intention update | meh-rch

looking-towards-the-sun-mycreative

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

intentions-giving-yourself-space-mycreative

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?

my word for 2015

intent-2015-mycreative

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?

summer intentions

summer intentions

It is going to be an amazing summer. Tim’s summer holiday lasts from tomorrow until the end of August!!! That requires multiple exclamation marks in my opinion. I start working part-time at the school after the summer so I am planning on having a productive and beautiful summer and thought I would write down some intentions so I can keep myself in check.

  1. Find my creativity again. I have not even felt like picking up my camera of late. I am going to play around with a few other crafts. Sit down with paper and colours and explore my creativity.
  2. Make adventures.
  3. As much as I am not enamoured with the idea I definitely need to work on my dissertation.
  4. Switch off the computer and spend time outside.
  5. Read some books. After ages of not reading too much (it is hard when you are studying to justify) I have been reading a bit more lately (procrastinating on writing my dissertation perhaps) and definitely
  6. Feel the sun on my skin.
  7. Regular dips in the ocean.
  8. Make some popsicles (I just need to find popsicle moulds – why didn’t I think to pack them when we moved?).
  9. Eat lots of salads.
  10. Keep exercising.

What about you? Are you planning on anything special this summer?

building better habits

building better habits like I love myself

I’ve been thinking of how I behave day to day and how I can go about building better habits so that I eat, move and act like I love myself.

It is very easy for me to be lazy and procrastinate and not get the things done that I want (or need) to get done. Being currently job free for the most part (I don’t think four hours a week of looking after and teaching kids English counts) means that my days have become progressively more amorphous. I am not a very disciplined person and the lack of structure that I have always hated seems to have been, in hindsight, at least a little bit useful. So instead of using all my free time wisely I have not touched my dissertation, put on weight (!!!), and spent a many hour on pinterest. I go through good patches but generally I am pretty terrible. But I am not going to be mean to myself because that is likely to lead to only more ‘bad’ behaviour. Instead I am going to make a plan.

The last week Tim and I started using a new app called Chorma. It is a household chore app which you share with other people in your household. You create a list of chores that need to be done, allocate points and away you go. We have decided that whoever gets the most points every two weeks gets to pay for date night. I’ve found the accountability to someone else of seeing what I get up to everyday, the slight competitive-ness, the reminders and the reward mean that I don’t leave sweeping the floors until tomorrow. (It is pretty good you should check it out if you share chores with others. I imagine this would have saved a lot of heartache over the years living with friends.)

So how do I bring these factors into creating better habits? Well until the developers of Chorma come up with a habit app I have made a little chart inspired by Creature Comforts. I have written the four main habits that I want to work on and allocated points for levels of achievement (so for example working out for under  30 minutes gets me 2 points and for more than 30 minutes gets me 3 points, etc). I am sticking it up in the kitchen so I see it everyday.

I’m keeping it simple and I am hoping this will work. I think I will post an update here on how I am doing regularly so I am accountable.

building better habits

Now I am just thinking of the ‘reward’ system. It is quite a tough one as I normally reward myself with food (oh oh). I also only make a little bit extra each week so can’t go buy myself a spa weekend every month. That said, let’s be honest if I really want a magazine I am going to buy it (just love my Kinfolk and Cereal too much). That said I have been surprisingly good with money lately by sticking to a modest budget every week for household spending and not really buying things for myself that I normally wouldn’t have hesitated to buy. I thought this month I might add up my points (I am hoping if I am good I should get between 300 and 400 points), knock off the last digit and spend that amount at the antiques market or maybe an antiques shop if I can find something in the budget. Some research suggests that it doesn’t matter what the reward is as long as you ‘get something’. Let’s hope that is true for me!

building better habits - reward

I’ve made a printable to share with you, with one for March and some blank ones with options for both four or five blocks for habits. Let me know if you find it useful or if you have suggestions for changes.

How do you reward yourself when you achieve something? 

p.s. I’ve linked to some useful articles/posts on creating habits before if you are interested.

happy friday

happy friday This week I am grateful for

  • That spring feeling. Are you feeling it too? It just kind of makes me feel bubbly.
  • Finally finding a cute set of measuring spoons for baking.
  • I’ve been in our new flat (and Italy) for almost four months and have been doing a little spring cleaning and reorganising this week. Finding better homes for places and plotting what to save for next. Cupboard ‘storage solutions’ will probably win.

Links for the weekend

  • I loved Miss Jojangle’s post on handwriting. I love a handwritten note and am really going to make an effort to send out more (ie any!).
  • Instagram is probably one of my favourite apps and so I love finding what people use, check out WishWishWish’s instagram app list.
  • A lovely reminder from Freya to focus on the magic.
  • Looking to boost your memory capabilities. I’m hoping these tips will help with my language learning
  • My tip for nicer tasting water over on Instagram.
  • Have you seen bloglovin’s new profile pages. They look pretty swishy. If you want you can follow me.

The week ahead I will be working on:

  • Working out and not eating any junk. Why is this always so hard?
  • Working on the blog – updating the sidebar (any tips?), planning future posts and projects and working out how I can use it to help me progress my photography career.
  • Making progress on booking some things for the wedding. I finally sent off wedding invites so figure I better have cutlery for people to eat with.

Do you have anything exciting planned for the weekend?