West Cork

Hi everyone! After lots of work, I can happily announce that last week I submitted the final assignment for my graphic design course, and now I can let myself have free time again.

This has been a stressful time, but I’m happy I decided to invest in that course because I’ve learned so much, gained so much more confidence and I feel so much more like a designer now! Now I need to keep going, practise my skills, build a portfolio and continue working on designs, branding and more for my online shop.

After submitting the last project, I was so exhausted that I felt sick. I think I had pushed myself a bit beyond my limit, not allowing myself to relax, and working almost nonstop. I did go to bed but had difficulty sleeping. My stress levels were through the roof and it took me almost a week to recover! The rest of the week was 100% dedicated to relaxing the brain, having no obligations and just do what I felt like doing. I went for walks, fiddled with the new block editing function in WordPress (full site editing) and played some concertina. That’s it. On the Friday I felt somewhat normal and went to the gym as usual.

I started looking into full site editing because after an update, the theme I’m using on this blog crashed. Lots of my customisations were gone, although I’m using a child theme and a plugin for styling! I’ve had some bad experiences with paid themes and developers who stop updating their themes, and when this happened I thought I’d try the new “build your own theme with blocks” thing to see if I can build something of my own on top of a standard WordPress theme. I’m not there yet with something that suits this blog, but I’ll get there!

I said “no obligations” but I was convinced by the new competition admin in the camera club to go out and try to get some photos together for a competition we’re having. The deadline had been extended to Saturday afternoon, so I went out in pouring rain on Saturday morning (the competition has a rain theme). I have bad experiences with lenses and rain, which I may talk about another time – but my macro lens is supposed to be water tight if you use it with the right camera (like mine, which even has an underwater mode!). And I’m all for challenging myself these days, so why not? People who passed by must have thought I was crazy, but who cares? It was fun taking the photos. I like them, but they are probably quite useless for a competition. I still sent this first one, along with two others. With more time and no deadlines, I’ll try to take this kind of photo again, maybe wrap up the gear in a plastic bag and use the zoom lens to get closer.

Another rain photo, taken earlier in the week:

During the week, before the weather went bad, I got some more cheerful photos.

So now with all the time on my hands after finishing the course, what do I do? Most of all, I’m learning to live like normal people, who work and then in the evening they do something else! It’s wonderful but it’s difficult to get back to it. On Monday I was extremely restless and didn’t know what to do – but now I’m more settled. It’s wonderful to be able to create a sort of routine.

From this week I go to the gym twice a week – I’ll work hard now to get stronger and more fit and hopefully I can get back to running in the spring. My goal is to start after St Patrick’s day. Talking of which – if you know me, you also know that when my life slows down, I want to write again. And if you’ve been here a while, you know that I’ve been writing a lot about my knee injury, training, and all that on this blog. But I want to keep this a photography blog of sorts, so later this week (that’s the plan at least) I’m reopening my old blog to document and share all about that. It will be like an accountability tool for myself but also to talk about reaching goals, whether fitness or music or else, creating good and healthy habits, and my progress with it. I know some of you will like it. This blog here will remain in place as it is for my photos and sharing places in Ireland!

Linking with Denyse Whelan’s Wednesday words and pics.

12 responses to “Life lately”

  1. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 avatar

    Hi Susanne, I’m sorry you have been so stressed with your course and also the blog issues. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun! Your photos are stunning and I particularly like the first two with the raindrops. As for people saying you were crazy going out to photograph in the bad weather – we need to do what we feel is right for us and look at your stunning results. Take care and hopefully life won’t be so hectic soon. xx

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Sue! Life has calmed down considerably, thank goodness! Now I can create some kind of normal routine again, I’m so thankful for that. Those photos of the raindrops were my favourites too, especially the one with the puddle. It was fun taking it and arranging it in Lightroom and I’ll take similar photos again soon.

  2. Joanne avatar

    Congrats on finishing your course!! That’s wonderful. Your photos are beautiful and I just love those rainy day ones.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Joanne! What a relief! 😀 The rain photos are my favourites too, I’ll do more of those.

  3. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    Hi Susanne – well done on submitting that last assignment and moving on from all the stress and sleeplessness. I really don’t think it’s good for our health to be overly stressed for any length of time (maybe just short bursts?) Interesting about starting back with your other blog – I hope you’ll link those posts up too so that I can keep up with your adventures. And thanks for the lovely photos – I felt like I was in Ireland!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Leanne, it’s absolutely not healthy for us to be stressed like that, and for another situation than a limited exam period I wouldn’t accept it. In the past I’ve suffered from burnout (from my nursing job but not only) and my sister has too so I know what stress can do to people and I don’t want to get there again.
      When I start up the other blog I’ll definitely link those posts up where they fit, I hope to be ready to join the word of the year link-up this weekend to begin with. Thanks for visiting and yes, these photos were very very Irish!

  4. Denyse Whelan avatar

    Courses and learning can be hard on us when we have to conform and share and hope we get it right. I do hope the reward for what you have done plays out on what you do next.

    I LOVED all the green in the photos. I hope having the two blogs works for you, either one would fit this link up!!
    Thank you for sharing your post for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. It is great to have you be a part of this blogging community each week. Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Denyse, yes, although it was tough at the end, I’m very happy about having done this course! I hope it’ll work out with the blogs, but I think it will because I have a different focus now and also have stopped worrying about whether I post every week or not. This blog is expected to be less active over the winter when there’s less to see and photograph, but we’ll see. Thanks for visiting and hosting this link-up!

  5. Debbie Harris avatar

    Congrats Susanne, your course is over and you can relax now! I love those shots of your area in the sunshine, it looks beautiful! It can be hard to settle after something like assignments/exams are over but you now have other routines so I’m sure you’ll find your ‘normal’ pace of life again soon. Good luck in your photo competition!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Debbie, and thank you! I’m slowly getting back to some normal life, but it takes time. My PT compared it to PTSD! Now I need to set up a weekly and daily schedule of sorts and all will be good. I still tend to be restless and not know where to start.
      My photos turned out to not be sao bad after all, I got some good feedback on them on the competition night, and only added some contrast to the one with the raindrops in the puddle. I didn’t get to the top 3 but I didn’t expect that either.

  6. Anne avatar

    I am so glad you are back, so to speak, and sharing your beautiful corner of the world with us. Also eagerly anticipating the regeneration of your other blog, as you know I love reading whatever you write.
    In the world of random news – relevant to where you live – I had a 20+ minute discussion with someone at the auto service station the other day, and found out she had lived in Ireland most of the past year, and that she hopes to move back. Which led to a discussion of Cork (she’d love to live there, but too pricey for her) and then a long discussion about Irish history. It was a unique conversation for the first time randomly meeting someone! Anyway, you may have a new neighbor from Wisconsin in the next few years!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Anne, it’s good to hear from you, I was wondering how you are doing and if you’ve been able to relax and enjoy Christmas. I hope you are safe and well, I’ve been following the awful westher events in the US lately.
      How fun about that person you met who had lived in Cork, I assume it’s rather the city than the county. Cork county shouldn’t be more expensive generally than other areas – but the city probably is. I think if she wants to move back, somewhere rural probably is the way to go, but itks expensive everywhere and there’s a huge housing crisis here too.
      If you still follow my susanne.ie feed you should have received plenty of posts by now. I’ve been writing thereat least weekly since late November, mostly fitness updates but not only. The blog here is a bit quiet but that’s mostly because I’m not taking a lot of photos. I hope to get back to that soon.

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