So as I am sure everyone who’s read any of my recent posts knows, now that the semester’s started my life has become one busy blur of assignments and activities. It feels like every time I turn around there is something new begging for my attention. This year I am taking part in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up where we discuss all things gratitude and life-saving. Ground Hog’s Day marks the halfway point of winter, and it can be just a terribly long season sometimes. Evidence: writing this post at 8:00 the night of, after having known about the event for a week. C’est la vie! To combat the winter blues bloggers list the things making a difference in our lives, the little and also the very big.
- Monthly book clubs. They have become such an important part of my social calendar. Meeting dates are a motivator that keeps a book in my hand through reading slumps, and an excuse to break out of my text books and the house to sit and idly chat with other women over a cup of coffee.
- Penny Dreadful (also on Netflix), a Victorian era show recommended by Danielle at Books, Vertigo and Tea. Let’s be honest. Sometimes at the end of the day I don’t want to read or move. I want to sit and lose my mind in a show. Penny Dreadful has been just that. The show is full of classic literary references and enough fantasy and horror to keep my imagination engaged. It’s definitely for mature (ahem adult) audiences, but I have been enjoying sitting down to an episode or two every so often after my daughter is tucked in for the night.
- The app Forest. Best two bucks ever spent, the app incentivizes you to put down the phone and concentrate on the things that need to be done. You can set a timer for however long you need to focus, and you get “coins” for staying off your phone, which can then be used to plant real trees (inversely losing coins if you close out the app). Forest has been a life saver by keeping me from mindless scrolling and procrastinating, and I use it for everything from driving, to sitting in class, to studying.
- Hoopla. Audiobooks are the perfect way to get reading in when I am on the go. Through Hoopla I have been able to listen to several free classics, George Orwell’s Burmese Days being my commute companion most recently.
- Taekwondo. It’s a low impact practice that keeps me moving and again, gets me away from the real world for a little bit each week. I am enchanted by the forms and find the practice to be a moving meditation. Yoga is also a fantastic way to get out of my head, but as an instructor if I am not careful I tend to approach the practice as a teacher rather than student, mentally dissecting a class or sequence. I am so new to Taekwondo that I do not have the same knowledge or foundation to analyze or overthink, I only do.
- Enough sleep. I have a rule that there is to be no school work past 8:00, and I am in bed before 10:00 every night. The quickest way to ruin a day is to not get enough sleep, and the days I cut myself short on Z’s I often spend in a haze. Not a good thing in upper level science courses.
- A supportive family. I would be a mess without a loving husband and daughter who go along with my crazy dreams. My husband does the bulk of the cooking and parent stuff in addition to working a full time job, and my daughter is so sweet and understanding when mommy can’t play because of adulting stuff.
- This video. I have seen it a million times before, but it still hits me anew every time I watch it. It’s a reminder that perseverance can only come from the inside. Nothing is given, only earned.