As I think is usual, this month has been incredibly busy, but with social events as well as work and making plans. I've realised this year just how important it is to make time for doing things with people so have been making more of an effort to meet up with friends and give myself a break. This, on top of a few other great things, have ensured that I'm feeling really positive about May and am looking forward to June - not least because it's my birthday month.
So, without further ado, here are ten things that are making me smile in particular, although there are more than a few others that are doing a good job too:
2 - I started the month off by buying a car! Okay, so my parents and husband bought me my car - who is called Priscilla Queen of the Desert - but I did all the shopping around and went to see numerous cars. Nothing seemed quite right until I met Priscilla and now I've been getting used to driving her and enjoying the sense of freedom she has given me. It just so happened that she turned out to be pink (she was advertised as red), which basically means me buying her was fate.
3 - After a bit of a theatre drought (okay, so it hasn't been that long since I went to a performance, but still), I had another opera to enjoy. I went to see Turandot at Leeds Town Hall, which was amazing and a very difference performance to others I've seen as the singers shared the stage with the orchestra. The only downsides were that it was so ridiculously hot (someone in the chorus actually fainted) and I had to pay a fortune for parking.
4 - As well as making time to see other people, I've been enjoying getting some time to myself - which might explain why the blogs have been few and far between recently. I used to get home and read every day, but got out of the habit when I moved to Leeds. Having my own little space for reading has totally changed that so I am much more likely to pick up a book than turn on the TV and I'm getting through around two books a week. I just need to start balancing out reading with writing more.
5 - Babe dates are the best! I'm making an effort to plan trips to places I have wanted to go for ages, which is so much easier now I have a car. The husband and I are planning a few trips but I'm also making the most of weekends I have off on my own to make plans with lovely people. This weekend was Bradford Media Museum, which will be on the blog soon.
6 - I'm doing more experimenting with fashion and this month bought not one but three crop tops, which is a huge step for me. I have even worn them out of the house, even though they show off my surgery scars and stretchmarks. Honestly, wearing what I want and making myself step out of my comfort zone has been a huge thing and has actually helped me be happy with my body even though I've had a tough time with weight loss recently (more about that soon). I definitely recommend wearing something people have told you you shouldn't wear for some stupid reason as it is so liberating.
7 - Yup, I'm taking more photos of the sky. Later evenings are one of my favourite things and I'm looking forward to being able to spend a few out in the garden (the weather just needs to clear up a bit more). I also think I need to take advantage of some of the outdoor seating at great Leeds' pubs ASAP as nights like this are ideal for cider while the sun sets.
8 - This photo may not look particularly happy, but I am honestly thrilled about my progress at the gym. I slowed down a bit while I was moving house and settling in but I'm getting into my routine again. Not only is my walk to work longer than previously (by around 2,000 steps), but I've been mixing up my workouts. I've found that I can do a lot more that I previously couldn't manage and that I've really improved my upper body strength. I've still got a long way to go but my endurance has drastically changed from even six months ago.
9 - We had a long overdue work night out and I got to try my first escape room, which I think might now become a bit of an obsession. Honestly, if you haven't done one, you need to. They are a lot of fun - especially if you're pretty competitive - and are a much more interesting way to spend a night out than watching a movie or grabbing a drink. I'll be writing about the one I did soon, but basically trying new things with awesome people is always going to put a smile on my face.
10 - Last but not least is just the fact that I genuinely feel so happy in myself at the moment. A lot has happened already this year and I've handled it without getting in my own way and without making myself ill again. Yes, I still have my bad days, but they are a lot fewer than they were last year, especially during the first six months of last year, which is a big deal. I feel happy with my body, my progress, where I'm going and what I'm doing right now. I've been told by people that they can see this, which makes me really happy because I feel like I can actually show people how I'm actually feeling at the moment. I don't feel exhausted from putting on a happy face and that is a huge change from the last few years.