Things we’ll do this month: April

Well, April, we’re holding out some pretty high hopes for you. You should be the long-awaited beginning of spring. You should bring the first signs of hope warmer weather and brighter days. So far, you’ve only brought the famous showers that you are known for, but if we could get an advance on the May flowers they purportedly bring, that would be fantastic.

April is mostly a recovery month for us. Recovery from moving and recovery via unpacking and setting up our new living space. We have a trip planned towards the end of the month, but it is a bit shrouded in uncertainty as we may or may not take it. Originally, it was planned to be a weekend that we spent with my folks and with my matron of honour and her family exploring the details of our wedding plus an overnight in our favourite old west feeling railroad town. Since we cancelled that whole thing, we haven’t really talked about whether we should/will still go. I’m a vote in favour, but I am always a vote in favour for any night away anywhere.

We were supposed to have house guests last weekend, but we didn’t really get everything around the house organized and all (or even most of) the boxes unpacked. (I did find the screws for the guest bed, though, so we made progress this week!) We missed getting to have them stay here (they stayed downtown instead) but we did get a chance to have a quick visit over a Canucks game and dinner.

Goal setting is fun. It’s great motivation to sit down and hash out the things we want to do and fantasize about the roads that will take us there. When we talk about goals, we talk about money and career and real estate and competition, but we rarely talk about good, old-fashioned leisure. Every month, I am going to publish a list of things I would like to do during the month ahead. Of course, this list doesn’t take the place of all of my standard goals related to health, wellness, money and spirituality, but I reserve the right to, in some cases, blur the lines.

In April, we will…

  • Talk about version two of our wedding and *try to* come up with an answer for everyone’s second question: so, what are you going to do now? (Their first is: “is everything okay???”
  • Carve my soapstone bear (Barb, you are on my agenda!)
  • Plan my summer gardens (Three this year – our balcony garden, my remote garden and our garden plot at the apartment!)
  • Plant seeds
  • Hang all of our artwork
  • Fill all of our picture frames (Am I the only one who is terrible at printing photos in this digital age?!?)
  • Host an Easter celebration
  • Plan a trip to watch baseball
  • Meal plan
  • Go hiking

What’s on your calendar for April? What fun adventures will you take this month?

Things we’ll do this month: March

March!

The third month of the year.

Already.

Also, the first day of Lent and I may not be religious, but I’m big on practicing deprivation. Does that sound weird? No matter, it’s true. I like to give something up for periods of time and see what happens. When I was a kid, we always had Pancake Tuesday. Now that I’m an adult, I do Lent. (I’m not that into pancakes.)

It’s March!

This is the month when we will move into our new place!

This is the month when we will send out wedding invitations!

This is the month when we will have fewer plans than normal!

This moving thing is taking a lot of our energy and attention and that’s mostly in good ways. We knew we were moving more than two months before we did so it’s been a little agonizing being excited to get to the new place, but having to wait so long to make it happen.

I have vacation this month. Twice, in fact. One week next week, two (very busy) weeks back in the office, and then another week again.

In the midst of all the packing and the cleaning and the decluttering and the unpacking, we’re also going to try to have some fun…

  • Start tomato seeds
  • Celebrate St Patrick’s Day
  • Visit the library
  • Run 25km
  • Clear out my remote garden
  • Order wedding invitations
  • Secure wedding photographer
  • Read two books
  • Plan first dinner party in the new place
  • Write! Write! Write!

What do you have planned for March? What are you looking forward to?

Stuck at home & my mom’s birthday

I basically wanted to bawl my eyes out when I woke up this morning. Today was a last chance at warmer, drier weather that would enable us to hit the road and visit some of our besties in Vancouver, Washington. We’d been looking forward to this trip for so long and now I am so, so sad.

We spent yesterday entirely indoors. The road behind our house is already a disaster and we won’t be going anywhere by car for a while.

The upside is that this is really beautiful snow – the fluffy kind that sort of swirls up and around in the air instead of just falling straight down. Now that our vacation has been forcibly turned into a staycation (god, I vowed that I would never use that word) we’ll probably take a walk and enjoy the beauty of this torturously paralyzing weather while hitting up the local grocery store.

A few weeks ago, I lost a bet so I’ll need to make a carrot cake sometime between now and the Super Bowl. I took the Steelers, but it was mostly a pity bet after my counterpart was super bummed about the Seahawks losing. Now that we are stranded in town, we’ll be watching the game at his place and it’s time for me to pay up. (He owes me homemade dinner.)

If you know a good carrot cake recipe, speak now or forever hold your peace.

•••

Everybody has been talking about having allergies lately which seemed strange when I heard it, but now I understand. Like all reports I’ve received, it’s like a cold – sneezy and sniffly – but it never materializes as anything more. Poor allergies get the blame. Realistically, it doesn’t seem all that likely – I mean, what allergen is in the air at this time? I know people really hate snow (which, for the record, I don’t – I just hate it when it interferes with my plans) but, come on. Maybe its residual from being sick this time last month. I don’t know.

•••

Here’s another person I won’t get to spend today with: my mom. It’s her birthday, but like our back road, her entire neighbourhood becomes an instant (and totally inaccessible) winter wonderland with the fall of the first flake. We finally set up the AppleTV that we bought my folks for Christmas (my dad reported on Wednesday that it is, and I quote, “the cat’s ass”) so I’ll bet that they’ll spend this snow day alternating between shovelling their sidewalk and driveway and binging on Longmire. In anticipation of our absence this weekend, we did have a birthday dinner (at what’s become our standard birthday family dinner destination) with her one evening this week, but she was supposed to party with my bro and his crew today so that had to be cancelled.

We are opposites in many ways – she’s meticulous, I have a short attention span; she’s dedicated, I’m flighty; I’m abrupt, she’s diplomatic; she’s neat, I’m messy; she’s patient, I’m…not. She gives me a lot to look up to and to admire. She has been generous and supportive all my life and I’m thankful for everything she has given, taught, shown me over all these years. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Things we’ll do this month: February

Or #FabFeb as I’m about to start calling it. Back in #AwesomeAugust, I committed to posting a picture sharing gratitude on social media every day. After a sick start to 2017, a stressful month at the office and the no news is good news (as in none of the news I see is ever remotely enjoyable) feeling of late, I need a little pick-me-up.

So, I’m starting February with a couple of projects: minimalism and daily gratitude (follow along on Instagram.) I contemplated committing to ten thousand steps a day, but the way things have been going lately, that feels like a set up for automatic failure. I hope that having a few daily tasks to keep in mind will help pull me out of foggy January and into one of my two favourite months.

FEBRUARY! YOU’RE HERE! I’VE MISSED YOU!

I skipped January, but I’m getting back to my practice of posting a wishlist of things to do for fun, enjoyment and/or for personal challenge each month – the things we’ll do this month. Here goes.

  • Road trip to Vancouver, Washington – a weekend with our favourites (which I just found out from a woman in the elevator is in jeopardy because of the looming stupid, stupid snow and limited cat care under those circumstances)
  • Super Bowl. FEATURING THE FALCONS. Rise up, errbody!
  • Make and send Valentines
  • Nate Bargatze! In Vancouver!
  • Run 25km – our routine never recovered from the snow we had in December (see above comment about the looming stupid, stupid snow)
  • Order change of address cards AND wedding invitations
  • Make plans for a weekend check out at our wedding venue, organize meetings with flower vendors, cake makers, hairdressers (?)
  • Secure officiant and photographer (amazing people who we are lucky to already know…)
  • Finish reading two books

On paper it doesn’t seem like a whole heck of a lot, but in reality, it feels like plenty.

You have to stick around for a few minutes, but the tiger jokes at the end are everything.

So, what does February have in store for you? Or, better, what do you have in store for February?

Things we’ll do this month: December

December! How delightful!

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My favourite parts of December are always the beginning and the end. I love the excitement and anticipation of the early days and I love the end of month/end of year nostalgia. Of course, Christmas is fantastic, too, but there is a quite time for a week or so in there and it drags on a little too long for my liking. It’s also the very busiest and most complex time of year in my day job which is something I both really love and thrive on and really hate and suffer through. That definitely adds to the drama.

This month, we have some really great stuff on the docket. Like, I mean, REALLY GREAT. Things like a charity 5k (donations graciously accepted), a concert featuring my hands down favourite hip hop artist, hockey games, Cirque du Soleil, two holiday parties and visits from friends and family. We have a full calendar, but in the midst of all that, I’d like to add a few fun to dos to our plan.

  • Go ice skating
  • Go snowshoeing
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights
  • Run 40 km
  • Read three books
  • Get a haircut
  • Make the rounds to spread good cheer
  • Invite friends in
  • Great a vision board, pick a word, set intentions for 2017
  • Plan travel to Long Beach, Ontario, Las Vegas & Prague (?)
  • Have a merry Christmas

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As a bonus for this month’s regular list, I’m adding a specific intention for practice in December. That intention: DO IT NOW.

For me, the holidays start out as a joyful time. I start early by putting up lights and pulling out decorations. People hiss and boo and roll their eyes at me, but it makes me really happy to get an early start.

So, I get an early start and then my enthusiasm lulls. I compose mental lists of things to do and put them off until another time. It doesn’t help that I’m naturally a pleasure delayer so I postpone things I know I’m going to get enjoyment out of until another time. I almost enjoy the anticipation more than I enjoy the action. So I wait it out, but I often wait so long that I end up late, in a rush and sapping all the fun out of something that I’m supposed to enjoy. Put simply, I lose track of time.

DO IT NOW means taking the opportunity to write cards or wrap gifts or go shopping or visit a friend when I can and without preserving the opportunity for another time or putting it off for the perfect moment.

What are your big plans for this December? What bad habits could you change to help make your holidays happier?

Things we’ll so this month: November

November is my favourite. I love November. With no major holiday or theme to it, it’s largely a blank slate – it could be anything and the possibilities are endless. The unknown, change, uncertainty: that’s my jam.

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But, I’m a day late with this post. Mostly because I was doing November things (eating sushi and reading Harry Potter) and also stalling because I needed a few extra hours to think about what I want to do this month.

Here goes!

  • Orlando!
  • Run 40 km (this would be 50, but since we’re away for a week…)
  • Lay off the coff(ee)
  • Pull the trigger and book a wedding date/location (we’re so close)
  • Celebrate second (aka American) Thanksgiving
  • Check out Circle Craft Christmas Market
  • Make/organize Christmas cards & gifts that need to be mailed out
  • Start (maybe even finish?) a new knitting project

This list is a little shorter than the others, but so is this month. Also, I’m completely distracted by books. For the first time in years, they’re all I think about.

What’s on the docket for your November? Will you try something new? Work towards a new goal? Wrap up a few of the things you said you’d do in 2016?

Things we’ll do this month: October

October is super fabulous. It’s got two heavy-hitting holidays to help it along. With Thanksgiving falling on the 10th this year and Hallowe’en in its regular spot at the end of the month, there is a lot of fun to be had as the weather really starts to cool down. Orange, green and brown decorations appear and everything turns pumpkins, colourful leaves, witches and ghosts.

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For the third month in a row, I’m writing a list of all the things that we will do this month to help keep us focused on fun and enjoying ourselves outside of all the obligations that usually take centre stage.

Here goes:

  • Journal every day
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Make pumpkin puree
  • Write Thanksgiving gratitude notes and letters
  • Plan trip to Orlando
  • Plant garlic
  • Walk the Seawall
  • Do a ghost tour
  • Make and send Halloween cards
  • Birthday celebration for Kevin
  • Host a dinner party
  • Have a games night
  • Go to the pool every week
  • Move table and buffet into the apartment

Now that it’s October, I have given myself permission to dig out my fall/Thanksgiving/Hallowe’en box and play with put out all the decorations. These are the kinds of things that I really enjoy and the one thing I’m looking forward to more than anything else right now.

Happy October!

What have you got planned for the month ahead? What makes October special to you?

Things we’ll do this month: September

Yay for September! The mercury in the thermometer is falling (or at least beginning to drop,) public places are becoming more scarce with summer vacationing families and tourists, pumpkin spice everything is making its way into the marketplace like a bull in a china shop. Fall is right around the corner.

Succulent September

Question: do you say autumn or fall? Is there a difference? To me, autumn seems an appropriate word for the soft transition between end of summer and real fall. Fall is the time afterwards – the Thanksgiving and Halloween, cold nights and darker mornings. September is autumn, October becomes fall.

So, back in August, I started this new tradition of coming up with a list of things I/we’d like to do in the upcoming month. It’s mostly fun and games and enjoyable stuff, though some errand-y type endeavours may make their way to the list periodically. Here’s what’s on the docket for September.

  • Plan engagement photos
  • Make perogies with Barb
  • Go apple picking
  • Investigate cover crops and plant them in #myremotegarden
  • Pack up spring/summer clothes, unpack fall/winter clothes
  • Make my dad a birthday cake
  • Make and can salsa
  • Complete 14-day yoga fundamentals
  • Organize visit from Amy & Tyson
  • Read Born For This by Chris Guillebeau
  • Practice handwriting
  • Have a dinner party
  • Swim in the ocean
  • Ride our bikes
  • Go bowling

What exciting things do you have planned for September? What’s on your to do list this month?

Things we’ll do this month: August

A month that begins with a holiday. Now, that is a good sign.

Goal setting is fun. It’s great motivation to sit down and hash out the things we want to do and fantasize about the roads that will take us there. When we talk about goals, we talk about money and career and real estate and competition, but we rarely talk about good, old-fashioned leisure. Starting this month, I am going to publish a list of things I would like to do during the month ahead. Of course, this list doesn’t take the place of all of my standard goals related to health, wellness, money and spirituality, but I reserve the right to, in some cases, blur the lines.

Aloha August

But first, here are a few things that I love about August:

  • This is the real heart of the summer. July was a warm-up, but August is where it’s really at. It’s when it feels the hottest, but also when we know we’re over the hump. It makes the heat a lot easier to enjoy knowing that it’s going to get cooler before it gets hotter again.
  • We begin to see the start of back to school season. I mean both the shopping and the general vibe. The end of August/beginning of September really lends all of us the feeling of a new and fresh start. Like New Year’s Day, but warmer. It’s been a longer than I’d care to think about since I went back to school, but this is probably the time of year when I feel most nostalgic.
  • Stationery. This is the back to school shopping thing I mentioned. I’m hooked on paper and pens and other supplies that so many people gave up the minute they finished their classes. Not me. Also, plaid skirts, comfy sweaters and fall boots.
  • Fall TV ads. This is sometimes the only time that we can believe a show is going to be really awesome, that star we used to love is going to make a comeback (I’m looking at you, Kevin James) and change the way we watch television. Also, it’s a little bit amazing that there is still a tradition of starting TV shows in the fall. Maybe we should enjoy it while it lasts.
  • It’s almost football season! Come kick-off on opening day, my attention span is short, but the lead-up to the season gets me really pumped. Blame the Falcons for its short endurance.

I don’t know about other workplaces, but August is about as laid back as mine gets. With a fairly large (I think) peer group, each week is a different combination of people coming in and out of the game since this is the most popular month for vacation. Things definitely slow down in the bureaucratic sense and there’s a little bit more fun to be had. That’s kind of true for all aspects of midsummer life, I find. People are generally more go-with-the-flow-y and just kind of chill a lot of the time. I can definitely deal with that.

Now, here it is. Drumroll, please…things we (or, in some cases, I) will do this month:

  • Swim in a lake
  • Swim in the ocean
  • Swim in a pool
  • Meditate daily
  • Maintain my *new* gratitude journal (and #AwesomeAugust posts)
  • Can peaches
  • Make pad thai
  • Ombre dye t-shirts
  • Plant fall veggies
  • Have a picnic
  • Paint my nails
  • Reread The Happiness Project
  • Road trip to Nanaimo

When I asked Kevin, he added a few of his own:

  • Ride bikes
  • Go for a run
  • Bowl

What do you love about August? And what’s on your to-do list this month? Do you ever take time to set fun goals instead of just serious ones?