April 2020

April sure has been one hell of a month. There have been many days where I had great difficulty finding something I was grateful for. Work creep has been coming back again, and with no commute I have been finding it harder to have that line of putting down work and picking up home time. It’s a work in progress for sure, where some days are great, and other days are not.

In these trying times I can only hope that we are nicer to one another. I caught the end of a podcast the hubby was playing, which really resonated with me. The speaker stated that there are three gates words should pass before leaving one’s mouth: is it true, is it necessary, and is it kind. It really got me thinking, especially considering some of the news I read regarding racist incidents. I’ve now pretty much stopped reading or watching the news to try and silence the noise.

But I am super grateful that I still have a home and I still have a job so I can still pay rent. I’m also grateful that I’m not alone, as the hubby is with me and we are doing pretty well considering we are cooped up inside. Most evenings have been spent watching Netflix or on the Insta and we have also been keeping in touch with people by chatting or playing online games. I must admit, I have been finding it hard to be creative or productive, but on the days where I have the energy to get out the ukulele it has been really good for me. So here is my weird and trying April gratitude journal:

1 Hubby: grateful for hubby today as he got a well deserved promotion and pay rise, even in these uncertain times. But also grateful for the hubby in making a great suggestion that has made me super productive at working from home today.

2 Knees: grateful for my knees. Although they ache at the moment, usually they do not. So I’m grateful that usually my knees are ok and don’t hurt.

3 Sleep: grateful for a little lie in this morning to rest and recuperate and recharge my batteries.

4 Friends: grateful for friends as I had a couple of group video calls today. It was nice catching up with people and seeing how they are coping and what lies around the corner for them. Also grateful to be able to say goodbye to a friend who will be flying to China for work very soon so we won’t be able to see her for a little while.

5 Friends and technology: grateful for friends and technology today as we were able to play Switch Online Mario Kart with a couple of friends and it was great manic fun. Really entertaining and adrenaline pumping hour, it just flew by, as we were all so focused on trying to win!

6 Arms and friends: grateful for my arms today. Although my arms are super achey and a little in pain, I’m grateful that usually they are not and usually I can get around fine with my arms. Also grateful for friends, as I found out a doctor friend of mine has tested positive for Covid-19, so I’m grateful she is ok and being looked after at a safe distance.

7 Chilling: grateful for some free time this evening to just chill, relax, and not do anything. This evening was the longest in a while where I have been able to just sit and be, and it was bliss.

8 Jane Austen: today I’m grateful for Jane Austen saving the day. My back has been aching due to my not so great working from home arrangement of crouching on the dining table. So I put my laptop on top of the placemats and of course the biggest tome I own: collected stories of Jane Austen. It has helped my upper back today, and I love Austen, so I’m grateful for this amazing writer.

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9 Music: grateful for music today helping me power through work. It’s made me focus and stay on task.

10 Friends: grateful for friends who I’ve video called today. Just discussing the new normal, how we’re coping, what we’re doing to keep sane, some life advice as well as some work advice too. It was lovely catching up and seeing what it’s like for others, especially as I haven’t seen one of them since January.

11 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. I was so tired and ended up napping in a weird position on the couch this afternoon and when I woke up my lower back was in quite some pain. The hubby helped me stand up off the couch and helped straighten my back and massage it better so now I’m not in so much pain.

12 Ukulele: grateful for this beautiful sounding instrument. Played the uke for a little while today and it’s amazing how engrossed I become, I forget how much I love this instrument.

13 Time: grateful for some extra time today and this weekend. Having a 4 day weekend has been good just to cross some things off my to do list, having some time to be creative and to just chill. I feel self care is very important right now, and if I want to help anyone then I have to help myself first.

14 Stretching: ended the day with some stretching before bed. It was nice to just connect with the body, release some tension, and focus on some deep breathing. Stretching really relaxed me and I’m grateful for that.

15 Technology: today I’m grateful for technology. My keyboard with a number pad arrived today so I can type faster, I’ve also managed to book onto a couple of interesting sounding webinars so I can continue learning even from home.

2020.04.15_192959 New keyboard

16 Couple of things: grateful for the hubby going out for a weekly shop and he carried back a lot of stuff. Also grateful for being able to listen to a really insightful webinar about negotiation skills. I learnt a lot and it was really interesting hearing about using certain behaviours depending on the other person’s personality trait. Looking forward to putting what I learnt to use at some point.

17 Derry Girls: grateful for Derry Girls. A hilarious Irish comedy offering some much needed reprieve and light heartedness today.

18 Skincare: grateful to spend some time each evening on myself. To focus on skincare and just to be present and have some time for self care too.

19 Community: grateful for this cult TV show. We watched this ages ago back in 2014/5 when Merlin was still alive and I remember watching Community and Merlin just being there. It’s a great TV show but I’m also grateful for the memories of that time.

20 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. He hoovered, made dinner, and washed up whilst I was on a work call.

21 A few things today: in the post I received cleanser, which is something so insignificant but I really do value self care these days including skincare. Stress balls also arrived which I’m grateful for as I left my fidget cube in the office and these ones have motivational phrases on them. And also hubby again for dealing with dinner two evenings in a row, it really is the little things.

22: Stress balls: grateful for these useful distractions today. Less than 24 hours after receiving them my work laptop decides to stop working for a bit and these stress balls really helped me out. Not sure if they really destressed me or just offered enough of a distraction so I wouldn’t punch the laptop.

23: Female community: grateful to join a female community today. It was my first virtual breakfast meeting and everyone was very welcoming and friendly, giving some interesting tips and insights in living during a lockdown.

24 Self care: grateful for self care today. This was in the form of a really good moisturising sunscreen and new eye cream that arrived today. These days I feel skincare is really my time for self care to reflect and focus.

25 Dogs: grateful for dogs. Two years ago today is when we had to say goodbye to our furry friend, Merlin. He was the best and I miss him dearly. I’m grateful for all the memories we had with him and it’s sad that currently we can’t visit the places where we scattered his ashes.

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One of Merlin’s favourites where we scattered some of his ashes, Quinton Park, Coventry

26 Sun: grateful for some sun today. We went out onto the decking and sat out for a little while in the afternoon basking in some sun. Grateful for this space which I don’t really use so much these days as Merlin is no longer with us and this space was mainly for him. So I’m grateful that we’ve been able to utilise it today even if it’s not how we used to use this space when Merlin was around.

27 TV: grateful for TV today. Found it a bit difficult getting on and working earlier today so I’m grateful for TV and media providing some light entertainment as a distraction.

28 Lie ins: grateful for a lie in today. Didn’t have much sleep last night so thankful to have an extra 45mins to psyche myself up to get out of bed and on with the day ahead.

29 Never Have I Ever: grateful for this hilarious Netflix show. This had been so entertaining, funny, and heartfelt. I’m grateful for this show for offering some delight in a rainy grey day.

30 Zoom calls: grateful for a networking forum zoom call. Was rushed at work trying to get things done to join this call and it turned out to be really friendly and warming for a work related virtual meeting. I think the expectation gap meant that reality was much better than what I imagined after a slog at work.

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