Month In Review: April 2018

April felt incredibly long, but not sluggish like March. I think I experienced all four seasons’ worth of weather—winter, fall, summer, and spring. But mostly winter. I had lots of small projects to work on, so I was fairly busy, but thankfully not overwhelmed. I can’t reveal everything I did this month, but much of it relates back to my artistic creating!

A celebration: I managed to get over the hardest parts of my revision of The Pilgrimage! Chapters 5 to 9 needed to be completely rewritten from nothing, and I finished them!

A change: The status of my employment changed! This is a good change.

A conflict: It still felt like winter all month long. It snowed for a week straight at one point and I was so done with it. I love winter so much, but when I lasts from November to the end of April? Half a year of winter? No fucking thank you.

A relief: I spent a week out of town and it ended up feeling like a mini-vacation. I traveled 2 hours away from my hometown and where I stayed was filled with grass, sunshine, and the beginning of spring!

A regret: The Pilgrimage didn’t get finished this month. I’ve been trying to finish it for a year now. I’m trying not to beat myself up over it, but I’m eager to finish so I can start Avatar Five, another fantasy novel-length project.

A random memory: I went to a dog park with my pal and his family dog (Alaskan Malamute, I love her), and we got a little lost on the way home. We were walking in a path and I almost stepped on a gartner snake. They’re relatively harmless to humans, so I paused and gave it some distance. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a snake in the wild, but I recognised it as the same kind that used to hang around my old house. (My friend is scared of snakes and went ahead with the pupper.)

Overall, April was a full month. I came home to warmer weather, made a pact to get back into jogging now that I can, and I’m feeling optimistic about May.

Month In Review: April 2017

This post is written in advance, because as you’ll probably glance down to see, I move today! Lots of lugging boxes and a 5+ hour drive. I honestly enjoy packing and moving—it’s the unpacking that I hate. I like putting things away, but having to unpack furniture and arrange it… Not a fan. Anyway, April is done, unbelievably, and I’m looking forward to summer. I feel a lot of opportunity, even if I’m still being dragged down by negative thinking and whatnot.

A celebration: I am officially out of Windsor and done with university. I have my degree! (Well, almost. It will arrive in the mail, hopefully.)

A change: I moved back to my hometown today!

A conflict: My eating disorder was a nightmare this month.

A relief: I’m more at peace with myself being divided between art and writing.

A regret: I didn’t revise as much as I wanted to.

A random memory: I saw a husky puppy walking down the street one morning (with the owner, of course), and the puppy stopped by a signpost. The owner tugged at the leash, and the husky pranced up to him with a big stick in its mouth. Like, a huge stick. Which reminds me of another memory… A guy shouted outside and I looked out the window to see him carrying a branch that was literally twice his height. Big sticks make us happy, I suppose.

Onward to May! I’m hoping to visit my oldest brother, especially since his birthday is in the end of the month. I really want to see some mountains, so visiting him in Alberta would be fun—and I’d get to see my grandpa for the first time in probably a decade. There’s so much I can do with my time nowadays that I need to really hone my focus and work on my projects. Or, I can fall into the existential crisis that’s been lurking around since the beginning of the month. I’m hoping to try new things and test my dedication this upcoming month: jogging; finishing art projects; finishing writing projects; working on my relationships with friends, family, my boyfriend, and myself. It’ll be an adventure. Wish me luck!

BuJo Comparison: April 2016 and April 2017

April 2016 was the second full month of using my bullet journal. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been doing this BuJo thing for a year, but my differences in spreads definitely show how I’ve improved, to put it simply.

The beginning of 2016 was a time of rocky change for me. I needed to prioritise the smallest tasks for my self-care and well-being. Hence, my spreads for my bullet journal reflected that, and I used a ton of daily layouts. I’ll be honest, I hate the majority of my March – August 2016 bullet journal. The notebook was lined while I gravitating toward dot grids layouts, and they’re all messy.

April 2016

A notebook open to a page with a daily to-do list and a list of tasks and deadlines.

An open notebook with a food list on the left page and two daily to-do lists on the right page.

  • Working in a lined notebook from Staples.
  • Using only one side of the pages because the ghosting of the ink from the previous side was too intense to write over top.
  • Less decoration.
  • Initial discovery of lettering techniques and washi tape.
  • Prioritising small tasks, reminders, schoolwork, and self-care.
April 2017

An open notebook that has "Focus on your gains, not your losses" on the left page, and a month plan on the right page with a calendar and list of to-do items.

  • Working in a dot grid notebook from Productive Luddite.
  • Using both sides of the pages however I like, because ink ghosting is barely present!
  • More decoration.
  • Comfortably using lettering techniques and washi tape.
  • Prioritising goals and projects.

A lot has changed, but that’s also because my April 2017 spread is very different to my previous spreads. You can look through my bullet journal category or my Instagram to find more of my commonly used spreads, and even those are different. The structure and dot grid are the biggest changes I can see.

But we can all notice that my BuJo started out really rough and messy. It’s gotten rough and messy again. My February and March layouts were incredibly beautiful (I think) and structured. I guess this is what people call balance?

Since I only have the monthly look for April, I have a smaller notepad I’ve been using this past week for my self-care items. It really, really helps me to unwind. Every time I need a bullet journal break, I go to this “daily scoop” notepad that I made. Would anyone be interested in my posting that? It’s a Word doc and can print 2 of the undated sheets on an 8.5 x 11 inch page, and I absolutely love it.

Month In Review: March 2017

You know how some months fly by, and others drag by? March was just right. It didn’t pass quickly or slowly, but instead just… happened. There were some days and weeks that seemed to take forever to end, and others that ended faster than I thought possible. But everything balanced out, and here we are on the last day!

A celebration: Spring arrived and the weather is more enjoyable—which means my utility usage is slowly decreasing.

A change: No writing projects on the go this month.

A conflict: I had a manic episode for a week that ended up hurting me a lot.

A relief: My dad and I had some nice chats and he helped me keep my head on straight, and my anxiety levels were really, really low this month.

A regret: I didn’t create as much art as I wanted to.

A random memory: My friend and I finally saw Hidden Figures and it was an incredible film. We had a great discussion in her car afterward about civil rights, the changing views we’ve had as we’ve learned about our white privilege, and the different problematic perspectives of people we know.

April feels like it should be busy, since I’m moving; but I like packing and the move should go fine. I already have a “new” place to live—returning to my dad’s house—and my dad is supportive and helpful. (Insistently so.) I’m hoping my low anxiety continues through April. I’ll be happy to be back in my hometown by the start of May, since Windsor will get too hot and has too much pollution. Back home, I’ll be able to see the stars every night, and not be able to count them on my fingers and toes. Part of me wonders why I’m not sad to leave Windsor, but I know why I’m not sad to be leaving: I never intended to stay more than my allotted time here. I came for university. I finished university. It’s time to go.

Month In Review: April 2016

The end of April means my summer has begun. Technically, the summer solstice isn’t until June 20, but once Canada hits May Two-Four, we’re all in summer mode. May Two-Four is actually Victoria Day weekend, but don’t ask me why we have a holiday honouring this queen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Canadians usually take the long weekend to barbecue, drink beer, and enjoy milder weather—along with fireworks and other pyrotechnics. While I was in Windsor the majority of April, the weather felt like early summer. Despite the break from school, I do not look forward to the heat. Give me cool, breezy, and/or rainy, and I’m a happy squid.

April In Pictures

08 April

Classes finished on April 8, and Neko Atsume finally granted me a view of Peaches!

10 April

I changed my phone theme from a cartoony dinosaur one to a summery one.

11 April

26 April

Played games with room mates and my boyfriend.

16 April

18 April

Made and ate good food with my boyfriend.

15 April

Treated myself to a trip to the dollar store, where I picked up some decorative tape (not washi, but it serves the same purpose) and a vanilla candle. This Dollar Tree candle burned well!

19 April

Exposed my boyfriend to feminist literature by having him read from a feminist magazine. He said it was all very good stuff, and he’s normally not big on poetry or literary fiction.

25 April

Started a wardrobe makeover, beginning with some jeans and a dress.

30 April

Returned to my hometown (which is not Windsor) and the glorious nature it holds.

Coryl o'Reilly Editing and Formatting Services

I launched my freelance services for editing and formatting!

(More photos of my day-to-day happenings can be found over on my Instagram account.)

A single adjective for April was rewarding.

I finished classes and took my exams this month. 4 of my 5 grades are processed, and I’m so pleased that I managed over an 80% in those classes! I think, this month, I really applied myself to what was important when it was important. Having my boyfriend visit me was also a huge treat. He and I hadn’t seen each other since January, so having so much free time together—especially since I didn’t have the pressure of school, whether it was attending classes or preparing for the next semester—delighted me.

In May, I look forward to
  • A wedding.
  • Some time in my quiet hometown with my dad and brother.
  • Making progress with my freelance editing and formatting.
  • Reading more. Currently reading THE TWO TOWERS and it’s been pleasant. I’m hoping to use Goodreads more this month.
  • Having time to write! This is the biggest one. I’m aiming to make some serious progress on my WIPs (namely the high fantasy one). I have made so many excuses recently for why I haven’t been writing, but that time is done. Now I can’t make excuses. Let the hustle begin.

This Was A Day: April 11

4:47am – My bunny clunks his bowl because it is empty. I forgot to give him the rest of his serving of food. I wake up and write a memo on my phone in order to document the event for this blog post—and then I forget to feed the bunny.

8:00am – The alarm sounds and I change it to let me sleep for another hour. I briefly get up and pour food into my bunny’s dish. I doze to the sound of his noms.

9:00am – Up and at ‘em. Shower and food. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping again so I have options and don’t feel like shit from eating shit. I’ve been eating leftover pizza for days.

12:06pm – I’m browsing flyers for the grocery stores and am amused by the Bulk Barn one. I’m also appreciative of their consistent and minimalist design. Excellent branding. My phone rings—a private number—and I hesitate to pick it up. Something about the gas company. I scrawl a note on the top of the Bulk Barn flyer and feel like a middle-aged stay-at-home home-owner. I need to check the lease for stipulations about the gas supply and changes and whatnot, and possibly contact the landlords. Fuck, I’m such an adult and it doesn’t even faze me.

12:20pm – I study for a bit, waste some time, study some more. My motivation is low today. Yesterday I was hungover and reviewed all my notes, so who knows what’s bogging me down today.

2:45pm – I leave for my exam since the room is in a building I’ve never entered, and I don’t want to get horribly lost and late.

2:50pm – This building smells weird. It’s large and open, with a concrete and wood design; that “modern” look. Despite the walls of windows on the exterior, the interior has very little natural light. The fluorescents bother me. A classmate calls out my name and I chat and review with two of them.

3:15pm – We enter the exam room. Some other students are in it, studying, and I loudly ask my classmates, “Do they know we have an exam in here?” I know they aren’t also taking the exam; I remember faces and have never seen these ones, even on test days. (They leave in a few minutes.)

3:30pm – Exam starts. Prof spends ten minutes reading through the instructions and the questions for the entire exam.

4:25pm – I’m finally let out in the first batch of students. This prof only lets us out of exams in designated blocks, like every half hour, to avoid multiple disruptions. Instead of a trickle of students leaving, he gets a wave of them. I don’t know if it’s more efficient, but it’s at least predictable. I think I nailed the exam.

4:30pm – A building on my street catches my eye. I write a quick poem, or poem fragment. When do poems start and end? Do we poets simply collect lines and put them together? Like word weavers creating textiles of text.

5:00pm – 8:45pm – In between some half-assed work on an assignment due tomorrow, I don’t do much. I’m anxious to get on the bus to pick up my boyfriend from the train station.

9:20pm – The bus comes. Late.

9:40pm – I forgot about the construction going on at a key intersection , which renders it completely closed off. The bus makes a detour and goes behind the brewery, which is right near the train station. Darkness engulfs everything and I can’t tell where I am, where the bus can stop, where this detour goes. I’m lost. I’m having a panic attack. I’m furiously texting my boyfriend and one of my friends.

9:53pm – We pass the first street sign I recognise and I’m way farther east than I should be. I try to calm down, and then I get off the bus. I begin walking back west, still furiously texting my friend. I ask if I can call her. I panic to her.

9:54pm – “We’re gonna come get you.” My friend and her dad are angels. I am lost and afraid and this moment makes me understand faith. It seems that my attempts to get to the Windsor VIA Rail train station have had hiccups lately.

10:05pm – I wait inside a grocery store and ponder the fruit and hummus. My friend and I call again and I count the number of people in the store. Her dad says there are less than 10—he’s correct. There are 8, plus myself.

10:10pm – They arrive and I’m so relieved and grateful I could cry. My dissociation is high. My body feels like a piece of metal guided by a cosmic magnet. They drive me to the train station and offer to drive me and my boyfriend back to my house. I say, “Thank you,” often and send out prayers along the magnetic waves keeping me moving.

10:30pm – I’m hungry and my boyfriend “can stand to eat something,” so we head to the Chinese restaurant at the corner. Most of the others have closed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm. The servers here always seem disgruntled and fed up, but the food is okay and relatively fast. I order the chicken soo guy and my boyfriend orders the beef with dried orange peels. Both are tasty. Both will be leftover for breakfast.

Boyfriend’s fortune cookie fortune: “You will be generous and others will be generous to you.”

My fortune cookie fortune: “You will get a promotion.”

11:00pm – A movie and cuddles and I’m glad he’s here in my arms again and the day is done.

An adventure and a half because I got lost today.