Oh my goodness I hope all of you go get a flu shot because this year it’s really bad. I suddenly came down with the flu last week and spent the next three nights with a fever, and my throat was swollen all the way up to my ears. I’d been sort of indignant about having caught the flu, because I had already had a cold last month and had been extra careful to dress warmly and drink lots of ginger lemon tea for the vitamin C. Then I remembered that someone in my class on Tuesday had been sick with the flu and found out this Tuesday that I hadn’t been the only one who had caught it from them. So that flu has pretty much knocked out an entire week and probably 2 weekends out of my life, but I’m hoping to make the most of the rest of November. October on the other hand, had a really rough start where life sort of came and hit me over the side of my head. My student passed away from heart attack, which was probably due to overworking. So I spent a lot of time contemplating life and death as I tried to recenter my own life. It’s sort of amusing in a way, because I had fully intended to embrace the idea of turning 30 and had been ready to just continue living each moment to the fullest. I never imagined that I would have to part with so many people in my life as I made the transition from my 20s to my 30s. In the end though, I’ve come to the conclusion that life was never meant to be all pink and rosy. Life is hard. Life can be really brutal sometimes. So it’s important to share amazing experiences with good friends, and it’s really important to celebrate the small things in life. So a lot of my favorites from October this year have to do with being thankful or they have to do with creativity.
#. I shared how I started a gratitude journal and overall I’ve been really feeling the benefits of keeping one. I haven’t been writing in it every single day, but that’s something that I’m trying to work on right now. The biggest problem I faced with keeping up with my gratitude journal is that I don’t always have it with me when I have something I want to write in it. What surprised me was just how many times throughout my day I would start thinking about something that I was grateful for. So I think this is what’s really powerful about keeping a gratitude journal: it changes a part of your lifestyle. Before I started a gratitude journal, I never really thought about the things that I was grateful for on a regular basis. Now I’m always finding small things to be thankful for and it’s really changed the way I perceive things in my life.
#. Part of the reason I don’t always have my gratitude journal with me, is that I started writing it in an insert notebook for my traveler’s journal. While the traveler’s journal is not really that heavy, it becomes heavy when you’re already carrying two other textbooks and a bunch of papers in a backpack. So I actually went ahead and picked up the traveler’s notebook in the passport size for it’s portability. My dilemma now is whether or not to migrate my whole gratitude journal into the passport size, or just keep one in both notebooks. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I’m finding that the passport size is much lighter and easier to carry around.
#. Aside from calligraphy, I’ve also been interested in lettering in general. During October that took form as stenciling and stamping. I hadn’t done any stenciling since I was in elementary school so it was fun going back to stenciling again. It sort of felt like I was embracing my inner childhood again!
#. In the beginning of October I put together a succulent terrarium, and I’ve been really enjoying having that little bit of life and green sitting on my desk. A couple of petals sort of withered and died, but most of them are still alive! The petals that survived have sprouted roots, so it’s been really fun seeing them grow. I still want to try making one in a mason jar, but I only have the one that I’m using as a water jar when I do my painting.
#. I went to the flower market with some of my friends and was able to buy some pretty dried flowers for a very cheap price. Only I found that the reason they were that cheap was because they simply dried the regular way, not freeze dried to maintain their shape. They’re still pretty even though a few of them have gotten a little droopy. I should probably take them out of my vase and maybe adjust the length of some of the stems over the weekend.
#. I attended a color workshop last month where I studied color theory, and I spent quite a bit of time studying with gouache during October. I finally finished making some color charts, and when I laid them all out it looked like a rainbow! I learned a few tips and tricks along the way, the top being that masking tape is pretty amazing. Not only does masking tape help to paint within the lines, it also keeps your paper from buckling up due to water. So if you look closely, some of the charts I made before I learned this trick are curled inward, while the ones I painted later lay flat.
So those are my favorites from October, and even though I don’t always get my favorites posted on time all the time, I’ve really enjoyed doing them and looking back at what I’ve gotten up to during the past month. I think that ever since the world turned digital, everything happens at such a fast pace and life goes by in a blur. So it’s nice to go back and just really appreciate the small things that I had forgotten about.
Your Turn ♥ Tell me about some of your favorites from this past month!