January has been a very difficult month for me and reading back on my daily musings I have found that I have a really great support network: at home with the hubby, at work with colleagues, and generally friends from all over offering support, comfort, and advice. Of course with the end of Christmas and the festive holiday season it is usual for people to feel particularly down in this time of year, this month has seen Blue Monday, the day where CEOs make in days what their employees make in a year, and the day where the most divorces are filed.
I have found it particularly difficult at work, having not really recharged my batteries as well as I would have liked and just trying to tread water at work and keeping things running. But the hamster wheel can’t keep going forever, it needs to be oiled. So I have found solace in people, conversations, inspiring podcasts, and music. I have always found auditory learning my worst type of learning style, listening was always my worst grade in my German classes, and as I grow older I find my hearing is not what it once was. But listening to music (musicals, Disney, upbeat albums) and playing music (my ukulele) has really helped me focus on the good instead of the bad. Music this month has surprisingly helped me, distracted me, and soothed me in ways I never thought could be possible.
So, here is my January, the good and the bad:
1 Little Women: grateful for this story, this book, which I have seen the new film today, as it shows that women and people in general can have different dreams but they are in no way less than others’ dreams.
2 Taika Waititi: grateful to this talented writer and director, today we saw his new film Jojo Rabbit, and it was both hilarious and moving. Sometimes you need a good laugh and sometimes you need to be reminded of what is important to you, be it family or friends or values; and today Waititi’s film managed it.
3 Muscles: grateful for muscles today as I exercised for the first times in ages and although I am in slight pain today I am grateful that my muscles carry me and allow me to do what I can to get by. Hopefully tomorrow said muscles will not ache.
4 Historic Royal Palaces: grateful to this organisation as we visited the Tower of London and it was wonderful experiencing the beefeater tour and walking through corridors that monarchs walked through and learning more about the history of its walls.
5 New Girl: grateful for this hilarious TV show that we are watching, it reminds me of watching it at uni and it is so hilarious I absolutely love it.
6 Muscles: grateful for my body and muscles, again, as today I am finally not aching. Grateful that my body has healed.
7 Many things: grateful for many things today as a lot has happened. Looking at properties online today and I’m grateful to be able to buy property and also I have sorted out travel insurance for a group holiday later this month so I’m grateful to be able to travel and explore.
8 Music: grateful for music today as the office was packed and super loud so listening to music really helped me concentrate.
9 Team night out: grateful for team night out, consisting of crazy mini golf and dinner, which were both amazing. I putted the ball halfway through the windmill, so the person allowed me to put the ball in the hole and the windmill lit up!
10 The Good Place: grateful for this amazing TV show which is so heart-warming and brilliant. I love it.
11 Food: grateful to have some traditional dishes for dinner tonight, we reheated some food my mum had previously made the last time we visited home and it was delicious and hearty.
12 Marie Kondo: grateful for some therapeutic spring cleaning, getting rid of things and finding things I have forgotten that reignite joy.
13 Podcast: grateful for TED Talks Daily podcast today, Ipsita Dasgupta’s TED talk To challenge the status quo, find a co-conspirator was really inspiring. Grateful listening to heart-warming stories of how you can change the way people think by praise even if they have not done anything to warrant said praise and then turning those people into co-conspirators or champions to help you, be it at home or in your career. Eye opening listening.
14 Sleep: grateful to be able to manage 8 hours sleep last night, I used a sleep balm on my pulse points to help, and I think I had a dream for the first time in a while. Grateful to feel rested and recharged and with more energy today.
15 Hubby and words: grateful for hubby for calming me down and helping me word something quite difficult, grateful for the hubby’s support and diplomacy, and super grateful for his loving hugs.
16 Music: grateful for music today to get me through work, some classic Disney songs, and then in the evening winding down playing the ukulele. I just love Moon River, lulling me to sleep and playing with my eyes closed. The ukulele also reminds me of Merlin and how he used to listen to me play, I miss that fur ball.
17 Warmth: today was very chilly and I’m anticipating it to get colder in the coming weeks so I’m grateful that I’m able to keep warm and cosy.
18 Friends: grateful for friends today, had a lovely brunch and walking around the Wallace Collection, and then a house warming party and seeing friends who I haven’t seen in months so it was lovely catching up on recent news and upcoming hopes and aspirations.
19 China Town: grateful for China Town today, visited for the first time in months and the food and smells were great.
20 Colleagues: grateful for a few colleagues today, laughing and chatting during our lunch break, sad that one of them will be leaving soon.
21 Hubby and podcast episode: grateful for the hubby for sorting out tedious yet very important paper work today. Also listened to episode 239 of Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, where Sarah Ellis was interviewed and spoke about focusing 80% on turning your strength into a super strength and the other 20% to focus on being just good enough to get by. It made me think and consider what my strengths and weaknesses are and to take on the advice to hone in on my strengths.
22 Chilling: grateful for an evening of just relaxing and not doing anything, just chilling and recharging.
23 Home: grateful to work from home today, have a new washing machine installed after the old one was leaking, and grateful that our fence is now fixed after it fell down.
24 Various people: grateful for the support and wise words of wisdom from the hubby, friends, and colleagues today in preparation for a difficult conversation that I managed to muster up the courage to have. The storm isn’t over yet, but it’s nice to know I have a caring crew, so to speak. Also very grateful for the person I had the conversation with who was listening and very attentive.
25 Holidays: today I am grateful for holidays, both vacation wise and celebratory wise. Vacation wise because today we booked flights and hotels to America for later this year, and celebratory wise because today is Lunar New Year. Though I have not always been proud of my heritage when growing up, I realise now that in an ever globalising world being able to speak and communicate in different languages and exploring and showcasing different cultures is not such a bad thing.
26 Hubby: grateful for the hubby supporting me and helping me swiftly with something that could have ended badly.
27 Solicitors: grateful for the solicitors we have as they go through everything with a fine tooth comb, definitely what we needed.
28 Colleagues: very grateful for colleagues today giving me tips on flying with carryon luggage, which I have never done before. Some really interesting tips that I will put into use for sure!
29 Friends: grateful that I can call colleagues friends. Today I said goodbye to a friend at work who is leaving to join another office in another country and we had a little farewell lunch for him. It wasn’t as sad as I expected as I know I will see him again soon, and I’m grateful for the laughter and optimism he has brought me.
30 Teamwork: grateful for teamwork today as we hired a car and drove for the first time abroad and it was stressful but we managed it with a lot of teamwork.
31 Flora and fauna: grateful for the floral and fauna here today, everything is so beautiful: the colours of the flowers are beautiful and the smell of the grass is soothing.