Whew. What a week! I have been really busy at work this week, and I have been fighting off a cold as well. With the help of some lemsip and lots of nursing from Nic I am actually starting to feel better today. I hope that doesn't mean a downward spiral into illness over the next few days. Ah, now I've said that I bet I have totally jinxed myself!
Although it has been busy, this week and last week have been good at work. I feel much more confident there than I have done for ages. The work I've been doing since I came back after Christmas hasn't exactly been exciting – it's mainly been proof reading – but I feel like I'm doing a good job, I'm getting things done and I'm working well as part of my team. All of that totally eluded me for much of last year and I can't pinpoint exactly what has brought about this change in my attitude. Our circumstances are still uncertain, although there is a very strong chance my job will transfer into an executive agency in a few years so my job is safe until at least then. So that's part of it. I've made more of an effort to integrate myself into the team, and that has definitely helped too. Even dear old Angry Colleague has warmed up to me, and I think I just generally feel happier and safer. I hope it lasts, but I'm sure it will. I'm telling myself it will, at any rate.
As I said in my Friend Friday blog, I've been trying to really think about why I make the choices I make, and why I react the way I do to some things. It's not to berate myself for anything, rather to better understand what makes me tick. A big part of this involves talking about my feelings rather than dwelling on them. Surprisingly, this isn't something that comes all that easily to me. It took me months to be able to acknowledge to myself that I was struggling with work, and some time after that before I could talk to anyone about it and the result was it affected my physical health. I've been really lucky in that my friends and colleagues were able to help me before it got any worse. A much more tricky proposition has been dealing with how I feel about more personal things. More tricky because in some ways these are issues I have felt more comfortable talking about, but the talking about them just added to the problem. I'm probably being frustratingly vague, here, I apologise! But there will be a dress to look at further down the page so hang on in there. What I mean there is that the talking didn't usually have a positive outcome, in fact I think it often made things worse. I've been exploring ways to talk more positively about how I am feeling and what it means, and I know that all sounds a bit new-agey and self-helpy, but it was definitely something I needed to do. I needed to get out of the harmful cycle of obsessing about things, talking obsessively about them, and being unable to escape them to the point of extreme self doubt. Because I think that's what it amounts to: self doubt. Worrying obsessively about things I can't control or even really understand just means I have permission to doubt myself and be hard on myself. I'm trying to stop that, and I do feel better for it.
I apologise if all of that is really boring, but you my lovely readers were all very supportive through some bad times for me, so I thought I'd let you know where I was now on that front. I haven't made new year's resolutions as such, but all of that feels like an ongoing project, to break certain destructive patterns.
So, on to other things. It's been a beautiful week, weather-wise which has undoubtedly contributed to my good mood. I don't mind the cold if the sun is shining, and it has been. I haven't been terribly inspired on the outfit front and I've been getting home too late to take photos but on Thursday I wore my beautiful Vintage Allure dress to work (with a camisole underneath for modesty) and I felt fabulous all day. That dress is such a winner, gin or not I think it's one of the best dresses I've ever bought! Normally Friday is my day to work from home, but I had too much to do yesterday so I went into the office. It was nice, but I definitely prefer working in my pyjamas on a Friday! Still, I had a good day and managed to get all my work done so skipped off home feeling very happy indeed. Nic met me at the railway station and we went to buy our dinner from Millennium Sweet House. I had such a fun evening - Viv and Lysy came round, ostensibly to watch a film and eat cake. Instead we drank champagne and ate cake, and after a while we were joined by The Scientist. It was brilliant. Nic and I fell into bed at 4 am after spending at least two hours dancing around our flat to Kate Bush and watching Kate Bush videos on You Tube. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that Nic always wants to put on our Kate Bush records when it gets to a certain point in the evening.
So, after our extremely late night I wanted to have a very relaxing Saturday, and dressed accordingly:
Fever Prairie Pocket dress, red cardigan from Marks and Spencer and Irregular Choice Lick Me shoes
I have to confess, this dress is one I frequently forget I own. I bought it in the Fever sale a few summers ago for the ridiculous price of £18 and it's a really practical, comfortable dress. The big pockets are fun, but a bit of a hazard - I've managed to rip one in the past by catching it on the handle of a cupboard in Nic's parents' house. Luckily for me it was easily mended! The dress is sleeveless and it's cold, so you're seeing my cardigan today.
The obligatory shot of me modelling the pockets. POCKETS!
The other night I thought I'd invest in some flat shoes, and bought these ones on ebay. I struggle to find flat shoes that don't feel really frumpy, and these seemed like a fun alternative. I hate the fact that the name of the style is 'Lick Me' (ugh) but I love the fact that they're red patent, and they have unicorns on the soles:
Nice while it lasts, although obviously it won't...
These shoes are patent, and although they were brand new they're from a few years ago so the leather is really stiff. The result is, these things hurt when I wore them today:
Don't be fooled by their innocent exterior, these are evil!
I'm fairly sure that they will stop hurting once they've been worn a bit, but still: ouch! Actually, they haven't done any lasting damage to my feet - they stopped hurting as soon as I took them off (after wearing them to go out and do the shopping and go to the library) so I'm sure they'll be fine. And they're really cute! Still: flat shoes are secretly evil. I've got one more photo from today, mainly just to show you the Benetint stain my sister gave me for Christmas in action:
The rest of my day's excitement has been limited to returning my library books, picking up some new library books and doing some grocery shopping. I am pleased with my books, however - I finally managed to get my ordered copy of The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant and am already half way through it. It's a wonderful read, and I think I may finish it this evening. Tomorrow I'm off to Coventry for an afternoon of crafting and cake with Louise, so I will catch you all after that.