Posted in Life

Self-Care Day

If you’ve been keeping up with my last few posts, you might know that lately I’ve been a big ball of stress. So this weekend I decided to slow down and take a full day to focus on self-care. I declined plans with friends and chose to spend a day with myself.

Yesterday it was beautiful and sunny outside. I slathered myself in sunscreen, made myself an iced coffee and sat out on my deck reading for a couple hours. It was so nice!

I went to the grocery store and bought a ton of fruits and veggies. My diet hasn’t been the best lately. I recognize that eating healthier will make me feel better. I made a loose meal plan for the next week or so that will help me get a variety of healthy foods in, instead of defaulting to the same unhealthy crap because I’m feeling low/lazy.

My brain was still feeling quite cluttered and so I did a brain dump. I sat down with pen and paper and no other distractions and wrote down EVERYTHING that came to mind. To do’s, worries, what’s making me sad, reminders, upcoming appointments and important dates, etc. Brain Dumping is an excellent tool. I always feel so much better afterwards. I feel like if it’s written down I can let it go a little easier; it doesn’t need to sit in the front of my brain and pop up constantly.

I knocked off a couple of easy to-do’s – laundry, vacuuming, running and emptying the dishwasher, meal prepping for the next couple work days. This helped me to tidy my physical space and cleared up some space in my brain – fewer things on the to do list = fewer things to worry about.

Then, I parked myself on the couch and watched Netflix for hours. I lit a candle, made a pot of tea, and snuggled up in a pile of blankets with my cat. Honestly, it’s what I needed. I watched some of the new documentary series Diagnosis – fantastic show, by the way – and then started rewatching Grace and Frankie (always a classic).

Sometimes you need a day to declutter your space and your brain and then give yourself some love. A day like this was much needed for me and I honestly feel more calm today. Here’s to a better week!

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Posted in Life

In a Rut

I’m having a hard time shaking this funk.

It might be because I had my first Lupron injection a week ago and I’ve been on my period and it’s been worse than normal? It might be that I miss my boyfriend a ton lately? It might be my anxiety ramping up for no real reason? I feel like I have so many decisions to make (even small things like “will I switch these shifts at work” or “what day can I go for dinner with my friend”) and it’s paralyzing – I find myself unable to make ANY decisions – not even “what do I make for dinner”. I’m not necessarily feeling depressed, just overwhelmed.

It’s been gray and rainy the last few days and it’s supposed to stay the same for the next week or so. Not helping!

I’ve been listening to the “Down in the Dumps” playlist on Spotify and it’s letting me wallow like I want to… maybe I should change the music.

Posted in Life

Change and Uncertainty

I’ve been feeling down lately.

One of my best friends is moving across the country in three weeks. The end of summer is near. I have so much that I want to do and not enough time to do it in. I recognize that it’s not realistic to say “yes” to everything but I feel bad saying “no” to anything.

There will be a lot of changes in my workplace in the next few months. Two people are leaving for other jobs, which is a lot when you consider we’re a team of only 7 permanent staff. I’ll be getting a new supervisor and a new co-worker and I don’t know who they’ll be or how they’ll be to work with.

I don’t know what life will be like 6 months from now and that’s terrifying to me. I feel like my life is a giant “wait and see” at the moment, and I’m feeling a bit helpless.

There’s nothing I can do but wait for time to pass.

Posted in Books

Reading Rush Fail

Last week I had every intention of participating in the Reading Rush read-a-thon, and then life happened. One of my coworkers is sick so I picked up extra shifts and overtime. I had a couple last minute doctor appointments. Some friends come for an unexpected visit from out of town. I got a letter from the CRA – I’m getting reviewed 😦 It was quite a busy week for me.

With that said, I still managed 2 books over the week! I thought that was pretty good, considering.

I started with The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (purple cover, read in the same place, meant to read last year, author’s first book). I cruised through this one in the first two days of the challenge. It was ok. Most of the characters seemed kind of flat to me. And generally I found some of the storyline to be pretty unbelievable. Lale the main character seemed to get away with a lot, and it was dismissed as due to his charm. Apparently this was based on a true story. I’m suspicious to how much of this actually happened and how much was fictionalized.

On day two I started I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. Because of all the stuff going on in my personal life, I took the rest of the week to finish it, but I did manage to get it done. This book was written beautifully.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was finished and released posthumously. Michelle had written the bulk of it already, and it was completed by a couple of Michelle’s researchers and colleagues. I was nervous that it would seem a bit disjointed but I had no reason to worry. Everything was integrated seamlessly into Michelle’s story. This book had the perfect balance of compassion for the victims, interest in the criminal and his crimes, and insight into Michelle herself. I wish that she had lived to see the Golden State Killer’s capture.

Between the 2 books I managed to finish, I completed 5 of the 7 Reading Rush Challenges. Not too bad.

This week I picked up Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’m about a third of the way through and I’m loving it so far!

On my radar to read next:
The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Posted in Music

Summer Playlist

With blue skies and road trips comes a new, feel-good summer playlist.

My summer music staples:
Riptide by Vance Joy
Sunshine Riptide by Fall Out Boy ft. Burna Boy
Homemade Dynamite by Lorde ft. Khalid, Post Malone, and SZA
Island in the Sun by Weezer
The Boys of Summer by The Ataris
Cake by the Ocean by DNCE
Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie

My summer playlist also includes the new song You Need to Calm Down by Taylor Swift, because duh.

A few rock/alternative songs that I’m loving with the music turned up loud:
R U Mine? by Arctic Monkeys
Hand Me Downs by Arkells
S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun) by The Glorious Sons
Bee-Sting by The Wombats
Monkey Tree by Mother Mother
Breathing Fire by BAD CHILD

Some more catchy pop tunes:
Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabelo
Sucker by Jonas Brothers
I Don’t Care by Ed Sheeran ft. Justin Bieber
If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes
King of My Heart by Taylor Swift
San Francisco by The Riot Police

Some other current favourites:
Beggar’s Song by Matt Maeson – LOVE this song at the moment.
Peer Pressure by James Bay ft. Julia Michaels
Somebody’s Daughter by Tenille Townes – My country music loving boyfriend’s summer jam

Those are just some of the songs on my Summer 2019 playlist. There are a bunch more I’ve been listening to this summer, mainly in the car with the volume cranked up. The playlist is linked below – happy listening 🙂

Posted in Life

Today’s Project

The weather has been abysmal here in Alberta so far this summer. I almost couldn’t believe it when I looked at the weather forecast and saw sun predicted for the whole upcoming week! Because of all the rain lately, I’ve been neglecting my garden. Today I thought it would be nice to get out, enjoy the sunshine, and tend to my flowers. So I spent a part of the afternoon reviving one of my garden beds.

I have two raised garden beds in my yard, one I use for veggies and one I use for flowers. My vegetable garden hasn’t grown anything edible yet but the plants are looking pretty happy in there. 🙂 This is my first summer gardening so I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m having fun with it!

I have noticed in the last week or so that my flower garden was getting overrun with weeds and some of the flowers were dying. This is what I started with:

First I went in and pulled out as many of the little sprouts as I could. I trimmed back the dead leaves and flowers on the plants I wanted to keep. (My poor sad Gerbera daisies!) Then I moved some of the plants around. I initially planted all these flowers into my garden bed at the end of May and since then the petunias have grown like crazy!! Very pretty but they were starting to choke out some of the other leafy guys. So I VERY GENTLY moved some plants around so everything was more evenly spread out.

After a couple hours of work, voila! It looks sooooo much better now.

I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished. It might seem like a small thing, but this summer my garden has been bringing me so much joy. I’m so glad I could give my flowers some love today!

Posted in Books

The Reading Rush TBR

This year the BookTubeAThon has been revamped and is now called The Reading Rush. It runs from July 22-28 this year. It’s open to anyone on any social media platform, not just those on Youtube. I thought it would be fun to join 🙂

The prompts are as follows:
1. Read a book with purple on the cover
2. Read a book in the same spot the entire time
3. Read a book you meant to read last year
4. Read an author’s first book
5. Read a book with a non-human main character
6. Pick a book that has five or more words in the title
7. Read and watch a book to movie adaptation
Bonus – Read 7 books

After running through my TBR list, I’ve come up with a few books to meet these challenges.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This will meet challenges #1 (purple cover), #3 (meant to read last year), and #4 (author’s first book). I was unsure whether or not I wanted to read this book because I had heard that the writing is a bit stilted and it is not necessarily reflective of the realities of Auschwitz/WWII. I had it on hold at the library for what feels like forever and just this week I was able to borrow it. I’ll give it a try for this readathon and let you know what I think.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
This one meets challenges #3 (meant to read last year), #4 (author’s first book), and #6 (5+ words in the title). This book has been on my TBR for a while now. Very excited to read this one!

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Meets challenges #4 (author’s first book) and #7 (book to movie adaptation). I recently read Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel Middlesex and loved it. I have seen the movie adaptation of The Virgin Suicides and found it pretty disturbing and impactful. Can’t wait to pick this one up and re-watch the movie.

To be honest, prompt 5 is stumping me. I don’t know of any books with a non-human character that I’d be interested in. Maybe something will pop up unexpectedly? I’ll keep looking and update this post when/if I find something. Any suggestions?