noticed a lot of book haul posts appearing on my blog with the books never being reviewed yet.  In some cases I just haven’t been able to finish off the reviews but in most cases I just haven’t been able to get to reading the books yet.

During the year I tried to keep up with my regular momentum of getting books and reviewing them and I thought I could keep up with this schedule which is why I kept accepting more and more books and blog tour invites.  But it’s now become clear that I have just too many books on my pile/list and I needed to start tackling this as the stress of not keeping up would just create a more depressive state of mind.  I stopped requesting all books but the bare minimum recently and thankfully, a fog has finally lifted this last month of August, and I felt my ability to tackle the things I haven’t been able to do has now come back!

Suddenly I’m reading so many books like there’s no tomorrow and enjoying the thrill of getting so many reviews done.  I have so many reviews right now lined up for the coming weeks that I literally have weeks worth of review posts ready to go (and not enough spaces on my blog to keep up!)!  It’s an amazing feeling to really be back on track and to finally be tackling that tbr pile.  I haven’t been taking more books than a minimum (publishers I regularly work with) and although it will take some time to really get through all the books, I’m feeling positive about my reading future now!

Blog schedule

Things on the blog have been a bit wonky for a while.  My schedule was all over the place and I wasn’t able to even post regularly at some point too.  Apart from difficulties in being able to write anything other than reviews I also suffered bouts of problems with my internet connection or my laptop itself, which needed to be repaired and took a long time to be fixed, which is why for a couple of weeks I ran out of posts and just seemed to disappear! 😮

I’ve had some problems in knowing how often I want to post and what to post but I’ve finally settled back into blogging and am ready to get back to my 5 days a week schedule (from Monday to Friday).  I don’t want the blog to be entirely book based, although it often seems that way recently, so I want to be able to regularly use either Monday or Wednesday to post a non-book post.  However on some days this may change (and even occur on a weekend) if there’s a special day coming up (like Halloween for example).  I want to get back to posting more poetry as well as some discussion posts and articles I’ve had ideas about all the way back in December ;ast year!  I’ll hopefully be able to get started on these more often in the future and I hope you’ll be interested in all the content I have in future as I want my blog to be a lifestyle and book blog and not just books, lol.

Blog menus and social media

For those of you who have ventured onto my blog and the menus will have realised that I haven’t updated any of the menus for months.  No new books have appeared listed under the book reviews section as well as other parts of the menus which isn’t good for the professionalism of this blog.  For now if you want to look something up on the blog stick with the search and scroll options but the menus are the next big thing I want to fix after getting back into my regular posting schedule and writing piecies.

My social media has suffered a bit in the last yeat too.  I am still regularly visiting twitter although I do disappear for several days at a time.  I don’t seem to be gaining many followers on there like I used to (I’ve beens stuck on around 1,900 followers, give or take 20 or so, for months, lol!)   I also used to frequent instagram but haven’t done it for a long time due to getting lost in the new interface, still not knowing how to create stories and general confidence issues about my photo quality and content there.  I want to share pics of the books I’ve received but I’m not huge on writing big reviews there so don’t know if anyone likes that sort of thing but I definitely want to stick with instagram for the Inktober event that’s coming up next month!

Health

While my mental health is improving my physical health hasn’t improved as much as I’d like.  I’ve suffered all sorts of issues lately, the most recent being tearing a muscle in my thigh making it impossible to walk up stairs and walk in general without extreme pain. 😦  I’m also regularly suffering bouts of fatique and falling asleep at all hours of the day sometimes with other nights being filled with insomnia.🙄  GPs are certainly not helping by refusing to see patients physically (and sometimes just not calling back for phone appointments either) where I live and having some physical issues it’s making it hard for me to get to see anyone and even get a referal to a specialist clinic which I’m still bugging them about for diabetes.🤦‍♀️

While I wish I could say that I’m back to full health, the last year has taken a toll on me and plenty of other people too.  But with my mental state doing better than it has for months, I’m hoping that it might act as a catalyst in helping my body to return to a more normal state and hopefully after this muscle heals (I hope it heals soon!) I can start doing some proper exercise which always helps improve health in me.

Last words…

So that’s it really a lot is happening in my life but I’m finally feeling better than I have done for ages and that’s something I’m going to hold on to and feel good about.  As we head into the Autumn I hope things won’t be too bad for the world and that we can all remember to be kind to each other no matter what our differences are, both physical and mental (inclluding our differing opinions).  I’ve seen such negativity on twitter and I don’t like how divisive out world can be and hope that regardless of what you think of others you’ll agree that it’s better to be kind and understanding and to listen to each other than to just hate, ignore and barate those who may hold different opinions to you.

I do hope my blog will be somewhere you’ll enjoy visiting, I want to keep it a mainly positivle place (I say ‘mainly’ because it might have some depressive poetry on it, lol) and I have a lot of things planned which I hope you’ll want ot stick around and see.  Thank you for reading this espically long update and I hope you’re all well and coping with life, as best you can.  Have a lovely day and month everyone! ❤ 🙂


How are you coping?  How has you year been so far?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂