Thursday, April 30, 2020

Monthly Reflections | April

Wrapping up the month and sharing what I've been up to in life and on the blog. What is your favorite moment of April? #currently

Another month down and at least one more to go. Quarantine hasn't been so bad this month. I've gotten over the initial overwhelm and have settled into new routines. I still have anxious days, but I've found ways to combat them by keeping busy. I completed a lot of little tasks in April, like cleaning out my phone and freeing up some storage, dusting and purging all the items I had stored under my bed, (how does that stuff get so dusty??) and trying to learn something new every day, even if it's just a small something.

There has been lots of time in the kitchen, lots of time with my nose in a book, and lots of time sitting outside and enjoying the sound of crickets re-emerging from their dormancy dens and watching baby birds learn how to fly. I've also been watching a lot of movies, discovering new art, and connecting with my people, digitally. The best thing is, I've cut down on my active social media time. Turns out I don't need the endless scroll as much as I thought I did.

One of the places I've been most intentional about this month was self-care. We've all seen the memes flying around about how scary we'll all look when this is over, which are hilarious, but self-care is so important. Especially in a time when we are having very little face-to-face interaction with people other than those we live with, and even less physical touch, it's good to treat ourselves well so that we remember we are worth the effort. For me, this has been daily yoga, a good scalp conditioning, DIY pedicures and face masks, lighting a candle and reading, falling asleep listening to the rain, and ya girl even did her own eyebrows. That last one hadn't been done since December. Now that's scary!

Lately, I've been...

Listening: The Theory of Everything soundtrack, and this song, which isn't on the album but is at the end of the film.
Making:  new, color-coded task cards in my Trello boards. Minimalism and organization, hand in hand.
Welcoming: new babies. Three of my friends delivered this month. ♡
Cooking: some new recipes and a few old favorites.
Drinking: water and hot tea.
Reading: some mediocre books, but there were a few winners in the stack. Reviews up on Tuesday!
Touching: my yoga mat (or the carpeted floor) more. Back to a daily workout routine and love it.
Wanting: to see my siblings and squeeze my niece and nephew.
Looking: up lots of things and researching for the new open course I'm taking.
Playing: sudoku and mahjong, as usual.
Wasting: nothing. This lockdown has taught me the importance of using every little bit of what I have.
Learning: patience, trust, and self-reliance.
Wishing: so many of my self-employed friends weren't out of work right now. (Support small business if you can.)
Creating: a wish list for painting supplies when I can finally go shopping again.
Enjoying: quiet evenings on the deck, watching the sun set.
Waiting: patiently, but sometimes impatiently. Also quietly, hopefully, restlessly...
Liking: using wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets. Clothes come out fluffy and no chemicals.
Eating: too much Easter candy. Hence the return to daily workouts.
Wondering: what "normal" will look like when the virus dies down and we resume our lives.
Preparing: for a big donation run when this is over. Clothes, books, old musical instruments - all going to new homes.
Loving: a good declutter and purge. (See above)
Tasting: homemade peanut butter granola. Yum!
Hoping: to get a late start on planting an edible container garden. Fresh produce for summertime? Yes, please.
Missing: my farmers market. Thankfully, they should be opening (and doing drive-through pick-up) soon.
Celebrating: my dad's birthday. It was quiet, but I made his favorite dish and dessert.
Writing: a little bit every day.
Needing: a beach trip. A deserted beach, but one all the same.
Photographing: the moody sky for #the100dayproject. Check out my story highlight on Instagram.
Smelling: spring flowers.
Wearing: what everyone else is wearing. Comfort wins in a quarantine.
Following: all the animals. They bring joy to my day.
Noticing: how conditional some people's ideas of personal freedom are. Oy...
Watching: a fave, The Theory of Everything (have you seen this movie?) and The Art Assignment vids.
Knowing: more, across a broad spectrum of topics, thanks to some educational books I've been reading.
Craving: a good sweat. Might mop the floor later.
Working: on outlining a few new essays I've been inspired to write.
Thinking: about a social-distancing cookout with my immediate family. Lawn chairs, outside, six feet apart?
Bookmarking: lots of Medium articles. I need to play catch-up on that reading.
Opening: mail, carefully. How are you handling mail and packages during this pandemic?
Feeling: motivated, hopeful, inspired.

What have you been up to in April?

To see what other bloggers are up to this month, check out Anne's post over on Anne In Residence.

The post Monthly Reflections | April first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends! Don't forget to join the ASG Tribe!


  1. Yup, I am all about comfort! I open my mail normally. I guess I should be concerned, but eh.

  2. I’m feeling the same way.., settling into routine, and now feeling Anxious about the possibility of things opening back up here. Vicious cycle!

  3. I've heard so many different reports about mail and packages. It's hard to figure out who is the authority to listen to, but I hope the people sending mail and those who work for the postal service are taking the proper precautions.

  4. It is scary to think about opening back up and maybe needing to do this all again. Hopefully, local governments will stagger reopening so it keeps us safe while still re-energizing the local economy.

  5. I've had so many similar feelings throughout April! We were able to settle into new routines, and everything is still weird, but it sort of feels normal. Missing my family and those I haven't been able to see during this time, but it was still a pretty good month.

  6. I love reading these posts. It's so fun to see what you've been up to in so many different aspects of your life. Can't wait to find out what you've thought of the books you read in April! And you're making me want to watch The Theory of Everything!

  7. Such a great recap! I'm doing a lot of these things as well as far as drinking lots of water and hot tea! That's so exciting about your friends delivering this month, that is so exciting!

    cute & little

  8. I totally feel you. I also felt a bit overwhelmed and anxious when all of this started, but I kind of got used to it and taking care of myself has definitely helped a lot! These days, I'm treating myself to healthy home-cooked meals and I've been reflecting and writing a lot.

  9. It's been so hard to be away from the people I'm close to, but it is weirdly starting to feel normal.

  10. The beginning was definitely a huge shock to everyone. I work an essential job, so my day to day hasn't changed too much. I am however, ready to take my kids to a park again.

  11. Wow! I don't know what kind of work you do, but thank you for being on the front lines and serving during this scary time. <3

  12. mary_makeup@hotmail.itMay 1, 2020 at 10:46 AM

    Loved this post. April was a really great month for me even if the lockdown is pretty tough. Happy to read it was a great month for you too x

  13. I'm glad to hear you had a good month. :)

  14. April felt like it flew by compared to March! I participated in a group blog challenge, so I was extra busy working on assignments for that. I love color-coding my Trello boards as well, and am definitely enjoying evening on the porch. I hope your May is great for you as well!

  15. I'm glad April has settled down for you a bit this month! My anxiety is still up and down. A lot of it has to do with my job - we are constantly trying to figure out how to keep our mission going (I'm a librarian) but it's hard to convert a lot of library services to a virtual setting. So that often brings new waves of anxiety.

  16. My April was filled with trying to keep the kids happy and healthy. This is such a strange, strange, time.

  17. I used to love doing blog challenges. How fun!

  18. Yes, it must be tough to work in a library right now. One of my local county libraries is actually doing pick-up borrowing if people reserve the books online.

  19. It is a strange time, especially when you are trying to keep things "normal" for children.

  20. April was our first full month in Lockdown (we started in March). I find that when I limit my time online (and don't read every news article) I feel alot less anxious.

    Totally agree with you on the wondering what normal is going to look like.

  21. Yes, I have avoided much of the news and stick to a few reputable sources to get my information. It's helped my anxiety.

  22. I'm new to sudoku, thanks to quarantine, and it has TOTALLY hooked me! Wow...3 babies last month!?! What a wild time for them...

  23. shootingstarsmagMay 6, 2020 at 6:48 PM

    A social distancing cookout sounds lovely. I do miss seeing my nieces and nephews. Sorry you've been reading more mediocre books than anything, but hopefully you'll find some real gems this month!


  24. My brother just had a social distancing fire the other night, with everyone 8 feet apart. I wasn't able to make due to my allergies, but he said it felt so good to be with loved ones again. :) If you can do it, it sounds like you should. :)

    And mail - yeah. I get it and let it sit a day then open it, then wash my hands. My packages I do the same thing. If it is plastic I usually wipe it down. I did read an article though that said it would be hard to contract anything that way, but I figure it doesn't hurt to take extra precautions. :)

  25. Same here - new routines has just made this type of life become just "life". Cooking/baking and books always help! Excited to see which ones you loved :)

    Also, mail is weird right now, isn't it? We go back and forth between just opening things right away/throwing away the envelopes/washing our hands and sticking things in the basement to "quarantine" them for 4-5 days before opening. WHO KNOWS.

    Nice to have you join in this month. Keep keepin' on!

  26. Good that you're starting to settle into a new routine with life as it is. So important to be looking after yourself, physically and emotionally, especially when you're stuck at home all day. I think I'm overdue for a good skin/hair care day too!

  27. I have gotten into the habit of leaving mail/packages on the porch for a few hours but I've definitely gotten more lax with it. I'm not going to stress over that anymore and just wash my hands afterward.

  28. A social distancing bonfire sounds like a lot of fun!

  29. It is feeling more like life these days. Not the kind of life I am looking forward to in the long-run, but hopefully it won't be for much longer.

  30. I think that's a smart habit and definitely not worth stressing over. :)

  31. Tobia | craftaliciousmeMay 9, 2020 at 5:17 AM

    I love seeing your moody skies. It’s a nice project for the time we currently experience. Also I am wondering how life will be once we are able to live around freely again. How much of our hygiene habits will stay... it will be interesting to see

  32. Yes, I am interested in this as well. I wonder if our normal seasonal cold and flu numbers will go down because we are used to social distancing and personal hygiene.

  33. I seem to have settled into this new way of life. At first it scared me so much, but now that we have this new normal it's like my brain just focused on it. I've even been able to lower my anxiety medication. So weird!

    I'm glad you're staying safe!

  34. That's awesome that you've been able to lower your medication. Definitely a positive!