Poorly Unicorn!

Poorly Unicorn!

Hi everyone and welcome to another Project Unicorn post. I’ve been very quiet on this site for the last week or so because I’ve been really poorly! I’ve been hit with the local post-Christmas bug going round and it’s set off a chain reaction of migraines that kept me off work nearly all of last week. SO glad to be feeling better now! Still bunged up and got a cough but my voice has come back just in time for filming Friday’s collaboration video with Blacksummer Colouring! Yay!

It’s been lovely to get back to walking the dogs, as well. I just felt too ill to leave the sofa, let alone the house, for several days last week. But Lilly, Doug and I had a lovely village walk last night, and they were so chilled afterwards, all stretched out in front of the fire… Life was good.

Steve, the evil migraine monkey

Thinking about the migraines though… The problem with having multiple or recurring daily migraines is that a) they hurt, b) you feel too poorly to do anything but sleep or lie on the sofa having a pity-party, and c) they make you feel really depressed. I say you. Me. They make ME really depressed. Does anyone else find this? After a migraine, I get really tearful and down about my whole life, and although my logic brain understands that this is just a chemical reaction in my brain, I end up examining my whole life and everything in it, looking for an external source of the sadness so that I can do something about it.

That leads to problems of its own. For example, it causes tensions in my marriage when I question how ‘okay’ Claire and I are. We’re normally rock solid. We’ve been together since 2005, from on-off teenaged dating to getting engaged in 2009 and married in 2014. After all these years… surely I’d know? I usually look at our relationship and beam with joy because I’ve found somebody emotionally stable to counter my emotional ups and downs, who’s equally peculiar as me (IN A GOOD WAY) and just as creative, so we totally understand each other. And then along comes a migraine and boom. I’m wondering if we settled down too soon, if we really know each other as well as we think we do, if Claire’s actually judging me all the time, if she actually doesn’t love me… All of these nasty little ‘evil monkey’ thoughts in the back of my mind. (I call him Steve.)

It also affects me at work. I start to become a Negative Nelly and risk dragging everyone else down with me. I certainly fall into the trap of moaning about the little gripes at work, instead of seeing the positive in things (such as the way my boss is being brilliant with my migraine management through the sickness absence policy), and this in turn affects my motivation. I then find it really difficult to summon up the energy or enthusiasm to encourage people to embrace change and think differently in order to make process improvements in their teams. It’s really the sort of job where you need to be on your game all the time, because motivating people to change, especially when they’ve not requested that you come and work with them, can be extremely tough. (But rewarding.)

BUT

Marvin the Unicorn v Steve the Evil Monkey

Sometimes, Claire and I will be lying in bed, snuggled up all warm and comfy, and we’ll get chatting about really deep, intense things. One day, one of these things was my depression. I was talking about the intrusive thoughts that creep in when I’m feeling depressed or anxious, trying to work them out and make them okay, and Claire called them my ‘evil monkey’.

This was a few years ago. The nickname stuck, and it gave me a way of separating the thoughts from my emotional self so that I could study them more easily and gain some perspective so I don’t get swept away. Very easy to do for someone like me.

One day at work, I ended up doodling ‘Steve the Evil Monkey’ and boom. He was born.

Around this time, Claire started to call me a unicorn. This adjective means that I am creative, funny and proud to my authentic, unique self. I am so completely ME all of the time, in everything that I do, that sometimes I feel like I stand out – like a unicorn in a herd of horses. (I’m a total horse nut so this metaphor worked well for me.)

During a very down time, when Claire was in her crochet phase of crafting, she secretly crocheted Marvin the Unicorn for me as a little mascot to have on my desk at work to keep me happy throughout the day. She did this, hidden under a blanket at her end of the sofa, in two weeks whilst I was sad. And then, one day, she presented me with this absolutely adorable little guy!

marvin-unicorn-keyring

I, of course, promptly turned him into a key ring and attached him to my unicorn pencil case so that I could take him with me wherever I went.

From then on, Marvin the Unicorn became my antidote to Steve the Evil Monkey. They’ve battled, Steve with his fangs and claws, and Marvin with his glittery horn of happiness, and eventually, Steve began to lighten from black fur to brown, to blond… He even has some pink and blue stripes in his fringe right now (yes, Steve has a fringe… it’s more of a mow-hawk, but not quite that awesome ‘cos he still has self-doubts). I’m not sure he’ll ever be fully rainbow coloured, but we’re working on him, turning a lot of that negativity to positivity. He comes back with a baseball bat of insults once in a while… and sometimes he knocks Marvin’s horn off or splits it with the power of his hits, but horns grow back. Especially when they’re made of glitter and magical.

Anyway… I digress.

YouTube

I’ve hit 20 subscribers on YouTube!!! As of today, I think I’m actually up to 23, which is ABSOLUTELY fantastic! I’m so thrilled that people are enjoying my content and finding my unicorn rambles about happiness and positivity useful. Yay for helping people!

I’ve got 4 videos up right now and another one on Friday. I’ll be drawing. On camera! Aaah! It’s going to be so funny.

I have so many more videos planned as well. I’m addicted and it’s FABULOUS. I even have an idea for a new channel, where I can focus on Continuous Improvement and coaching techniques. I don’t feel like these belong together on the same channel, because Project Unicorn is all about happiness and positivity, whereas the CI stuff is… well, specific. So yeah, that’ll be launching soon too!

Busy, busy! Keeps me on my toes!

 

Toodles for now. I’m off to squeeze in a bit of writing while I can!

Project Unicorn is on YouTube!

Project Unicorn is on YouTube!

Oh my goodness, peeps, I’m SO excited! I’m on YouTube!

I filmed my first video last Friday and published it at the weekend, and my second video is live from 3.30pm UK-Time today!

The videos are so much fun to create and edit, and I’m already getting so many positive comments from some truly amazing fellow YouTubers.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be possible without my amazing wife, Claire, the artist behind the awesome Blacksummer Colouring channel. You can check out her amazing artwork here:

http://www.youtube.com/c/blacksummercolouring

It’s truly addictive. I’m totally kicking Claire out of her studio for a bit tonight so that I can film Friday’s video (I want to upload every Tuesday and Friday).

The content is really light and cheerful. As much as possible, I want to spread happiness and positivity, and generally make people laugh. The videos are a great opportunity for me to have a natter about my life, my experiences and issues that are near and dear to me, including mental health (particularly depression and anxiety), migraines, writing and the daily fight to be happy.

I’ve already started planning for my future videos, including how I could incorporate the reality of living with depression (just a peek, though, as we don’t want to share sadness) and migraines, as well as my coping mechanisms and things I’ve found that cheer me up.

I’m going to have a couple of different Marvin the Unicorn pictures for the thumbnail, to let people know what the video will be about, or at least the theme of the video. E.g. the normal Marvin is upside down, and he looks so happy to be doing a hand-stand. A sad Marvin will be crying, to quickly warn people away from the video if they don’t feel up for watching someone else be sad (I know sometimes I don’t have the strength that day, but could watch it another time), and the little doodle that I did of Marvin in pain when I have a migraine (to warn people that I might not make sense and I will look TERRIBLE on camera!)

Then, as the channel progresses, I may even get more!

One of the things I love about the video set up is the opportunity for people to ask me questions. Claire had the genius idea to create a Jar of Unicorn Wisdom (basically, a cute jar for those days when I need some external inspiration) full of questions or little challenges for me to answer/do, and I’ve already had a couple of people ask me other questions in the comments! This means I can then add these to the jar and answer them at random on camera!

I’m literally bouncing in my chair right now, I’m so happy! And because it’s giving me such a buzz and so much energy, I’m finding myself writing more. I’ve done way more than a sentence a day for the past few days, so Chapter Six is coming along swimmingly.

Uni work? … Not so much… I’m going to do it… Maybe this weekend???

No! No, I’m going to start… well, I might do some of the reading tonight… After I film… I’ll have time… surely… Problem is, I’m working a bit later tonight, and I’ve got to drop off a clothes order return on the way to pick Claire up from work…

This week is turning out to be quite busy, actually. Clothing returns tonight (to try and make up for all the money I spent on myself over Christmas… sales don’t count, do they…?, sisters-in-law over on Thursday, and Friday sees Louis the cat going to the vets for a booster vaccination (bless him!) and then Claire and I are taking her sister out for dinner…

I have Wednesday… I know, I’ll edit my video and do some Uni work on Wednesday… and then it’s the weekend again. Yay! Sorted.

Claire and I are going to do a collaboration soon between our channels. It’s going to be so good! I’ll post a link when it comes out!

Right, well, I was writing this over my lunch break and I need to gobble down my sandwich now before I head back to my desk. If I’m quick, I’ll be able to squeeze in a bit of writing before I have to go to my next project meeting…

Toodles!

Back to Uni!

Back to Uni!

Well, folks… the Christmas break is over. And it’s back to studying. My next assignment is due on the 19th so I’d better crack open my study books again and read the essay question… That’s always a good start.

But all I wanna do is write my book and create YouTube videos! I’ve filmed my first one now and I’m addicted!

It’s not live on YouTube yet as I want to create a couple more and have a little stock of videos ready for if/when people decide to mosey on over and check out the channel. I’ll be sure to post about it here, don’t you worry!!!

Chapter Six is going quite well, though. I’ve been sticking to my New Year’s resolutions ‘fairly’ well so far… I skipped writing a sentence for one day and made up for it by writing about two pages the following day… I’m a bit of a fits-and-bursts writer. Future Editor: sorry ’bout that! Hee hee.

I think the thing I love the most about my YouTube video so far is the little Unicorn at the opening, and the giggle that he makes! I mean, yes, it was my giggle that I recorded, and oh my goodness! It’s so frickin’ CUTE! It makes me laugh so much every time I hear it. Y’know, I may have rewound and listened to the opening giggle like, a thousand times last night, just for fun.

Ah, who needs to be a grown up?

But I really should be semi-responsible. I want to get a better grade in my next assignment. When I first started this second year of my degree, I was shocked at how much I’d forgotten over the summer holidays. My first essay was ABISMAL! No wonder I got such a shocking score. So I pulled my socks up and churned out a better essay the next time. A 15 point improvement, or thereabouts.

Now, to smash the 80% mark like I did last year!

 

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

WELCOME TO 2017!

Before I move onto my ‘resolutions’, I want to have a quick look back at 2016.

2016: A Year in Review

April – new job

I left the police behind and got a new job working as a process efficiency specialist for National Grid.They call them Performance Excellence Specialists, but for you normal folk, it basically means that I work with the teams in my department to identify how we could do more with less, and give a better service to our customers.

June – passed my 1st year exam

I’m studying English Literature & Creative Writing with the Open University, part-time over 6 years, and I sat my 1st year exam in June. After much writing (and even more hand cramping!), I PASSED with a pretty decent mark, and went on to start my 2nd year. Woohoo! Only another 4 years to go! Damn me having to work full-time!

December – Project Unicorn Go Live

After many doodles, and much soul-searching with my wife, I launched Project Unicorn. This started with this blog (hello!) and, in January, I will be releasing my first YouTube video. Watch this space for a link!

So what can we look forward to in 2017?

My Creative Resolutions:

  • To write at least 1 sentence of my book every day
  • To create at least 1 Project Unicorn YouTube video every fortnight
  • To post at least 1 Project Unicorn blog every week (even if it’s really short!)

Ideally, I’d like to get into the habit of blogging and vlogging daily, or near-daily, because as and when I become a full-time author (Life Goal), I’ll need the internet interaction to keep me company. As an extrovert, it’s extremely difficult for me to be alone all the time with just my own brain for company. It drives me nuts!

What’s that meme? “ENFP: spends day alone. Questions reason for existence.”

It’s SO true! Haha. Totally me. I’m SUCH  a typical ENFP! I drive my boss nuts half the time, because he’s an ESTJ so, other than being an Extrovert, he’s the total opposite to me, and he has no idea why I talk about creative things and my feelings all the time.

But that’s just the world I live in. I embrace emotions, I think they’re powerful and important. And I think it’s crucial that men do the same.

Yes, I am a proud feminist. No, that doesn’t mean I hate men, or think that women should be superior to men. It means I don’t believe in a patriarchal society, or inequality between genders, or discrimination of any kind.

That’s what being a unicorn is all about. Loving and respecting each and every person for the amazing gifts they bring to this world. I don’t tolerate hate or abuse, and other than that, I accept anyone.

Anyway, I’m done rambling for now. I actually don’t feel very happy today. I’ve got some health issues that are getting me down at the moment, and I thought I was getting better but then the symptoms came back this evening. I just feel like I’ve got a thousand things to do at the moment, and even though I’ve written down a ‘To Do’ list and am only focussing on one or two at a time, they’re still buzzing around and around my head. And all I want to do is write my book but when I come to sit down and stare at the screen, at that stupid blinking cursor, or a page of my notebook… nothing.

HOWEVER. Positive thinking, dude.

I DID manage to tweak a bit of writing I’d done previously. And I’ve washed some dishes, done the food shop and have put on a washload of work clothes.

And done a blog.

Okay, I feel a bit better now. I’m going to scratch out one more sentence of Hybrid (the book) and then perhaps reward myself with a bit of Skyrim.

Toodles!