So it’s the end of my first month attempting to be smart. I’d like to discuss how I did.
I started strong with the time management stuff. Toward the beginning of the month, I was getting up on time, having breakfast, spending time with Dan and still starting work on time. Woo!
The last few weeks I’ve been struggling with some health stuff, mostly migraines. I’m not sure why but I’ve woken up almost every day in excruciating pain, and the only thing I can do is whine for Dan to bring me medicine and go back to sleep. It’s made it hard to get up on time or accomplish anything before I start work, and at the end of the day, I’m completely wiped out. I have enough energy to watch YouTube until I fall asleep, and maybe outline some posts or do some blog planning. I’m still doing some of the things I need to do, but I’m nowhere near as productive as I am on normal days.
I’m trying not to beat myself up over this. I don’t control my migraines. I know what my triggers are and do my best to mitigate those factors, but some of them, like the weather, I have zero control over. I know it’s weird for me to cite the weather, but barometric pressure affects the way my body functions. It’s just a thing.
I’ve been relatively successful on this front. I canceled all of my subscriptions at the beginning of the month, with the exception of my razor blades. While I was going through and canceling I was a little shocked about how many subscriptions I had. Boxycharm, FabFitFun, Scentbird, Kinder Beauty… who needs all this stuff? Admittedly the last one is brand new to the market so I’ve only paid for it once, but still.
I did pretty well when it comes to random, pointless purchases. I bought an eyebrow pencil because my brow gel ran out and I don’t like the pomade I have. I also bought a lip balm because I was out in the world without one and my lips were like the Sahara. I didn’t need either of these things, as I have plenty of products at home that perform the same function, but convenience is an excellent motivator.
The rest of my purchases this month have been related to my pets and my bff’s impending wedding. Dress, shoes, earrings, sunglasses, and makeup; my dress is navy and I’m wearing purple accents, and since I don’t own purple accessories or makeup, they had to be acquired.
My biggest expense this month has been this little dude:
It’s a baby lovebird! Because we don’t know for sure whether it’s a male or female we haven’t named it yet, but we’re making some good progress getting him to trust us and be our friend. It’s so cute I want to snuggle it all the time, but it’s not on board with that yet. We’ll get there.
Aside from the things I mentioned above, I did buy some other things that I don’t need right away, like liters of my favorite shampoo and conditioner from Ulta. I don’t need them immediately but they were deeply discounted, and I’ll need them before the next liter sale in July. Is it better to buy the things I know I’ll use when they’re half price, or wait until I need them and spend more money? I know this is a slippery slope and I can use this justification to buy lots of things while they’re on sale, but I know myself. I go through bath products like hair care and body wash much faster than makeup and most skin care. I fly through cleanser but toner, moisturizer, and masks are another story.
Admittedly I also caved to a Lunatick Cosmetics sale email and purchased a lipstick and eyeshadow palette… but discounts! I’ve wanted to try this brand for-ev-er but their prices are a little steep. I really can’t justify spending $35 for a five pan shadow palette just because it’s shaped like a coffin with a Ouija board design on the package. But on sale for $20? You bet your ass I bought it. Then I unsubscribed from their emails. I’ll do better next month.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m going through a bit of a rough patch when it comes to my health. I’m making a point to go home this week so that I can see my primary doctor to discuss this and a few other issues, and I’m auditioning therapists in Albany.
Yes, auditioning. I have a strict set of criteria when it comes to mental health providers, and I’m not willing to see someone who doesn’t check all of the boxes. I’m in a relatively good place with my mental health right now so I have the time to be picky and find someone who can be my provider long-term. I think that alone is a smarter approach than I’ve taken in the past; normally I put it off until I’m in crisis and see the first provider I possibly can. Not a good idea.
With regard to things like healthy eating and exercise, I’m not doing great, but I am attempting to make smarter food choices. Example: one cookie instead of four. Lots of water. Very little alcohol. Herbal tea over coffee. I also invested in a recumbent bike with a workstation for my laptop that doubles as a standing desk. It arrived yesterday and hasn’t been assembled yet, but once it is I’ll have literally no excuse not to use it. It’s in my house and I can work while I ride it; what reason could I possibly come up with not to use it?
I’ve been spending more time working in my frigid office recently and it’s greatly improved my productivity. I’m in the process of cleaning and organizing so it’s a nice space for me to work in. I also close the door or wear headphones in an attempt to minimize environmental distractions, i.e. Dan. He still pops his head in and wants to chat when he wakes up, but I’m getting better about reminding him that I have to work. It’s been really cold and snowy so I haven’t felt the need to leave the house, period, but especially for work. Hauling my stuff over the city is fine in decent weather, but I really hate it when it’s gross outside.
So, I got myself a thing. It wasn’t this expensive when I purchased it, but whatever.
I know it looks really strange, but it’s been ridiculously helpful with my writing. It’s a bare-bones word processor with no WiFi or internet connection of any kind, so there’s nothing to distract me. I know I can put my laptop in airplane mode, but will I? No. I’m not that disciplined.
This thing also has a teeny screen so I can only see five lines of text at a time. It’s annoying but I have a bad habit of trying to edit while I write, which never works out for me, and this little thing prevents that. I can write up to eight documents at a time, and when I’m done with them I plug this thing into my laptop and import my works of genius. Or my weird stories about my pets. Either way, I’m making words in a creative way.
I’ve also discovered this site called Blurt. It helps me organize my writing, set schedules for different projects, and it nags me with an email when it’s time to write. Oh, and it tracks my word counts per day or project or whatever I choose. Sure, I could save my writing in Google Drive and set my own reminders to write, but I don’t, and I don’t know that I’d take it seriously even if I did. This is helping me make writing more of a priority, even on days when I really don’t feel like it.
Overall I think I did pretty well this month. How are you doing with your resolutions/no-buy/whatever you’ve decided to do this year?