January started off so full of promise. I welcomed it in watching fireworks in Edinburgh with some of my best friends and spent the first morning breakfasting in Krispy Kreme and the first evening feasting on Indian food with my family. It got off to such a good start. Later in the month there was a little trip to Aviemore spent gazing at mountains and snow and lochs; there were puppy parties and training classes and watching him rapidly grow; and there was that surprise delivery of a beautiful bouquet with a card asking me to be my sister's bridesmaid. ♥

But then there were days where the tears were endless and nights where the sleep was elusive; there were tight chests and floppy arms; lumps in the throat and forgetting how to breathe; there were doctors and nurses and blood tests and pills; and January ending exhausted and signed off of work.

January wound up tough and overwhelming and dark. But tomorrow is February - a new day, a new month and, who knows, maybe even a new start. I guess we'll wait and see.

This month I read 6 books towards my goal of 42 in the year:
  • 'Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human' by Carl Rogers, Barry Stevens, et al.  
    In the past, whenever I read about 'Person-Centred Therapy' I dismissed it as being too fluffy and idealistic and surely not something that would ever work in practice. But then I stumbled across an article about Carl Rogers' person-centred approach to education and it suddenly dawned on me that the whole model is actually closely linked to many Youth Work principles about the power of positive relationships, voluntary participation and informal education. My interest was duly piqued and so I bought and enjoyed learning through this book.
  • 'Introducing Mindfulness: A Practical Guide' by Tessa Watt
    Mindfulness seems to be growing and growing in popularity of late and this book is full of helpful little exercises to let you see what all the fuss is about. Having tried most of them, I'm definitely intrigued.
  • 'Boundless: Living Life in Overflow' by Danielle Strickland and Stephen Court
    Urging us not to miss the enormity of salvation and the fulness of life offered in Christ, this book is great whether you've just come to faith or need a reminder somewhere further down the road. Danielle's passion for God is infectious and if you have time I would recommend listening to her speak (here).
  • 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway' by Susan Jeffers
    I'm probably not in the best place to judge this book fairly right now, but it sort of made me want to find the author and punch her in the face. If only beating anxiety were really as simple as sticking up a few affirmative post-it notes around the place! (I'm sure she must have offered up some more useful techniques too; I just couldn't see them through all my eye-rolling.)
  • 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Viktor E. Frankl
    The subtitle under recent editions of this book reads: "The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust." That pretty much sums it up. A book everyone should read.
  • 'The Shock of the Fall' by Nathan Filer
    A moving debut novel about grief and schizophrenia, this is the kind of book you devour in a single sitting. Just brilliant.

When my head wasn't stuck in a book this month I watched:
'Sherlock', along with most of the country it would seem; 'Call the Midwife', which I'm delighted to have back on our screens; 'God's Cadets - Joining the Salvation Army' which was an interesting but slightly surreal watch for all the familiar faces; 'The Voice' - my guilty pleasure of the minute; 'Now Is Good', which was predictable but lovely; and 'Outnumbered', which I'm so relieved to still find funny now the kids have grown up!

And, for me, that's sort of the sum of all January's parts. It feels like enough of an achievement to have made it through, really. 
Roll on February!

Post a Comment


  1. I think our january's sound quite similar! I HATE that period after new years where you have huge expectations for change but nothing new is happening... february can be the NEW new year! i hope yours is wonderful! :)

  2. So sorry to hear you've been unwell. Brighter days ARE ahead. I laughed at your reaction to Susan Jeffer's "Feel the Fear". In reading about anxiety in terms of helping my daughter, I read one of Claire Weekes' books and found it to be very compassionate and practical. It's dated - having been written quite a while ago - but you might find it worthwhile to get a cheap secondhand copy? I've been meaning to reread Victor Frankl - should nudge that up my list.

    We were very pleased that Outnumbered had lost none of its former edge as well!

    Take care of yourself, Laura. xox