This is my Now page, inspired by nownownow.com. I use it as a place to share what projects I’m working on, where my priorities currently lie, and what I’m just really into right now. I last updated it on Tuesday 24 January 2023.
I am almost three months into a new job, so still in the process of settling in. A lot of this process has involved dealing with anxiety based on previous experiences, but I think I’m getting to the point where I’m able to relax and actually do my job. As a bonus I get to visit the main office up North fairly regularly, with reasonable expenses covered. Starting a new role remotely was challenging and I would like to spend more time seeing people in the office, but I understand the greater pull of working from home and am happy myself to save some money by not commuting every day.
My podcast I Need Space has been on hiatus for… longer than it ran for. Oops. Restarting it is one of my goals for 2023, but I lost a lot of confidence in my science communication skills during the previous couple of years. However, I know I just need to push through the initial anxiety and do it, since I have all the tools I need, including a new microphone purchased with a voucher that was part of my leaving present from my previous job.
I haven’t volunteered at the Science Museum in a couple of months due to getting a chest infection before Christmas and then being busy with other things, but I have now developed two talks that I deliver in the Space Gallery. I want to try to go in at least once a month, delivering either three or six talks each time. This was another thing impacted by my loss of confidence last year, but I truly love and am grateful for the opportunity to develop my own material and share it with visitors. It’s particularly important for me to keep up with space-related activities like this, and the podcast, while I’m on a study break until I start work on my thesis in November.
I created a “23 for 2023” list this year based on Gretchen Rubin’s template, which prompts you to pick a word of the year. I chose “brave” to help me focus on breaking through the fear and anxiety that often prevent me from doing things I’d like to do. Thus far I’ve completed one item on my list, “try a new food”, via the very tasty recipe linked below. (I’m not a fussy eater, but have been stuck in a rut with cooking recently that I was anxious about getting out of, and was glad to have one relatively easy goal to tick off!)
I fell out of the habit of regular exercise for several months last year and am trying to get back into it. I’ve not been great at going to the gym when I don’t have a scheduled personal training session, but I have started swimming regularly despite some initial anxieties. For now I’m doing pool laps, but am excited to get back to wild swimming when the weather is warmer.
I’m in the process of deciding whether I need to be in weekly therapy, whether I can move to less frequent sessions or even stop altogether. I feel I’ve got to the point where I can put the lessons learned in therapy into practice on my own and am not as reliant on the weekly check-in and opportunity to process past experiences. It is scary to consider taking that step though, particularly as I’ve been in therapy for almost five years.
Last week I started a solo re-watch of “The X Files”, having finished watching it through with my boyfriend last year. As you’ll know if you listened to the first episode of I Need Space, this show is part of the reason I decided to become a scientist, and it was hugely formative during my adolescence. My recent re-watch renewed my love for it and my appreciation for its role in shaping me. As a bonus, I’m a lot less embarrassed about sharing my love for it than I was as an isolated teenage fan in the early noughties. (This comic by Sarah Andersen is very accurate indeed.) Alongside watching each episode I’m writing a short reflection and hope to publish some pieces on this blog this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the pilot episode.
Speaking of TV, having finished watching “Star Trek: The Original Series”, my boyfriend and I have moved onto “The Next Generation”, which I prefer for its stronger character development and more varied plotlines. (Plus the Riker Manoeuvre, which makes me laugh every single time.) As is customary, I’m completing a craft project while we watch, namely a blanket that I’ll eventually donate to Knit for Peace.
My main hobby at the moment is reading: at the end of 2022 I finished reading all the books I own, and have since bought seven books second-hand and started using the library more frequently. As of writing I am two-thirds of the way through my A-Z round-the-world reading challenge and plan to continue focusing on diverse narratives, but ultimately just reading whatever I want. The book I last finished was “The Corsair” by Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud, representing the only country starting with Q (Qatar). It was honestly not my kind of book and I took a while to get into it – I found the character development and description lacking, and there was a real lack of female characters (understandable, but still). However, I did enjoy the machinations of the plot and insights into a historical period I knew very little about, and am glad I read something I otherwise wouldn’t have picked up.
Driven by my increasing desire to move somewhere new, I’m trying to take advantage of being in London. So far this has mostly consisted of going to the theatre more, but I also want to make going to museums more of a habit and seek out new restaurants instead of going for the same chain options all the time (though my love of a cheeky Nandos will never die). Any ideas welcome!
Finally, I’m excited to be starting another improv course soon. This one will be improvised singing, which I’ve done before, but still scares me. It’s definitely worth it to push myself out of my comfort zone though.