Sunday, 24 September 2017

Summer Bucket List Reflection

Hello guys! You may be wondering why I haven't blogged in days... firstly, I'm sorry! I've been struggling with my depression. I was fine, everything was picking up for the first time in a long time and then suddenly, I experienced a massive drop in my mood. It was probably down to a mix of the chest cough infection thingie I had, my seasonal affective disorder playing up because of how miserable the weather has been, and because my depression makes me self-destructive, both physically and mentally. I always feel really anxious and develop an overwhelming sense of dread when things are going good. It sounds silly, but I guess I convince msyelf that everything is too good to be true and I expect things to 'go to shit' as they say. I know that I do this as a coping mechanism to prepare myself for things going bad and I am really working on changing my mindset. Although, this is proving extremely difficult after a lifetime of habit. Apologies for starting today's post off in a gloomy way, but I wanted to be open with you all about how I've been over the past week. I hope that by talking about my self-destructive 'tendencies', I can help someone else feel that they are not alone. Depression is tough and it's important to talk about it! Sending big virtual hugs to anyone else who's having a hard time at the moment

So, on with today's post. Summer is now over and Autumn has officially arrived! I am thrilled! It's my favourite time of year; there's so much to look forward to- my birthday, Halloween, Bonfire Night, colourful leaves... I could go on forever! Since Summer has ended, I thought it would be good to reflect on how I've got on with my seasonal bucket list. I shared an update post at the beginning of the month (which you had check out here) and now I wanted to summarise my achievements and also discuss the goals I didn't manage to tick off my list. Enjoy reading! 

 (1) Go for more walks 

I definitely could have done more walking, however the weather has been so bad and I've also spent most of Summer full of a cold and having several chest infections. To achieve one of my other Summer goals, I had to visit parks and other little hidden natural gems in urban areas so I did go on a few walks at least! I went on a day out to my town's traditional gala, which ended up being a very tiring day filled with lots of walking through mud! I blogged all about my day at the gala if you'd like to read it. 

(2) Read 5 new books 

I didn't quite get to five books, but I finished two new books, re-read the first Song of Ice & Fire book and have just started on another new book. I did a book haul on Amazon a couple of weeks ago and bought The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey, The Hospital by Barbara O'Hare and the complete set of the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. I was inspired to read 'The Handmaid's Tale' after watching the new TV series adapted from it, and having finished this book, I can say that I really enjoyed it and I'm thinking of sharing a review of it soon! Let me know in the comments if you think I should :) I've not long starting reading the 'The Girl With All The Gifts' but it's a good read so far. The movie was great however I was left with a lot of questions afterwards so I'm hoping the book will give me the answers! I've completed reading 'The Hospital: How I Survived The Secret Child Experiments at Aston Hall', which is a true story about some shocking experiments that went on in a psychiatric hospital in the 1970's. It was a very interesting albeit heartbreaking read. I  really like true stories though! 

(3) Improve my German speaking/writing

Guten Abend! In my previous blog post, I wrote all about how I've been learning German and I am happy to say that I've been doing pretty well with completing this Summer goal. That being said, I could have done a lot more so I really need to up my game this Autumn and do better with my lessons! With my mood and dealing with crappy colds, I've struggled to keep up with my daily targets and I'm hoping to get back on track soon. I've been using the app Duolingo and the Pimsleur language programme each day, and the combination has been brilliant! Find out more here

(4) Find a geocache

If you're new to my blog, you won't have seen my posts all about geocaching so I'll explain what it is in case you don't know. Geocaching is a 'treasure' hunting hobby where people involved have hidden containers of various sizes and shapes and designs all over the World and it's your job to find them! Using the app, you can find out if there are any caches hidden in your area and following the directions/coordinates, which the app makes pretty easy, and also some clues or description from the person who hid it, you can hunt it out. Depending on the size of the cache, it might continue a log book for you to sign and some little bits and pieces, small bric-a-brac. You can take something from the cache but if you do, you should always put something back in to replace it :) It's a super fun hobby and I've been really enjoying taking part. At the beginning of Summer this year, I'd only ever found one cache so it was my aim to find another. Well, I'm delighted to announce that I found two, which is fantastic for me since there's not many in my hometown. One was a small tubberware tub that I found in a park and the other was a tiny bottle that had been used as a cache which was hidden under a rock in a wooded area near a war memorial in my town. I left some 'trinkets' in the caches and I think its awesome that someone might take them and use them :) 

(5) Go for a picnic

Unfortunately this goal was not completed, and I'm gutted because I really want to go on a proper little picnic! Even though I've had small picnics in my garden or whilst on a walk when I was kid, I've never been on a picnic in the traditional way with the basket of food and the blanket so every year I tell myself that this will be the year that I finally do, and then never do it. Oops! There's always next year, or I might even celebrate the coming of Autumn with a picnic. I'm feeling inspired by all of the Autumn food-related posts I'm seeing all over Pinterest right now! 

(6) Bake more 

Here's another goal that I didn't manage to check off on my Summer bucket list. I know, I suck! I really wanted to fill my afternoons with baking to cheer myself up, however until a few weeks ago I was still in a financial pickle and so I couldn't afford to get all of the ingredients for the recipes I wanted to try! If you saw my recent life update post, you'll know that things have massively improved because I won my ESA tribunal and got my benefits reinstated. Woohoo! Now I can afford to experiment with some new baking ideas so look out for my creations soon on my social media, and of course I'll blog about what I make too. 

(7) Visit a new place 

I did visit a few places over Summer and went on a couple of days out, although all of them were places that I've been to before. I did plan to visit York, but again my financial situation for the first half of this year really got in the way of doing anything like that because of all of the costs involved. If you follow me over on Instagram, you'll have seen that last week I spent the day with my best friend and we went to the cinema to watch the new IT movie as well as enjoying a delicious meal at Frankies & Benny's. This was the first time in months and months that my best friend & I had been able to do our little tradition of going to the cinema and then for a meal, so we were delighted and had a wonderful time as always! In August, on the day of my hometown's gala event, I also got to take a landrover trip up onto the moors overlooking my town and climb the Jubilee Tower to see the breathtaking views from the top. I hadn't been onto the moors and to the tower for around 10 years, so despite this not being a new experience, I almost felt like it because it had been so long since I was last there!

(8) Try 5 new fruits and/or vegetables

Yep, I totally didn't try any new fruit or vegetables, but oh well, haha! I've still got plenty of time to do this before the end of the year! I kind of tried a new fruit, in the form of jam but that counts right!? I think it does! The lovely Estelle over at Estellosaurus sent me some of her parents homemade Loganberry jam. It was so kind of her and even though I'm not a big fan of jam unless it's inside a cake like Victoria Sponge, it was definitely interesting to give it a try. I've always wondered about what I'd think of loganberries, which are a cross between two of my favourite fruit, raspberries and blackberries. The jam was lovely, sweet like raspberry jam but it had a tangy taste to it which was a delightful surprise. I'm very curious about how it will taste in a cake, so I'm definitely going to be baking one soon to find out. Thankyou Estelle! 

(9) Make a tie dye t-shirt 

I celebrated the last day of Summer/first day of Autumn by finally making some tie dye tees! This is something that I've always wanted to do but have just never gotten around to, until Friday! I've decided that I'm going to share a seperate posts about how I made my two tie dye t-shirts, which should be up on my blog before the month is through. It was a super fun experience and I can't wait to make more once I've invested in some new colours of fabric dye. I absolutely love tie-dye and I can't wait to rock these new tees like I'm a 1960's flower power child! There's a little sneak peek of one of my t-shirts on the collage below :) 

(10) Watch 20 new movies

I am very glad that I added this goal to my Summer bucket list since it's really helped me to get back into a hobby that I used to enjoy so much. With my mental health being pretty shitty this year so far, it's been tough for me to have the motivation and passion to do some of the things that I normally love to do. One of these things was watching movies. I love getting lost in a good storyline and I love critiquing movies (or complaing about them to my best friend, haha!). I managed to watch twenty new movies, more than twenty in fact, not including all the documentary films I've watched! Here's a list of movies that I did watch this Summer:

Silent Hill (2006) 
Voice From The Stone (2017)
Brimstone (2017)
The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 
American History X (1998)
Duke of Burgundy (2014) 
The Vanishing (1993) 
Rupture (2016) 
Every Secret Thing (2014) 
Undertow (2004)
Girls Night Out (TV Thriller movie - 2017) 
Little Birds (2012) 
Nightcrawler (2014)  
Missing 411: The Movie (2016)
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)
Emelie (2015) 
A Cure For Wellness (2016) 
Electrick Children (2012) 
Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Stephen King's IT (2017)  

If you've watched any of these movies, I'd love to hear all about what you thought of them in the comments. I've been discussing a few of the movies I've been watching over Summer in my What I've Been Watching posts. I've shared a July Edition & an August Edition so far.

It's a shame that I didn't manage to complete all of the goals on my Summer Bucket List, but I think 5 and a half out of 10 is pretty good! I'm still proud of myself that I got that many ticked off my list considering everything all the negative things that have happened throughout my summer. Looking back on what I've managed to achieve makes me feel great and reminds me that despite all the bad times, there were lots of wonderful moments too! I need to remind myself too that it's okay to not complete all of your goals, because you can learn from the experience and this can help you succeed the next time you try! Here's to Summer 2017, Summer is my least favourite season and so I'm happy that I did some awesome things throughout. Thank god it's now Autumn though, haha! 

Thankyou for reading!


What personal goals did you achieve this Summer?
What was your favourite Summertime memory this year?  


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