Newsletter

Newsletter #5: A Vortex of Anxiety (Issue 5, August 2023)

I had a big and busy month interviewing for a new job, but I also find time to read a few books and watch some telly!

Originally published on Substack on 6th September 2023

👋 Hi!

It’s only been a month this time, that’s progress! I hope you’re well, whoever you are reading this!

A lot has happened in the last four weeks, the short story being I interviewed for and then was offered a new job! I’ve not got about 4 weeks left of my notice before I start that new job, so big changes are on the horizon! I have been in my current job for over 6 years now so it will be quite a change, and as dissatisfied as I have felt for years, I am feeling sad to leave now it’s becoming a reality.

🌌 Blogging

My Life Blog went on a bit of a rollercoaster honestly!

I started the month off feeling quite low and anxious about how socially isolated I often feel. I’ve mentioned before that loneliness is a topic I want to explore more on the blog, and I took this as my route in.

Then, I got an interview for a job I’d applied for about a month previously and mostly forgot about (you know, life does on). That really upended the rest of August and the next few weeks were a swirling vortex of stress and anxiety.

I used my Obsidian database to help me prepare for the interview, which – as someone who is crap at interviews – was honestly such a massive help to be able to combine all my thoughts in there and use the new canvas tool to mind-map out everything I needed to get across. I shared all about that here.

The first interview (online) went so well that I was then stressed about the prospect of taking this new job when it would mean a bit of a pay cut for me. I worked through that here: Sanity Check (More money, more problems?).

I then got a second interview (in person) which went even better and I was in short order offered the job! I then got anxious about taking a job for less money, but I did negotiate and got them to meet me in the middle between the old and new salaries. I was very proud of myself once it was all over! Shock and Awe as Job Interview Results in Job Offer Success.

Once I had made that decision I was sick with anxiety over actually resigning, which proved to be so much more emotional than I had been prepared for.

What a month! All that excitement did put me behind on the plans I’d had for my blog, I also shared about the “Blog Jam” I’m now in with more ideas than time!

📖 Books!

I think I’m going to keep up doing monthly reading round-ups, they’re a good way to reflect on my month’s reading – although maybe make this Newsletter section a little redundant! Here is my Reading Roundup for August 2023!

The big news in “Alice Reads” this month is that I have now discovered and fallen for the crime/mystery/thriller fiction of Lisa Jewell!

I read:

  1. Completed The Lunar Chronicles Series 4/5
  2. A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers 4/5
  3. The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell 5/5
  4. Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell 4/5

And I tried and abandoned You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry. Unfortunately, that one was everything I dislike about romance books!

Adding to my TBR Collection

I was very restrained this month for book buying!

  1. All’s Well by Mona Awad – we all know I won’t shut up about how much I loved Bunny so it’s time to try my second Awad. Currently reading this one and I am loving it!
  2. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – I saw this recommended somewhere and had it on my watch list for a while, finally snagged it for 99p.
  3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – I have been thinking about reading this since I listened to the Lolita podcast last year (highly recommend) and A Certain Hunger made me think of this too (suspect, criminally unreliable narrator) so when it was 99p it seemed fated!

🎞️ Movies!

Last month I reported on how much we loved Barbie, and actually so much so that we went to see it again at an outdoor cinema. First time I’ve ever been to one of those and it was nice – maybe a bit chilly but it didn’t rain and the movie was just as fun the second time around.

We also re-watched, now it is on one of the streaming sites (Paramount+ I think?), Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves. I loved that in the cinema, and again, super fun the second time. The whole cast is great, and I really am a big fan of late-career Hugh Grant just chewing all the scenery every chance he gets.

Otherwise, a quiet month for movies!

📺 Telly

I’m going to blast through some bullet points here:

  • The big news is we finally watched the Strange New World + Lower Decks crossover episode and what a JOY it was! I loved it, loved it all. We also finished Season 2 of SNW and I have a draft of my thoughts on it, one day I’ll finish and post it!
  • Also, we devoured Traitors Australia! Holy cow what a season of TV that was! If you haven’t seen it watch it (in the UK it is on iPlayer) and I apologise in advance for the emotional damage. It is very different to the UK version but what an amazing group of players!
  • I’ve had Now TV on a cheap deal which gave me access to watching Poker Face with Natasha Lyonne. Initially Now TV (being a truly shit application) started me off on episode 9 which I did not realise until the end of the episode! Luckily because each episode is self-contained and focuses on new characters and a new murder that wasn’t a problem! I really enjoyed it, Natasha is always magnetic and it has a slightly nostalgic Columbo vibe.
  • Also on Now TV I’ve been rewatching Fringe! I loved Fringe when it was originally on TV, it hits the same spot as The X-Files but with a silly mad science foundation and a more coherent overarching plot. Really enjoying the rewatch, I forgot how much I adore Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv)! And Joshua Jackson. I do recall I didn’t enjoy the later seasons as much, we’ll see if I still think the same now I already know how it ends!
  • I also tried The Last of Us and while I definitely think it’s an excellent show, I’ve just not been in the right frame of mind of something that dark and heavy so I have only watched two episodes. It did make me want to rewatch Fringe though when I saw my favourite Anna Torv was in it!
  • I gave White Lotus a try for a few episodes but it was really not the right vibe for me. All the characters were too awful and not even in a fun-to-watch way.
  • My beloved Only Murders in the Building has been back! This is a great comfort show, and loving season 3 so far! I love Meryl Streep as a struggling actor who is too enthusiastic about using accents and limps.
  • We finally started on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! The first episode was quite rough, mainly because I don’t think Sisko is a compelling character and Avery Brook’s performance is downright weird a lot of the time. All the other characters and cast are amazing though and they are there from episode one! I think my partner is struggling with it a bit because he doesn’t have the nostalgia for it, but I love watching Odo, Quark, Bashir, Garak and Major Kira again! Every time Odo transforms from an inanimate object it fills me with such joy. Leave a comment

🤔 Coming Up…

A few more things I have still in my processor…

  • 🗂️ I have been working on reworking my Obsidian database and I have been trying to write some form of daily note again (even though I said before those don’t work for me!). When I feel like I’ve settled on an approach I’ll share.
  • 📚 There are a lot of amazing books I read in 2022, pre-blog that I think need some space on there now.
  • 😻 I am obsessed with my cats now and I am going to have to talk about it!
  • 🧵 I am finally back into my embroidery and that needs some space on the blog. It is a very important part of my creative identity and my mental health, but I have just not worked out how to introduce it to my site.

If you made it all the way down here 💗 thank you so much!

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