Reasons That January Rocked

Now don't get me wrong, there have been moments already in 2015 that I've clutched the sides of my head and screamed inaudibly through gritted teeth in utter frustration, or fallen asleep exhausted by stress. I've already slumped to the floor/sofa/mattress in heavy tears with overwhelming sadness and have called a few people unkind names in anger. January wasn't entirely fluffy, nor without it's challenges - but with the promise and high expectations of a brand spanking new year - comes a fresh attitude towards tackling the hard times head on, and overall - January was a great month. I feel like by the end of January I was already stronger, more self assured, and a lot lot more positive about what I'm capable of building with a pile of life-rubble - and I can definitely look back at it as a month of personal growth. 

Here are a few of my January highlights:

  1. Returning to yoga - I've always dabbled in, enjoyed, and found myself to be relatively suited to yoga. Other than a persistent tightness in the backs of my legs, I'm pretty flexible, and as I meditate regularly anyway, gentle yoga is always a quick and effective route to relaxation for me. At the beginning of January I started to attend yoga classes again (after an almost 2 year absence), bought myself a new mat, and even started to teach Seb some basic asanas at home. He loves it so much that he now often drags the mat out in to the living room after school and demands some yoga time, either with me or a DVD. 
  2. Trying something new - Having joined a local health club in order to access the best value yoga tuition, I decided to really get my money's worth and try out some other classes too. Sticking with something of a theme, in January I tried pilates for the first time (and fainted), tai-chi and body balance (a combination of yoga, pilates and tai-chi). 
  3. Upping my blogging game - Whilst the end of January was quiet in terms of new content on the blog, I was beavering away in the background. At the beginning of January I signed up to the "Boost You Blog" bootcamp style e-course provided by my blogging friend and guru, Elizabeth, via her blog, Rosalilium. Elizabeth really knows her stuff, and through a serious of daily focus tasks, projects and prompts, she encourages bloggers to spend a month working their way through their blogging practices, fine tuning everything and bringing all areas up to scratch. Now that I've completed the course you'll notice a few subtle changes here and there on this site. It's definitely given me a lot of blogging oomph for 2015. If you're a blogger and want to know more about Elizabeth's e-courses (suitable for those just starting a new blog, wanting to improve an existing blog, or take their blog to a new, money making kind of level) then you can find everything you need here.
  4. The most unusual of massages - After Christmas I had quite a substantial voucher to use at our local Bannatyne's spa (re-gifted from a friend). I did agonise over how to spend the thing, but in the end, decided that as it represented an opportunity to buy something I'd never usually spend money on, I should go for something different. So, I opted for the Bannatynes Signature Full Body Bamboo Massage (£51.00 for 55 minutes). Basically, you strip down to your knickers, are covered in a special oil, and every muscle in your body (including toes) are rolled back and forth under bamboo canes of varying thickness. There are big didgeridoo-like canes for your back and thighs, and teeny tiny ones for your hands. It is weird. It is very weird. It isn't particularly relaxing... but boy did it sort out those tight calves of mine - I could suddenly touch my toes!
  5. Good Cinema - I went to the cinema twice in January - and both times, I came out happy - which is always a good 'un. Our local cinema only charges £2.50 per ticket for any film, or £3.50 per ticket on a Saturday - so it's never a purse buster (why do people pay the prices at the big multiplexes?) but I still like to feel as though I got a good movie for my monies. At the beginning of the month I saw Night At The Museum 3 - without children (don't judge me) and heartily laughed throughout, and after the previously mentioned weird massage, saw Into The Woods which, although some have hated it, I found captivating. 
  6. The Walking Bug - Chances are, you're aware of my upcoming challenge, a walk from my home town of Margate, on the East Kent coast, to central London (72.9 miles), with fuel stops but no sleep. During training I've realised that I may well get close to the 48 hour mark to complete this. However - training - has been awesome. Nothing beats using any free time that I find to walk around the island, although in February the time comes to extend the walks and venture further. From being a relative non-walker to happily completing walks between 10-15 miles in January felt like a great achievement and did wonders not just for my physical fitness but for clearing my head too. I've definitely caught the walking bug, and have invested in some brilliant gear that I'll be reviewing in later posts. Towards the end of January I also agreed to attempt the Lyke Wake Walk (a 40 mile walk across North Yorkshire to be completed in 24 hours) with Jenny from The Thrifty Magpie's Nest , Zoe from Splodz Blogz and possibly Ally from Digital Diva later this year - watch this space!
  7. Seb's thirst for knowledge - Bringing up a four year old child always provides fascinating insights in to the human desire to learn. In his reception year at school Seb is incredibly enthusiastic about learning, as are most children his age, and it's just so rewarding and enjoyable to experience with him. At the moment he's suddenly developed a greater interest in maths, and we've spent a lot of time working on simple addition and subtraction sums which can keep him busy (and engaged) for ages. I'm now scouring Pinterest for fun ways to practice his new skills. 
We're now over a week in to February and it's shaping up to be a hectic one, but also a fabulous one for honing, nurturing and expanding upon relationships - and that's awesome. I can feel the slight shift towards Spring sitting just around the corner, and am prematurely imagining camping trips, Spring flowers and longer days. 

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