February 2021

How is it February already? Lately I’ve been finding the days have been passing by super quickly, and now the month has come and gone already! I suppose time flies when you’re having fun. I feel this month has been full of lie ins, afternoon naps, and back pain. Maybe my body is trying to tell me something?

We finally finished the Paint by Numbers of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and it’s lovely having it hang up on our wall. This month was also Lunar New Year, which I’ve written about here. I just can’t believe this month has gone by so quickly. I would say that art and craft therapy has really helped me relax this month.

I’ve been trying to wind down and take things easier lately, though some day/ weeks have been a little full on still. Something inside me has kind of clicked. It’s as if the clouds are starting to part and the sun is slowly creeping out. There’s no rainbow, but the sun is almost out. My perception has definitely shifted and I’m seeing things a lot more clearly these day. Maybe it’s from all the afternoon naps, as if I’m switching myself off and on again. And here is my February gratitude journal:

1 Body: grateful for the body today. Over the weekend I appear to have developed back and bum pain somehow. Sitting and merely standing up straight has been painful, reaching for things in high cupboards has been a little precarious too. I’m not quite sure what the cause is, perhaps bad posture. But I’m grateful that, though I’m a little achey, I can still move around the flat.

2 Skincare: grateful for skincare today. Having a nice evening routine to hopefully calm me down ready for bed. So far this week has been super busy work wise, so I’m grateful to wind down with some self care.

3 Neighbours: grateful for one of our neighbours. Last night one of our mean neighbours played super loud music that woke us up and woke the nice neighbours too. I heard the nice neighbours run down the shared stairs, and after they returned to their flat, the music stopped. So I’m grateful to our nice neighbours for braving the cold and darkness to talk it out with wonderful results.

4 Time: grateful for time today. Having the extra time to digest and fully understand everything that’s going on, but also letting go a little so I’m not bogged down with the details and therefore overwhelmed. Grateful to almost being able to find an ok middle ground.

5 Dig: grateful for this wonderful film today. We watched it for our weekly Film Friyay session: beautiful music, great actors, interesting characters, and harks back to a time long gone. Deals with recognition, illness, anticipatory death, hints at homosexuality – it has a lot of thought-provoking issues. Loved it. A good solid sense of escapism.

6 Exercise: grateful for a little exercise today. Releasing those endorphins and being ready for the day ahead.

7 Painting: grateful for painting today. It’s been about 5 months since we’ve started Paint by Numbers of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and we are finally done! It’s now up on the wall and I can finally look at a completed canvas. Structured art therapy and it looks wonderful!

8 Body: grateful for the body today. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but my shoulders, back, and abs have been aching since this morning. So I’m grateful for my body carrying me and allowing me to still do every day things. Something as simple as laughing has caused pain today, but I’m grateful that I can still laugh.

9 Clarity: grateful for clarity today. I virtually attended an event this evening about motivation and it’s helped me view things a little clearer regarding career, life, purpose, and values. Recently I made a life altering decision and this event reiterated to me that I definitely made the right decision. I wasn’t really worried about this decision, but part of me had wondered if I was potentially over correcting and going too far the other way. But I’m grateful this event this evening helped me realise that wasn’t the case – I’m happy to lie in the bed I made.

10 A few things today. Virtually attended a cooking class making biaos for lunar new year, organised by work. Grateful for work for organising it and grateful for the cooking master for guiding and helping us through it. Also grateful for the hubby in helping me as I found the cooking was a lot for one unskilled person!

11 Sleep: grateful for sleep today. Had a lovely lie in, recharging and recuperating, refreshed for the day ahead. Lately my dreams have been a bit odd, of old places I used to live and old places I used to work – clearly my subconscious is mulling over the past. I’m grateful for sleep to enable my mind to process these thoughts.

12 Friends and family: grateful for friends and family today. It’s lunar new year and although we can’t celebrate by going to China Town, I’m grateful for being in the thoughts of friends and family today wishing us a happy lunar new year.

13 Heating: grateful for heating today. Went out for a little jaunter for the first time this calendar year I think, and man, was it super chilly today. So I’m grateful for heating keeping us warm and protected against the harsh elements. Also grateful for a thermostat that seems to work pretty well compared to previous places I’ve lived in before, in fact, it’s even better than some work places I’ve been to.

14 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. We baked brownies and cooked a mini roast together and he helped make everything cosy for a mid afternoon nap. I do love mid afternoon naps. Grateful for the hubby in making the past lockdown year enjoyable and cosy.

15 Stretching: grateful for stretching today. I’m noticing my posture and standing and sitting positions more and more these days, so trying to find the time to do stretches that benefit my posture. Today I managed to do some stretching and I’ve noticed my shoulders are not as rounded as before.

16 Resilience: grateful for resilience today, bouncing back and pragmatically getting on with things. Every now and then I feel I’m struggling, just treading water, which I’ve written about before. Today I feel better, like I have input in my work these days, that I can kind of contribute and make a difference in my own way. I’m super grateful that my environment and perspective has enhanced this profound resilience. And today I would definitely agree with the saying that to help a flower grow one must change the environment it grows in and not the flower itself.

17 Guineas pigs: grateful for guineas pigs today. I made a weird and zany quiz and tried it out on the hubby’s colleagues on a team building event this evening. It was great fun and I’m grateful the hubby’s colleagues were ok being guineas pigs.

18 Sleep: grateful for sleep and a lie in today. Every now and then I’ve been hearing our mean neighbours play loud music, but as the nice confrontational neighbours have now moved out, I’ve been a little anxious about having to become the new confrontational neighbour. I’m grateful that this hasn’t happened and I’m grateful to be able to sleep in relative peace and silence as well as have a little lie in too. I hope it stays this way.

19 A couple of things today. Grateful for an ergonomic chair that work couriered from the office to me on Wednesday, it’s only been a few days sitting on it but I feel my back is feeling the ergonomic difference. Grateful for work as they are sending goodies over, I’m not sure what it is yet, but I look forward to finding out.

20 Lasagne: grateful for lasagne today. Such a tasty and hearty meal, it was lovely cooking it, and even better eating it. Grateful for fresh egg lasagne sheets too, absolutely divine.

21 Sunshine: grateful for a little sunshine today. It’s staying lighter in the evenings too, I’m grateful that winter is almost over and spring is coming.

22 To do lists: grateful for to do lists today. Writing a list and checking things off really give a sense of accomplishment. Grateful to have this feeling and possess some sense of control.

23 Sleep: grateful for sleep today. Completely zonked out and slept like a log last night and also had a nice little lie in this morning. Had a dream about our old dog Merlin, it was both sad and happy to see him scamper about. I miss our furry boy. Grateful we could give him a good life and grateful to still see him in my dreams.

24 Work: grateful for work today. Lovely little surprise and being gifted some vouchers for participation, which is lovely. I read something on positive psychology, where you give to find meaning, whilst you take to find happiness. An interesting concept, and I would say I’m quite happy today!

25 To All The Boys: grateful for this film tonight. We watched this while eating burgers and it really felt like Friday, which was bad because today is not Friday. But I suppose it’s also a good feeling in that these days it’s kind of easier to feel relaxed and wind down in the evenings. I’m also grateful for the film too, grateful that I’m no longer a teenager, grateful that I’m no longer in a long distance relationship, grateful for the hopeful optimism this film emits.

26 A few things today. Grateful for work and colleagues, holding a virtual social and hosting a quiz has been really good fun. Also grateful for the wealth of research online regarding allergens. I’m now deciding on cutting out fragrance from all skincare products, as I think I may be developing bad reactions. Grateful for the new knowledge today.

27 Body: grateful for the body today, trying to listen and learn from what my body is telling me. One night cutting out a fragrant product and I woke up to my skin being less red than usual. Grateful for the time and patience to notice these slight changes and grateful for the body being so responsive. I’m more aware these days of what’s working for me and what’s not.

28 Self care: grateful for Sunday self care today. Had a lie in and an afternoon nap, I was completely wiped today. Also put some oil in my hair, which made it feel super conditioned and healthy. Managed a little exercise to get some endorphins flowing and cooked a nutritious vegetarian meal with the hubby. Grateful to be able to slow down and take some time to look after myself.

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