Darkside Creative – Personal Post April 2022: Please Read

Hello, my Star Wars friends. It has been a while since I blogged last, but I can see people still find my blog helpful and informative, which is good, I guess. So, I have something significant to say today, which will explain why I haven’t been online in any actual capacity. You may be shocked by this news, but it has been a month or so since it happened, so I feel okay to write about it here (barely okay, that is).

Remember when I mentioned that my Mum was really sick in a previous post? Well, she actually died from that illness. Even writing these words for the first time is extremely difficult for me (as you can probably imagine). It hasn’t been very long since it happened, and I haven’t been back to work since either. Nothing can ever be this hard, and I’ve already lived through losing one parent. But my mum and I were exceptionally close.

I have this burning feeling in my gut telling me to use this experience and write about it. So I am considering starting another blog to vent and air my feelings and doubts about what happened. My goal is always to try and help people when I write. But it doesn’t always end up happening. As a writer, I know how these things can be nothing like what you planned. Writing has a way of getting away from you sometimes.

Anyway, that is my update or at least part of my update. I know that a lot has happened since I last blogged, such as an Obi-Wan trailer release. I wish I could feel happy about this stuff again, but I just can’t – at least not for now. It’s excruciating to write through what feels like a void in my heart and in my life right now. So I can’t promise when my next update will be. And that is the best I can do. I understand if you wish to unfollow. That is entirely your choice.

There is no image for this post. The words are too important.

Thanks for reading. If you’re a long-time follower, I appreciate your patience and understanding. If you’re new, I still welcome you to my blog but I’m not sure what the future looks like for me at this stage.

We’ll talk soon just not sure when but I’m still (kind of) around the site lurking here and there.

Thanks for reading.

Your Star Wars friend, Julie (AKA Darkside Creative).

Goal Setting Check-in #1 for 2022

Hi, there, friends and readers! Me again, coming at you with a catch-up post about goal setting or failure as the case may be. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to reach SO many goals in the past, but you’ve struggled to complete them. You’ve started off with the best intentions;  you know what you need to achieve and have a good idea of how. But you’re still not reaching them. Why do you think that is?

I am no self-help guru, lol. In fact, it’s pretty funny considering how many times I’ve failed in the past. I tend to hit some goals but not every goal for various reasons – primarily lack of motivation and laziness. I will be blunt here. There is no fooling around with goal setting; it is SERIOUS business 😅. Well, it can be for some. I think I’ve mellowed out a lot over the years. And I don’t see goal setting the way I used to (which was do or die, lol). I’m happy to achieve one of my goals, let alone an entire list.

So this year, I created a goal-setting non-goal setting list to change things up a bit. So how far have I progressed since then? I “officially” started on January 02 this year. Here is my first post about it. And this is my list:

  1. Read more books – at this stage, I have like five books I am reading but never finishing. I don’t know why that is, but I seem to get distracted by other things easily. So this step is to at least finish FIVE books this year. Not that many, considering how many books I used to read (usually a book a week). I just stopped reading entirely, and I want to go back to enjoying reading again.
  2. Work on my fitness. Last year I was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), and I need to get fitter, even in small steps. I will buy a treadmill soon, and I’ll slowly track my progress.
  3. To care less about social media and more about the well-being of my family, myself and others. I want to become a better person in general.
  4. To formulate a plan for my writing and where I need or want to take it in future. This could even mean leaving my current job to pursue writing again, I’m not sure, but it’s a HUGE step which is why I need to make a plan with smaller steps to work through so I can achieve it. This goal might take more than a year to put in place; I just can’t confirm that yet. It’s definitely a super-goal I need to break down into smaller steps.

So far, I have worked exceptionally hard towards the first goal, and I’ve read two books since then and a comic. I’ve reviewed the star wars book and the comic here and the non-fiction graphic design book over on my writing/book reviewing blog here.

With number two on the list, I started out walking a lot more, but when we (New Zealand) went back into “semi lock-down”, I lost motivation to continue that. I am still walking every day when I get the chance, but I’m not pushing myself very hard, and I know I can do better. So we’ll say that I’ve started that goal, and it’s currently a positive “work in progress”.

With number three on my list, “care less about social media, – I have failed terribly there. It will take a lot more effort than I initially anticipated to walk away from caring about social media. That said, though, my partner and I have a “no internet” rule after 6:30 pm each night, and we’ve never broken that once so far. So I feel like I am slowly contributing towards this goal but mostly indirectly.

I am also still cleaning up this blog, which ties into this goal. I accidentally deleted a whole lot of followers from my blog the other day, and I am slowly working my way through reinviting them back. SO SORRY if I deleted you, it was entirely by mistake, and I’ll get back to inviting you soon, so don’t worry if you see me following you again sometime soon, lol 🤣😝.

And finally, number four was to formulate a plan for my writing – there is an event that has impacted this goal in a big way which happened to me very recently. So, for now, planning to do anything with my writing is officially on hold. In a really short time, I managed to leave one of the websites I was writing for (as a reviewer) and get a new job, one I’ve wanted for a while. I couldn’t get this job last year because there were no openings. But a position opened up recently, and I was asked to apply by the team manager, and I got the job! To be clear, it’s not a full-time writing job, but it is a job that I actually want to do, so I feel terrific about it!

And now I am keen to hear all about your goal setting or achievements so far this year! And remember – IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW BIG or important the goal is because everything can be done in little steps. What’s important is that you take a step! Talk to you soon friends, hit me up in the comments where I’ll be hanging out to chat ☺️😊

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Pick Me Up Friday’s☺️😊

Hi all, and welcome to another Pick Me Up Friday. This is the second attempt at this post because the first one wasn’t very “pick me uppy”, so I am writing this one instead! I hope you are all doing well and if not, let me know in the comments! “A burden halved is a burden shared”, as they say.

So here’s today’s pretty graphic for you all – does this resonate with you on any level?

It’s nice to get out of your own head for a minute and spend time looking at the people around you. Are they your kids, friends, cousins or significant other? Are they influenced by the good things you do? I hope they are! Because it’s true – you never know who is watching and finding inspiration in what you do. How great does it feel to inspire others? Pretty wonderful, I think! 😊😁 No matter how small, hopefully, it can help someone else feel better about themselves and aspire to do great things.

Have a great weekend! I am heading into a long weekend in New Zealand as it is Queens Birthday Weekend here, and I get FOUR wonderful days off! I am really looking forward to it 🙂

Until next time my friends, stay safe and creative and I’ll catch you in the next post!

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Personal Post – COVID-19 Has Returned to My City

I’m not sure if you have or are keeping tabs on the status of COVID-19 around the world, but yesterday they confirmed we have had a resurgence of COVID-19. It was confirmed today by our Prime Minister that it has resurfaced as community transmission and that they don’t know where it originated. This is the scariest part for me, as one location of the infected family is less than 10 minutes from where I live!

So my city (Auckland) is now in lockdown once more and at Alert Level Three while the rest of New Zealand goes into Alert Level Two. I have already been working from home full-time since March, and they confirmed it only last week that this will now be a permanent thing for many people I work with. And as I work in an industry that is considered “essential services” by the government, I will work all the way through.

I can already feel my anxiety levels rising once more, and I had a terrible sleep and tossed and turned. My partner was the same – last night we wanted to see whether we could get some essential grocery items from our local supermarket. But wow! Forget that – the traffic was so bad everyone was bumper to bumper panic buying. It was so bad, Countdown had to shut its doors two hours early due to the sheer volume of people trying to buy groceries. We have also had instances of the police being called in because panic buyers were forcing their way into Countdown stores and overwhelming the security guards.

So I am going to once again, throw myself into my writing and keeping my blogs updated and my mind off what is going out outside for as long as possible. This is the only way I know how to control my anxiety.

So expect to see a lot more posts from me in the coming days while our country confirms on Friday whether or not to go further into lockdown.

Thanks for reading, I hope you are all safe where you are!

Personal Post About Current Events

I thought it was the right time for me to blog about some things going on in the world, namely the racism, John Boyega and COVID-19. First, I think it’s important for me to say that I don’t like to blog about my personal life all that much. I used to do it way back when if the mood took me, but I prefer to keep my personal life offline.

I don’t have any issue with people blogging about their personal life. In fact, many people prefer the bloggers they follow to have a personal slant on life because, well, that’s what makes us unique. But I suffer from anxiety and depression, and unpleasant news triggers horrible anxiety. This is one reason I left Medium and why I unsubscribed from most of the blogs I followed there. Many of them focused primarily on negative issues which I needed to avoid.

This is also why I’ve been writing a lot. When I write, I don’t focus on negative things, and my anxiety levels stay where they should. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. And that’s really all I have to say about that.

So onto the COVID thing. I may have mentioned before that I keep an offline journal. This is where I blogged about COVID-19 and how it was affecting my life and the lives of people I know. Which is why I never blogged about it online.

Regarding the recent events, protests, racism, fascism etc, I try not to have an opinion either way. While the things I see happening sadden me and make me angry, I avoid any connection to these events for personal reasons. I have encountered racism several times in my life. Being a person of mixed heritage, racism happens everywhere, every single day, regardless of your colour. And it’s one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in this world. It makes the entire world seem ugly and brutish to me. And when you’ve seen it happen in your own backyard, with your own family members, it’s even uglier.

And as for John Boyega taking the stand against racism, that’s great that he has used his profile for something better than harassing Star Wars fans 😂. Good for him! It takes courage to look hatred in the eye. I am glad so many well-known celebrities are taking a stance.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I’ll be getting back to my normal dose of Star Wars content in my next post.