As January draws to a close, it seems like the perfect time to start something new.
I’ve read a lot about gratitude online over the last year or so, and have been thinking a lot more about the things I appreciate in my life. It’s a great way of pausing and realising that, actually, even if I’m having a bad day or I’m stressed or fed up, life is pretty good.
So I thought I’d start a monthly series to capture some of the good things that have happened.
1. Booking my first trip(s) of the year
After a lot of circling around on the internet, at the weekend I finally got organised and booked a long weekend in Riga to celebrate husband’s birthday. It’s not somewhere that was particularly high on my travel wish list, but after spotting a cheap flight from a local airport, I was sold.
Some of my favourite trips are the ones that haven’t been too planned: I’ve spotted a good deal or a flight somewhere random and thought, let’s just go. I love that we have the freedom to do that and I’m excited to spend a few days exploring somewhere new, that I don’t know much about.
Also this week, we arranged a night away in a fancy local hotel, which I’m really looking forward to.
Hopefully there will be more trips to come!
2. Slow reading
At the start of the year, I decided that I wasn’t going to set myself a reading target for the year.
So far, it feels like a good decision. I’ve read a few books this month, not a huge amount. But my reading has felt relaxed; I don’t feel under pressure to meet an arbitrary goal that will only make reading a chore, or another task to be ticked off my to do list.
Sure, I want to read as much as possible, but I want to enjoy it. I want to be a bit more adventurous in the books I’m choosing, and not go for the easy option just to make up the numbers.
I’m a bit of a sucker for cop shows and procedurals, as I watched a lot of them with my dad growing up. I’ve really been enjoying Sky Living’s new show, Blindspot, about a mysterious woman who is discovered in a bag in Times Square, naked and covered in intricate tattoos that seem to provide clues to a number of ongoing crimes.
It’s fast-paced and dramatic, with a twisting plot and just the right amount of potential romance. I’m only gutted that I have to wait a week between each episode. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s going to be perfect for Netflix bingeing.
4. ASOS sale shopping
Nowadays, my ASOS shopping follows a familiar pattern: I order a giant bag of goodies, wait for them to arrive, try everything on, wonder who on earth these clothes are supposed to fit, and send them all back again.
But occasionally I find a gem among all the things that don’t fit me.
My post-Christmas sale binge resulted in two perfect items: a dress and a pair of boots. Unfortunately, the dress was just ever so slightly too small and the boots were damaged. No problem, I thought, I’ll just exchange them.
But luck was not on my side, and both items were out of stock in my size. However, after several days of stalking the ASOS website and refreshing both pages repeatedly, I managed to get hold of the things I wanted. Result!
5. Sofa time with the husband
Thanks to my pathological need to be attached to my laptop as I blog, write and catch up on emails, I don’t always spend as much quality time with my husband as I should. He’s totally amazing about me neglecting him, but I do enjoy it when we spend a lazy evening together just watching television.
Despite the fact that I haven’t watched it for about 10 years, we’ve ended up getting sucked into this year’s Celebrity Big Brother and it’s been a good excuse to spend time together. Plus we’ve caught up on a few films over the last month, which has been a great way of making the most out of the dark post-Christmas nights.
So that’s a few of the things I’ve enjoyed this month. What have been the high points of your January?