Alan’s World 🌍 Weeks 18/07 β€” 25/07/22

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I’m a bit frustrated with myself that I ended up skipping last week’s post. The idea of starting to blog was about making sure that I posted at least once and I haven’t managed to stick to that the last couple of weeks.

I’ve been feeling a bit stretched thin lately. Work is full on and weekends with the kids have been tiring. Don’t read that as me not enjoying time with the kids – they’re my World and I absolutely love doing things with them. I’m just exhausted and I never seem to get time to recharge. Work + parenting + managing the household together doesn’t leave much time.

Over time, it takes a large toll. I haven’t had the energy to start looking after myself properly. I’m annoyed with myself and the situation, that with some sleepless nights and long weeks, I didn’t really stick to the healthy eating habits that I’d gotten into and the further away from it I got, the more difficult it was to get back to it. When I have had time to myself in the last couple of weeks (usually late in the evenings), I’ve prioritised things that give me some joy to help keep me going, rather than things that would be better for my long-term wellbeing that would take more energy than I currently have. I have a small amount of guilt for that, but not too much because it’s about the only recharge time I get.

Obviously I’m not alone in this. My wife is going through more than I am at the moment, but I can’t and won’t discuss things on her behalf.

So that’s where I am at this particular moment in time. If anyone actually reads these posts, the start of this one might soon a bit doom and gloomy. I’m alright, really. There’s just a lot going on and I’m tired. It will pass at some point. Compared to going through multiple lockdowns with a couple of very young children, practically no support and (literally) almost no sleep for 14 months, this is easy πŸ˜…

So, on to some of the more fun things I’ve been up to this last couple of weeks!

One of my old marketing colleagues left this week to start a career in a completely different field. As his leaving do, we went out in Digbeth where the trendy hipster bars are 🀣 That was a lot of fun. We played some pit-pat golf – basically crazy golf, indoors on tables and with pool cues – followed by some drinks and street food. I don’t often have the chance to do things like this anymore and it was a really good laugh.

I did a bit more sketching, following the Disney Princess drawing guides to create a colouring sheet of Moana for the kids. I was actually really pleased with the pencil sketch, which I did using my new mechanical pencil. I inked it with some fineliners and brush pens, but honestly I prefer the pencil sketch. I need a lot more practice inking. I also did a couple of sketches of Mando that I was happy with.

I’ve ordered a few more art supplies that I’ve seen Dr. Rocke using in his YouTube videos. His content is great for the comic book drawing style that I’m trying to learn. He uses a mix of mechanical pencils and lead holders. I’ve ordered the same type of lead holder pencil that he uses to use in addition to my mechanical pencil. Looking forward to trying that when it arrives.

We took the kids to the cinema to watch Minions 2 last week. It was the first time our youngest has been to the cinema. They had a great time and so did we. That was followed up by a nice meal out in town, which was mostly great until tiredness set in and the kids became grumpy 🀣 The best thing about it is that our youngest is now at an age where we can start going out doing things like that as a family and this proved it.

I signed up for a trial of Paramount+ just over a week ago. While the content seems solid, the experience so far has been pretty shitty to be frank. I won’t harp on about it too much as there’s probably been a bit too much negativity in this post so far as it is. Suffice to say, they have a lot of technical problems following their launch in the UK and their customer service has been pretty terrible. I appreciate they are probably overwhelmed with the volume of customer problems though from the looks of it.

On the positive side of it though, I’ve binge watched season four of Star Trek Discovery, which was pretty great. I’m going to try and watch Strange New Worlds and Halo as well before my trial is up. If they sort out the technical issues that I’ve had, I’ll probably subscribe. If not, I’ll leave it for a while to give it chance to get better. I’m a bit gutted that Picard isn’t on there though…

Yesterday, the wife and I had a rare afternoon and evening to ourselves, so we went out shopping (I desperately needed some new clothes), followed by lunch out and the cinema. It’s so rare we get that sort of time together these days and I’m really grateful for it.

Yesterday’s film was Thor: Love and Thunder, which wasn’t really what I was expecting, but was very entertaining. I think I prefer Ragnorok out of the two Taika Waititi films, but I look forward to giving this one another watch. The soundtrack was awesome and I’ll definitely be listening to 80s/90s/00s rock music a lot this coming week (aka the music of my youth!).

Speaking of music, I found a pop punk playlist on Apple Music this week that I’ve been listening to a lot. It’s basically a big collection of the music I was listening to a lot through sixth form (college) and university.

This weekend has been rounded out with a couple of treats too. My wife was good enough to give me my first pedicure (my feet are a mess). I could get used to it πŸ˜‰ And with the overtime money I got from working the stocktake a couple of weeks ago, I’ve ordered the 1989 Lego Batwing 😁 These kind of movie and TV inspired sets are likely to become my wife and I’s new hobby. Keaton’s Batman was the Batman of my childhood (not counting the animated series of course), so I’m really looking forward to building this one.

This post ended up being longer than I thought it would. I had intended to just bullet point the highlights from the last couple of weeks in order to catchup, but once I started writing, I guess I had a bit more to vent than I thought. And really, that’s one of the main reasons I write these posts; for me.

I’m optimistic that I might be able to start getting some balance back this coming week. I think that’s been the main problem of the last few weeks, a lack of balance. I managed to start looking at some learning content in the last few days, focused on JavaScript, which I haven’t had time to look at for quite a while now and I really want to get back into it. Learning new things is a big part of who I am, and slowly I’m starting to reclaim time for these things. It’ll always be a challenge to find the right balance between family, work and the things that make me, me, but I am starting to get that feeling back that it’s possible.