In March, I was glad for:
2. How fun my French lessons are
You know how when you are sick, even the tiniest things just seem too hard? An email that only needs to be a quick response – two or three lines max, which would otherwise take you a minute to write – just makes you want to crawl back under the bedcovers and never resurface. Well, I noticed a funny thing when I was sick. I dreaded work, I dreaded studied, I dreaded even looking at my computer, but I didn’t dread my French lessons. My lessons are early (7am) on Friday mornings, and for a few weeks Nic tried to convinced me to cancel my lessons so I didn’t have to get up so early and could just rest. But I didn’t want to. Getting up and out of the house so early seemed worth it, because I really do enjoy my lessons. That one hour at Chouquette, with my wonderful teacher and a fellow student, really make my Fridays. We talk and laugh, I’m never intimidated by the lessons, and I have come really far in my skills (and confidence) since I started six months ago.
3. How happy my cat is when I come home
4. Learning how to drive confidently again
I got my manual licence when I was 17. Subsequently, I shared an automatic car with my sister. When I moved out of home, I went for many years without a car of my own. I always preferred to walk, or bike, or bus ride places anyway. Then a few years ago, Nic and I bought a car together – a manual. And though I’d drive it occasionally, most of the time I left the driving to Nic. Why? Because I was afraid. It had been a good 10 years since I’d driven a manual car and every time I’d get behind the wheel (or more accurately: next to the gear box), I’d get irrationally anxious. And then because I was nervous, I’d inevitably stuff up the gear change somewhere, or over-rev the car, thereby confirming my notion that I was crap at driving a manual.
And then, in March, two independent events came together to force me to drive more often. Firstly, Nic got his shoulder reconstruction and couldn’t drive, and secondly, I had friends visiting from overseas and to show them around properly required a car. I had no choice but to suck it up and get behind the wheel. The funny thing was, all it took was a solid week of driving to get me properly used to the car again and comfortable on the road. A week! Once I stopped indulging myself and my fears and worries, once I stopped putting it off, once I stopped thinking that it was going to take me ages to learn how to do thing this again, it all just came together, and remarkably quickly at that. A fear conquered is definitely something to be glad about!
5. The success of Nic’s shoulder operation
As I’ve mentioned, in March, Nic had a shoulder reconstruction. One of the things I am most glad about this month is how well that operation went. We were both quite nervous about the level of pain Nic would be in post-surgery and how long it would take him to recuperate. But thanks to his fabulous surgeons, he experienced very little pain (only some discomfort) and his recovery has been steady and complication-free.
6. Overseas visitors
Mid-March, two good friends of mine, Jill and Michael, visited me in Brisbane. It was their first trip to Australia, and I had a ball playing tour guide for them. I’ve got another post coming up with more photos from their visit, but let me just say here that I was very glad to see them and spend time with them. I think I felt that most on the day Jill got to pat a koala – I’ve never seen her smile so widely.
7. Having such wonderful PhD supervisors
I’ve written before about how January and February were stressful months for me with my PhD work. March saw me get back on my feet and feel a little better about my direction and progress, and for much of that I have my supervisors to thank. Not only are they two of the smartest people I have ever met, but they are always patient, encouraging and a source of support not only in my studies but in my life overall. I am glad to have supervisors that genuinely care about my success and wellbeing.
8. How I feel after exercise
I’ve finally been getting back into a proper morning exercise routine – jogging and yoga – and I’m feeling great! My fitness is still not the best (I can’t jog for long stretches), but it is definitely improving and I’m enjoying feeling more energised.
9. Fantastic dinners
This was definitely the month of fancy dinners! When Jill and Michael were visiting we took a day trip up to the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands and stopped in at Maleny Cheese Factory, where we brought enough gruyere to make a fabulously decadent cheese fondue for dinner that evening. Another night the four of us had a leisurely dinner at Himalayan Cafe, where we lounged on cushions, drank stupid amounts of wine, ate the delicious food (of course), and laughed a-plenty. And finally, for my birthday, Nic and I indulged in the incredible degustation menu at Two Small Rooms. Spoilt much? Lucky I’ve been exercising this month!
10. Birthday surprises
It was my birthday at the end of the month, and with it not being a particularly important birthday (I turned 28) and with otherwise being so busy with other social engagements and getting ready for Easter in early April, I decided to play this one on the down-low. In fact, I wasn’t feeling the desire to do anything to celebrate except spend some time with Nic. I made every effort to fly this one under the radar, even temporarily taking my birth date off Facebook. But my friends weren’t going to let it go that easily. Unbeknownst to me, they coordinated with Nic that on the night following my birthday he would suggest that we “just walk up the road and get burgers for dinner” and then lead me to a local restaurant where my friends were waiting with flowers and presents and good times. I didn’t suspect a thing, and it was such a lovely surprise. I felt very lucky to have such thoughtful, amazing people around me.