Clearly you can’t spend more than a minute reading my blog without realising I love books and you can probably guess from the mere fact that I have a blog that I’m quite fond of writing too, but what else makes me tick? This is as much an exercise in self-reflection for me as it is to satisfy my blog-readers curiosity.
Below are my passions, my pet hates and other trivia.
1) I love chocolate but I’m pretty good at not eating it. Mainly because I NEVER buy it. But if it’s in the house, it has to be hidden from me or it will be devoured in one (very short) sitting. Which reminds me hubby, that bar of green and blacks you hid? I found it when you were out tonight. And it’s gone. It took about ten minutes.
Chocolate from the fridge is the pinnacle of chocolate enjoyment and milk is always preferable to white or dark – the plainer the better. Rather helpfully for my waistline I don’t like sweets of any description so I can buy treats for the rest of the family without putting temptation in my own way, but Easter is a nightmare…
2) I am quite happy with my own company and I need at least a little bit of ‘me time’ every day or I will be super grumpy. I’m a very solitary person who spends a lot of time living in my head; I need stretches of peace to re-charge and to be able to cope with the much longer stretches of mayhem that having kids and a normal life entails. Other people tend to find that quite odd and I know I can come across as sort of snooty to strangers. It’s not my intention. I’m just in my head and not quite in the real world. My husband can see super-grumpy periods approaching and sends me out – usually to a Bookshop.
3) I never watch TV. My brain is never quiet – this ties in with the point above. My husband commented once that it must be exhausting being me, just because my brain never stops. He’s right – at times. So to unwind I need something that completely immerses me. TV never accomplishes it – films only occasionally. I find my thoughts straying to what I need to do later / in the morning / next week. Books accomplish it, which is why I nearly always choose them but they aren’t a very social pastime, particularly as I need silence to read. In general, I really don’t like noise.
4) Again related to the point above, I am seriously organized. I only know one person who takes organization to the same sort of ridiculous, even anal level that I do (yes Ciara, that’d be you). This is not a new phenomenon; I was named ‘Most Organised’ in my 6th Form Year Book. It’s only got worse since then with more people to organize… The thought of losing my diary (now on my iPhone) makes me sweat.
5) I love sleep. I always have. I remember my teenage years vividly with my parents having to almost drag me out of bed in the mornings and me repeatedly begging for ‘just another five minutes’. I wondered in my twenties when I’d start not wanting to sleep so much but the deep desire to stay cocooned in my duvet has never really gone. I love my bedroom and I love my bed – it’s my space; it makes me feel safe, comforted and relaxed. It’s only since having children that I have swapped my ‘night owl’ status for that of a ‘morning person’ and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve struggled to ‘sleep in’. Staying in bed is not a problem, but actually sleeping is not so easy any more.
If I don’t get enough sleep I suffer the next day and as I’m quite disciplined that doesn’t happen too often. I know I need 7 hours – my GP tells me that is the absolute minimum I should be getting. If I have less, the afternoon drags, I yawn a lot and find concentrating hard. It’s not worth it. When I’m working, I’m asleep by 11pm (usually earlier) and awake at 6am. At the moment I’m asleep by midnight and awake at 7am.
6) Oddly, I HATE the snooze button. In fact, just thinking about it is making me mad. Although I love sleep, once I’m awake I’m awake and once I know it’s time to get up, I get up straight away. You wake up soooo much quicker if you get moving immediately, believe me. Once that alarm goes off, I’m awake, so what’s the point in lying there for another 10 minutes? It’s only delaying the inevitable. I’d much rather set my alarm for 10 minutes later and actually sleep it!
I fall asleep easily at night (although this hasn’t always been the case), and usually listening to an audiobook. I normally only manage to listen to about 5 minutes a night so Game of Thrones has lasted me months and I’m still only on chapter 20! If I wake in the night though, I struggle to go back to sleep because my brain kicks in – meditation music helps – I like sea sounds. Hubby knows this, and as he can go back to sleep in about 20 seconds, he generally gets up in the night if one of the girls wakes – he is awesome like that.
7) Which brings me nicely on to the fact that I have immense love and respect for my husband. I realise that it can’t be easy living with such a solitary individual as me. Especially when you yourself are rather the opposite and thrive on interaction with others. Whereas I could happily be silent all day, for hubby that would be the equivalent of a living hell.
We have been together 15 years and married for 12 in September – we have grown and changed in that time and had our up’s and down’s – far more of the up’s though and we have always been an awesome team. In a lot of ways we are opposites but we recognize and admire in each other those traits that we don’t have. He knows me better than anyone, is a fantastic father, supports me (even when he doesn’t understand why I need it), laughs and cries with me. He is mine and we are meant to be.
8) I love coffee. Possibly related to loving sleep. Odd though considering I was a tea drinker through and through until I had my first daughter. Since then it has been coffee all the way and I adore my morning caffeine injection which is nearly always drunk in the bath. It has to be a big mug, hot, milky and with three sweeteners.
9) My favourite colour has always been purple but now I’m writing this and thinking about it more deeply I think red has overtaken it. I love my red heels and miss having an opportunity to wear them.
10) I love shoes and heels in particular, only slightly less than books. I have heels in just about every colour and would NEVER go to work in flats. I also nearly always wear skirts or dresses to work, and yet only wear trousers at home.
11) I’m a serial dieter and have been since my mid-teens. It’s only in the last 10 years that I’ve finally got to know my body well enough to be able to pretty much stay in control of my weight. In 2003 I was the heaviest I have ever been. Thanks to Weight Watchers I lost just over 2 stone by September of that year but through having two children in 2007 and 2010 my weight crept up again by a stone. According to the charts I was still at the top end of ‘healthy’ but I wasn’t happy and I finally lost it this year, putting me within a few pounds of my 2003 weight.
I know what I can get away with and what I can’t these days. I know I can eat protein and some carbs and be OK, but sugar will go straight to my belly. I know if I’m going to gain now and make a conscious decision whether to eat that particular meal, cake, pudding or chocolate. If I do, I will be careful until I lose it again. I hate exercise so I have to be super disciplined about what goes in my mouth (or not). I plan my meals a week in advance which helps.
12) I hate being late. And I hate others being late too. If you arrange to be somewhere, get there on time – which in my book means plan to be there early because you have to factor in the unexpected. Being late is discourteous and rude.
13) I love cats. I have three pedigree Burmese who, until I had children, were my babies. They are still my babies, just a bit differently now and are 13, 11 and 9.
14) I am tee-total and have been for over four years.
15) I have suffered from depression many times in the past but haven’t had a bout since my girls were born, which I suppose is actually quite amazing when you think about it. I don’t fear it anymore. If it happens again, and I have no doubt that it will, so be it. I will hopefully at least recognise it and be able to do something about it. Interestingly, my writing tends to feature depressed characters or depression as a theme despite it not being a part of my recent life.
16) I don’t make friends easily but have an amazing knack for losing them without understanding why. The friends I do have are incredibly special, are understanding and tolerant of my solitary, rather anti-social nature and don’t misinterpret my behaviour. They are amazing and along with my family, are all I need.