Thursday, 13 December 2018

5 Lessons Learned in 2018

The year is winding down and it's time for a little reflection on the past twelve months.

I've learned a lot this year, and I'm going to tell you all about the lessons 2018 has taught me.

Image: Wolf Bear - I believe in the good things coming, today and every day. 

1. I Can Do Anything I Damn Well Please. 

This year has had an overarching lesson above all - I am the master of my own fate. I can do whatever the hell I want and I don't have to justify myself to anyone.

Now, looking at this statement it's fair to say that it could be construed in a negative light, but I don't mean it as such. I'm not just rolling around doing whatever whims take me and I'm certainly not out to hurt anyone with my actions. What I mean is that I CAN move to India. I CAN quit my job and go freelance. I CAN propose to my man. I can do anything. And that lesson is so positive for me.

2. The Only Way Out is Through. 

I will say to almost anyone who asks that I loved my old job. I did. For ages. But then it became a chore. It became repetitive and boring and it eventually began to grate on my mental health. I knew that I couldn't just give up though, and so I persevered and made myself keep going as I searched for a job that would help me pursue my dreams.

I am glad that I kept going, that I openly discussed the issues I had developed with the job with my managers and my friends, and I am so glad that I am pursuing my freelance dreams, because it has only bolstered my opinion that the company I worked for prior to my freelance career are awesome - because they understood my viewpoint and they were there for me until the very last moment.

3. Intentional Living is For Me

India has taught me something about myself that I really never fully focused on: I am far more thoughtful than I ever gave myself credit for. I have learned that living intentionally is far easier and brings a lot of contentment to my life. I am trying to be more thoughtful about how I consume everything (which is bloody difficult in a country like India), and I feel the benefits of it already.

Granted it has only been a couple of months, but I am feeling so much better about my life and my footprint. As I write this I can happily state that I have managed to have an almost zero waste cup of tea in Starbucks - opting for a ceramic cup, not using sugar packets, not putting my teabag on a napkin, asking for a jug of milk instead of a UHT packet and so on.

FYI, I'll be uploading my What's In My Low Impact Bag in the future, so check that out! 

4. Make Gratitude the Attitude

I've always been the type to say thank you to anyone who has ever done something for me, but this year I have been more vocal about it again. From emailing companies who create a product I love and enjoy to expressing to my friends what they mean to me, gratitude is the most wonderful thing we can spread. Telling people that we appreciate them is so important. You have no idea what that small moment of connection and positivity can do for a person's mental health, your smile and positivity can bring real change to the world around you.

I've also been donating to creative projects by creators I love and enjoy where I can, though this is entirely non-essential.

5. Put Down The Tech

A lot of my life is lived online, but I have come to learn and further, enjoy putting my tech down. Making friends with people, learning about the world around me, feeding the street dogs in my locality - all of this has been facilitated by putting my phone down and paying attention to something beyond my screen.

I've been able to come off my antidepressants, I've learned how to mitigate my migraines, how to live more thoughtfully and how to actually be a human. When I do want to take a step away from the world, I don't feel bad - balance is the key, and there's no guilt on the occasions that I do need to block out the world - I'm just not constantly plugged into an electronic device.

So there are some lessons I've learned this year. I hope they were interesting to you and perhaps inspired you for 2019. 


Saturday, 1 December 2018

TTDTYA - Owning a FitBit

Something I have always wanted is a Fitbit, but it was always more of a nice thought, an arbitrary piece of kit I was never really going to buy for myself. Really, I was enamored by the idea of a FitBit, taken by the notion of tracking my fitness and everything else.

The thing is, I haven't shot my bow in a year, I haven't been out for a run in about the same, and I knew in my heart I would never buy one so long as I was so unmotivated in my sporting/fitness life.

Then I was given one. And my life is changed.

Here are all the things they don't tell you about owning a Fitbit.

You'll Be Suspicious At First.

When you first get it, you will be unsure, and a little suspicious. What can this gadget really do for you? How great can this glorified bracelet be? Is it really all that? Is it seriously waterproof??

Eventually, You'll Warm To It 

You'll charge it, set it up, install the app, and put it on your wrist. Then you'll forget about it for a while. You'll look at the app after a couple of days and see your sleep, your steps, any other activities, and you'll suddenly be enamored by it. After a few more days, you'll have started to set goals and see your habits starting to come to the fore. That's when you'll start to think, "This Fitbit malarkey is actually grand!!".

By this time, you'll have forgotten about it and worn it into the shower, or while you've done the dishes, and you'll begin to accept the waterproof nature of your new gadget.

It Will Seamlessly Integrate Into Your Life

By now, you'll trust yourself to wear it into the shower, and you'll have it on while you sleep, so you'll have started to see a clear picture of your fitness and your health habits. You'll check the app a couple of times a day, and each time, be more and more impressed with the information it gives you. Oh, you slept for 6 hours? But you were restless around 4am for 17 minutes? Well, bed earlier next time so!

You'll Regain Lost Motivation 

I used to run competitively, I was always out pounding the pavements and hitting the gym. That has not been the case recently. My FitBit has helped me with that. Because I've been wearing it every day, when I cycle to work or walk my housemate's dog in the evenings, it has helped me to slowly recover my goals. I've been slacking, and I know it. Now my FitBit holds me accountable. There is no denying the cold hard fact

When Your FitBit Needs To Be Charged, You'll Be Grumpy. 

It only takes a couple of hours to charge my Fitbit, but when I've got to take it off and plug it in, I'm not an impressed camper! I tend to charge it in work, where I'm sitting, and won't need to worry about my logs being inaccurate. Charging it is necessary, but it annoys me to no end!

You'll Want A Band To Go With Every Outfit 

One thing I've started to do is shop around for pendants and bands to put the FitBit into. Fancy looking bangles, pendants, and the silicone straps in every color. I'm going to wind up with a strap to match every outfit on a day to day basis and a fancy pendant to put it in to wear out to events. You'll become obsessed - unless you're into the "all black everything" aesthetic. Probably even then!

So there you have it! My list of things that they dont tell you about owning a Fitbit! 

Are there any things I've missed? Tell me in the comments below!! 

Amy x