Get back to what matters

Back in early January (when 2020 was a cool place to be) I hit a personal-life low behind closed doors. As I scrambled to keep my shit together and get on the right track; I realised that I needed to strip myself back. 

Going back to basics would help me work out what was best for me going forward, in the long run. I needed to go back to who I was. Back to what I was all about.

While it had literally taken me all these years to ask myself ‘’What really makes me, me?’’, the answers came forth quickly once I opened myself up to wanting to know. 

I admitted that my happiest days were way before Bondi, way before I solo travelled far flung parts of our world. They were even before I moved to the glitzy lights of London. 

My happiest days were in Wales. When I was studying, had my horses, my dogs and a partner in crime.

Life was simple, life was fun.

Yesterday I blogged about what my dreams look like now. These days they pretty much make up what my past looked like! Simply living, nothing major. While I work on making those dreams come true – I’d like to share the other things that have always mattered to me. Books.

As a traveller, mover and my general goes-with-the-wind way of living these last six years, my reading collection amounts to 10 or so physical books in my possession right now. I have more stored at a friends house – Jamie, as soon as we can reunite I’ll be there to hug you (and pick up my stuff!;).

#Lockdown is offering up so much time for reading. Devouring multiple books will be one of my simplest joys during this crazy time. I have been trying to think of my fave authors from my earlier years. But had been totally stumped! I could see the storylines but not the writer’s names. Hmmm. How could I find them again?!

… Luckily, completely by chance today (I must have wished this magic to happen!) – I spotted a tweet from Lindsey Kelk. I used to love Lindsey’s best-selling I Heart series! Seeing her profile on Twitter opened the floodgates of my internal librarian. All of a sudden I could remember some of my fave authors:

Going the Distance was free with a monthly horse magazine when I was in school. It was Horse magazine that gave it away as a freebie. I remember picking up the mag and being so excited to see a book attached! My magazines were a highlight of my life back then and this made that trip to the shop all the more special.

This was in 1997, when I was 12!. I have a clear memory of being in Robinson’s newspaper shop back home in Pembroke when I discovered Christina Jones. You can still buy her books today of course. Check them all out here.

I heart London by Lindsey Kelk in one instalment of the much-loved I heart series. Check them all (and the rest of Lindsey’s work) here.

Dawn French was one of my childhood idols. She was so funny on TV shows as I was growing up. She published A Tiny Bit Marvellous in 2011. Click here to buy.

Backpack also came out in 2011. It is known as ”the original backpacking novel”. I remember reading this before I left the UK. Click here to check out all of Emily Barr’s books.


I’ve added Lindsey and Emily’s latest titles to my #lockdown list. Can’t wait for these! How about the name of Emily’s! It’s as if she knew what the world would feel like right now.

In case you missed it comes out in July and promises to be Hilarious, relatable and heartwarming: summer 2020’s best new romantic comedy”. Join me in pre-ordering here.

Things to do before the end of the world is described as Timely and powerful; the new coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author”. Also out in July 2020 – click here to pre-order now.


Covid-19 life is going to hopefully give you lots of time to assess what makes you tick. If you have been struggling with what to do, where to attempt to plan your life from here on out etc – I urge you to go back to basics first.

You need to be completely honest with yourself.

As always; write things down. Make lists. Put yourself in your younger shoes and open yourself up to really taking onboard what used to make you happy. Reflection will help you shape the life you really want in the future.

Things are crazy right now but there is a life beyond Covid-19; there has to be! In the meantime, you might want to check out the authors I have mentioned to keep busy. I can’t wait to dive back into those old faves. It will feel like some kind of homecoming getting to know the characters again. 

Reading is going to be something that saves our minds. Being online all the time can dull our brains – whereas reading will always help you grow, no matter what is going on in the outside world.

Thank you for reading this post. I am currently staying up late every night to write. It gives me a final focus before the day is out!
@LaraLain

 

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