Monday, 5 April 2021

LIFE LATELY

Hi! It's been a while since I just chatted on here, so I thought I'd share a wee update on how life is going.

It's weird to think back to this time last year. The reality of lockdown was kicking in, we had a tiny brand new kitten (obviously brilliant, but a big addition to our lives), my partner was about to be furloughed for months, and I was about to go through some of my most stressful days at work (being a fundraiser for an arts charity was pretty stressful in 2020!). 

In comparison, this year, while I'm obviously not loving lockdown life, I feel much more zen about everything. Work is busy and pretty stressful still, but in more of a predictable way, I've settled into working from home (please don't make me go back to an office full time), we've found new routines, and I'm starting to feel a bit more hopeful about the future.

Self portrait, March 2021

A big part of that is that I got my first vaccine in March! I was surprised to be called so early, but it seems that there are some advantages to the various health dramas I've been through over the last two years. I felt surprisingly emotional getting it, then surprisingly horrible for 24 hours of flu-like side effects, but I'm buzzing to be a big step closer to normal. It's not just that I feel safer, but that I'm less likely to pass it onto others - living in the city means that it's been hard to properly distance at all times (try going to big Tesco without people charging past you), so I feel much better that I'm (hopefully) less likely to infect others when I'm just out and about.

Because outdoor adventures were my highlight of 2020, I'm feeling motivated to get fitter so I can venture further afield when we are allowed. I've already talked about my new bike (which is a dream!), but I've been doing Yoga with Adriene videos, and I've started Couch to 5k again! If you've read this blog for a while, you might recall that I have a rollercoaster relationship with running, but this time around I actually feel motivated to do it! I think I'm just so glad for an excuse to get out of the flat for fresh air, and it is so much easier to do it when I can run at lunchtime as I'm at home (trying to get the motivation to run before commuting to work was truly impossible in the past). I'm only on week 2 of Couch to 5k, so we shall see, but I feel good about it, and I am embracing the small moments of goodness these days.

My favourite hobby these days is still painting, I cannot get enough! I recently tried a self portrait, which feels like a big improvement from my last effort (which you can see here). I'm alternating between watercolour paints and digital art and drawing loads of faces these days, it's just so nice to have a satisfying hobby and create things! On my art instagram (julietpaint) I am currently working my way through an A-Z challenge of alphabet portraits (so far I've painted Awkwafina, Billie Eilish, Claire Saffitz, Dana Scully, Emmy Raver, FKA Twigs, Gwen Stefani, Helena Bonham Carter, Idina Menzel, and me - phew!), but next up I actually quite fancy revisiting the paintings I did YEARS ago for my Illustrated Blogger series. I feel like I owe them a nice portrait! 

Other than that, we're using the time to start putting things into motion for our future, and while I'm pretty sceptical that things will just magically go back to normal in the summer, I am excited for lots of things. Can't wait to sit in the sunshine with my pals, to go to the cinema, to wander around a gallery and look at things that aren't on a screen (!), to go to spin class again (a surprising joy in my life), to go camping, and that sweet, sweet moment when we're allowed to go to beer gardens again. It is nice to feel things are a little brighter again. 

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