I’m drained. Zonked. Gone.
I’ve had a few days off work just with how the scheduling goes, and had all these wild plans for what I’d do with all that free time. And yet, it’s been cold, stormy, wet, and blah. They probably sound like excuses and maybe they are but I’m so tired. I’ve caught up with some work in short bursts of effort, usually around 1am when I should be succumbing to the tiredness, but when my creativity works best. The rest of the time I just feel like a sleepy zombie.
I’ve been setting an alarm, but when it goes off in the morning, because I know there’s nothing I NEED to get up for, it’s more of an annoying noise that I flip over and end up snoozing for two more hours. It’s a bad habit… probably, but I think I’m suffering with ‘what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-itis’ and for me, hypersomnia is how I deal with it.
Now that I’m pondering it, there’s an element of SAD involved. It happens every winter, except this is the first time in a zillion years where I haven’t been compelled by full-time education to get my arse out of the house. I’ve ordered a sunlight alarm clock that will arrive in about two months -_- there’s no way I can afford a SAD lamp, plus electricity freaks me out.
In between passing out asleep and trying to wake up with strong coffee and Italian rap music, I’ve been reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes book. It’s amazing! I don’t often read autobiographies/self-help stuff, but her words are so relatable particularly about working hard and living/breathing/eating your own work as a writer. Even the parts about not having everything as a parent/writer/woman, it’s finally a relief to hear someone admitting that they don’t have everything sorted out, that they aren’t superwoman and, don’t have all the answers. She needs help to manage her life, she gets it; she needs help to look after her kids while she works, she gets it. Why should anyone be a martyr to a lost cause without asking for help? I’m hopefully never going to go down that merry road of motherhood but I can understand how certain parts of your life aren’t going to be perfect or even balanced while focusing on another part of your life.
I know it’s bad for your health to be stationary all the time, but as a writer, much of what I do requires that I sit writing drivel onto a screen or into a notebook for ages at a time. And in order to work as I need to on that, I can’t always breakaway to go to the gym and I nearly broke my back on the times I went to the gym and carried all my writing stuff and laptop with me… I’ve seen those girls at Uni, they’ll need traction by 25. I’m too old to put up with these pains though, and thus things slide. Plus, sitting/lying/being still is one of my favourite pastimes. I could pass as a statue.
Alas, alak, we’re nearly in February, still a month I hate but I’m hoping the nicer weather will make an appearance and my mood will feel less funky. I’m planning on doing blog posts on my previous trips abroad. I’ve got so many stories to tell, might as well tell you them. Just need to find all my old photographs as well. First trip to Italy was in 2008 and I can’t even begin to think how many different computers I’ve had since then!
I barely slept the night before Thursday 14th December as I knew I had an interview at 10am that morning. I had prepared, and had had ten days to prepare my presentation for it, but still I was unsettled about my impending performance and how it would be judged.
I dragged myself up, buzzed and nauseous at the same time and left early to get my bus. Despite the rumours of snow and bad weather I made it to my destination in plenty of time and without much hassle.
I cut my presentation into chunks stuck to large index cards to make it all look a bit more professional and after finding the right building and climbing a million stairs, I arrived about ten minutes ahead of time and was instructed to wait in the small dining area.
My interview started quite a bit after ten as they all seemed fairly casual about timing, then I stumbled into the small double-doored office but repeatedly informed that this wasn’t where interviews normally were conducted. I put any nerves aside and focused on the potential opportunity in front of me. I know things here in Glasgow are much different from what I was used to in Aberdeen, actually getting an interview is a much bigger deal here; the competition being infinitely more fierce.
It lasted all of fifty minutes with the two interviewers doing most of the talking. I believe I did do my best, but felt that their constant ‘sympathy’ of the horror of doing a presentation in front of two people kind of took my edge off. I’ve done hundreds of presentations like this, hundreds of times where I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone and had to think on my feet or speak while only pretending to feel confident, and yet… Something ultimately wasn’t enough, I didn’t get the job and received the rejection email six hours after the fact. I could over analyse and try to interpret where I went wrong, but without actual confirmation from them it really could have come down to an arbitrary point. However, the stats they sent me said 300 people applied for the job and I was one of 30 to be interviewed but only 12 were selected to be hired. There’s some consolation in that.
Anyway, the day was far from over.
I was starving and bolted to Wetherspoons straight after the interview and got the small breakfast and an avocado bagel… it was wonderful, considering I hadn’t eaten anything before it. The lack of sleep was wearing on me and I made for the bus to go home and sleep instead of a coffee refill. Thankfully, a bus appeared just as I got to the bus stop but suddenly my phone blasted the opening riff of ‘Sugar we’re goin’ down’ (my ringtone) and I awkwardly presented my bus ticket while trying to hear the person on the other end of the line.
Person: Hi, this is X from X at X, I was wondering if you’d be available for an interview today?
Me: Uh, sure. What time at?
Person: How about 2pm?
Me: Uh [checks watch to see suggested time is only an hour and a half from now] sure, I’ll see you then.
I came off the phone in shock and realised the ramifications of the spontaneity of the interview. I was in the middle of town, heading home and this place was the other end of the city, and I still had my job centre appointment at 4pm. So I did what had to be done and called in the support team.
The long and short of it is that by the time I got home there wasn’t much time to get a bus so I had to get a taxi to the shop and made it for a bit before two. I approached a staff member, was ushered into the back of the shop and met the boss. I didn’t even get to sit down when she asked to see ID, if I have full availability and can I start today. HA! Finally!
Of course I said yes, but would need to come back after the JC appointment. I headed straight there after my thirty second interview and my adviser and the person who questions people why they’re in the job centre were both thrilled for me and amazed that I had gotten something so quickly.
Then it was straight home to change and out to hunt for some food before getting to the place for half five to actually start… until 11:30pm.
So it’s been pretty much non stop since then, I’ve so far only had three days off but still have the next three days off to catch up on real-life stuff including uni work, this blog, and other writing stuff. I’m physically zonked from the constant standing around and bashing into things behind the counter, but I’m not emotionally drained which is the most important part for me. Still don’t miss the last job!
I hope everyone has had a really good holiday season and I’m sure we’re all looking to 2018 to be a much better year all round.
ASMR has grown in popularity rapidly over the last couple of years, but so have its detractors. It’s a contentious subject if you look at it with too sceptical an eye.
So, it stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response which basically means you get tingles on the back of your head, sometimes down your arms, back, legs; even all over tingles.
We’ve all got experiences of it, my earliest memories are of being in primary school and sitting on the floor in front of the teacher and one of the girls behind me playing with my hair! (I had ridiculously long hair back then, it was impossible not to touch.) Maybe you’ve had a similar experience; at a hairdressers, getting a massage, eye test… the list goes on.
Essentially it seems to be brought on by personal attention, which is something that many of us are lacking in our hectic lives nowadays, so it can be a real treat to have someone take care of you. But really, how many of us can afford either the time or the money to get a facial everyday? Hardly any of us. That’s where the magic of YouTube comes in. There are quite literally thousands of ASMRtists on YT who in my entirely biased opinion are divine creatures spending their time trying to make little old ME feel better when I can’t sleep or I’m stressing out.
This brings us to the divisive part… these are real people who are talking softly to a video camera as if it were a real person. It goes further if you look for the spa treatments, Cranial Nerve Examinations, dental visits, and best friend sleep aids. They all use a variety of microphones which are binaural so it replicates your own ears, and while wearing headphones you really feel they are speaking directly into your ear. It’s this close, personal attention that helps to bring on the tingles – you genuinely feel you are in the same room as them.
Now, I would ask everyone who is unconvinced, please suspend your disbelief, buy into it just for a 40 minute session (with really good quality and comfortable headphones) and use your imagination a little… you’ll see a difference.
Maybe, maybe not. Some people have their minds firmly made up. Some people aren’t able to experience ASMR at all but I’ll use this moment to bring my point back to why I got into these videos in the first place.
I’ve been an insomniac for almost all of my adult life, from about 16 onward everything was a struggle related to sleep. I’d be unable to get up in the morning, be late for school despite living a 10 minute walk away, and generally feel crappy and crabby all day long. Then at night, instead of feeling tired enough to go to bed early after a whole long day of feeling tired, I couldn’t sleep. Thus began my routine of staying up late until I felt tired enough to go to sleep. This continued for many, many years.
It got to breaking point when I started university and had a full class load, noisy flatmates, and working 25 hours a week. Despite going back and forth to doctors, they insisted there was little they could do to help and tried some ‘strong antihistamines’ but gave me barely enough to really see if they worked. I tried Kalms, I tried herbal teas, I tried sorting my ‘sleep hygiene’ which I think is crap, presumptuous, and certainly of little use while living in a dorm or student accommodation (the bedroom is only for sleeping – no my bedroom is my everything). There is still a wide nonacceptance of listening to people with insomnia, my phrase was always “I’ve lost my sleepy”, I could feel like shit all day long from exhaustion, but still not be able to sleep AT ALL, not even a nap!
Second year at uni didn’t improve my sleeping habits much as my bedroom was on a main road and I’d sometimes stay up until it was quiet enough to sleep, but invariably there’d be just enough passing traffic to keep waking me up. It was around this time that I turned to YT for chill out videos, guided meditations, relaxing music which worked a bit for a time. However, lack of sleep leads to so many issues including for me, ear, nose, and throat issues so it stopped being as prudent to sleep with headphones in.
Fast forward a year and a bit, I was living in Spain in student accommodation again, and I swear Spaniards don’t sleep! All the apartments had metal staircases which were noisier than you’d believe and all the beds were squeaky metal frames. There was always some noise from somewhere.
That’s when I discovered ASMR.
I’ll even show you the exact video I first watched: My First ASMR
It’s by an ASMRtist called Olivia Kissper. She had only just uploaded maybe a couple of days before I stumbled across the video and it changed everything for me. Two and a half years later and I still listen to an ASMR video every night to help me sleep! (It’s also why I crack up if I don’t have a WIFI signal where I’m staying!)
I will eventually do a top list of my favourite ASMRtists and some videos which have helped me, I just wanted to post about WHY I enjoy ASMR and how I feel it has helped me.
I’ve listened to videos even while studying, writing, or working just to help me chill and focus on what I’m doing… they’ve even helped get rid of tension headaches too.
I understand that not everyone will be convinced, and that’s perfectly fine too, I just ask that you respect other people’s enjoyment of ASMR. I haven’t been asked to write this post and I’m not sponsored by anyone in the ASMR community, I’m just a long-time listener who wanted to share this with others who might be feeling the strain of insomnia too.
Ciao for now,
I spoke yesterday about the ‘invisible’ influences and pressures for people to get into relationships, have kids… essentially grow up I thought more about the times for me where the messages haven’t been so invisible.
Recently: I was at a funeral a few months ago for someone who meant a lot to me. I accepted that by going to the service I’d have to see people whose company I don’t particularly enjoy. In the car park after it, while most of us were swamped with emotion, I was informed that now university is over, I need to find myself a nice husband. Shock doesn’t quite describe how I felt, but despite my protestations that this was not something I wanted, the person repeatedly insisted the same thing again and again.
Is that something that one puts on a to-do list?
Then the other questions appear, ‘Is she dating?’, ‘Does she have a boyfriend?’ ‘Is she um… y’know…?’, ‘Doesn’t she want children?’, ‘Don’t you want to fall in love?’
Ugh, spare me! Aside from the gooey-smoochy gag that I can’t deal with, you want to know the truth? I literally cannot afford any of these things, not right now and unless I hit a miraculous windfall in the next while, it won’t be anytime soon. And I’m not compromising to ‘settle’ for someone just so my bills will be halved and we’ll be financially stuck together. Nope, not fair on anyone.
We’re supposed to be living in a time of awareness that it’s not that people don’t fit the boxes but that the boxes aren’t meant to fit people in them! Strides are being made for marriage equality, gender equality, recognition of more than archaic traditionalist ideals… so why isn’t choosing to be unmarried and child-free? Why is it still seen as something a person can be coaxed into doing, reality and finances be damned?
Woke up early yesterday thanks to all the drilling works right outside my window from 9am!
I arrived at the gym for about 12pm and got stuck in right away, I did 31 minutes on the rowing machine which I haven’t done for a few years; walked for 20 minutes on the treadmill and did loads of Lat Pull Downs and variations. After that I went to Caffe Nero and got my favourite Soya steamer with Cinnamon syrup, a perfect winter drink and a bit protein hit. Yum.
Later I met Padre in town and I was craving sushi so we went to Ichiban, of course! Followed that by an impromptu trip to Tim Hortons for timbits (see above) and a cappuccino in Waterstones while staring at all the books I want.
Naturally we meandered back up town and ended up in Molly Malone’s – seriously go, the food is great and cheap and the atmosphere is so chill. I debated what to drink but chose the small bottle of Prosecco, it was only £4.99 and I got about three small flutes out of it! Bazinga!
It was a great day/night out just to hang without rushing around or stressing about work. Now I’ve just had a Timbits breakfast and a big coffee (see below)
I’m staying inside today because the rain is bucketing down and my muscles are aching. Ended up doing nearly 12k steps last night and had some chippy chips as a reward.
I’ve been watching Suits this afternoon. Tis awesome.
Off to have a Slim Fast and get some writing done!
I just saw the date! I haven’t posted in so long, I’m sorry. I kept procrastinating.
Mañana, next weekend, first thing in the morning.
I’ve been bad. Things have changed a lot. Like A LOT.
My course has started, seems fun so far.
More blood tests in the morning and the doctor wants a serious talk with me.
No I’m not pregnant.
Later, e x