New year… Same me

So, I have been wanting to properly get back into blogging for a while, but as mentioned in my last post, I feel somewhat inadequate. My mental health is as bad as it has been since the big depressive drama of 2012 and I confess, I feel lost.

Those old favourite questions; who am I? What am I meant to be doing with my life? What is the meaning of life? Small things that are easy to answer in the midst of a brain battle the likes of which I thought I may never face again!

Anyway, I come into the new year feeling like new year, same old me. Broken brain, aimless existence. What is the point?

Then Mike asked me if I have any goals for this year. “Ha! I want to survive” I said. “What are yours?” One of them, as it turned out, was read more. This is something I have been attempting recently myself. Although ‘read’ is the wrong word. Listen more. Audible is my new best friend. In the last few months I have ‘read’ Becoming by Michelle Obama, What is a girl worth? By Rachel Denhollander, the Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis, The book you wish your parents had read by Phillipa Perry, Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and Mythos by Stephen Fry. I am now onto Smoke gets in your eyes by Caitlin Doughty. Honestly, I don’t think I have read that many books in the last 10 years, and have never been such a prolific absorber of new material in a few short months before.

It has my brain whizzing around, digesting new ideas and finding courage, but it isn’t enough. I find the world an increasingly frightening place. I am more and more restricted to my little zone of the world. My anxiety is an ever growing prison, keeping me in a state of constant fear. Its exhausting.

So, my goals for 2020 are as follows…

  1. Get on top of my mental health a bit more again. This will involve likely having to pay for a psychiatrist, because apparently I am not suicidal enough to be seen by one on the NHS (funding/parity of car/the austerity legacy is a whole other blog…) It will also mean working out new management strategies as the ones I have relied on for the past 7/8 years are no longer effective.
  2. Start seriously tackling my environmental impact – I have been doing bits and pieces and working on it for a while, but all in a bit of a haphazard sort of way. More on that in a sec.
  3. Get back into some sort of ‘work’. I say this with quote mark fingers in my mind, because honestly, I have no idea what that looks like. I think for a while it is likely to be largely unpaid as it will involve my blog and maybe working on a new idea for a book I have had. It will be very vague and worked out as I go.
  4. Work on becoming a better conversationalist, this I think will largely involve interrupting people less and listening more. Also, working out how to ask people questions!

These feel like a lot, and tbh I will be tackling them in a very chilled sort of way and around family life and parenting.

I was given a book for Christmas though, which is called Live Green; 52 steps for a more sustainable life. I want to try to work through it a little, and the first step is de clutter. This, is something I should be able to do in a slow, gentle sort of way. I want to change the way I think about how we live, about what we need, about how we do gifts and buy stuff. This book is going to help me in where to go to do further research as well as giving me simple starting points for simple change.

I hate change, and so I always get very anxious about how much needs to change to be living in a way that is causing as little harm to the environment as I can. So, small, gentle steps is the way to go.

De-cluttering – the suggestion is putting a half hour timer on and focussing on one area of the house. Going through, just in that time, sorting stuff into bin, recycle and give piles. This obviously with the goal of living with less ‘stuff’ so not stuff you will need to buy again in a few months time. This is a very small, achievable goal, so I will get back to you on my progress. Maybe soon, maybe not! I’m chill….


  • Hello Katharine,

    I hope the de-cluttering is going well and the reading …
    Might you be prepared to read my book which will be out before Easter and endorse it ?
    It’s called ‘Slightly Bonkers Jamie’ and currently has nice praise from lovely Jo Swinney and Andrew Wingfield-Digby. I may get further comments from Tuffers, Oliver Letwin, A.N.Wilson and Martyn Percy. Please see the latest comment on ‘latest news’ on my blog in which a photo of me gets identified as your Dad! I laughed anyway.

    All blessings,


    • Hi Jamie,

      Normally I would say I would love to, but my mental health isn’t really up to any new work at the moment, so I am trying to say no to as much as possible. I really hope it goes really well though.


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