What have I been up to? May 2017

Welcome to June! Read on for my monthly recap of what I’ve been doing / reading / eating / being grateful for!

May kicked off with my first Oxford May Morning – I may be a morning person, but that was definitely too early for me not to be grumpy! Another first for me this month was voting in the local elections (Lib Dem if you’re wondering – as the best strategy to keep the Conservatives out here).

I’ve been focusing on strength training this month and also continuing the hundred pushups challenge. I can do more pushups than I used to but I have yet to notice any other significant benefits, which is part of the reason I’ve ordered the Fitbit Aria – to track my fat vs. lean mass ratios.

In other health news, I did a one-week detox at the end of the month, which did involve quite a bit of effort, but I did feel better for it. One of the yummiest recipes was the courgette “pasta” – we replaced the chicken with butter beans – it tasted quite decadent for a detox meal!

I’ve also slowly started running again after rolling my ankle – a lovely excuse to be out in the sunshine! We took plenty of other opportunities to be out in the sunshine in May: the boyfriend organised an afternoon cruise on the Thames (with picnic!); we enjoyed an open day at Bothy Vineyard (lightweight me was tipsy by noon…) and we went on a pleasant walk around the Hendreds. I definitely recommend attending the free vineyard tour next Saturday (as part of English Wine Week) and doing the self-guided walk around the Hendreds if you are Abingdon/Oxford-based.

In the middle of the month, I surprised my family by showing up (in France) for my brother’s birthday. My mum had recently had a fall, was off work and her ankle was in a cast, so it was nice to keep her company too. I also caught up with two of my “French friends”, which means a lot to me.

As part of my work at The Open University, I delivered an adult education session at The Parks Trust (one of our project partners). The theme was “Discover the value of trees”, definitely a learning experience for me too!

I finished two books in May – Wild: a Journey from Lost to Found and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life – both highly recommended: you’ll probably hear more about them from me… One of them might also be part of an upcoming giveaway, hint hint.

I watched two films: Wild (not as good as the book, surprise surprise) and The Silent Enemy. The latter was the boyfriend’s choice and not something I would have picked myself, but surprisingly enjoyable.

We also finished the River series (get your tissues ready for the last episode) and I’ve started watching Gossip Girl: everyone’s got to have some kind of naughty pleasure…

I reach the end of May with renewed motivation and discipline, for instance actually being excited about getting up at 6 six times a week, and skipping pleasant but disruptive coffee breaks at work.

The Say Goodbye to Survival Mode book – that I bought by accident – made quite an impact on me towards the end of the month. It inspired me to be more disciplined, with my early starts for example, and to develop ambitious financial goals.

One of my first (less scary than I thought) steps was to buy my own domain name and transfer my blog to it. I am surprised no one owned www.jessicagoodenough.com but it’s mine now! So welcome to my new site and please be patient while I learn to set it up.

I accompanied the food detox I mentioned earlier with an Internet detox: no scrolling through social media and fashion blogs for a week… It was so refreshing and relaxing that I’m continuing in that ethos even now that the detox is officially over!

Goals

  • Do six strength-training workouts – done 30/05/17
  • Book accommodation and transport for Greece – done 29/05/17
  • Make money from blogging / freelance work – not yet!

Wins and accomplishments

  • Going gluten-free for a week and feeling good
  • Buying my own domain name and setting up WordPress on my new site
  • Giving my first workshop: “Discover the value of trees”

Losses

  • Getting distracted earlier on in the month by The Internet and video games, that don’t really bring me much joy
  • Not being appreciative enough of the boyfriend’s efforts
  • Feeling a bit “disjointed” about work – with all the days off in the middle

Fixes

  • Focusing on the happiness of following through with my plans
  • Talking about love languages – cheesy but it makes so much sense
  • Having a weekly review of the progress of each project in Todoist

Things I am grateful for

Every day I write three things that I am grateful for in my journal – here are my entries for May:

  • Experiencing May Morning for the first time
  • Trying to work things through as a couple (e.g. me needing to go to bed early to avoid arguments)
  • Communication from my family
  • Going to France and Greece this summer
  • Having written my monthly recap post, even though I stayed up a bit too late to do so
  • Having the flexibility to organise my day the way I want to: choosing health and productivity
  • The soft ache of my muscles after an upper body workout
  • Getting off the bus soon (feeling a bit nauseous)
  • Another day of being alive!
  • Feeling a bit more rested after having a short sleep-in
  • Reading interesting papers
  • Having a lot of work to do
  • Sunny weather and blue skies
  • Have a week off soon to relax and catch up on sleep
  • Giving a Treezilla workshop on the 20th
  • Reading Wild – very inspiring
  • Getting up this morning despite going to bed (too) late: getting the day started
  • The delicious banana cake Charmaine brought over yesterday
  • The warm weather we had yesterday
  • Being on holiday at the end of the week
  • The Afford Anything podcast interview with Jen Sincero about developing the right mindset to make money
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Being almost done with the PhD application process
  • Probably being a PhD student soon!
  • The new podcasts I subscribed to
  • Working on evaluating citizen science
  • The green gym
  • Booking accommodation for Greece yesterday
  • Flying home to see family tomorrow
  • Heading towards hot weather
  • My granny and her partner being kind and generous
  • The boyfriend dropping me off and sending me a cute text
  • Having a slow day
  • Learning about UK trees in The Observer’s Book of Trees [available virtually free here!]
  • Choosing quiet over noise
  • The abundance of fruit at my parents’ house
  • Being able to afford to go on holiday
  • Reading a lot more than I used to
  • Deciding not to watch the second part of Three Girls this evening
  • Doing my “miracle morning” outside
  • Starting to work on an editorial calendar for my blog
  • Having spent an evening with my friends
  • Rain watering the plants
  • “New” clothes [picked up from the wardrobe in my old room at my parents’]
  • Books, books, books!
  • Being back into my habits and rituals
  • The flat we have been renting for a year now
  • Not turning the Internet on on my phone during my miracle morning
  • Reading Wild – though also a bit sad that it’s over
  • The sunshine coming through the windows this morning
  • Listening to the podcast about So Good They Can’t Ignore You and starting to reflect on what key skill I need to improve
  • Getting back into a rhythm (going back to work)
  • Being on a social media detox: I feel like I have more time
  • The minty smoothie I’m drinking
  • Reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and adding more space to my schedule
  • Being reminded to post Mother’s Day card
  • Reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and modifying my financial goals to make them more motivating
  • Making the sensible decision to stay home from work as I have a cold
  • The sunny weather we’re experiencing
  • Fighting my cold with rest and healthy food
  • Setting goals in advance for June
  • Making financial goals for the next few years based on chapter 5 of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
  • Mum messaging me through Facebook
  • Putting my needs and goals first: deciding not to go out this evening so that I can get up early tomorrow
  • The effort and expense the boyfriend went to in order to plan a surprise for me yesterday
  • Doing the shopping, cleaning and decluttering later today – actually looking forward to it
  • Peace and quiet of early mornings
  • Waking up naturally before my alarm
  • Setting objectives for the week ahead
  • Setting myself up for success with the blog: adding blog post ideas to Todoist and creating a recurring task to outline content three times a week
  • Reading the Say Goodbye to Survival Mode chapter on making a difference
  • Setting up my donation to Effective Altruism Funds
  • Starting to plan our “renewing our lease” party
  • Not coughing like I was last night
  • The blessing that was Say Goodbye to Survival Mode [I know I’ve mentioned it a trillion times now!]
  • Donating to Effective Altruism Funds and feeling better for it
  • Getting out of the flat in time
  • Experimenting with my outfit
  • Finding lots of resources online to help me with my website

Well that’s it – quite a long post! As always, please do share your “wins” and other adventures in the comments!

 

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