The last couple of weeks for me has been quite all up in the air and everywhere to be honest. I just can't seem to think straight or get going. I feel that the world is going on all around me so fast, productive and full of energy - and then there's me. In an almost 'Bee Bubble'. I have soo many hopes, dreams, fears and plans yet take so long to accomplish just one tiny piece of my bigger puzzle. I just don't have the energy to get all that I want to do in a day done as I feel simply too tired to do what I hope to set out to do but see it so clearly in my head.
This therefore leaves me with disbelief that I am good at anything; disregarding even the smallest of tasks and simply say to myself 'I give up'. My optimism quickly turns to pessimism and I am uncertain as to why?? I don't want to think this way, yet my mind just can't seem to shut off from this automatic response.
Time goes by and goes on, and on, and on, and to be frankly honest, I just can't seem to keep up. Awh dear, whats wrong with me? I used to be so good at being organised and without this organisation I feel lost. I think on reflection this would be the perfect word to sum up all that I feel at the moment.
Left with unanswered questions and unreachable dreams. But I must keep going. Playing the cards that life has given me and just try to embrace it. Only see the beauty in the world. And accept!
So. I guess I have been quite quiet recently on the blogging front which I have to admit I have missed doing. Something I found enjoyment in doing - reading blogs, gaining inspiration - yet now I find myself engrossed in orders of sugar cookies being asked of me with my ideas running wild in my mind! I need to plan plan plan right away which as much as I love doing I am feeling so tired and my optimism again turns to pessimism. Argh! So frustrating.
But I do enjoy this!? Don't I?
Argh. This has taken me so much time that other duties that I have had to be put on hold. Whether that may be sorting out what groceries to purchase for the coming week, logging my meal plan, instagraming, taking regular pictures, blogging, checking emails, buying birthday presents and all sorts of other normal routines I find comfort in doing.
But tonight I need to sort myself out, and I think I have some time now to just do as the title of this post suggests and that is to STOP. BREATHE and just REFLECT.
So where do I start.
I guess this isn't far off to mention that 'It's beginning to look a lot like christmas!' and so often this time of year gets me addicted to all things making and baking! But not only this, it is also the time of year where I begin to slip up in terms of my health =/ The cold doesn't really help much too. I reflect back to where I was at this time last year to be amazed at how I managed to get up every morning, sometimes as early as 5.00am to complete various chemistry/biochemistry notes, and get to university to attend my lectures. It was so cold and I was rapidly finding eating slipping. But I would be a failure to give up at this point of my course, and so I kept going. My oh my how I am a tad relieved that this year I have decided to take a gap year as even without the pressure of assignments, I am at the same point as I was last year and struggling to make ends meet; which I guess has been evident in the way I have felt depleted in my energy levels.
So this month, alongside the sugar cookies agenda, I had an idea that I wanted to take forward which was to design a cookie in remembrance for my Uncle Raj who sadly passed away suddenly in february this year whilst I was studying away but we would be celebrating his birthday on 25th November. As a memorial for Raj, my auntie planned to have a tree planted for him with his ashes buried beneath to which we can all go over to visit.
Due to my busy year at uni studying I felt bad in that I wasn't able to miss any uni and hence as a result I was not able to attend his funeral. Therefore providing some time to be devoted to this cookie idea I had only felt needed. It took me a long time of planning and playing around with as much as I could with photoshop to get the desired image produced.
After a week of designing, baking, icing and a lot of tiresome days. I managed to complete it - only to be disappointed with the result. It's frustrating when the image I had created in my head seemed so perfect and beautiful and then in reality seemed so disappointing =[
|The tree of life|
Just some of the problems I had come across in the baking of this creation:
The puzzle pieces did not fit together even after cutting the pieces straight onto the baking sheet, keeping the dough refrigerated. I have to say, however, that the right half was made with 'old dough' that had been left overnight in the fridge so it was really hard like hard butter and as a result it felt easier to work with and maneuver. On the left I had used the dough fresh on the day and found the pieces very difficult to fit together as the cookies seemed to have spread out.
The icing over time had bled into the white icing so I was left with not a crisp outline.
The design is too complicated to be seen clearly - needs to be less busy.
Next time try not puzzle pieces but much rather, 'shards'. Taking this approach it would still allow family members to take a piece yet it would be more clearer to view the desired design.
Definitely needs more experimenting - but god I'm annoyed with how much time I felt I had potentially wasted =[
I was happy I could attend this memorial in the planting of the tree however I had a challenge which needed conquering - Eating out as a family to the 'Old house at home' pub to have lunch. It was Raj's fave pub and so an occasion to try and test myself. I took a look at the menu however to find everything too challenging - except one potential meal for
'Tiger Prawn Linguine with lemon, tomato, red onion, chilli, garlic & parsley'
It seemed quite manageable yet once I had got to the restaurant I had asked how it was made and mentioned the fact that it was fried in butter =/ Oh dear. This made my mind dither. Luckily, one of my 'safer' meal options was on the specials menu which was read out as 'Pasta bolognaise' - something I can't say I fancied but it was the best of a bad bunch! I tried not to think about the meal much and just try to enjoy the moment being spent with my family. And in a way I felt quite excited to try something new and had an attitude that I wanted to show my family I can do it rather than be aware that others are watching me eat something. It felt weird but I knew it is a new way I need to think.
|My Spaghetti Bolognaise|
It was quite a reflective day but boy I felt knackered by the end of it! It was nice to spend time with my little cousin Rupert bear too! =] He makes me laugh, he's just adorable!
From this I quickly had to revert my attention to the next batch of sugar cookies I had to design. A scout's Christmas fayre which a colleague of my mother's had asked of me to produce as she liked the ones I had made for the 'children in need' charity day. I spent hours making them and deciding on sizes, designs, making sure I had enough icing, what colours I needed, baking them at the right time so that they did not become soft. My mind just can't run quickly!
I wanted to establish a brand logo to distribute to the community and make the most of this opportunity but my head just could cope with all the ideas and set something clearly out on paper. Running out of time I had to just make do with something quick which I used photoshop for and then MS Word.
Just some of the things to note upon baking this second creation:
The cookies once cut out kept their shape better once the dough had rested in the fridge for a good couple of days.
Details on the cookies can be etched on using a scalpel to indicate the icing lines once baked.
The colour from the icing over time had bled into the icing which was either next to or on top of. I guess this may be due to the fact I hadn't given sufficient time to allow the icing to COMPLETELY dry.
Only use the No1 nozzle for writing and use the plastic nozzle for white as the small nozzle kept getting blocked by crystallized pieces of icing sugar. (I could perhaps use the writing nozzles on the small bottles instead so I am able to sort out if I come across any problems.
Luckily once all finally iced (taking me two whole tiresome days! - eating and low energy to blame =[), I was so happy to find that the plastic cellophane bags I had bought on ebay had arrived on the morning of baking - and they FIT! =] I was so worried that they wouldn't. By the end of Friday night I was totally exhausted and would be happy to see the back of those 25 hand iced cookies! Yet my mission is not quite complete. I had to still print out my tags from cardstock and bag them all up! That required me to have to make the effort in getting up on the Saturday morning for an early 6.00am start! Busy busy busy Bee!
DONE! - Mum took them down to the fayre where the scouts were set up and I am so happy to hear that the 'head scout, Rachael' was incredibly happy with my efforts and shed a tear at the small message I had applied to the back of the tags just indicating how all donations will go towards the running of the scouts club. Awh bless. She even sent back a message that evening to give thanks once again and notify me that they were able to raise a grand total of £400! Wow.
Awh, so this week I need to revert my attention to a third project - Monster inc cookies for a fourth birthday party for a boy called 'Theo' . I guess this is my task to do on Sunday! Apparently another 20 cookies ordered.
It was also the last contemplation group this week on Wednesday. Regardless of the fact that every week I felt a feeling of anxiety and lack of confidence, once there I did feel the support and almost 'at home' feeling as I wasn't on my own in the battle I am facing and its just a really lovely reassuring group. It was more of a reflective group on how we have found the past 11 weeks and all were able to say the similar things that it has simply left us with the eating disorder being much louder and left with more questions. I guess the idea that we all want the eating disorder to be gone but yet feeling a sense of not knowing how to go about it. It finished on a lovely thoughtful exercise in that each of the other 5 members were given an envelope and 5 pieces of paper to which we were required to write small messages to each other - this was fantastic as I really wanted to keep in touch with everyone and leave a message to each person. But knowing me, I spent too long trying to find the 'right words' to include in each letter which was rather difficult in the time given and as a result I was left rushing my last letter to Hannah =[ I felt so annoyed as I wasn't able to say everything I wanted to say. Therefore I think I should just take some time at home to write it up again and leave it at reception to give to her. I just hope she understands.
It was really lovely too for the group coordinators to also write a little short message to each of us - including the lovely placement doctor 'Debbie' who was in fact leaving the service to take up a second placement elsewhere within the NHS as part of her training but she is truly lovely. I wish her all the best for the future.
I got handed my letter at the end of the group and made sure I said bye to everyone and wish them all a merry Christmas. I also left a contact point - hoping to hear from them in response. I did indeed and felt so happy to hear from them. =]
My mind is all over the place though. Plodding along a road of cobbles as I received a voice mail by my doctor to arrange an appointment for next week to have my review meeting with Shelly from contemplation group to basically discuss 'where do I want to go from here' and by the sounds of it I reckon I am going to be encouraged - for the the 4th blooming time - to have another hospital admission to restore my weight. Argh! I just don't want to though! I'm just tired of the whole moving in and out of a isolating, tiring environment =[ Only to not follow things through yet be embarrassed to express my beliefs on things. I got the sense of this from the message left as my doctor wanted me to get a blood test arranged ASAP - as agreed was the protocol for what would be an indication for me to return back to hospital. Oh dear. Therefore I am in a state of anxiety as I just just know what to do. In before or after Christmas?
I mentioned this prospect to my Auntie as she has noticed (and too has my mum and dad) that I am on the slippery road again =[ But she suggested it would be better to go before Christmas =/ Too many questions! To tired to consider. I just want to sleep/hibernate for a while!