Hi everyone, I hope you’re all doing well! This is not a post I thought I’d be making right now, especially after having started my month of Pride Month posts, but after struggling to keep up with it as well as everything else going on, I realised that I really do need a break. So, I’m making this post to explain why I feel this way – not only to all of you but also to myself as taking a break is something I struggle with so I need to keep myself accountable!
So, what is this break? Well, first of all I’ll be taking an indefinite break from bookstagram. There’s something about it that I find so draining between constant interaction and not being happy with my feed. I love the friends that I’ve made over there and their posts are wonderful, and of course I appreciate every interaction I’ve had with them. However, my mental illness at times really does make it feel like a chore, and I’m really not happy with my own posts, even after trying out a million and one different editing styles. It’s just not for me! Though I probably will check in every so often there just to see how everyone’s doing! As for the blog, I do have a really exciting post scheduled for tomorrow which will go up as normal, but I think I’m going to take a wee break from posting for a while. Between my posts all feeling very same-y and not having much inspiration, and just trying to keep up a steady schedule, I just don’t have much time for myself anymore. This won’t be as harsh a break as with bookstagram – I’ll still be posting reviews every so often and recommendation posts, etc. But the main thing is, I’m hoping to be back and fully refreshed and raring to go at the latest by the end of the summer. Because at times this has felt like a job, and I can assure you, I’m not getting paid nearly enough for it (I’m not really getting paid at all, except for my BookBrowse reviews)!! So, you will see me around here, but not as often. Furthermore, creating all these posts really does take it out of me, and as a result, I just get too exhausted to read all of your wonderful posts, so I will be trying to read more of what you’re all posting in lieu of writing a million and one blog posts – so don’t worry, you’re not getting rid of me that easily!
Down to the nitty gritty – why am I taking this break? Well, at first I wasn’t even sure I’d make this post and just kinda fade into the background, but in the end I decided to lay it all out, to get it all off my chest.
First and foremost, my mental health and disabilities. If you’re not aware, I’m autistic and I suffer from anxiety and depression, with my seasonal depression being worse in the summer than in the winter – and, oh boy, it’s back with a vengeance! Though it may not look like it when you see the amount of books I’ve read recently, I’ve done little more for the past while than do my work and lie in my bed completely drained. And I just simply do not have the energy or the time (we’ll get to that later) to keep all this up at the same time as, you know, my work and family life. Plus, despite restrictions easing, we’re still in lockdown and I live with someone who is in the highest at risk category, so I’m pretty much house bound until cases are at maybe a handful. I’ve also only just had my first dose of the vaccine and it’ll be a couple of months until I can get my second dose.
The second reason, leading on from the first, is that my reading is taking a toll. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t seem like it since I’ve read over 100 books so far this year (even I don’t know how I managed that), but last night I decided at 12 am to re-arrange my bookshelves so that only the spines of the books I’ve read are facing out, so that I can pick a book at random and almost be forced to read it, because I keep putting off my physical books to read ARCs. And I realised, I’ve only read maybe a fifth to a quarter of the physical books on my shelf, and having solid TBRs each month is not helping with that! I’m also super lucky to be approved for so many amazing ARCs each month, but recently I’ve been approved for some a couple of days before, or even after the book has been released, taking my monthly TBRs into ridiculous numbers, and the stress is getting to me (thanks Netgalley feedback ratio). So, I’m abandoning my TBRs! From now on, I’ll be randomising my spreadsheet of my ARCs and bought e-books when I want to read on my kindle and prioritising reading all of my physical books before I buy any more. Because reading is a hobby, it’s something I love so, so much. And it shouldn’t be stressing me out this much!
Finally, is time. Since lockdown’s easing I’m finally receiving a more steady stream of work, with a pretty big project coming up soon (which I’m actually really excited about), so the majority of my time is spent on that. And I really enjoy my work, even if at times the subject matter can be a bit dull. But the weekdays where I’m not working (and often the weekends, too), I’m doing my CPD (continuing professional development) – I’m taking courses and webinars, I’m still studying my Mandarin so that I can sit my HSK 4 test when lockdown allows for it, I’m hoping to do some postgraduate online medical translation courses in the autumn, and because I’m freelance I have the whole admin side of that to do, too. So I spend a lot of my day at my desk, sometimes not even able to have a break to eat lunch away from it. And if I’m blogging, I’m there too, and recently, because of spending all this time hunched over my laptop, I’ve been having some bad back pain. Adding this onto other chronic illnesses – it’s a lot! Plus, if I’m spending my spare time reading and blogging, etc. I don’t have enough time to spend with my family, playing Minecraft and other online games with my girlfriend (we’re still separated due to lockdown), and even going outside and enjoying the nice weather and watering the vegetables I’m growing (if you’re curious, I’m growing broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, green beans, lettuce, courgette, asparagus and artichoke!). Also my childhood bedroom/current office (because I’ve not been able to move out due to the pandemic) is currently my depression pit – it’s a whole mess and I haven’t had the time or energy to clean it – I told you I was being transparent here!
So, yeah, I’m taking a break. You’ll still see me around here, but just not as often. I’ll still be posting reviews (even small ones) on my Goodreads and I’ll be over on Twitter sometimes too, so feel free to come say hi to me there! But, as I said, keep an eye out for the fun post coming your way tomorrow, and I’ll see you all (hopefully) very soon – stay safe!