I thought it would be fun to have a Sunday morning catch up with you all. What have you been up to? I realise I’ve been quieter than normal on this online space, and I’m trying to work out a better system for writing more regularly. At the moment, I’m struggling with blogging as much as I’d like, alongside living as much I’d like. Do any other bloggers face this conundrum? Part of the reason I started blogging was to have a fuller, richer life; to feel more creatively fulfilled and to challenge myself to learn new skills. I didn’t predict how much blogging would encourage me to demand more from life in other areas as well. I do believe that in order to bring my best to my blog, I need to bring my best to my life, and over the past few months I’ve become more aware of changes that at first I made subconsciously: I’m making more time for friendships that are close to my heart and less time for those that don’t match my personal standards for what a good friendship should be; I’m taking time to plan what I eat more carefully and to stop and really talk over our meals each evening; I make sure I carve time for myself daily to read, meditate, exercise, write and also just have fun. My focus has been on doing over instagramming. Trying to cram so much in – on top of work etc – means that I’ve dropped the ball a little in terms of social media the past couple of weeks, but I feel confident I’ll find a way to make time for everything in a way that makes me happiest, even if it means a period of trial and error at first!
Anyway, this morning – before I set off to greet my Grandmother and cousin fresh off the plane from Toronto! – I wanted to have a proper catch up and give you a round-up of some of the things that have been occupying my time and mind lately:
Trust me, I’m as surprised as you. A month ago, I’d never lifted more than 3lbs for my Tracy Anderson arm exercises, and now I’m doing dead-lifts with almost 30 kilos and aiming for unassisted pull ups in 2 months (we’ll see…). As you may remember, I’ve got a ‘fit by 30’ goal in mind for the last year of my 20s, and I’m determined to get into the best shape I can for this next decade of my life. When a fitness-expert friend of mine learnt of my goal, he offered to show me how to actually use the weight room in a gym, and since then I’ve been trying to fit in weight training 3 times a week, with Tracy Anderson or ballet workouts in between. I’ve really noticed a difference to my strength, stamina and muscle definition already.
Meeting Blog Readers.
I had so much fun getting together with the lovely Llinos for lunch at Brasserie Zedel a few weeks ago. Llinos writes a lovely blog, which I’ve been following for a while now, and it was so fun to get to meet her in person. I was also really pleased to meet another delightful Miranda’s Notebook reader by chance at the Daunt Books Walking Book Club last weekend. It really made my day to meet someone who has to be one of my very first followers! I honestly feel so lucky to have such gracious, intelligent and kind readers. Thank you to all of you who help make writing this blog such a joy!
Writing a Novel.
I’ve been day-dreaming about writing a novel for years, and now I’ve finally started one! In the past, I always began a story with the intention to write pages everyday, but inevitably gave up within a week. This time, I’ve figured out a system that (so far at least!) is really suiting me: my target goal each day is only 100 words, and although I can write more than that when time and inspiration are on my side, having such an easy to meet target is great for days when I’m exhausted or run off my feet. I also picked a friend to help hold me accountable to my daily target and whose feedback I can trust to be honest and valuable, which has made a huge difference as well.
One of my favourite small activities on the weekend is to take the overground a couple stops from West Hampstead to Hampstead Heath, go for a stroll on the Heath, pop into Daunt Books for a browse and then have a cup of tea (and maybe a slice of cake) at one of the numerous cafes in the area. I tried out Karma Bread yesterday and ordered some cinnamon rolls (who can resist?!) and a loaf of bread to go. ‘I’ve popped a little surprise in there too,’ said the lovely lady serving me, and when I got home I discovered two chocolate muffins (one of which I’ve been enjoying whilst writing this post). This sweet gesture reminded me how small acts of kindness and generosity can make such a difference to a person’s day and has encouraged me to think of ways I can be kinder and more generous to those around me. Do any of you have good suggestions for random acts of kindness, both for strangers and for your nearest and dearest?
I hope you all have a lovely Sunday – what are you getting up to?