CW: pregnancy, body image
As I mentioned in January, one post I really want to try and commit to each month this year is a list of things I am grateful for. It is actually quite challenging. Although I’m generally a positive person who lives life at a level I would call “content”, and only occasionally swing into bouts of terror and sadness, this is quite a challenge for me, particularly since I want to put my animals and my family on every list and I have set myself the challenge to be grateful for new things every month. Anything that stretches my ability to be grateful, however, I suspect is a good challenge. Practice, after all, makes perfect.
1) fLash Lash
This may sound terribly superficial, but since we’ve already established that I am I’m going to plough right ahead anyway. My friend put me on to this lash serum. I was really sceptical at first because the idea of a lash serum just sounds really gimmicky to me. However, I’ve been using it for about a month now, and it works! My lashes are actually longer. I tried to take a before and after, but unfortunately my before is really blurry so it’s extremely hard to see any sort of difference. The difference isn’t huge – certainly nothing as dramatic as the pictures on the website – but it is noticeable, and I love it. I will definitely be repurchasing this one. (And no, sadly this is not a sponsored post and I do not get any money from spruiking the wonders of fLash Lash).
2) Maternity jeans
I’m not pregnant, but I am now a sworn devotee of maternity jeans. I’ve never actually tried them before, although I have written about them as I know other endo-warriors who wear them. Now I’m not sure I ever want to wear anything else. I tried on this pair yesterday and was blown away.
They look like jeans, but they feel like leggings and they are so soft and comfy on the belly. They are actually quite flattering, and I say this as someone who has always felt very self-conscious about the width of her hips in leggings and skinny jeans. With a pair of biker boots they are positively badass. Badass comfort – what more could you possibly want? You could fight crime and look cool in these things.
3) New friends
Whilst I still miss my friends from my old workplace, particularly my fLash Lash friend and another lovely woman who left a few months before I did, I am delighted to have found such incredible people at my new job. They are mostly women, and they are all wonderful – friendly, helpful, chatty, hardworking, collaborative, and always up for a jaunt to the local coffee shop or grocer. They’ve made me feel so at home. Great colleagues make for a great job even when the work isn’t tops, and I love the work too, so it’s great all round.
4) My employer’s attitude to disability
Although I have thankfully not had to put it to the test in a “I’ve only worked three hours in the last month” sort of way, my employer so far seems really pro-disability and supportive of disabled staff. We get personalised desk assessments (everyone, disabled or otherwise) and if you have a pre-existing condition they get in a physio or other specialist to do it. Mine has resulted in a better chair and an extra plug so I can have my electric heat pack plugged in at my desk. This means no more awkward trips to and from the kitchen every forty minutes juggling a piping hot wheat bag that will be painfully hot at first and then cool down annoyingly quickly. This hugely increases my ability to stay at my desk working. It makes such a difference.
5) Cool weather
I don’t do terribly well in the heat. I am too white for days much above 30 degrees. I like a gentle cool breeze on a warm 27-28 degree day. English summers are largely perfect, in my eyes. Summers here are dry and baking and seem to parch the moisture right out of you, except when it is stormy in which case they are hot and sweaty but still leave you really thirsty and dry on the inside. Thankfully, February has largely seen a move to more gentle temperatures. As I write this, we’re expecting a top of 24. Perfect. Love it. I know I’ll be having the opposite feeling come winter, but right now I’m happy as the proverbial clam.
6) Nice hair
It’s not always nice, but yesterday I got a haircut and now it’s just spiffy. It’s great while it lasts and it makes me happy. It smells nice, too.
7) Adventurous tomatoes
I didn’t plant any tomatoes this year. My plants just ran riot last year and I had more tomatoes than I could comprehend, so I thought I’d give them a miss this year. Despite this, I have four or five tomato plants sprouting in the garden, including one that is growing in the cracks of the pavement again. They are plucky and determined plants, and I’m actually pretty excited because I do like tomatoes. I also have a single brave chili growing in my Vegepod. I’d forgotten I even planted chillis (did I plant chillis? Is it even a chilli? We’ll find out when I cut it open, I suppose).
8) Valentine’s Day
Like most people, I’m not a huge fan of the commercialism that inevitably springs up around days like this. However, I am a fan of the idea of love persevering, and a brave man helping couples marry in secret. I also like the reminder it brings to have a special date with my husband and take an evening to really cherish our relationship. We’ve endured a lot together and it’s really important for us to make happy memories too.
9) The Done app
As you may know from my previous mention of my dairies, I’ve switched from a bullet journal to a more traditional (but also very fullsome) planner this year. One other thing I’ve done is make my habit tracker digital. There’s an app called Done which allows you to track 5 habits for free, or as many as you like for $6.99. I paid for the full suite. I’m sticking to tracking my habits far more effectively when it’s on my phone, and it is actually easier to view trends there.
When you have reached your goal for the day/week/month/whatever, the bar fully fills up. The number on the right refers to your streak of how many days/weeks/months in a row you’ve managed the habit. It’s quite motivating and really quick to do.
10) Finally getting over this cold (I hope)
This darn cold is dragging on and on and on, as they always do when you have an immune system as useful as the male nipple. However, I think it might finally be going away. I can feel something almost like energy waving a tentative hand in my direction, and my headache is only dizzying instead of catastrophic. Progress!