Hello everyone! Today, let’s have a coffee chat to catch up, shall we?
Although to be honest I’ve hardly had coffee in the past month. I’ve mostly been enjoying a homemade hibiscus tea. But this isn’t “If We Were Having Tea” so that’s the big struggle of the day.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that I completed the 30 Day Yoga Challenge from Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I have to say, it was a lot of fun. I did think that it started out way too slow compared to what I remember from last year. There was one practice in particular that was super annoying because all she did was sit there and do breathing exercises the entire time. I got so frustrated waiting for it to start that I skipped over half of it before realizing she had no intention of actually doing anything that day. But overall I did feel that I got quite a bit stronger and even got more arm definition quickly, probably because of all the planks and downward dog poses! My back pain has also gone down dramatically so I have pretty much decided to keep up with yoga as much as possible going forward. I think I wanted to do that back in March when I finished her last 30 days series though, so I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that, continuing on the sort of workout topic, my ballet class started in person! I was pretty nervous being in a public space with people again going into it but I felt so much better about it after when it was clear that a lot of thought went into the precautions. Plus, it’s just not the same doing ballet at home than in the studio. My poor thighs were on fire the next morning to be quite honest. It just is so much easier to do it properly if there’s a mirror, a real barre, and an instructor closely judging you, you know?
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that in the words of Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious but I am a little stitious”. Recently I was looking through my photos trying to find reference photos to describe buildings I’ve visited in Chicago before the pandemic for the book I was writing. And it got me thinking about all the cool places I’ve seen. Then, my “1 year ago, 2 years ago…” feature kept showing me all the photos I’d taken over the years in Mexico. It just got me thinking that maybe the first month of the year is an indicator of how the rest of the year is meant to go. I started last year with a whirlwind of activity, including two trips in the first month of the year. The rest of the year had no travel but felt equally as crazy as the pandemic started and never ended. This year I worry that I’ll have the most boring year ever! But I also think that a boring year is necessary sometimes so that I’ll appreciate the fun years to come so much more.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, more about how much I’ve been thinking about Mexico. My mom and I keep watching the news and different events that we saw last year keep popping up on the screen and remind us of when we were in Mexico. For example, there’s a religious holiday (I’m not super religious so I might get some of the details wrong) that happens around this time where people take little dolls of baby Jesus and dress him up in little costumes to take him to church for a sort of baptism or something. There’s more to it but the news did a segment on it. Then the news also said it was snowing in the state of Hidalgo where we went two years ago when we went to the Grutas of Tolantongo (look them up, they are gorgeous!) and that brought back those memories. It’s so sad that we couldn’t go on our yearly trip but I know I’ll also appreciate it more once we are able to go back safely.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, all about a topic a little closer to home, that I really think I need a new mattress. I think I’ve mentioned it before but I have an old mattress that I’m trying to hold off on replacing in case I do move across the country in the next few years. But, my goodness, I feel like it’s a big reason for my back pain in addition to my poor posture. I feel like I’m sleeping directly on the springs at this point. I wonder if maybe a mattress topper might help for a bit longer though? I’m not sure but ouch!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, I feel like I am reading way too quickly as of late. I will finish reading full novels in two days, if not one, and move on to the next one. I wrote a bit more on this in my upcoming book reviews post, but I feel like I should be enjoying and reflecting more on the books I read. Is this a common bookish struggle? Someone please tell me.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, about another bookish problem I’ve faced recently. It’s actually not really a problem, just a weird crisis I’ve had recently. So for my library’s adult nonfiction book club, the librarian has started to send out the book list to pick the next month’s read. I noticed a book on our list that I had read already and got excited because I already had it. Or, at least, I thought I did. I went to go look for it on my bookshelf and realized it was gone! I think I sold it which was something I thought was good, and it is good because I need to downsize my collection, but then I was sad that I didn’t have the book I might need. In the end, we picked another book but it still had me doubting myself, and that was weird.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, I have an update on the book I started writing last month! I ended up finishing my rough draft! My goal was 80,000 words and although I felt I had “finished” (as in, reached the end of the novel) at around 72,000, I still had to go back and add stuff I had skipped over the first time through. I had also changed some things while writing so I deleted a bunch of stuff that I had initially left in, just in case I decided I did want to use it after all. I deleted around 5,000 words so I then had to add more to get back to around 80,000. Then, while it’s all fresh in my mind, I made a list of other changes I think I might want to make later, but I’m not sure yet. Now, I am going to leave the rough draft alone for a bit. I don’t know much about editing but a lot of sources I looked up said to leave the rough draft for a few months to get it out of my head and then go back to it with fresh eyes. I think I might try a smaller project, maybe some short stories. Either way, I was so surprised at how much I was able to write in a month and how much I ended up loving this project.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, about my goal to live with intention! I think I’ve been largely failing at this one in the past month, unfortunately. I just haven’t felt too energized beyond the yoga challenge or writing my new book. I’ve mostly just read books most days or watched Gilmore Girls or caught up on YouTube videos. It wasn’t a productive month last month, so I hope that I can have a better month in February.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that positivity has been quite a rollercoaster this past month. It has been mostly easy as of late, I think, because there were some good news for both me personally and in general. For instance, I viewed the inauguration as a good think for sure and in general it’s easier to be positive since then. Also, I got a letter that my unemployment benefits were extended because I am struggling to find a job, as is everyone else. Now I am extremely lucky that the prospect of my benefits ending was not a major stress for me because I don’t have many financial obligations to meet and I have plenty of savings. But I can’t lie and say that it wasn’t a relief to know that I’m not cut off yet. I just really hope I can find a job soon so that I don’t have to rely on unemployment anymore.
So that’s what I would share in my coffee chat with you this month! Let me know what you would share with me in our coffee chat.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!