I feel like I need to start this with a personal note, in part to explain why I’ve been so quiet lately. There will be a separate post actually looking back at my Best Of and other stats, so feel free to skip this one if you’re here just for the books!
If you’d asked me in July, I’d have said I was in an ok job but looking for something else, and my health issues were the challenge of this year, but going towards better. I had a new apartment slightly larger than the studio I spent the first 2 years of the pandemic in, and while financially it wasn’t great, I was feeling more settled. I could finally contemplate doing creative things again. I even started sewing – the machine had been packed up since mid-2019 for lack of space.
Then in early August, just as I changed jobs, I learned my building was being sold and we were all getting evicted. My new job, which was supposed to be better, was quite ableist (among other things) and my rheumatoid arthritis flared up so bad I thought for a week or so that I had Covid before coming to the realisation that no, this was just how things were. Between the bad workers’ rights (no sick leave?? limited holidays? 40h weeks being totally normal??), long wait for healthcare, and cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and finally the housing situation in Dublin meaning I might end up on the street (not an exaggeration), I decided to move back to France. This has kept me busy planning since early September. I’m only now, since the week before Christmas, finally settled into my own place. I was lucky to have great friends who helped me every step of the way but it took a toll on my health both mental and physical. I read all of three books in October. I’ve been dealing with paperwork after paperwork and stress after stress.
In the middle of all this, I really wanted to make time for reading, as it’s my main hobby and way to relax. Thanks to audiobooks, I was able to do that a bit. I’ve also been trying to read some ebooks. All my paper books are still in boxes at this point (and I’m using said boxes as a table until mine gets delivered next week). I also find that RA comes with fatigue even when i was doing “nothing” (read: only planning stuff, organizing, packing boxes, and then playing the waiting game for the move, the job, and the apartment) and now that I’m working full time again, it’s hard to do something other than just sleep when I get home.
I’d like to report that my cats, who weren’t too happy about being stuck in a single room at a friend’s while i struggled to find an apartment, seem to like the new place. Louxor had momentarily acquired the cat brain cell (I’m convinced he’s just a very grey orange cat) and found how to open the bedroom door to go explore and scare the shit out of the resident cat… But they now have more space again, and through all this have behaved like champs. They’ve been both a source of stress, and a great comfort.
Going forward into 2023 I’m hoping to get more settled into my new job, recover from the stress (and physical stress) of the last few months enough to be able to do fun stuff again; potentially get my RA recognized as a working disability so I can get more flexibility as well, and finally do all the creative stuff I’ve been putting off – sewing, writing, translating, and of course reading and reviewing some more.
Here’s to a less stressful 2023 for everyone!