As I said in my previous post, I’m not aiming to make any big resolutions for the new year – I’m just after positive experiences. With that in mind, I started the year by making a few changes in my day-to-day life:
Social Media – This year started with my friend, Dandy Wellington, asking “What more can I do to impact the world around me for the better?”. I reflected on this and decided to do something. I would dedicate each day of January to people I follow who have a positive effect on me – the majority coming from marginalised groups. It was good to spread the word about some truly brilliant people and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders with regard to posting my own outfits, hair, etc. After doing a lot of reading on the impact of screen time on child development (teacher life), I set up app timers to limit how much time I spend on my phone. It’s definitely been helpful but it obviously takes time to create good habits. I’m a lot happier having more time on my hands now.
Reading – I am definitely someone who buys books and puts them in a to-read pile that barely gets touched. I often feel like a hypocrite because I preach to my class about the benefits of reading and how they should read as much as possible. Getting to work before seven and coming home exhausted made me feel like reading could be knocked off my to-do list. At the start of January, I started to timetable my evenings to work in some reading time most days. It’s worked out really well. I’ve got through Hollow City, Flowers For Algernon, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying and I’m part way through Wool and Her Body And Other Parties. I’d forgotten how much I loved to read and how I needed to make time to do so. My brain feels like it’s being fed.
Decluttering – Well, the KonMari method is sweeping the world and I’m totally on board. Prior to Christmas, my better half and I got decluttering as we decided we’d rather spend money on holidays than trying to buy a bigger house. We gutted our entire place. From kitchen cupboards to wardrobes, it all got picked through. I think it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. Our home’s much more user-friendly and easy to live in. I’m also finding myself a lot less stressed when I come home from work too. Decluttering has also taken place on social media and in my social life. Social media is a strange machine. I’ve removed a lot of people who either weren’t making me happy or we weren’t bringing out the best in each other. It’s been a really freeing experience, giving the space to focus on better things.
Spending – I was at one time a bit of a spending addict. I would not leave the house without chucking money at something. However as my better half and I have been working out what we actually want from life, accruing more and more and stuff is not what we need to do. Having decluttered, we don’t want to go back to old habits. Most times when I set myself on a no-spend, I fail fantastically. Instead, I’m endeavouring to make informed choices and think more about what I actually buy. I’m not just focusing on clothes: books, toiletries, make-up, memorabilia, souvenirs, etc. are all going through the same process.
Cooking – With more time free of social media, stress and online shopping, I’ve taken time to cook. In particular, I’m spending time working my grandma’s dishes. Ever since her dementia diagnosis, I’ve harboured a lot of sadness and anger. I kind of felt like cooking her food was sacrilege and that I wouldn’t do it justice. With support from my better half though, I’m having a go at making her food. So far we’ve made chicken curry, aloo bean and lamb samosas. It’s no way near as good as hers but I feel like she’s talking me along while I’m cooking. I now face the epic challenge of making roti. Wish me luck!
Basically, I feel like I’m in a good place at the moment. Living life with an all or nothing mentality has done nothing for me so I’m just going to do the best that I can. February is a full-on month for me but I’m ready for it.
I’ll be back to my weekly blogging now and I’m looking forward to sharing my musings and adventures. Til next time!