Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to go over my life in April!
Now, this entire month was strange because I really didn’t leave my house! Due to everything going on, I rarely left my home at all, choosing to stay in isolation as much as possible. I know many others are doing the same thing so just wanted to say we’re all in this together everyone! Hang in there!
This section is all about my hobbies!
Library Home Fun
The library was closed so I couldn’t do DIY nights at the library but I still DIY’ed at home! One previous DIY project was a sort of DIY lamp thing that my mom decided looked more like an egg, so I painted it to be an egg! My mom displayed it for Easter. It was so fun to paint and I used up a lot of acrylic paint I had lying around.
I also did a sort of relaxing painting session too. I have painting paper pads and just grabbed some paint! I thought about doing watercolor but I really don’t like how blend-y it is. I think I use too much water or maybe I don’t have good quality paints but I feel like they just run together super easily and end up looking like a mess! I normally gravitate to acrylics for that reason but I love the transparent look of watercolor so it’s quite unfortunate I can’t make them work for me. (Actually as I think about it I’m sure it’s literally that I’m just not that good. I’m sure I could do better if I practiced!)
I’m not sure if this counts as DIY but I’ve also been practicing my handwriting! I’ve always had really crazy handwriting so I’ve been practicing so it’ll be nicer, mostly motivated by my bullet journal. It’s working! I just write the sentence “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” so I’m writing every letter, which is boring, but gets the job done. I think I’m going to start writing the novel I want to write during this quarantine (not quarantined themed, although it is dystopian) by hand. It might be crazy but I think that could be fun!
I think I’ll add a tad about my bullet journal here! I’m loving having a bullet journal right now because even though I don’t really need a planner (as I’m not really doing anything) it’s still really fun to plan out new things for the journal and create new pages. I did film a bujo video to share but it’s already outdated because I’ve made so many changes that I might scrap the video and just share a few pages. Or I might put it up anyway and then just do a new one later!
I’ve practiced music a bit this month! I did pick up my flute a few more times although I really haven’t practiced much besides a few basic scales and exercises over and over again. My flute is probably in desperate need of repairs as much as I’m in need of practice because I couldn’t for the life of me get it to tune (it’s just always flat!) and some notes I had difficulty getting the sound out (most notably D). I am planning to take it in to get looked at and get a quote for it to be fixed once this is all over but it’s really not necessary right now so I’m not going to worry too much more about it and just keep practicing as is.
So I had already posted the first ten books I read this month in a post called Ten Mini Book Reviews! I did this in efforts to try to keep this post from being too crazy long so here’s the book titles and the ratings I gave each one. You’ll need to go to that post to read about my thoughts on those ten books!
- The Fates Divide 4/5 stars
- Again, but Better 5/5 stars
- Out of the Dog House 3/5 stars
- The Good Neighbor 4/5 stars
- The Hate U Give 5/5 stars
- She Persisted 5/5 stars
- I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter 3/5 stars
- Ash Princess 4/5 stars
- Becoming 5/5 stars
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up 3/5 stars
I think I might have to do a few more multi book reviews like that post because it was super fun! So in order to save my thoughts on the next few books I’ll just list them here with their star ratings and leave the rest for a future post!
- Good to Great by 3/5 stars
- An Absolutely Remarkable Thing 4/5 stars
- Before We Were Strangers 4/5 stars
- Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Firl” Reporter, Nellie Bly 3/5 stars
That makes my total read for April 15 books! My total so far for 2020 is 17 books read, out of a goal of 20 so it looks like I’m going to end up way over that goal.
This month I continued to watch Designated Survivor on Netflix. I’m halfway through season 2 and I think I’ll try to get to the end of the season before pausing this show for awhile. I heard season 3 is about a… pandemic. OF ALL THE THINGS! And while I’m sure it’s a great season, I just don’t think I can subject myself to that right now. I will watch it eventually I’m sure, just not right now!
I’ve also watched Madam Secretary, which is always a good time. I feel like I should really stick to one political show at a time though, as I keep getting confused on which story line is which. I find myself liking the side characters overall of Designated Survivor more than Madam Secretary but I do love watching the Secretary with her family a lot in the latter show!
Musicals & Concerts
Well, I haven’t gone to any event like a musical or concert of course, but I have seen some musicals! Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has started streaming his musicals that were recorded from live performances on a YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On. They are posted on Fridays and available for 48 hours from when they were posted. I watched about half of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat but I didn’t manage to finish it before the 48 hours so I might have to rent this later when the library is open again. I watched the entirety of Jesus Christ Super Star, which was really cool. I did watch it in two parts, as I did start it pretty late on Friday and then continued it the next day but I really enjoyed that musical, which I hadn’t seen before. I really want to see it in person now. The third one was The Phantom of the Opera, which is one of my all time favorite musicals ever! I really enjoyed watching that one. I had seen that performance movie on Netflix before and I’m not sure if it’s still up, but it is a great recording! I did actually watch it twice all the way through. And then the final musical of April on the channel was Love Never Dies, which is the not sequel but kinda a sequel of Phantom. It’s a hot mess, I’m not going to lie, but I love that musical too. I’m really happy that these recordings are being made available even if it’s just for a weekend!
I’ve really been listening to a lot of podcasts right now. When I was working (more on that later), I would put on podcasts for background noise. I’ve been enjoying Smoshcast, This Might Get Weird, Big Mood, and How I Built This to name a few.
For Hogwarts Mystery, I’ve still been playing but I can’t quite remember anything really cool that’s happened. The story hasn’t been updated as much, which is annoying as everyone is home and has plenty of time to play. I have made some progress with the sports stuff, classes, and participated in a lot of the events but it’s just sort of boring right now because the story isn’t moving along very quickly. By the time the story does move along I can’t even enjoy it because there’s no real incentive to do so. The side quests are cool but it’s annoying that they’re always timed!
I did finally fully finish Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 though (previous review linked there). I completed the Baba Yaga section! I do wish I’d waited to review the game until after I did that and then the little mini DLC of Lara at the manor because those were fun to play through. For the Baba Yaga section, it took me a little bit to figure out what I was supposed to do to defeat the boss level but I got through it pretty quick once I did catch on. Eventually I got defeated Baba Yaga and got all those collectibles and I was done! The most annoying part was trying to complete the challenge because there were two lanterns I couldn’t find to be able to shoot down. Turns out, I’d already spotted them but they weren’t fully destroyed even though they looked like they were so I had to shoot them again to fully get credit for those. It was so annoying! I think it was a weird bug thing and eventually I got them so I just moved on. I then did the DLC of Lara at the manor which was really cool to walk around and explore. I actually really enjoyed it even though it didn’t really have anything super “interesting” I suppose. But I loved walking around and getting all those items for the story. I’m moving onto Shadow of the Tomb Raider next so I’m looking forward to that one!
So I had previously mentioned that I wrote a short story for a writing contest I was about to enter before everything closed down. Well, it turns out that I didn’t save it?!?!?! I had to do a hard reset of my laptop one day and when I opened it back up I realized I’d lost the story because I hadn’t saved it after the first paragraph. I’m so used to working with online documents on OneDrive or Google Drive where everything saves automatically that I completely didn’t save after writing five pages! I am quite sad to have lost the first version but actually I had a better idea of where the story should go so I’m going to rewrite it and make it even better.
I also started to write a book! I’ve had the idea for awhile but I’m not entirely sure where I want to take the story so I might hold off on that, do an outline, and then jump back in.
This month I’ve been doing more and more yoga. I’ve been doing more of the “home” series videos that were released in January on Yoga by Adrienne’s YouTube channel. I had started the series when she released it but then I was traveling a lot that month and stopped. Now I’m slowly completing the entire series! Even after only a few videos I did feel like I was getting stronger, could balance more, and found it even easier to switch “off” into a meditative state. When I was working I would try to do some sort of workout video at the end of the day to signal to myself that I was transitioning from work mode to home mode, but I found yoga did this more quickly and effectively that any other type of video I tried to follow. I’m loving yoga!
I’ve done a few ballet workouts, mostly by the Ballerinas By Night YouTube channel. However, it’s quite frustrating trying to do ballet on carpet and I find that there’s so many lags in it while the instructor goes back and forth from the barre to her computer trying to interact with people (they’re livestreamed and then posted for people to do later as well) and then trying to start music and such. For being something that they’re doing on their own to try to keep people active, it’s great and everything and I really shouldn’t complain! But for me it just makes it so slow and I would have to skip through a ton of the video to get to the part with the actual dancing. Even so, it’s the best I’ve found so I do try to keep doing them as long as it’s not an advance class or pointe class.
Kathryn Morgan has also posted some at home videos on her channel as well and I do really like them! I think hers are often a bit too advanced for me and she only has a few beginner ones. I still try my best at the others though and will just do something different if it’s way too hard at my current stage, but it’s still fun to try to push through and try something new.
I really don’t have any new favorites this month as I’m not really trying anything new! In fact, I’m not wearing make up and hardly using skin care actually so I really don’t have anything to share this month!
So, I keep referencing “when I worked” and referenced it in previous posts too this month so I need to talk about it! I wanted to do a whole post about it originally but that’s such a bummer of a post and sooooo unnecessary. Basically, I’ve worked for the same company in the travel/events industry for 5 years. As we all know, these are some of the hardest hit industries due to everything going on and the company couldn’t afford to keep everyone working. I was furloughed, which means I’m still technically employed (not fired or laid off) but I’m not working and not getting paid so I’ve had to apply for unemployment and am job hunting as I have a feeling it will become permanent.
To be honest, I’m not upset about it. It is stressful, yes, to be furloughed because it adds to the uncertainty, but I totally understand the decision. For me, a majority of my events were cancelled and they all occur in the spring or summer for the most part. Therefore, I was expecting to be furloughed. My coworkers were all very sweet about it and I really appreciated their kind words. The ones that stayed were upset because their salaries and a ton of other benefits were either reduced or cut completely but for the most part they were happy to still have jobs. For the ones that were furloughed, the general consensus was that it was very poorly handled by the higher ups of the company and a ton of people are saying they have no intentions of going back to the company, even if they were offered their jobs back later (of course, I’m sure many will change their minds if they can’t find anything else in this crazy job market). I totally understand their point of view and while I hope not to go back for separate reasons, I don’t want to close myself to the opportunity completely either as the job market is kind of tough right now. I honestly don’t think I’ll get the option to go back though (I have the feeling they won’t recover so quickly) so I am for sure job hunting and hoping to find something quickly!
So my last day of work was the 15th of this month, which meant that I was applying for unemployment soon after that. It was pretty easy to do, since the questions are pretty straight forward. I quickly applied and now I’m waiting for it to be processed. Yes, even now I’m waiting because there’s such a backlog!
I have to say, not having work hours though makes every day feel more or less the same, which is kinda tough. I end up just not being productive because now there’s so many more hours to fill. I did give myself about a week to adjust though and now I’m planning to stick to more of a routine going forward. That’ll include set times for social media scrolling, reading, and job hunting. Hopefully that helps provide more structure to the week and create more distinction between weekdays and weekends.
So that’s what I’ve been up to this month!
Thanks for reading!
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