6 Things I Loved In August
August has had its ups and downs but in all honesty, as I sit to write this post, I can't remember much of the bad things. It has drifted off in a cloud of negative haze that I have no intention of pulling back into my atmosphere. This is going to sound strange but this month I suddenly felt like I'd grown up. The feeling of being an adult, understanding things with an adult brain just set in. Perhaps it's because I stopped measuring my independence and success on what others perceived as such. Perhaps it's because I have plans, and backup plans and running in parallel plans. Perhaps it's because I feel secure in the person I am and am not afraid of people knowing as such (flaws and all). Either way, I welcome version 6.0.
#1 MAKING BLOGGER FRIENDS
This month I actually socialised (shocking). No doubt it's something I've found and still find difficult but I don't regret a second of the hardship that brought me to those moments. I first attended the #BlogosphereSummerParty which was hosted in a room at Lumiere London with swish interiors. I Instagrammed quite a bit of it. I also had the pleasure of meeting some awesome bloggers (Aine,Sabreena and Elaine to name a few) and getting over that awkward moment of not recognising people. It reminded me of how far apart online and IRL can be by the fact I was remembering people based on their Twitter handles.
Then there was the #BloggerPitP at Hyde Park. I was so excited to meet some of the amazing people I've been chatting to on Twitter. It didn't feel like I was meeting strangers and I loved that. Despite everyone being different and having different backgrounds it's pretty awesome that we could all come together on the basis of one thing in common: blogging.
This may be a controversial pointer considering a lot of people are still peeved about the algorithm changes. I can't say I'm a huge fan of them from a user point of view but they've not affected the engagement on my photos. In fact, very slowly, things are picking up and I'm pleased with my organic growth. It has inspired me to put a lot more effort into the photos I add to my feed. My main reasons for loving Instagram this month are new found sources of inspiration, Insta Stories (I've ditched Snapchat) and their Business Insights.
Sara of Me & Orla introduced me to the art of cinemagraphs. Now I'm hooked. They are essentially photographs with one element of fluid movement. I love looking at other people's creations made on the Flixel app. Unfortunately, I have no Apple products to use this app on so I've been learning how to make them myself with Photoshop. It definitely requires a lot of patience and practice but I am slowly improving. I look forward to sharing more on my Instagram and look out for them popping up in blog posts too.
"you only fail when you stop trying"
#4 METEOR SHOWER
Granted, there was not much to see in my London area in regards to the meteor shower due to cloud cover (what's new?). However, I did manage to catch 3 over a span of watching the night sky for 2 hours. It was magical and worth the neck pain looking up at a blanket of stars. There was also something quite comforting about sitting in the dark at 1am looking up at the sky and eating waffles with peanut butter and banana on them.
#5 LISTS & POST-IT NOTES
I discovered an efficient way of creating daily plans and documenting my weekly progress. I've started creating to-do lists on large post-it note sheets. Each one denotes a day. At night I'll stick the day's note into my planner (with some pretty washi tape), transfer any unfinished tasks onto a new post-it and write on anything else that I know for sure is to be tackled the next day.
Not only did this keep me organised but I was also more focused and didn't go to bed as anxious about tomorrow because the post-it note had a plan. I'm not saying I couldn't deviate from it but it was a strong starting point and my time has been managed better.
#6 TAKING A BREAK
Following on from number 5, better time management and more focused bursts of work have meant balance. Balance between work and play. Balance between blogging and taking breaks away from the computer screen. In these breaks, I've spent more time reading, listening to podcasts, doing sudoku puzzles, playing with watercolours and experimenting with my camera.
These breaks have helped me recharge and remain inspired. It's a way I've found to help deal with the stress and exhaustion effectively. A way I've found to help keep my judgement clear and my focus crisp so that I'm putting quality over quantity.
"the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today"
August's takeaway notes are to remember to look forward. The forward right in front of you and the forward that holds your goals and dreams. Embrace the beauty of what you have and your journey there.
Wishing you all a wonderful month ahead!