intention update | meh-rch

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I’ve seen it around a bit and maybe the idea that February is the worst month of the year moved to March (at least for this year). I kind of feel like everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere has had a lingering sense of winter rather than the hopefulness of Spring and after reading Decor 8’s post questioning whether the weather doesn’t impact on happy people I have to say I feel it does because yes I am still mostly happy but dai (Italian for ‘come on’) I could do with some full-on spring already! It definitely takes the spring out your step sometimes when the sky is grey and you thought you could stop wearing your winter coat and then you can’t.

This month hasn’t been helped by a lingering cold/flu thing (the last week of which included waking up in coughing spasms about every two hours – though yay for first full night’s sleep last night). Plus a full schedule at work and ignoring working on my dissertation, which inevitably leads to guilt and anxiety that I’m not going to finish it. Plus not working out because I just don’t have the energy after a bad nights sleep. And not even reading because it requires a functioning brain and scrolling through pinterest is easier.

Another feeling that struck me this month is a sort of jealousy. Not a feeling that I am used to really. And not a sort of outright “I want that” or “I want their lives”. I am increasingly seeing my ‘blog buddies’ (mostly people I have actually met and truly like) working towards their dreams. And it is that that I am jealous of. Yes they have real lives and normal people problems but they have an idea of what it is they want and they are making it happen! Perhaps it is my looming birthday (and related thoughts of passing time and the reflection on how I am doing so far)? I kind of wonder what I am really doing and the question that I am having problems answering is ‘What is my big dream? What do I want to do with my life (in terms of how I make money and find creative fulfilment)?’. I mean I love like 80% of my life (and some days even 100%) but I know I am not doing the sort of work that I imagined myself doing a few years ago. But is that imagined life still what I want and perhaps more importantly realistic? Because a bit of realism is needed when you need to pay bills and you want to travel. Anyway a lot of questions.

So that is where I am at the moment, but always hopeful and optimistic.

That said I have been procrastinating on something at least semi-productive. It involves photography but not in a way I would have thought but we will see where it goes. It also involves learning a bunch of new skills not related to photography (ooh cryptic). It is always exciting to learn something new (at least for me) so that will be interesting. I just need to finish my rather unloved dissertation.

So what does April hold? Hopefully more productivity than procrastination. Getting a bulk of my dissertation out of the way. Turning 31 in less than a week! Hopefully more woohoo than meh (Siobhan and I decided they were the opposites of each other).

How are you doing?

intention update | when life isn’t as intended

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Note to self: never put on your blog “I think that was the quietest month ever”!

So February came, a week away was planned and then we arrived back (10.30pm on a Saturday night, Valentine’s Night) inadvertently locked out of our flat by the plumber who had been redoing our bathroom after we started leaking into our downstairs neighbour (sometimes renting is the best). So we found a hotel (eventually). Then, it turns out, we couldn’t actually stay in our flat for a few days anyway because you know there wasn’t a toilet in it! And then it was a dusty dusty mess that took days to clean (and I think I will still be finding cementy dust for months to come).

All alright in the end as we have a new bathroom fitted (although the style is bordering on 1995 aesthetics), the cord for the washing machine no longer has to be trailed with a series of extension cords out the door, we have more storage in the bathroom and we have one of those massive ‘rainfall’ shower-heads.

So how do the intentions fair when life isn’t like it is everyday?

I think the lesson I learned is just stick to one thing.

Week one of February was great and I started really well. I started a daily yoga challenge, I had a smoothie for breakfast everyday (not yet green), I had a hot lemon tonic to wake my body up in the morning and I sat down and journaled in my notebook about gratitude and my wonderful life. I was winning!

Going away always makes life a little difficult in terms of maintaining healthy habits (please tell me I am not the only one!). But I continued daily yoga (except for those mornings with really early flights) and ate pretty healthy while we were away.

Return to ‘Bathroom-Gate’ threw me though. So instead of trying to maintain all these habits in a foreign space, where I had to have a different morning routine I settled on one thing. I brought our blender (which I am loving more with each passing blend) and made a super healthy green smoothie every single day. Just that. That is all I needed to do. No pressure.

So we’ve moved into week four. Home is feeling more home again. I am getting up earlier than I have done in a while. I have my green smoothies every morning. I restarted my yoga challenge (back to day 1 because why not), I have my morning tonic. I got a post on my blog! And I have worked on my dissertation. The preliminary report is due on Monday so no choice really (and perhaps some further explanation why blogging on here has been a bit sparse), I haven’t got 100% back into the swing of journalling but I will.

Another thing that I have maintained in good weeks, bad weeks, home or away is getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Tim and I aren’t the types to go to clubs or even sit in a pub for hours with just the two of us. So even on holiday we were often in bed before 11pm. At home it is more like 10.30pm and I have no shame in getting into bed at 9pm if the day has been a particularly tiring one. That means that on holiday you can get to places before the crowds do. And at home you can get through a morning routine and leave the house at a normal pace, no running for a bus and arriving at work an uncomfortable mess.

Okay so that is two things I have learnt. Sleep and just one other thing!

It kind of relates to the yoga that I am doing. Adriene keeps talking about creating the space to become more flexible. I think that applies to my intentions this month. I am working towards things but sometimes you need to give yourself space.

So what does being intentional in March look like? Continuing to work on being fit and healthy, continuing to work on my dissertation and hopefully spending more time on my blog and photography.Two things I really miss working on. No plans travelled so it should be a more home-focussed month which means getting into my discarding phase of tidying up and minimising clutter in my life (more space!).

Do you manage to keep a routine going when you are away? Or how do you keep sane when life throws you a whole bunch of lemons?

a month in | an intention update

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I think this January has been one of the quietest months on this blog, although December also looks like a good contender. I do miss writing more consistently in this space, but at the moment I seem to be having difficulties in keeping all the balls in the air. I simply don’t know how some people do it. I do share more regularly on Instagram though which I am seeing as something that is happening for a lot of people. Anyway: an update of how being intentional is working for me.

I eventually got down to doing some planning for the year. I took a kind of different method with a bit of mood-boarding of what I want my year to look like. I am still using Danielle LePorte’s concept of Core Desired Feelings: and basically I want to feel calm, happy and creative with a heaping of adventure, wander and gratitude.

I do have a few more ‘standard’ goals:

  • Finishing my dissertation (yes that old mess still. The department finally gave us part-timers some deadline dates so it will definitely be finished this year).
  • Improve my Italian.
  • Do all the travelling! (see below).
  • Make an Italian friend (any Italians based near by please get in touch!)

I do still need to work on my intentions for this space and my photography. I feel like they are both stagnating a bit and I need to come up with some actions on how I am going to change that up.

But I feel like things are going well on a personal level. I wrote 1000 words for my dissertation the other day. I seem to somehow have cut down on TV by about 95% (although I am not sure how long that will last). It definitely means there is more time for other activities. Like reading. I even bought myself a Kindle (which I totally love. I went for the cheaper one that needs a light because hey I can keep a light on while reading). Tim and I know spend most evenings reading.

I also started working on building some new habits and I think I am getting a strong B+ in this category. I am using a similar process to my habits chart that I shared last year but no rewards and with a weekly ‘star chart’ feel. I have kept it simple with just five habits that I want to work on this month and with goals that are easily achievable. I feel that way I won’t become disheartened and just give up. So far that means I have gone to bed earlier than normal (which means I also don’t struggle to wake up), have worked out three times a week (even if for only 20 minutes) and begun practising my Italian more consistently again.

I have also really found my five minute journal to be brilliant too. It is amazing how those few minutes each morning and evening really create a positive frame for your day and your sleep. They are helping me create a better and calmer routine in my mornings. Something that I think I will work on a bit more in the next few months.

In other news it seems my secondary word for the year is travel and we have booked another trip for our February break. We are taking the train to Rome and then flying to Budapest. I am incredibly excited by the fact that Budapest has a chain of hummus bars (which I think indicates how lacking Trieste is in non-Italian food) but would appreciate any other tips if you have them.

How are your goals/intentions/resolutions going so far? I definitely think a monthly check-in will be in order. I know they are more personal and don’t really have any major benefit for you but I really enjoy the journalling aspect of this space sometimes so I hope you won’t mind the ramble.

getting there

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I feel like it has been more of a slow shuffle into the new year and all that is promises rather than a leap. But I am getting there and starting to work out what I want 2015 to look like.

Until I allocate some time to actually sitting down and writing some posts I thought I would share these iPhone photographs of yesterday’s sunset with you. I just kept taking pictures as it changed and it was so darn pretty. I think sunsets are just about one of my most favourite things in the world. I would estimate that I have spent about 942 hours of my life appreciating the wonder of sunsets. Maybe I should make a book … Or one that is crowd sourced … A world of sunsets.

Anyway, I hope they set you up for a week where you stop to appreciate the magic of the everyday.

my word for 2015

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Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a good break.

I would love to say I came back from my holiday in South Africa ‘restored’ but honestly squeezing in all the friends and family there into two short weeks was pretty exhausting (though of course still lovely). My mind is still full of all my thoughts and I haven’t had a chance to sit down and think them out properly.

That said I have chosen a word for the year. Something to keep me ‘on track’ as it were. I love words. They have such power and beauty. I chose a word last year and although I wasn’t always very good at harnessing the focussing power I think it was still useful. This years word is a bit more active.


Intentional

Meaning: done with intention or purpose.

Derived from Intention: a thing intended; a plan or aim.

Interestingly it comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to stretch’ or ‘purpose’


In a nutshell I want to be more intentional with what I do with my time (our most important personal resource) and what I put into my body. To some extent this requires me reconsidering my core desired feelings and I plan to spend some time rereading Danielle LaPorte’s book and working through more precise intentions for the year; something that January’s wintery evenings will hopefully give fruit to. I am looking forward to it.

Do you have a word for the year?

happy new year

I am sitting on a computer for the first time in a week (although it feels like a bit more than that) and just wanted to mark the end of this year on my little spot on the internet as well as wish all those in my little internet community a happy new year. I hope that 2015 is another beautiful and exciting year for you and look forward to seeing it unfold with you.

2014 was such an amazing year. It will always stand out in the timeline of my life for the simple reason that it was the year that I married my best friend, partner in adventure and love of my life. I have also had so many adventures, with some local travel and some further afield. I have started to find my place in our life in Italy and am becoming more confident of who I am and my next steps (thanks in part to the help of Marie and some coaching). I have strengthened new friendships and enjoyed spending time with friends who came to visit us and those we were able to visit. It hasn’t always been easy but I am entering 2015 with a little more wisdom, a thirst for adventures and such love and happiness. If 2015 is half as good as this past year I know it will be a good one.

In particular I am stepping into the new year with some knowledge that I have been repeating to myself for the last month or so: “My problems are blessings”. I am so lucky (although of course I have created some of that) and I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have.

I haven’t made any resolutions or goals as the last few months have flown away from me but I am planning on a quiet(ish) January with some time for reflection and planning.

Felice Capodanno!