September has always felt like a time for new starts to me. A time to take stock after summer, re-set and make a new beginning before the end of the year. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have spent 19/33 years in an academic setting and the fact that in two weeks’ time I go back to school to begin an MA in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am so excited and nervous and a bit overwhelmed with how amazing this opportunity will be.
When I found this course two years ago I thought that it sounded PERFECT but I closed the door on my longing because it seemed too demanding, financially and in terms of time (it is three years on a part time basis) and also places are limited and the usual gremlins of self-doubt crept in. God had other plans though and at the very end of last year it became possible financially and I am so grateful and lucky and here we are.
Since the end of my honeymoon in May and throughout summer I have been taking stock, resting up where possible, reading the things I enjoy and finding time to quietly reflect on the big Life Changes coming my way.
August saw the arrival of my niece who is naturally the most perfect and gorgeous baby ever to live and she is ADORED and a large portion of my time has been spent helping to look after her when I am able and if not (stupid work) staring at pictures of her and talking about her at every available opportunity to anyone who will listen.
Other things I have been:
1. Organising our weeding photos and actually displaying some;
2. Joining a new Church – Croydon Vineyard which has been renewing for me;
3. Gardening – we grew lettuces and tomatoes in abundance, everything else has been rather disappointing!
4. Protesting – I went to the Anti Trump Protest, this will get a post of its own.
5. Whole30 – ing again (July);
6. Joining and then leaving a gym because I went three times. Nope.
8. Having a minor op on my foot and some enforced down time which meant I could do a lot of…
1. Dr Who – I am almost through season 10 before our new Lady Doctor starts! Eeek!
2. The Handmaid’s Tale – could it be any better? BUT what is going to happen to June now?!;
3. Call The Midwife (I had not seen the last two series). I just adore this show;
4. Victoria – just finished season 1 so no spoilers please. I have a massive girl-crush on Jenna Coleman so I am loving it;
5. Dear White People – so good.
1. Following repeated recommendations from my friend Madge I FINALLY made time to check out Gretchen Rubin and I have basically spent the last three months binge listening to her podcast – Happier with Gretchen Rubin. This podcast started in 2015, there is one episode a week and as the name would suggest is about how to make you happier. Not one to do things by halves I went right back to the beginning and I am now almost up to date.
If you follow me on Instagram I post a round up of all books finished in the last month so I won’t re-list here BUT following on from the Podcast above I am in the process of reading Gretchen Rubin who writes about happiness and habits and have so far finished:
1. The Four Tendencies – a book about how we respond to internal and external obligations. Rubin believes that everyone can be divided into one of four groups – Upholder (meets both outer and inner expectations), Questioner (meets inner expectations and will only meet outer if the “why” makes sense to them), Obliger (meets outer expectations but struggles to meet inner expectations unless there is some accountability) and Rebel (will meet both inner and outer expectations but only if they want to).
2. Better Than Before – a book on strategies for changing habits.
3. The Happiness Project – a Memoir where Rubin spends a year working on a project to make herself happier.
I love learning about myself and trying to improve and grow as a person so these Podcast and books have been something I have really enjoyed digging in to over this summer. I have now decided as it is September that I will be starting my own Happiness Project because:
1. it sounds like fun;
2. like this is a good use of my time and energy; and
3. It will hopefully help me figure out this new season of part time work and study.
Just for those of you out there who may be familiar with this work: I am a Questioner and it seems hilarious to me that I ever questioned this at the beginning of the summer!
This has been a season of introspection for me and I am now ready to start anew and put some of these thoughts and plans into action. For those who are interested I shall keep you updated with my Happiness Project and my new routine in the coming weeks 😊