Oh, hello there. Yes, it's me, Emily, also known as The Glitter Vixen. I know, I know. I posted FOUR posts in January promising that this year would be different, that I'd finally get back to blogging regularly and here we are again, over a month with no posts, AGAIN.

But even the best laid plans can go awry.

When I headed up to Wakefield on the weekend of the 13th January, I had planned to spend the weekend after at home in Reading, dedicated entirely to photography, writing, social media and kickstarting my blog once and for all. What I didn't see coming was the mystery stomach pains that I'd alluded to in this post, becoming something much more than a daily annoyance. No, on Sunday 15th January, my poor mum's birthday no less, my stomach pains started and then they grew and grew and grew and grew until I was carried into an ambulance and injected with morphine. What followed was a very unexpected diagnosis, an explanation for the months of pain, two weeks in hospital, 5 days away from hospital, before going right back in to have my gallbladder removed. Recovery is an ongoing process and one that was initially much more difficult than I anticipated. I may be unusually young to get acute pancreatitis caused by gallstones, but unfortunately, this doesn't mean I've just been able to shrug this experience off. 

Amazingly, this ordeal hasn't defeated me and I am coming through the other side with a surprisingly positive outlook. Although 2017 hasn't got off to the best start, I now feel more motivated to work hard to make it my best year yet. I am truly looking forward to getting to do all the things I haven't been able to do while I've been ill.

Some of my goals for 2017, such as drink less alcohol and eat a healthier diet, have now become much easier because I don't have a choice any more. I've been advised to give up alcohol completely to avoid inflaming my pancreas again and although there's no risk of me getting gallstones again now I don't have a gallbladder, doctors have recommended I maintain a relatively low fat, healthy and balanced diet.

Other goals, such as keeping up with blogging and working towards my 30 Before 30 goals list are now much more desirable. While in hospital and the weeks afterwards where I was too ill to move, nevermind do anything even remotely enjoyable, I really learnt how I'd taken my previous good health for granted. I'm a huge time waster, always procrastinating, even avoiding doing things I actually want to do and then suddenly, the option to do enjoyable things was taken away from me. This made me really appreciate the time I have on this planet and I am now hugely motivated to stop spending all my time in ways that don't make me happy.

Unfortunately, some goals are still on hold. I can't learn to drive right now because I hate wearing seatbelt - it rubs on too many of my post-surgery wounds and I am still experiencing a few aches and pains as a result of the surgery. If I had to do an emergency stop at the minute, I'd be in agony. I am also not ready to get back in the swimming pool - while I'm finally back at work and capable of getting myself around, some movement still causes me great pain and I think swimming might be a little too much for me right now. Thankfully, if being ill has taught me anything, it's that there's no point stressing about things beyond your control. I'll pick up driving and swimming again when I'm ready.

In January, I posted about the six lessons I learnt in 2016, one of which was "you can't control everything." Oh boy have I had that lesson hammered home well and truly now! If you're going through a difficult time at the moment, just remember we're still in the early stages of the year; there's more than enough time to turn things around. Bad things are just a part of life and I am forever grateful that I have been given the strength to get through this and still have a positive outlook on life.