Over a cuppa’ is about taking time out from the busyness to remember and share the little things and feel-good moments from the every day that brought me a smile. It is also a space for me to record progress on projects or thoughts on what I’m reading, and hit the reset button ready to take on the next month. xo
Writing this on the back steps in my pyjamas wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I had my cup of tea ready to go, the reading (now also writing) chair beckoning. But then….duty called. A little more on that later.
January was jam packed, to say the least. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times. All is well, but we have lots happening right now. Some things we thought we’d have done by end of first quarter, we won’t. That’s okay. With all the enthusiasm, planning and excitement for 2018, January has reminded me that things take one step at a time. Let me share January 2018 with you.
Back to routine and creating better habits
Ah yes. The start of a new year bring a blank slate and a chance to start afresh. I don’t have resolutions. But I do have aspirations for creating better habits and a daily routine that I enjoy. I wrote about my morning routine late last year, though going forward, I’ve been trying to build on and improve it. One, not so great habit I had developed was grabbing an ‘Up & Go’ out of the fridge on mornings when I’ve needed an earlier start at work. These kinds of ‘on the go’ brekkies aren’t necessarily terrible, but I wanted to become more prepared for those mornings by making a smoothie the night before. I’ve tried a few recipes out of a Women’s Health book and so far, so good.
What I am struggling with on weekday mornings is not scrolling through social media after I hit snooze on my alarm. (There’s actually two things I’m struggling with in that sentence.) I usually open Instagram as soon as a wake up and scroll for about 5-8 minutes. Again, not awful, but I think there is a better use for my time. I’ve created a new habit in my Habits List app ‘no social media in bed’ and now when I get out of bed and head to the yoga mat, I’ll ‘tick’ that habit off my list for the day. What I’ve found is I had been using social media, or any use for my phone, to wake myself up. I find waking up quite difficult without looking at the bright screen. And hitting snooze, well, I’ll deal with that struggle once I can get out of bed without the phone.
Planning house renovations
After arriving back home from sabbatical at the end of September last year, my husband and I dreamed up a list of renovations we’d like to achieve this year. We’ve given ourselves a budget to help prioritise what needs to be done when. I set up a budget spreadsheet to record quotes and scheduling.
About five or so people turned up, one after another one day to do quoting a few weeks ago, and that’s as far as we’ve gone. I thought after the quoting, we’d pick the suppliers and designs we wanted and then go ahead to schedule the work. Well, two people haven’t got back to us, and designs for a new kitchen and laundry haven’t quite met requirements. So its back to the drawing board for the kitchen and laundry, hopefully another quote, follow up a couple more (for built in wardrobes) and then maybe we can gain traction again.
Renovation plans aren’t massive, but I know the associated logistics and administration will take up spare time. There are plans to polish the bedroom floors (that is progressing in late February), have wardrobes built into at least two of the bedrooms. Then knock out part of a wall to install a new kitchen and alter the layout of the living space, and install a new laundry. That’s our ‘must do’ list for this year. If there is spare money, or enough is saved, progress can be made on the ‘nice to do’ list. Something I’m especially looking forward to on that list is redesigning and installing a new home office area.
Towards the end of January, I finally made it to the beach. My husband went out surfing for the first time in a long while and I sometimes drag myself out of bed at the uncivilised hour necessary to catch waves in summertime. I journaled about my ‘happy places’ – the beach and the reading chair. Both are places of solitude and where I can think, reflect and have time out. At that time of the morning, no one yet has put out their towels. There is only the occasional jogger. The winds are calm and it is when the sun comes out, or dances with the clouds, that I thank myself to making the effort. The 4am wake up time is worth hearing the waves crash and sinking my toes into the sand.
I bought my reading chair from Ikea a few years ago and its one of the comfiest spots in the house. Good reading chairs are hard to come by. They have to be the right depth and the back has to be the right height. I also like padded arms so I can toss my legs over the side. The chair is comfortable enough to position yourself for a doze after a reading session or drinking a cup of tea. Happy places are where I feel the most comfortable, not only physically but also in myself. There is no judgement in my happy places, and where I can just be, be peaceful and accepting of the time rolling on by. Happy places are an escape and place to reset. And I particularly needed time in a happy place that morning on the beach.
A new arrival
So my reason for being out here on the back steps is we’ve recently gained a new housemate – a puppy. She is the most adorable little thing; loving, playful and full of energy at 6am on a Sunday morning! I’ve never owned a dog before, only cats, so this is a brand new adventure for me. I’m still a bit scared, but mostly curious to find out what impact she’ll have on every day life. New routines and habits? Watch this space!