Dec 31 2011

New Year, New Thinking

Mr Stuff

So the last day of 2011 is upon us and I’ve made so much progress in 2011 that I’m really looking forward to 2012.

In 2011 I started the big fight back against my illness, it has taken so much from me and I’ve had enough, I want my life back. I’ve been trying hard to get out more and think positively, and it seems to be working. Friends have said that they’ve noticed a difference in me, for the good, and I’m just going to build on this.

2011 is also the year I got a real passion for astronomy, mainly from hiding from daytime TV by watching Discovery, Discovery Science and nat Geo, and I love it. I passed an introductory OU course in astronomy, got some binoculars, more books than I have space for and a borrowed telescope. I’ve seen awesome nebulae and another galaxy, as well as more meteors this year that I’ve seen in my life.

But the biggest change has been to join Twitter, by following some astronomy people and following their #FF’s I’ve found myself in a group of friends with a passion for astronomy, as well as general chat. I’ve found support on there that I could never have dreamt of, I have always relied on my physical friends but know that they are busy a lot of the time with work and not always available for a chat. But on Twitter there is always someone to chat to, even when I have my really early starts, and I’ve found other people who are also suffering with illness and have similar experiences to me and this is invaluable. A few of my friends have a small idea of what I’m going through but not many, so being able to talk to people with similar pain and agoraphobia, and to see how well they are getting on with it gives me a lot of strength.

The list of names to thank is too long for me to remember but some of the main ones that help me, and deserve really big thanks, include Lucy, Caroline, Team Sonia, Mary, Felicity, Dawn, Bellatrix and Mr Menace. But that’s not the extent of the list, everyone I chat to adds a great deal to my astro knowledge, my general wellbeing or just makes me laugh.

*EDIT* I forgot to say big thanks to my 2 bestest ladies, Mrs Stuff and Pepper. They always make my days better :)

2102 also marks me getting my head back into a work ready mode, since working is the thing I miss most, as I start volunteering with a local charitable organisation. I’m really looking forward to it as it will make me feel useful and hopefully give me more self confidence. A lot of the work is web based so I can do a lot of it from home, although their offices are fairly close to home.

So a fond farewell to 2011 and bring it on 2012, with a big #FU_illness, and a pic of the tattoo I had done to signify my illness. It’s helped me a lot psychologically to have something physical to aim all my hate at.

Mr Stuff Tat

Dec 17 2011

Twitter – a force for good

Mr Stuff

When I joined Twitter I had a view that it was full of people talking about food they’d eaten and booze but I was most very very wrong. I started off following friends and a few astronomy folk, then the people that were #FF’d (FollowFriday) by the astronomy folk and before I knew it I had a whole new social group to chat to. And more importantly I had a new virtual support network to help me when I’m a bit down or getting anxious, and in return I also help some of them when they’re struggling.

It’s great for me as I spend a lot of the day on my own, when Mrs Stuff’s at work, and I can’t always hassle friends as they’re busy. But on Twitter I can chat away about anything to people who understand some of the things I’m going through, and for that I am hugely grateful to every one of them. They have helped me more than they can ever know.

Before joining I had a lot of sad, solitary days where there was little I could do to calm the noise and bad thoughts in my head. But now I know there are people I can talk to who won’t ignore me because I’m talking about being ill or having a head full of nasty thoughts. So I get a lot less sad days, and if I do I try to fight it and turn it into an OK day but if that doesn’t work there are people I can talk to to help me.

I’m also finding my astronomy is coming on in leaps and bounds because I have access to fellow astronomers of all skill levels who are so full of knowledge, experience and happy to help. I’m getting tips and tricks for all aspects of astronomy which would have taken me years to get on my own.

I’m so happy I joined up and have found the circle of friends I have, although Mrs Stuff does complain occasionally that I spend all my time on Twitter and have made her a Twitter Widow. I don’t mean to spend so much time on it but I’m having so much fun chatting about the big issues, illness or biscuits.

So a big thank you to all the great people I chat to on Twitter, you truly have changed my life for the better.


Dec 9 2011

I Passed :)

Mr Stuff

I got the results of the OU course Introducing Astronomy today and I passed it, yay.

On the whole the marking of my work resulted in an “Achieved” result with 1 “Well Achieved” and 2 “Not quite achieved”, I didn’t quite get the question. So now to see if I want to do another one and if so which one?

Woo Yay

Dec 5 2011

Getting Chilly

Mr Stuff

Brrr it’s getting a bit chilly out there but with chilly nights come clear skies, which I love. Last night I was out and about with the telescope looking for stuff, unfortunately the moon was very bright which washed out a lot of the dimmer stars but there was still a lot to see.

Once it made it past the neighbours huge eucalyptus tree I got a great view of Orion, my favourite constellation. Betelgeuse was excellent and orange and I got a peek at the Orion nebula. I’m hoping it’s going to be clear tonight as well as I am making a short list of things to keep an eye out for.

BTW here is me all ready to take on the cold and see stuff :)

Astro Guy