I've been working full-time since one of my colleagues retired, which has given me a much more regular weekly routine, although my working week is a day behind everyone else's. I don't want to go into much detail, but the last few weeks have been pretty stressful, and I've been trying to make some changes to my life to keep it from getting on top of me. For one thing, I'm drastically reducing my caffeine intake. I can't function without my morning cup of coffee, but for the rest of the day, I've been switching it for peppermint tea, to try to keep the anxiety fireworks in my brain to a minimum. I think it's helping a lot - but how I miss my coffee!
At the beginning of this year I signed up to Ali Edwards' One Little Word project, the idea being that each month you take part in a different challenge to make you take to heart the word you've decided represents something you want to concentrate on in your life. My word was "peace," but I have to confess I haven't done any of the challenges since the beginning of the summer. And yet I still feel that it's been ticking over in the back of my mind, helping me make decisions, and surprising me sometimes with wider definitions that contribute towards a peaceful mind and lifestyle.
One project that has continued and been very beneficial has been my Good Days journal. I think we can all agree that 2016 has been an exceptionally awful year all round, yet even so, I've managed to fill an entire notebook with good memories, a record of all the things I've done, achieved and enjoyed this year, so when New Year's Eve comes around, I'll have proof that I haven't wasted the year. I've loved doing this, and plan to make this an annual project.
I've also made a Happy Box for the really bad days. I wrapped a shoe box in bright paper and filled it with things to help to cheer me up when I really need it. There are cards from friends, humorous and uplifting little books, emergency chocolate and tea, Anne of Green Gables on DVD, a cross-stitch set, a little notebook of Things That Make Me Happy, and there's a little scrapbook of miscellanous encouraging things. Fortunately, I haven't needed it very often.
I turn 31 tomorrow. I was absolutely dreading my thirtieth birthday, mostly because back when I left university, I told myself, "Life is scary and uncertain now, but by the time you're 30 you'll be settled. And then 30 approached, life was still scary and uncertain, and I couldn't see the other side. And nothing's changed, but I'm feeling positive about 31. I'm on the verge of making some big decisions - and guess what! It's still scary and uncertain. I suspect that is the condition we call "life."