What Not To Worry About #42

Happy Friday friends! Things have been a little quiet in this wee corner of the internet the last week or so and I have really missed nestling down and sharing my thoughts with you lovely lot. I've been finding it really hard to focus recently and the things that bring me so much joy (like this blog) have fallen to the wayside which has left me feeling even more disconnected. I have learned over the years to not rush myself when I am feeling like this since it's important to let myself feel the hurt no matter how difficult it may be. I spoke about losing my sister before and with her anniversary falling on the 5th November, this is a time of year that I struggle with her absence the most. It tends to bring back a lot of memories of the time we lost her which was horrific for everyone who loved her but it also stirs up memories of our childhood together too which is as heartwarming as it is painful. Grief, although omnipresent, can be harder to bear on certain days and despite the fact that it's been 7 years since she passed away, I am still blindsided by my yearning to have her near me again. Unfortunately losing someones we love is one of life's greatest and most cruel lessons. Some of us may be lucky enough to be spared this lesson until we are in our thirties or forties but losing someone at a young age is a life-changing experience. We are thrusted in to reality unprepared for what lies ahead with few emotional tools to help us succeed in managing our grief. However we are given something that most people stumble through life unknowingly searching for. Something that allows us to appreciate everything we have. Gratitude. Now I know the word 'gratitude' can be thrown about a little too flippantly and is normally associated with meditative jargon but to be truly grateful every day is nothing to be sneered at. Losing someone we love teaches us that everything in this life is temporary, that every moment and every word spoken has more weight carried within it than most people can even imagine and that even when things feel rough, we are still grateful to be alive to experience even a drop of sadness. I am grateful every day to have had Amy in my life and that gratitude allows me to appreciate all those memories. After all, I'm the only person on this earth that got to be her big sister, how lucky does that make me??? And with that gratitude in mind, here are a few things I am not worrying about this week. What are you letting go of??? Missing out on dating - Ah the single life. I do miss it now and again; the thrill of being attracted to someone and not being sure where it's going, that little buzz in your tummy when you're messaging and don't want to ever stop. Reading this article brought all the fuzzies back but it also shared some really great advice for anyone who is single and in need of some encouragement. Having weird turn-ons - OK so when Andrew and I met, these were the weird things that attracted me to him:
  1. He would be just as enthusiastic about Bake Off as I was
  2. He smoked rolled cigarettes (he has since quite bless him and I wasn't a smoker but there was something so damn sexy about watching him roll, I was a hypnotised mess).
  3. He got excited about seeing his niece and nephew
  4. He would read aloud 'Today I Learned' stories from his favourite website before we went to sleep (this was from Reddit of course, he is a nerd after all)
  5. He wore a plain white t-shirt with jeans (I may have some sort of James Dean complex)
  6. He would keep everything from our dates and trips away knowing that I loved to make scrapbooks
  7. He loved board games
  8. He understood things I could never wrap my head around and would patiently explain them to me (coding, stocks, actually saving money)
The reason I'm sharing is because I read this article the other day and learned that having a bizarre turn on isn't actually all that bizarre. In fact most of us have one or two - you have one too, don't you? Running out of conversation - I love having friends over for dinner this time of year, when people prefer staying indoors cosied around a table and eating good food. Sometimes the conversation can run a bit stale which is why I loved reading this, full of tips to ensure a good hostess never has to experience that awkward silence. Gift mind blanks - The festive season is approaching and I'm trying to be organised this year with my gifts so I avoid the last minute dash to the week before Christmas and over-spend in panic. I'm trying to curate my gift list and man is it hard to buy for some people (especially Dads/boyfriends) - is there anything you use to help inspire you for gift ideas? Please help a girl out here. Not being able to write - I've been feeling low about not being able to write because my mind was full of so many other things. I need to go easy on myself during times like this because it never lasts too long. I am so happy to be back here again. Have a lovely weekend folks!!
About Author

I'm Alex, the writer, photographer and creator of The Full Shilling. I started writing as a way to share all my favourite places in Ireland and the list just keeps growing! My aim is that you'll find somewhere new to explore and you'll make some great memories along the way. Happy reading!


  • Jenni
    4 years ago

    I love those turn on reasons for your boyfriend! It’s a great outlook to have to be grateful. Sending you lots of love at this difficult time x

  • Breanna
    4 years ago

    Great read alex as always!

  • Ana Jesus
    4 years ago

    I I just read your post on your sister and you growing with CF. My goodness I am so sorry for your loss but you are stronger than you know. You are right grief does teach us that nothing is temporary but like you said it teaches us to express gratitude as well. In regards to this post, I am so glad that you found someone that you have connected with. I hope I can one day too x

  • Alex Donnelly
    4 years ago

    It makes so much sense Beth and I'm so sorry to hear you will have to go through your first Christmas without your Nan. Grief is such a unique experience for everyone so there's no comparing your own pain with another's. I hope you have a lovely Christmas remembering your Nan and sharing all the good memories you have had with her over the years xx

  • Beth
    4 years ago

    Grief is an awful thing to feel, but also very necessary. It shows that we love. Does that make sense?
    We have our first Christmas without my Nan, and her first birthday. It's not easy but we will move forwards. There's not a lot of other choice.

    Losing someone young is so much harder though and after reading your post about losing your sister I have tears. You failed to give enough emphasis to your own strength. You, too, are strong.

  • Alex Donnelly
    4 years ago

    It's a strange thing to go through but I definitely think talking about it helps me. Thanks so much for reading Rachel x

  • Rachel
    4 years ago

    Grief can be so damn hard sometimes, although time is meant to be a healer it can still be so tough, especially at anniversaries. Partners being excited about Bake off and board games is defo a winner for me too!!

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