Month Eight (Status Report)

For context: Intro to My Happiness Project | Month One: Energy & Status Report | Month Two: Health & Hygiene & Status Report | Month Three: Diet & Status Report | Month Four: Money & Status Report | Month Five: Home & Status Report | Month Six: Marriage & Status Report | Month Seven: Stress Management & Status Report | Month Eight: Attitude

Last month’s resolution of focusing on my attitude and keeping perspective, etc. went better than I expected (though, admittedly, my expectations weren’t too high). As I said before, I thought April would be a good month to try my hand at it because I would be making the transition from school to summertime–a.k.a. the stay-at-home-mom routine.

I made it through the first week as though holding onto the edge of a cliff by my fingernails. I was amazed how one toddler’s whining could create a pulsating headache above my left temple that lasted days on end. I love my daughter more than anything, but when my husband suggested that I take her to daycare two days a week I ultimately said yes.

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This is a photo of Selwyn College’s Old Court at Cambridge University, which is the dorm hall I’ll be staying in.

At first, I blatantly refused because A) I felt like I needed to spend as much time as humanly possible with PJ before I leave for an entire month to study in Cambridge and B) I felt like we should be saving that daycare-allotted money because we spent an obscene amount on said trip to Cambridge.

Then that week-long headache and the subsequent short-tempered monster I became convinced me that I would be a better mother to PJ if I sent her to daycare two days a week. I wouldn’t be so stressed, would be more patient with her, etc. and she would get to socialize with her friends, eat more substantial meals (for some reason, only the structured environment will make her eat an entire plateful of food), etc.

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This is at her Christmas party, and there she is chowing down like she never does under my supervision.

Now that I’ve gone my second week out of school with her in daycare two days a week, I can say that my attitude has improved exponentially. I’m also able to get more chores and summer ‘pre-homework’ done during my days off, which makes me feel organized and accomplished, subsequently boosting my mood and improving my attitude even more.

As for my specific goals, not gossiping was an outright failure. In fact, I indulged in it more so than usual because I’ve felt a tinge isolated being at home and away from my friends at school. So I texted my best friend Becca relentlessly to fill the void–and dished on a few people in the process.

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These are all my books for the classes I’m taking: Shakespeare’s Kings (King Lear & The Tempest); England at the Crossroads (Jane Austen, Wordsworth, Coleridge, etc.); Villains in Literature (Macbeth, Frankenstein, End Game, & Heart of Darkness); A Short History of English (no required texts, thank god!); Jeweled Pages, Study of Ancient Persian & Japanese Bookmaking (The Ise Stories & Kalila and Dimna); and Dickens & the Victorian Underworld (Bleak House, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend). Plus my cute new luggage tag from Shutterfly!

Not worrying has been a bit more of a success, only because I’m still winding down from the stress of the semester. I have been steadily planning for Cambridge so it doesn’t sneak up on me and I forget something important. I ordered my books and got my tickets to the Globe, went on a bit of an Amazon and Target shopping spree, and started multiple Pinterest boards and a Google Sheet packing list. If you have any travel advice, let me know! [Also, I might consider doing a travel journal series when I get back to the states.]

Expressing gratitude and giving compliments went pretty well. I gave my mother this bomb travel mug for Mother’s Day, which she loved. I did my dad a few favors, including driving him across town (and on another occasion, across multiple towns) to pick up his truck from the mechanic’s. I even told a stranger that I liked her shirt and ended up talking to her for 20 minutes about the pros of being able to wear nice clothes at work rather than a dumpy polo uniform.

For more on transitioning from school to summer, read Becca’s article here.

Check out my resolutions for Month Nine: Motherhood!

kate

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