The 31 Day Challenge


The start of a new year is the ideal opportunity to reflect back on the previous 12 months whilst also looking forward to the next twelve. At this point last year I was full of hope and optimism with no idea that I would face yet another life threatening health crisis. Today, just a couple of days into 2017 and 7 months on from the craniotomy to remove both my brain tumours I’m once again hopeful and optimistic but I’m a very different me. Firstly I’m extremely blessed that the tumours were both non cancerous meningiomas and with regular MRI monitoring, and no seizures to date I should be ok. Emotionally though I, and those around me, have noticed some significant changes.

I’ve always been a tactile person telling friends & family, who have been amazing, how much I love them but now I say it more frequently and it’s meant much more deeply. On the other hand I know that I am less patient, get irritated quickly when stressed and am having to learn to live with what I now call my ‘wobbly’ brain. It’s learning to deal with stress and the brain wobbles that now top my list of priorities if I’m to avoid becoming ill again (I hope). I plan to treat my recently de-cluttered brain to even more creativity by reading more instead of idly watching TV, sewing, more cooking for pleasure and knitting, rather selfishly, for myself. Oh and I need to get fit again, yes…that old chestnut.

So now I’m returning to work I’m going to take my sweet time and make a plan for the coming year. As my brain now works best if each element is itemised the plan has to include everything. Whether it’s a regular work deadline, a new design idea, a walk to be taken or a podcast to enjoy they’ll all be mindfully scheduled to allow my new brain to absorb and deal with them one at a time. This may sound clinical but it does seem to work. As part of my back to work plans I thought it would be interesting to join in with the 31 Day Challenge set by Louise Tilbrook (you can find her blog here) although I actually found it through Lynne at TheWoolNests Instagram feed (her blog posts are here).

The aim is to write a blog post every day throughout January – yes I know it’s January 3rd already but I’m not stressing about it (wow I’m learning quick) and as I have a tendency to ramble I’m hoping the rest will be more punchy. I’ve even promised myself a treat if I manage to keep it up, details of that to follow.

Thanks to Lynne for sharing and for Louise for the inspiration.

Happy New Year and hopefully I’ll see you here tomorrow

J x

Oh and if you’re wondering about the brain mug it was a birthday present from my beautiful, funny and talented friend Clare Mackie whose work you can see here 



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