Life Updates: ADHD, Judging, PhD, and Loss

I really just want to take a breath today and share a few things that have been going on in my life.  I have never done a post like this before, and I hummed and hawed about it for a while before actually sitting down to write these updates down.  But I want to be transparent about the good and the bad, and to share snippets of my life occasionally with all you eco-beauties.  

If something exciting happens in your life, you want to celebrate, and if something tragic occurs, you want to cry -- I want to show that these ups and downs are both perfectly acceptable to share, and that we should not try to hide our hurt or our pride.

So without further ado, here is what has been going on with me recently:

Judging: I was so thankful to be chosen to join the judging panel for the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Shortlist Awards.  I will be helping judge products for both the Beauty Awards and the brand new Wellbeing Awards, and so far I have been loving the experience.  It is so great to be involved, and I cannot wait to see the final award winners on the first of March!

Want a look at some of the brands and products I have been testing lately?  Be sure to follow on Twitter and Instagram for regular peeks!

PhD: It's coming along.  I have to have the entire project finished and submitted by September 2019, so I am in the final stretch now.  Am I near done?  Nope, not at all!  I had a terrible time of things my first few years, as I had pretty much zero supervision.  I finally requested a new supervisor, and things are better now, but that does not help make up the time I lost from being stressed and frustrated to the point where I wan't getting any work done.

A PhD is hard.  But a PhD with ADHD is like finding a needle in a haystack while pigeons swoop, your shoes are on fire, a storm rages, & you're blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. Finding motivation for most things is difficult. Making PhD material stay interesting enough to hold attention for 3-4 years is near impossible. I know I mentioned this last week on Twitter, but my ADHD affects my memory big time. I struggle to remember what I wrote, read, planned, or edited the day before, meaning I have to re-read huge sections before starting to work each new session. When I'm writing (or speaking) I get stuck on words because vocabulary recall is an issue. I can almost taste the word, can sense what it starts with, but can't form it. It's embarrassing to admit that as a PhD candidate I always have a Thesaurus loaded up on my screen just so I can find the word I need. 

Plus, my brain struggles to fully function until afternoon, so I've had to learn how to work around that and set a schedule that means I get stuff done -- I don't actually start writing until around 1PM most days, but then I stay at my computer until about 6:30PM. I have a minimum word count set for each day (500 words) but try to do more than that as often as possible. And I have a LOT of products that help keep me focused and on track (want a rundown of my ADHD aids? let me know!).

Sometimes this PhD makes me feel completely useless. I feel terrible that I work slower than everyone else. I am embarrassed that this is such a struggle when it seems to come so much more easily for others. I feel alone and depressed and anxious and just straight out bad. But then there are also days where the challenge is exciting and feels like a puzzle that just needs to be worked on. Either way I am feeling, I refuse to give up, and I refuse to fail, so it's just a matter of struggling through every single day. My mantra? YOU CAN DO IT.

Blogging: I cannot believe my one year "blogiversary" is already coming up! I have made so many amazing connections through The ecoLogical, and am stunned by the opportunities that have arisen over the last twelve months. I was selected as a judges favourite for the Weleda Cleaner Beauty Blogger Competition, get to help as an admin for the Natural Beauty UK Facebook group, joined the 2019 Beauty Shortlist judging panel, guest posted for lovely bloggers and businesses, became part of the LLABP, have been asked to test pre-launch products, set up many collabs with brilliant brands, and I am even thinking I might go to my very first expo to network soon! I am so incredibly thankful for everything that has come my way, and I cannot wait for what the future brings.
I definitely have down days where I feel like it is an uphill battle -- how can I get more eco-lovelies interested in reading? How can I get my content out there even more? Is it normal to lose that many followers from Insta in just one day?? How can I/why can't I/what does it mean if..... So many questions! I do suffer from a bit of impostor syndrome every now and again. But then I remember how many great things I have accomplished in less than a year, and I pick myself up and tell myself not to worry about numbers or DA or any of the stats -- just write and love what you are creating! I have a handful of plans I want to implement for my second year running The ecoLogical, so expect a few positive additions in the new year. Plus, I ran a poll on Twitter recently to see what all you eco-lovelies wanted to see more of, and it turns out you want more brand and product reviews, posts about natural wellbeing, and a few more ethical subscriptions featured -- you spoke, and I will deliver!

Sadness: To be totally honest the last four weeks has been a series of rolling waves.  Each time I manage to surface for breath another one comes crashing down, and I've just been left trying my best to keep treading water. 

I had a huge work disappointment, with my contracted teaching being cancelled just days before it was scheduled to start, so I have no steady income at the moment -- great for the pre-holiday season..  Teaching is one of my greatest passions, so the news was really upsetting beyond just knowing I would not be getting a paycheck for months.  I love helping students grow, hearing them work through ideas, develop analyses over the semester, and start to discuss in depth together as a group.  I am really going to miss being a part of that, and feel like the university has let me down.

Our family dog is no longer with us, something that was totally unexpected and hit hard.  I wasn't able to be there to say goodbye, and I wasn't able to be there to help make his last day the best ever.  But I am incredibly thankful for my family who sent me videos up until the very end.  I just wish I could have given him a cuddle one more time.  He was such a good friend, and so incredibly patient and loving and protective.  He once bolted out of the house and across the road to fend off neighbor's not so friendly dogs who started to go after my sister when she got off the school bus.  He held up blanket forts, played dress up, sang along, wrestled, went sledding, and was just the perfect pal.

And then, less than a week after we had to say goodbye to our best buddy, the kittens disappeared.  You might have seen all my snaps and updates about the stray momma cat and her baby that my parents took in over the summer -- basically Momma was less than a year old and had a litter already, then before my parents could get her fixed she was pregnant again and had a second litter of five.  We raised them up, helped make sure they were safe and fed, built them all a cat paradise outside, and spent hours with them just snuggling up and playing.  So when I heard four of the babies had went missing I was distraught.  Thankfully, three have been found (a neighbor took one in thinking she was a stray, and two were in a nearby field) and are now safe and happy back at home, but little Sleepyhead is still out there by herself which just hurts my heart.  My family has looked everywhere nearby, alerted neighbors, and my sister has put up posters, and while I cannot be there to help search, I have posted in every single local Facebook group that might be able to help spread the word.

Random: I am part of a local film club, and I got to present the most recent film we watched which was both nerve-wracking and fun.  I love anime, and after almost a year of pushing for this style of film to be shown, it finally won!  The group ended up voting to watch Spirited Away, one of the few Miyazaki creations that I did not immediately love and have only seen the once.  I definitely enjoyed it a lot more the second time around, and noticed a whole lot more in terms of cultural details.

I won a handful of giveaways last month which was super exciting and I cannot wait to post about some of the all natural goodies I received!  I don't usually win competitions, so that was definitely a nice pick me up.

I've not really been shopping for new clothing in over a year, but I decided recently I really wanted to get a few organic staple pieces that can last me years.  I had a bit of an ebay spree, and bought five solid colour dresses that can be dressed up or down.  One of them was a fail (it was mis-represented in the listing as a dress when it is actually a shirt), but the others are great and I can see myself wearing them for years to come.

Oh, and we went to a free wine tasting recently which was nice -- we had not gone out for a date night in a while, so it was really good to have a fun (and super cheap) time out of the house.  We each bought a few bottles to take home with us, and have been enjoying them while playing the new Mario Party in the evenings.

And I think that is pretty much it for life updates at the moment!  I have been incredibly focused on getting work done, so I have not done too much else recently.  I'm happy to have found a workable rhythm for my PhD and blog, and I honestly just want to settle into the habit before adding anything else to my plate.  

So what about you eco-lovelies?  I would love to hear how things are going for all of you!  Any successes you want to share?  Anything hard you would like moral support for?  Let me know in the comments xx


  1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your family pets. Life for sure has its ups and downs but really you've achieved so much on so many levels. My new thing is to never compare, those who seem to be handling studies easily are probably struggling with something else in another part of their lives....

    it's been a crazy whirlwide few months that I have to actually take a moment to think about what has been going on!

    1. it was a difficult time, but we have all our memories with him to keep forever. thank you so much, and I love that idea -- will definitely be keeping that in mind xx

  2. I am so inspired by your mention of taking on a PhD with ADHD. You should be so proud of what you've achieved and that you're not afraid to take on the challenge.

    1. it's crazy difficult, but I know when I have finished it will feel so good and always be a reminder to me that I can do anything if I keep at it :) x

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog and the missing kitten! I'm such an animal person so I can imagine how hard that must be. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading what you've been up to.

    1. it's honestly heartbreaking, but trying my best to keep positive. thank you so much for taking the time to read xx

  4. Sounds like you have had lots of ups and downs recently. Good luck with everything!

  5. Even though you have had some tough times, it's good go see you getting on doing your PhD, being on the judging panel for the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Shortlist Awards - impressive stuff xx

  6. Sounds like you've been having a really stressful time of it! Congratulations on being a judge for the awards though, how cool!

  7. It sounds like youre having a tough time but thank you for sharing and hopefully things will look brighter soon x

  8. Oh I hope your little kitty comes back. They really are terrors for wandering away so I've got everything crossed that he's just on a little adventure and will turn up soon :(

    Katie xoxo

  9. I hope the kitty comes back safe and sound :( xx

  10. First of all, I do think it's so important to share the highs and lows, to let it all out! It's good for you! It's amazing that you are doing a PHD when you struggle with ADHD, you should be so proud of yourself! Also, that's fantastic how far you've come with your blog after only a year. But I am so sorry to hear about your dog, and I hope your little kitten comes back home soon! (Our really young kittens escaped during the heavy snowfall this year, we were devastated, but they came back fine, so fingers crossed for you!) xxxx

  11. I'm sorry that you've had so much to deal with, particularly your loss. You've done amazingly well to keep going the way you have been. I hope you're still OK a couple of months on.


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