Sunday, 30 June 2019

Lifestyle Goals: Monthly Review

At the start of May I decided to change the way I want to monitor my short and medium term goals, choosing to adopt Bless' approach in my search for a balanced life; this is Bless' explanation:

 .... my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My current ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses.  

So this is my update for June, stating my goals and the bullet-pointed task list that I'll tackle in July to help achieve this goal. Last month's ratings and tasks are shown in black and the start of the current month is shown in yellow.

Home (8.5)(8)

Goal: To maintain a clean and tidy home


Tasks for June:
  • place advert to sell the doll's house and accessories - STARTED
  • sort through remaining boxes and donate/dispose/sell contents as appropriate - STARTED
  • participate in Bless' book decluttering challenge - ACHIEVED
  • daily tasks = washing up and tidying living room before going up to bed - ACHIEVED
Tasks for July:
  • place advert to sell the doll's house and accessories 
  • sort through remaining boxes and donate/dispose/sell contents as appropriate
  • take books to charity shop and bags to skip
  • daily tasks = washing up and tidying living room before going up to bed


Garden (7.5)(7.5)

Goal: To keep the garden tidy and presentable


Tasks for June:
  • finish laying the membrane and gravel in the back garden - 65% ACHIEVED BUT MAY BE COMPLETED 30/06/2019
  • get the new plants in the ground - ACHIEVED
  • stay on top of weeding/dead heading as necessary - 50% SUCCESSFUL
  • water garden regularly during sunny spells - ACHIEVED
Tasks for July:
  • finish laying the membrane and gravel in the back garden if not completed on 30/06/2019
  • stay on top of weeding/dead heading as necessary
  • water garden regularly during sunny spells


Finance (10)(10)

Goal: To remain completely debt free 


Tasks for June:
  • continue to monitor spending and reduce expenditure where possible
Tasks for July:
  • continue to monitor spending and reduce expenditure where possible


Community, friends and family (7.5)(8)

Goal: To take an active role in my local community, and actively seek to strengthen bonds with family and friends

Tasks for June:
  • continue voluntary work with the youth band - ACHIEVED
  • arrange to meet up with Julie and Lauren during the month - ACHIEVED, went out for a meal together
  • arrange to spend time with Little Misses C and H - didn't see the girls but did see their Dad 
Tasks for July:
  • continue voluntary work with the youth band
  • arrange to meet up with Julie and Lauren during the month 
  • try to meet at least one adult band member socially  


Emotional Well Being (8)(8)

Goal: To improve my emotional well being and avoid bouts of depression

Tasks for June:
  • actively correct any negative thoughts - 75% SUCCESSFUL
  • keep a gratitude diary listing three reasons to be grateful every day - ACHIEVED
Tasks for July:
  • write a Reasons to be Cheerful post for my blog
  • actively correct any negative thoughts


Health and Fitness (7)(7)

Goal: To increase my levels of fitness and become more active, leading to an improvement in my general health


Tasks for June:
  • keep all medical appointments in June - ACHIEVED
  • aim for a daily physical activity if I feel up to it (subject to the results of the blood tests and doctor's advice) - STILL WAITING TO SEE THE DOCTOR, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS ON THE BACK BURNER UNTIL AFTER MY NEXT CONSULTATION
  • 8 hours sleep every night - 90% SUCCESSFUL
Tasks for July:
  • keep all medical appointments in July
  • try to be more active, i.e. activities that are extra to my usual routine
  • 8 hours sleep every night


Healthy Eating (8)(8)

Goal: To eat sensibly and healthily, leading to weight loss and increased energy levels


Tasks for June:
  • meal planning, concentrating on SW friendly lunches - 80% SUCCESSFUL
  • drinking 4 glasses of water a day - THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, CURRENTLY AVERAGING 3 GLASSES EACH DAY
  • restrict the number of takeaways and meals out -ACHIEVED
Tasks for July:
  • meal planning, concentrating on SW friendly dinners 
  • drinking 4 glasses of water a day
  • restrict the number of takeaways and meals out


Live Life to the Full (7.5)(8)

Goal: To live life now, in the moment, and stop putting things off. Decide what I want to achieve and do it!


Tasks for June:
  • continue to develop my 5 year plan - ACHIEVED
  • daily piano practice - 60% SUCCESSFUL
  • arrange two diary dates for every week in June to meet with friends - ACHIEVED
Tasks for July:
  • aim to do 3 new to me things during the month
  • daily piano practice
  • arrange two diary dates for every week in July to meet with friends

It's been a strange sort of month and my rating of each category hasn't really altered that much. It's mostly due to feeling unwell and in limbo until I see my doctor (on July 12th) but the rest has done me good and I want to carry on with the sorting (but more slowly!) during July; even though I don't feel any better physically it will benefit my emotional well being if I can get this last stage completed. 

Sunday


Some more recorder ensemble sets to go to the charity shop.


I went to the concert last night and sitting in a cool church listening to some wonderful music was the perfect way to spend a very hot Saturday evening in June.

It's supposed to be Operation Garden later this morning but I have to admit that I don't feel much like being outside if it's as hot as it was yesterday. It should take us a couple of hours to clear the weeds and get the rest of the membrane and gravel down, and then I'll just be left with the central bed to clear of weeds and bark and knock everything back into shape! I think we'll just have to see what the temperature is and make a decision whether to postpone or not.

I don't have any plans for the rest of the day. I have some band admin which I'd like to get done out of the way as I need to prepare the certificates for our end of year awards so I'll probably get them printed to avoid a last minute panic. My staycation is more to do with taking a break from the sorting and decluttering of things rather than the odds and ends of band related stuff that must keep going until the end of July when we break for the summer. After that's done, there's the fifth Harry Potter film on TV and then most likely and evening curled up with a book. 


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Saturday


These books are in the charity shop pile, a pile which is growing very nicely and which will be dropped off at the Oxfam shop next week.

It's Saturday so my morning is tied up with band practice and then it is home for lunch and a quiet afternoon before going out to a concert tonight. The local (amateur) Symphony Orchestra is performing a programme of music from the movies; I haven't seen them play for years but they always used to play to a very high standard so I'm hoping that's still the case. It'll br a good opportunity to indulge my love of live music without breaking the bank.

Tomorrow is Operation Garden!

Friday, 28 June 2019

Friday

A couple of the windband arrangement I used in schools are going today. They will go to the youth brass band; we already have the (white) Mini Christmas Collection so this will provide additional copies, and the (pink) Junior Band Series is the correct level for the children and is still available so we can purchase more copies if we decide to use it.


Some time ago I applied for a ticket to watch the recording of the game show Tipping Point and I heard yesterday that I've been lucky enough to get one of their VIP tickets, which means guaranteed entry, no waiting in queues and a seat at the front. It's being recorded in Bristol and I will be going on Wednesday afternoon so that's something in the diary to look forward to.

It turned into a family day yesterday. I saw my nephew and he will come round to help finish the garden, laying the rest of the membrane and gravel. The weeds are back with a vengeance in that part of the garden but Lauren has offered to help with that (if we can agree a date - she's starting her new job next week), but if she can't get here I will ask my friends if they can help me out. I will feel much happier when this is completed so I'm hoping this can be done some time in the next two weeks. 

I also spent quite a long time talking/texting with my sister about the family tree. I started by asking if she had any other recollections of an uncle though she didn't really remembered any more than me, but this led on to discussions about my research and led to me telling her about some of the recent discoveries. I heard back from the new cousin but it turns out she is an orphan and was raised in a children's home so knows nothing about the family. This is disappointing for both of us as she was hoping I'd be able to tell her about her origins but as it stands I can't see how we are connected, although the information she has managed to find provides a good starting point for further research.

Today is more of the same or in other words, doing very little. The only difference is that instead of looking on this as wasting time and feeling guilty, I've turned my thinking around and am counting it as a sort of holiday, a staycation. Thank you to Bless for the suggestion. It's surprising how looking at it from a different angle has changed how I feel ... no more guilty thoughts and I'm looking forward to the next few days of indulging in taking things at a much slower pace. I think I'll look out one of the jigsaw puzzles and get started on that.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Thursday



I'm not quite sure what to do with these but they will definitely be leaving the house. They are wind band arrangements but don't have enough suitable parts for the youth band to use.  I'll probably end up taking them to the Oxfam charity shop as I know they send all music donations on to their specialist music stores.

I treated myself again yesterday, this time to something I've wanted for ages but could never justify the expenditure. I saw an advert selling secondhand audio CDs of Steven Fry reading the Harry Potter books so I've bought them. Only the first three books were advertised so I snapped them up at £5 a book and went to collect them. I won't listen to them for a while as I'm in the middle of re-watching the film's on TV, so it's something to look forward to during the long winter days when it's too cold to venture out. The seller thinks she may have the rest of the audio books to complete the series and has agreed to contact me when she finds them.

I called in Aldi on the way home to pick up some more of the things I bought and have enjoyed, so I now have a supply in the freezer.

I don't know what else I'll be doing today. I have a doctor's appointment on July 10th and have decided to keep taking it easy until then. However ... I feel that I need to make some decisions on how to occupy my days as at the moment I am just drifting and don't like it ... too much time wasted and not enough getting done. I think there may be quite a bit of list making today!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Wednesday

Strictly speaking, this isn't a book but I'm classing it as one to include it in the June book decluttering challenge. This is a set of sheet music for 14 hymns suitable for primary school aged children to play - the picture shows the various parts available for the different instruments often found in primary schools. Again this is going the same way as the recorder books and Pompaleerie Jig from yesterday, another addition to R's resources. 


As for today, again I don't know what I'll be doing as I haven't made any plans but probably some piano practice, more family tree research, some sorting, and a lot of reading.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Tuesday

I've found some more books to declutter so I'll last out the month to complete the challenge. Today's offering will be given to the same person who is now the proud owner of the set of recorder books I decluttered earlier in the month, as I'm sure she can make use of it.



I heard from the cleaning company yesterday who reported that S had 'forgotten/was confused with her timetable' and had mistakenly gone home early. They could have sent her yesterday but I was out when I took the phone call and didn't want her there when I was teaching so I had to refuse, which means she won't be back until her next scheduled date. One of my friends uses a different cleaning company so when she returns from holiday I'll see if she recommends them and if so, and the price is right, I may change over.

In the end I did my shopping in Melksham yesterday as I treated myself to some calligraphy magazines and I had to collect and pay for them.


This is part of one of those weekly/monthly magazine schemes which always work out to be really expensive but the person who advertised them had lost interest and was selling them. The majority of the packs have never been opened and still contain their free gifts (which will fit in the box on the left of the photo) and I can't see that any of it has ever been used so it was a bargain at £10 for the lot. This will enable me to have a proper go at calligraphy and try out some different techniques without spending a fortune on different pens and inks ... that can happen at a later date if I find that I enjoy calligraphy as a hobby.

I also did my shopping in Aldi. I haven't shopped there for years because I got out of the habit when caring for my partner and we started having the food delivered. Based on yesterday's visit I can see that it's definitely possible to reduced my food bill; I already eat quite cheaply but based on the current prices I think I could easily reduce my annual expenditure by at least £300. I'd like to try Lidl as well as it's not possible to get everything in Aldi. It all comes down to taste so if I like the things I've bought, and they don't make me ill, then I'll swap over permanently.

Teaching was fun and the children never cease to amaze me by what they achieve. I'm lucky that they all practice so I don't have to deal with the frustration of lack of progress due to lack of effort.

Today I'm in the kitchen cooking up some chilli and some keema curry for the freezer. In between stirring pots I'll be pottering around in the garden dealing with the few weeds that have dared to show their heads. I have one of those horrible pressure headaches so I am praying that the promised thunderstorm arrives and clears the air. After I've finished in the kitchen and the garden I don't have anything else that I must do, so will have a peaceful afternoon relaxing ready for tonight ... meeting Julie, Lauren and Sue for a meal which will be paid for using the tokens we won on a quiz night.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Monday

It's my teaching day today so whatever I choose to do, I have to be back here by 3 pm at the latest. The forecast is for showers but I'd like to get out and get some fresh air so I'll take myself into town later this morning to do a bit of shopping, pay a couple of bills, and bank some cheques. They are the only 'must do' tasks, after which ... I don't know ... whatever takes my fancy! Maybe a short walk around the park or perhaps a wander round the Shaw Trust garden centre, although that could be expensive! 


Today's book was one I was given but have never used, so I'll pass it on to someone who will appreciate it. I have a few more books to declutter but I'm not sure if there are enough to get to the end of the month, unless I count windband arrangements as books. I'll see how it goes.

The family tree research is frustrating and I didn't make any significant progress yesterday. The tree belonging to this new cousin only records six of her family members and I can't find any of them with any certainty in the Ancestry records so I have decided to make contact and take it from there. A lot of the connections through the DNA testing are only interested in the information relating to their ethnic origins, so I am hoping that this cousin is an exception and is interested in the actual ancestry as well ... or will provide more information to at least get me started.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Sunday

I spent most of yesterday afternoon in front of the laptop. I was asked to write a character reference for Lauren who is hoping to move into rented accommodation in Bath to be nearer her new job. That didn't take long and then I lost all sense of time searching through my family tree.

I had my DNA tested a couple of years ago and from that I have been provided with a continually updating list of potential relatives. I have been struggling to find any details about my dad's ancestry on his father's side but it look like I may have been provided with the means to find the information I need. I've been given the details of a 1st/2nd cousin who, from the information on her tree, doesn't seem to belong on any of the branches I've researched so far and I'm hopeful that this will be the start of sorting out dad's line. 1st cousins will share a grandparent but that doesn't seem the case, so I need to research by expanding each generation to find the common ancestor who may be in the previous generation to the grandparents. When I have a bit more detail I will write to this new 1st/2nd cousin and see if they can provide any answers. It's all very exciting ... well, it is to me anyway!


Some more books to go, and that's another shelf cleared!

One of the Harry Potter films is on TV this afternoon so I will probably watch that, and then the rest of the day will probably be spent on family tree research.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Saturday

Well S didn't turn up to do the cleaning yesterday so I have spoken to one of their admin staff about it and will speak to the manager on Monday. I need someone who is reliable and much as I like S this will be the third time out of a possible nine visits when I've been left without a cleaner.

It's band practice this morning and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone after a quiet few days at home. It's a different sort of practice this morning as our usual conductor is on holiday so the session will be taken by our principal cornet player (adult!). She has said she may be late so I'll take the practice until she arrives.

After practice I'm hoping to call in to the library as they are advertising board games sessions every Saturday afternoon. I won't stay today as I'd need to work out how and where to have lunch, but I'd like to see if others are interested, which games are being played, and whether I think it will work for me. It's advertised as something for adults with children being welcome as well, so it all depends on the ratio of adults to children. I'll drive home via the Bradford on Avon library as they are advertising the same type of event so I have a choice of two venues if I decide to give it a try.

Once I'm back home I don't plan on going out for the rest of the weekend, except for a stroll along the canal or the village if the weather stays fine.

I've added some more of my partner's books to the 'sell' pile ...


Friday, 21 June 2019

Friday

I don't really have much to write about today. I did very little yesterday and today will be more of the same ... maybe a bit of pottering about indoors, but nothing too strenuous.

I feel much better today but have my sensible head on so will take the rest of the week at a leisurely pace. Apart from band tomorrow morning there is nothing else in the diary so I can please myself and do whatever I feel like doing ... if that is doing nothing, then so be it!

I've found some more of my late partner's books which had been put out of the way and forgotten. I have no wish to keep these so will advertise them for sale.


S will be here later this morning to clean through the house so I'll have a quick tidy round before she get's here (as I want her to clean, not tidy up). I'm usually good at keeping the place tidy but have let things slip over the past couple of days so that'll be my next task after finishing this post. 

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Thursday


This is a possible for the SPSH No 2, Single and Pretty. 

And this is my little pile of books to be decluttered today ... all of them belonged to my late partner but you can probably guess that from the titles!



I've received a letter advising that the doctor wants to see me to discuss the results of my recent blood tests. I've been asked to make a 'routine' appointment so I'm taking that as an indication that there is nothing seriously wrong or maybe a confirmation that there is nothing wrong at all and he needs to decide what to do next. I phoned for an appointment this morning but he is fully booked this week and is then away on holiday so the earliest I will get to see him is July 8th ... another indication that the results aren't a cause for concern.

I'm having another easy at-home day, probably just reading and sleeping. The joint pain is back under control today but I had a disturbed night and kept waking because I couldn't find a comfortable sleeping position, so I'm catching up with a few Zzzzzs while I can.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Wednesday


haven't finished sorting though the music theory books yet but I seem to have moved on to some of my late partner's books which were set aside to be sold. I've been putting off dealing with these for too long and it's time to get on with it. This is one of many Meccano books I have stacked on the bottom shelf of a cupboard in my playroom, all of which are sought by collectors so selling them should be an easy and profitable exercise.

It's a day at home today, doing very little I think. Every joint is painful and moving is an ordeal so I need a few days to rest and hopefully improve the situation. I have plenty to read so won't be bored and if I do summon up the energy to do some work, there is plenty of band admin to do ... working on the laptop should be manageable.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Tuesday

The book group was good fun last night and we stayed out much later than we should have done considering that the others had to get up for work this morning. I'm meeting the same friends tonight to see Men In Black International at the Odeon so that'll be today's joyful activity.

I'm hoping to divide my time between the garden and continuing the sorting of the cupboards in the playroom. The forecast is for rain but I'm optimistic that I can get out in the garden at some stage, at least long enough to tie back all the new growth on the climbers.

Today's book looks very tatty but I have every confidence it will sell for a good price. It's a maintenance manual for an early model MG and I was surprised and pleased by the amount the previous one I sold realised in the sale. 

Monday, 17 June 2019

Monday



A few more music theory books to add to yesterday's pile.

Yesterday turned out to be a day of dreadful news with a friend contacting me to say she is being treated for breast cancer, and then hearing that the father of a young child in the band has passed away. They say that bad news comes in threes but I'm truly hoping that is not the case this time.

It's my teaching day, starting at 3:30 pm, so the rest of the day leading up to then will be spent looking through one of the cupboards in the playroom to see if I want to get rid of anything. I haven't yet managed to get the three cupboards in that room organised properly so I think that will be my focus this week.

My joyful activity will be to check out the photos of all the participants of the SPSH. It's the Sci-Fi book group tonight so that will be my second joyful activity of the day.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Sunday


Following on from yesterday's decluttering of books, I'm sorting through a pile of reference books I was given. The books in this photo, together with a massive pile of other similar ones, were a generous gift from a friend of my late partner. He'd studied music throughout his entire life and thought they'd be of interest to me but now I've made the decision that I won't be continuing any higher level studying in music theory I've decided to pass these books on to someone who will use them as intended. At the time of writing this I haven't settled on the best way to do this so although they are marked for disposal, they may not be leaving the house just yet!

I didn't have the relaxing afternoon I'd planned for yesterday as I suddenly became Miss Popular and was tied to the phone most of the time, catching up with friends who'd all, for some unknown reason, decided to phone me. After the last phone call had finished I turned on the TV and was delighted to see that the live action Jungle Book film was just starting so I watched and enjoyed that, and then ... more phone calls, this time arranging to meet during the school holidays in August.

It's Sunday today so my fun activity will be to watch the fourth Harry Potter film this afternoon. The rest of today will be spent pottering about the house, and maybe the garden. I have the bedding to wash and dry, and want to tidy up in the music room ready for tomorrow's lessons, but that's all that needs to be done. Apart from the HP film the rest of the day will probably be spent reading, playing the piano, and writing letters to a couple of friends.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Saturday


I've started looking through some of the music reference books and have decided that I no longer need or want to keep the majority of them. These two books were bought before my late partner received his diagnosis and I was debating whether to complete an Open University course in music theory. His diagnosis completely changed my plans and now, eleven years later, the OU no longer offers that course and my life has changed so much that, at the moment, I no longer wish to do that level of studying. 

It's Saturday morning band practice, my joyful activity for the day. I have three more sets of music to issue to everyone so there'll be a lot of sight-reading as we work our way through the pieces ... a fun but tiring morning. With that in mind, I haven't planned anything for the rest of the day and will settle down to read this afternoon. I've just finished reading 'Storm Front' by Jim Butcher which is this month's choice for the Sci-Fi and Fantasy book group and I thoroughly enjoyed it so will download the second book in the series.

Friday, 14 June 2019

SPSH - First Link Up

It's time to show our progress in the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt. My recent photos are still on the camera so sorry, but I don't have any new ones to show you. Here are the links to the ones I've taken so far, oh and many thanks to Mary-Lou for organising this ...



SPSH - First photos,  No 1| outdoor clock, No 3| repetition, No 5| the word 'summer', No 9 | a bridge, No 11| fish, No 13| two colours of the rainbow, alt A| a bird or bee house.


I still have to find:

2. Single & Pretty
6. An Umbrella, open or closed
7. A curving path
10. Something Made of Stone
12. Something Crooked
14. A Handwritten Sign
15. A Broken Chair/Bench/Stool
16. An Out of Season Treat Being Enjoyed
17. A Sail
18. Something That Should Be Found In Pairs 
19. A Funny or Meaningful Bumper Sticker
20. A Favourite Seasonal Scent

Alternates: 
B:  Fresh Local Produce

Friday


I read these two books ages ago so have no idea why they were still in the bookcase. They're now in the charity shop bag.

It's going to be a bits and bobs sort of day today. I have a few things to finish off ... preparing the new music ready to issue at band tomorrow, odds and ends of filing, a couple of loads of laundry, and two bags to drop off at the charity shop. 

This afternoon I'm hoping to continue with my family tree research, which is my joyful activity for the second day running.  I didn't make much headway in terms of confirming additions to the tree yesterday but did eliminate some records after a couple of false starts so I'm pleased with what I achieved and am hoping for more of the same today.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Thursday


I spent ages looking for this book yesterday. I'm taking some new photos of all the doll's house stuff and want to include this book as part of the sale. There used to be another similar book but I didn't see it anywhere so I must have given it away already ... or it's hiding!

We had a lovely time last night (girls' night in) and they didn't leave until gone midnight. The date for the next get together is in the diary.

This morning G will be here to cut my hair, now slightly overdue because she was in Ibiza getting married on the beach. I've seen the photos on Facebook and am looking forward to hearing all about it this morning. 

This afternoon a neighbour is holding a cupcake party in aid of Dementia but, sadly, I have had to decline the invitation as I have an appointment with the optician, followed by an appointment with a solicitor to check through my will. She only sent the invitations yesterday so it is very short notice and I hope some of the other neighbours can make it.

I was supposed to be going to a new to me quiz tonight. This was a meetup event with a different group of people but I have changed my mind and yesterday I let them know that I can't make it this time. I've decided that it is time to add to my pool of friends but, after I signed up for the quiz, I had second thoughts and also decided that I need to expand the type of social events I do. I already do two quizzes and there is the possibility of adding a third with the same friends so I want to look for a different type of activity, preferably a daytime event.  I have no idea what this will be, I'll just have to keep looking! 

I think my joyful activity will be to carry on with the work on my family tree. I haven't managed to trace my paternal grandfather's family at all but recent connections via the Ancestry DNA look promising, and that's what I'm delving into today.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Wednesday

I had the blood tests yesterday and now have to wait for the results - about five working days. My shopping trip wasn't too successful as I came home without any new clothes but did pick up some yellow stickered pork mince and turkey mince which I don't really need but which will get used eventually.

My plan for today is to get a few more adverts placed and then sort out the next lot of music to take to the printers.

A, J and L will be here tonight for our Girls' Night In. This was originally planned as an evening together, sending out for a takeaway and then settling down to watch a film, but the last couple of times we haven't bothered with the film, choosing to just chat instead. Whatever we do, it'll be a fun night and is my joyful activity for the day.


This is my favourite poem. I won the book in a raffle but am told that it smells very musty (I have no sense of smell) and I don't really want to keep a smelly book in my bookcase. I have the poem in an anthology so I'm sending this book to the charity shop.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tuesday


I've tried to read this one but can't get past the first few pages so it's going to the charity shop.

I have the blood tests this morning and then the rest of the day is free from any commitments so, assuming it all goes according to plan at the doctor's surgery, I'm indulging in a bit of retail therapy. 

I cleared out most of my clothes a few weeks ago and now have nothing to wear! Actually, I'm okay for skirts but really do need a couple of new tops, so that's what I hope to find today. I'll look around M&Co and Matalan, leaving Sainsburys and Tesco in reserve. I'd need to go to Bath or Bristol for the big stores and to have more choice, but I'm not that desperate ... I don't like clothes shopping!

My joyful activity will hopefully be doing some more work on my family tree. I say hopefully because the Ancestry site keeps freezing and I won't get far without access to their records. If that's not an option, then my back up plan is to draw some zentangles.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Monday

Today's weather doesn't look very promising so I'm not keeping my fingers crossed for any outside time. It's my teaching today so I'll be busy with that from 3:30 but I don't have any plans for the rest of the day.

I've had a lovely weekend although the work in the garden still needs to be done. I've admitted to myself that I need to get some help, or preferably someone to do it all for me but everyone I can ask is away or busy, so it'll have to wait.

Instead of the gardening I planned my meals for the week, moved things around in the freezers (so everything for this week's meals is now in the kitchen freezer rather than the garage one), and I cooked up a pot of chilli and a chicken casserole to use up the veg from the fridge. That's all been portioned up and is in the freezer. 

I don't have a clear idea of what I'll do with myself today but the idea of a pottering about sort of day feels right.  I hope to meet my friend J tonight but it all depends on what time she finishes work. If that works out it'll be my joyful activity for the day and if not, I'll watch a film instead.

Today it's the turn of the flute books. They are all going but not actually leaving the house yet - I'm saving them for Little Miss C who hopefully will start learning the flute next year.


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Sunday



I finished reading this one yesterday so it's going straight in the charity shop bag.

I haven't dragged myself out of bed yet so I don't know what the weather is doing but am hoping for a rain free morning to finish off the garden. I have until late afternoon to potter about and pretend that I know what I am doing and then it'll be time to pull the curtains, turn the TV on, and settle down to watch the third Harry Potter film - my joyful activity for the day. In the end it was too windy to attempt much in the garden yesterday so if I can get the rest of the membrane and gravel down, I'll be very happy .... and relieved. 

The young girl at band was over the moon with all her new music books and brought me some flowers to say thank you.



Saturday, 8 June 2019

Saturday


These are the books I used for teaching year 3 and 4 classes to play the recorder. I've already given two books away (to Misses H & C) and I am taking the rest of them to band today to pass them on to R. I started teaching R to play a brass instrument when she was eight years old and she still comes along to band to play whenever she can. She's now a primary school teacher, qualifying about four years ago, and I'm passing these books and CDs to her to add to her own resources. I think she'll make good use of them.

It's band practice this morning so that's my joyful activity for the day. Then it's a busy afternoon taking another car load of rubbish to the skip and some bags of clothes to the charity shop. Then I want to get on with things in the garden. I don't need to go out again so am not too worried about getting wet as I can jump straight in the shower afterwards but it will be much nicer if the rain stops for a while. I won't attempt anything if it starts pouring down though. 

Tonight I'll close the curtains to shut the bad weather out, dim the lights and spend the evening listening to a selection of classical music, something I haven't done for ages.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Friday



All of these clarinet books are going to the young girl who also had the pile of recorder books. I had a last look through and I have lots of happy memories tied up in some of these books but I'm not going to keep my clarinet, so it's time to pass them on.

S should be here later today for the cleaning. She missed her last visit so I'm hoping that she does turn up ... I'll ask them to send a replacement if she doesn't. Apart from that there is very little that 'must' be done today. The music is ready to issue at band tomorrow and I'm leaving the garden until after the band practice is finished, so I can have another easy day.

My joyful activity will be playing the piano, and hopefully if it doesn't rain, taking some photos in the garden.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Thursday

I think it will be another take-it-easy-let's-not-be-silly-and-do-too-much sort of day. I really should try to finish laying the membrane in the garden but even the thought of doing it brings tears to my eyes so I think it's unlikely ... I may be asking for help to get that job completed.

The books that's going today is this one ...


... it was a book group read a few years ago and at the time I kept it because I thought I'd read it again, but that hasn't happened and isn't likely to so it's been moved to the charity shop bag.

I need to do a hunt around the house to make sure that I'm not missing any books while I'm in this book decluttering frame of mind. I know there are a few upstairs, some belonged to Ced and some are mine, but I never look at them and will appreciate the space more. The only other task I need to do today is print out the next set of new music for the band ready to take to the printer tomorrow. They both sound like suitable jobs for today.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Wednesday

Well, so much for yesterday's intentions ... I made it to the book group and that was it. A headache started mid morning and I had to take some tablets and shut the light out to try to ward it off. I didn't feel 100% by the evening but did make it to the book group although I came home earlier than usual and had an early night. I'm pain free (in terms of the headache) today but completely lacking in energy and a good attitude, so will be having a lazy day.

I've decided on a lunch time visit to the cinema to see Avengers:Endgame. I missed it when it was on in Trowbridge so have to go to Chippenham (about 12 miles away) instead. It seems to be the final week for screening the film in this area so I'll make the effort to go.


When I was teaching full time I organised bands in most of my schools. I no longer have a need this music so I'm donating these three sets to the youth band - two of the sets will provide additional copies and one set will be completely new to the band. I've now cleared one shelf in my music cupboard!

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Tuesday


It's the monthly book group tonight so, as I've read the book (and definitely won't ever read it again!) it was an easy choice to add this one to the growing pile of decluttered books. 

The book group is my only definite plan for today, so the rest of my time will be spent on either another trip to the skip, wrestling with the membrane in the garden, or sorting through a couple of boxes indoors, or maybe all three. Energy levels are not too good this morning, so it's a question of pacing myself and taking plenty of breaks. 

My joyful activity for the day will be looking for a free online puzzle/mystery game, and spending some time playing it!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Monday

It's been a lovely relaxing weekend and I'm meeting the new week with a smile. It's a lesson learned - that a regular break from the 'day job' to recharge the batteries is just as important in retirement as it was when I was working full time.

Today is my teaching day, five 30 minute lessons starting at 3:30 pm, so everything else I fit in has to work around that. I have a few bags of rubbish from the garage and garden which need to go to the skip so I hope to get that done when they open at 10:00 am, and then I'll drive on to town to get the few bits of shopping I need - bread, fruit and vegetables.

I've chosen my book for day 3 of the book decluttering challenge ...


... I never use it, choosing instead to either use tried and trusted family recipes or to use the internet. I'm sure someone will find it useful so it'll go the the charity shop at the end of the month.

They are forecasting rain on most days this week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for showers so that I can get out and finish off bits of the membrane/gravel laying, or get the remainder of the new plants in the ground. My goal is to get it over and done with this week. In between the garden work I'll be concentrating on the rest of the clearing indoors, optimistically aiming to complete it all by the end of the month. 

Today, when I get back from town, I'll get the bits and pieces of personal admin done and out of the way and then, if time permits, start on the band admin in preparation of handing it over to whoever gets voted in as Treasurer at the AGM in July ... I just know that it won't be me again - I only took on the role because no one else would do it but we now have a possible candidate lined up! I have no intention of quitting the band but want to focus my efforts on the music side of things. This evening I'm meeting a couple of other committee members to review the band's constitution.

My joyful activity for the day will be a combination of the teaching and some piano practice.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Lifestyle Goals: Monthly Review

At the start of May I decided to change the way I want to monitor my short and medium term goals, choosing to adopt Bless' approach in my search for a balanced life; this is Bless' explanation:

 .... my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My current ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses.  

So this is my first update using this new approach, stating my goals and the bullet-pointed task list that I'll tackle in June to help achieve this goal. Last month's ratings and tasks are shown in black and the start of the current month is shown in yellow.

Home (8)(8.5)

Goal: To maintain a clean and tidy home

Tasks for May:
  • dispose of the extra furniture - COMPLETED
  • place 10 adverts for items I want to sell - COMPLETED, sold 7 items so far
  • daily tasks = washing up and tidying living room before going up to bed - 75% SUCCESS RATE, but didn't feel well enough to complete this every day
Tasks for June:
  • place advert to sell the doll's house and accessories 
  • sort through remaining boxes and donate/dispose/sell contents as appropriate
  • participate in Bless' book decluttering challenge
  • daily tasks = washing up and tidying living room before going up to bed


Garden (6)(7.5)

Goal: To keep the garden tidy and presentable

Tasks for May:
  • clear and tidy all the pots on the patio - COMPLETED
  • weed one area, plant bulbs and/or shrubs, and lay membrane/gravel to help with future weed control - COMPLETED for one area but have nearly finished the entire garden
  • water garden regularly during sunny spells - COMPLETED
Tasks for June:
  • finish laying the membrane and gravel in the back garden
  • get the new plants in the ground 
  • stay on top of weeding/dead heading as necessary
  • water garden regularly during sunny spells


Finance (9)(10)

Goal: To remain completely debt free 

Tasks for May:
  • reassess my budget (now that I have additional income from the teaching) - COMPLETED
  • reduce my food bill - ACHIEVED, mainly by taking the trouble to shop around and taking advantage of yellow sticker bargains
  • increase monthly savings - ACHIEVED, a new savings plan is up and running
Tasks for June:
  • continue to monitor spending and reduce expenditure where possible


Community, friends and family (7)(7.5)

Goal: To take an active role in my local community, and actively seek to strengthen bonds with family and friends

Tasks for May:
  • continue voluntary work with the youth band - ACHIEVED
  • arrange to meet up with Julie and Lauren during the month - ACHIEVED, went to see Rocketman at the cinema
  • arrange to spend time with Little Misses C and H - FAILED, my fault entirely as I didn't arrange anything
Tasks for June:
  • continue voluntary work with the youth band
  • arrange to meet up with Julie and Lauren during the month 
  • arrange to spend time with Little Misses C and H 


Emotional Well Being (7)(8)

Goal: To improve my emotional well being and avoid bouts of depression

Tasks for May:
  • actively correct any negative thoughts - 60% SUCCESSFUL, but has made a big difference to my mood
  • keep a gratitude diary listing three reasons to be grateful every day - ACHIEVED
Tasks for June:
  • actively correct any negative thoughts
  • list three reasons to be grateful every day


Health and Fitness (6)(7)

Goal: To increase my levels of fitness and become more active, leading to an improvement in my general health

Tasks for May:
  • keep all medical appointments in May - ACHIEVED
  • aim for 7,000 daily steps by the end of the month - FAILED!
  • 8 hours sleep every night, getting up before 7:30 am every day - 90% SUCCESSFUL
Tasks for June:
  • keep all medical appointments in June
  • aim for a daily physical activity if I feel up to it (subject to the results of the blood tests and doctor's advice)
  • 8 hours sleep every night


Healthy Eating (7)(8)

Goal: To eat sensibly and healthily, leading to weight loss and increased energy levels

Tasks for May:
  • meal planning - IN PROGRESS, but finding it to be a chore so I need to approach this task differently
  • drinking 8 glasses of water a day - FAILED, too much too soon so I need to build up to this 
  • restrict the number of takeaways and meals out - ACHIEVED, only went out for planned meals with friends
Tasks for June:
  • meal planning, concentrating on SW friendly lunches 
  • drinking 4 glasses of water a day
  • restrict the number of takeaways and meals out


Live Life to the Full (7)(7.5)

Goal: To live life now, in the moment, and stop putting things off. Decide what I want to achieve and do it!

Tasks for May:
  • continue to develop my 5 year plan - IN PROGRESS
  • arrange holiday and day trips for the remainder of 2019 - COMPLETED
  • daily piano practice - 50% SUCCESSFUL
Tasks for June:
  • continue to develop my 5 year plan
  • daily piano practice
  • arrange two diary dates for every week in June to meet with friends

I'm pleased with the progress I've made and it's easy to see the areas/tasks where I need to make more effort to get things as I'd like them to be. I'm hoping that, health and weather permitting, I can get the remainder of the big tasks in my home and in the garden completed and off the list at long last ... it may be optimistic and the end of July is probably more realistic but completing home and garden marks the next stage of my life so ... bring on June!