March – Recharging the Soul

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Boy is this blog post late in coming. It’s a very good thing that my reflection on March was for ‘Recharging the Soul’ because the moment that April landed, that energy has been put to very good use!

March was pretty much all about Hawaii (plus a wonderful weekend in LA). It was a holiday that was so needed for so many reasons and it fulfilled every purpose that we had so hoped it would. We returned ready to face the things that we have hoped and prepared for. Our lifestyle has changed so much in a few short months but I am so thankful that we have transitioned into it so seamlessly. Some of the things I feared haven’t materialised. The fact we now have a much lower income hasn’t really bothered me. All I have noticed is the joy and dreaming that have slowly grown as a result.

My husband is working on something that makes his heart happy. Most of his time is now governed by himself and that works for him. He is motivated, he is excited and this in turn makes me so content. My job has changed and transformed into almost everything I hoped it might.

We hoped these changes would come, we prepared for them and March refreshed us ready to face them. I was very thankful for March and I will soon try to make some sense of the intensity that is April…

March reflections / April hopes

March reflections - April hopes

< Reflections >

Start a new job – this was a given, but I’ve started it, I’m exhausted and I’m loving it

Plan a few surprises for our weekend away the weekend away with my sister and her friends was so very lovely and we managed to give my sister a surprise gift at every mealtime, so I count this goal complete!

Get halfway through German Sherlock – yes! In fact… I finished it! Really pleased. Now that I’m more in the habit of reading, as well as reading in German, I think I’m done setting reading goals – they start to take the joy out of it (yes, that’s me very unusually saying that a goal can detract from something, but there’s a time and a place…)

Go for at least one walk a week – I didn’t really monitor this. I’ve definitely been on one or two walks with my hubby and a few walks just along the cobble streets in the town where I currently work. Whether I did it every week I’m not sure…

Wear perfume more – it was fun challenging myself to care more about my appearance. I did this almost every working day and it did make me feel like I’d actually made an effort. Hopefully now that I’m in the habit of it, I’ll continue to wear it more often, although this will have the adverse effect of my perfume running out for the first time, well, ever!

It almost looks like March was just running to catch up while my new job ran away with me, but I actually did loads of things this past month. We went to the Newton Faulkner concert and finally bought a dehumidifier for the flat, I went to a masquerade party and a railway exhibition and I booked flights and accommodation for holidays this year! It’s been a busy month and I don’t mind admitting that I’m hoping April will run at a slightly slower pace.

< Hopes >

April is definitely spring, without question. We will be celebrating our third anniversary in Paris over the Easter weekend and I cannot wait! This next month should calm down. Although the long commute with the new job will continue for a few more weeks, there is less to plan and book and sort this month, as well as freer weekends and evenings to finally rest and relax. So the things I’d like to do next month are ways to enjoy my leisure time in new (and sometimes productive) ways:

Do brunch – no need for the early start for breakfast but far more relaxed than a quick lunch, brunch is the perfect compromise to relax with friends

Clear my laptop and iPhone of photos – my iPhone is three and a half years old and my MacBook, inherited from my hubby, is seven years old so it’s hardly surprising they’re slowing down a little. My mission for April is to take all of the photos off them both and store them onto a hard drive, hopefully resulting in a new lease of life for these aging gadgets!

Make homemade GF granola – I accidentally stumbled on a recipe that I want to change slightly and make into homemade granola. It was originally a topping for a plum crumble, but very little actually made it to the crumble it was so good!

Make popcorn without a microwave – a fun activity for date night. We don’t have space for a microwave in our kitchen and usually we don’t notice at all as we either leave things to defrost in the fridge or we can heat things up on the stove, but popcorn? Popcorn is something I’ve missed making and friends who have just moved to Ethiopia mentioned they were making it on their stove! Plus, this gives me the opportunity to make some fun flavours!

Buy some sports clothes – for some reason I have managed to convince myself that doing exercise would be more fun if I had the correct clothing to wear. Joggers and tshirts certainly aren’t as easy to move in as proper sportswear would be, so once my new job calms down, I think it’s time to invest in proper clothing for some good and regular exercise to start up again!

April also brings a baby shower for one of my best friends, four days in Paris and our third wedding anniversary so it promises to be a very celebration-filled month!

Cherry blossoms in Spring

collage1Spring appears finally to have sprung in the UK this weekend and with it, the optimistic populous have donned summer clothes to embrace the fleeting sunshine in case it disappears as unexpectedly as it arrived.

Although our attire wasn’t quite as ambitious as some we saw, hubby and I did walk into town and bask in the unfamiliar warmth. A bit of shopping and a stroll by the river later, we came home for an afternoon that promised rugby, food and relaxation. Perfect.

Taking a photo of a cherry blossom is just one of the many things that makes me feel like a new season has arrived.

Hello Spring – you are so welcome!

February reflections / March hopes

collage< Reflections >

Continue with January successes – remarkably, rolling laundry has actually continued and my Saturdays have been spared multiple laundry loads, I have continued to read my Bible every day, we’ve had a day trip to the coast and this little blog has been updated more than once. Tick!
Finish No Name and start reading German Sherlock – done! No name was great, completely the right ending, loved it. German Sherlock is underway although progress is quite slow…
Take at least one photo a week – I have definitely taken more photographs this month but I hope as spring really sets in, there will be even more scope to capture my life on camera. One photo a week hasn’t really felt enough to bring back photography joy.
Bake something red around Valentine’s DayRed velvet cheesecake pancakes. ‘Nuff said.

< Hopes >

March 3rd will bring a whole new routine to my life as I start a new job. It’s exciting and challenging and refreshing and it has the potential to overshadow the whole of the month so I want to make sure I have just a few little goals to keep me moving forward.

Start a new job – as mentioned, this one is going to happen no matter what I do
Plan a few surprises for our weekend away – my Christmas present to my sister was to take her away for a girly weekend with her best friends and I’d love to add in some extra little surprises. No clue what they might be as yet!
Get halfway through German Sherlock – reading in German takes more time as I have to switch my mind into another language but I think I can get halfway through the book by the end of March
Go for at least one walk a week – the weather is hopefully going to pick up a little so I’d love to get out a bit more and get some fresh air; this winter has been particularly ‘indoor’ focused!
Wear perfume more – it’s such a small thing but smells are powerful mind triggers and I’ve had the same perfume for about a decade so it’s quite comforting. It’s very ‘me’ and it helps me feel more put together when I probably won’t have the time to make much more effort than that!