Quote of the day

Sophia Dembling

Have a lovely weekend!

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Life in fast forward

reading-925589_1920I wanted to share a quick update to let you know I’m still alive. I was hoping things would slow down after the wedding. And in a way, they did. I ended up getting sick and fighting a cold for a week or so. Likely a result of late nights and long travel days. But as I recovered, things shifted into overdrive.

This week has been fun but draining. Monday and Tuesday I had dance class. The first is a partner dance, the second is solo. Dance is a creative and emotional outlet for me and it helps with stress relief. But it’s still a social activity. Tonight, I’m skyping with an out of country friend. I’m looking forward to it but it’s still draining. Thursday is a games night at my place with a few close friends. There will only be four of us and shouldn’t be too bad. I can always check out early if I need to. Friday afternoon is free of social activity but I still have errands to run. This weekend will have a few social obligations but I’m hoping I can keep them on the shorter side. I’ve been doing my best to squeeze in quiet time before bed. But I need more time to fully recover. Right now it feels like I’m treading water. I’m planning on spending a couple of hours on Sunday going for a quiet walk along the river. I may also bring a book. I think that will help a lot.

On the plus side, the weather here has improved dramatically and it seems spring may actually be on the way. It’s also been wonderfully sunny and bright which always makes me smile.

Do you have any plans this weekend? How have you been doing?

On busy days

holiday-table-1926946_1920These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events. I’ve only now had the chance to catch my breath and catch up on some quiet time. While I love being busy and having a lot to do, it was a challenge to battle through late nights and long days. Coffee and I were becoming pretty good friends towards the end.

But in the midst of the chaos, I experienced a really encouraging moment. I was attending a dinner party that ran quite late into the evening. This took place after several busy days and late nights. To say I was exhausted would be an understatement. As a result, my brain was sluggish and I struggled to engage in the main conversation (I had several lovely one-on-one conversations). In the past, I would have mentally berated myself for being unable to participate more fully. But this time, I acknowledged how tired I was, told myself that feeling this way was normal, and didn’t pressure myself say anything if I couldn’t. It was a really positive experience.

For anyone who has self-deprecating thoughts (and I still struggle with them) keep moving forward. I keep reminding myself that if someone else were struggling with the same thing, I’d be patient and encouraging. I need to extend that same positivity to myself.

How’s your week going so far?

NaNoWriMo and other updates

Golden forestI can’t believe we’re more than halfway through November. Time flies regardless of what you’re doing, it doesn’t seem fair 😉

I wasn’t originally planning on doing NaNoWriMo again this year (you can check out last year’s post on the subject here if you’re interested). While I had really enjoyed last year’s adventure, I decided I was going to take a year off. I didn’t really have a story in mind and I was pretty busy. However, on November 1, I logged back into the website and started a new novel. One of the things I love about NaNo is that you have to write a certain amount each day, essentially ‘forcing’ you to practice. Last year I really struggled with motivation but its been a lot easier this time around.

I apologize for not sharing a lot of original content this month. With recovering from my Ireland/Scotland trip and trying to make word count for NaNo every day, I’ve been slacking on my blog. I’m still planning on sharing some of my trip photos so I hope you enjoy those. Thank you for being patient, its just taking me a little longer than I’d like.

Last year in November, I posted my Autumn Reflections series. But this year, autumn came and left before the end of September.  It’s officially winter here. Fortunately we haven’t had a big dump of snow yet but I know it’s coming. While I don’t enjoy the cold weather, I love the scenery when everything is blanketed in a sparkly layer of white. That and hot beverages are even more enjoyable when it’s cold out!

How is your November so far?

Image credit: “Golden Forest” by Juraj Patekar is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

A busy, relaxing weekend

BBQ

This past weekend was both busy and relaxing. Monday was Victoria Day, a federal holiday in Canada. As a result, I enjoyed a lovely long weekend at home with my family. I headed down on Friday night and spent the remainder of the weekend there. Friday night and Saturday were fairly normal, then Sunday happened.

Sunday was a crazy, good busy, kind of day. We had a BBQ planned with lots of family and friends attending. I arrived at the location at 9:30 am to help with set-up and food prep. The food and fun lasted all day and we didn’t finish cleaning up until around 6:30 pm. We pretty much ate and talked the entire time! But the fun didn’t stop there. Directly after the BBQ, I headed to a friend’s house for a few hours of Mario Kart and card games. I think I finally got back around 10:30 pm and pretty much passed out. It was a really enjoyable day and I’m happy I went, but I was pretty done by the end of the night.

Monday was the complete opposite of the previous day. It was the most laid back and relaxed I’ve been in a long time. I slept in, which was awesome, and spent the majority of the day relaxing with my family. Since I wasn’t at home, I didn’t have my to-do list haunting me. Several games of cribbage were had, along with snacks and tea. Totally my kind of day. I also fit a workout in which never fails to lift my mood. I eventually drove back home but even that was fairly relaxing and non-stressful.

My weekend was an interesting mix of busy and quiet. I got to spend quality time with friends and family which made it all worth it. There are still times where I wish I had more energy. I still dream about having enough energy to throw myself into everything with reckless abandon (without burning out). But I’ll never be that person and that’s okay. I know that I have a finite amount of energy each day and I have a fairly good grasp on my physical and mental limits. As a result, I can take that into consideration when planning things. Being introverted is definitely challenging, especially when you want to do all the things, but that’s who I am. And if I can’t accept my own nature, how can I expect others to do the same?

How was your weekend?

Image credit: “BBQ” by Harvey Jiang is licensed under CC by 2.0

Creating moments of quiet

hiking

If I had to sum up these last few weeks in one word, I’d choose hectic. There’s been wedding preparations, getting sick, spring cleaning, and lots of unavoidable social activities. I’ve barely had time to catch my breath and I feel as though I’ve been running in circles. I haven’t had enough uninterrupted time to make it to the gym and I miss it so much. I’ve been using my pull-up bar at home, but its not quite the same.

However, there’s one thing that has really helped me relax. Every day after work I’ll ‘force’ myself to go for a walk. I’ll give myself two options. The first is a short 7-10 minute walk up and back along a portion of a path that winds around a small pond. The second is a longer 25 minute walk that loops around the same pond with benches at intervals. Regardless of how much, or how little time I have, I can always work a walk into my schedule.

Going for walks is truly a lifesaver. It helps me separate myself from the chaos. Its also a great reminder to slow down, breathe, and appreciate the beauty around me. To exist within the quiet and to reflect.

How do you unwind?

Image credit: “hike” by prodigy130 is licensed under CC by 2.0

A busy month

SummertimeYou  may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as regularly as I normally do. I’m still working full-time on the weekdays, so that hasn’t changed. But on the weekends, when I can usually take a break and relax, I’ve been really busy.

This past month has been filled with camping trips, festivals, plays, concerts, movie nights, and coffee dates. Overall, its been a lot of fun. I love staying busy and spending time with others. But right now I’m close to burning out.

This past week has really shown me that I need to slow down. I’ve had a hard time motivating myself to do things because I’ve been so tired and overwhelmed. Yesterday I was super grumpy, which rarely happens, but really reveals that I’ve been pushing myself too hard.  I’ve starting doing more things on autopilot. As a result, I ended up leaving a really awkward voicemail on Wednesday. I was exhausted and needed to phone one of our clients. I knew what I had to say, but when they didn’t pick up, I was forced to scramble around in my head for a message to leave. It ended up becoming jumbled and confusing. Fortunately, I followed up with an email, explaining the situation in a more concise and clear manner.

I’ve been able to recharge a bit in the evenings so I’m not a complete mess the next day. But I’d really love a few days to do nothing. That would be awesome. This weekend I’ll be driving a few hours to see a friend, but it shouldn’t be too draining.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Image credit: “Unstable Summer” by José Manuel Ríos Valiente is licensed under CC by 2.0