April 2018 Gratitude List

I realise that this photo is pretty terrible quality, but it's the perfect summation of what April was about for me. But before we get on to that, let's chat a little bit. It was a pretty busy month for me and I found that I barely had time to breathe. And I think because I was so busy, I didn't see it go by, but it's absolutely whizzed past and now we're in May! Can you believe it? Month number 5! However, let's not think too hard about how quickly the year is going and chat about what I was grateful for in April instead.

  1. My university group project assignment - you may or may not have seen me banging on about a group project on my Twitter. I feel like I explained what we were doing in those tweets, but if not, we were working with Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, and Marrow, their student branch, on a campaign to encourage more students at Teesside to join their donor register. This involved organising a recruitment event, making a website, social media, creating content, making videos, being on the radio and finally running the event. It was a total labour of love and there were times that I wanted to throw the towel in, but all the stress was worth it. While I haven't got the marks back yet for the project, I know that we got 121 people to join the donor register, which is an insane amount of people! So yes, that image above was before we were live on BBC Tees at our event, featuring me looking nerdy with my camera (I was in charge of updating social media and filming on the day. You can see the final video here if you're interested!)
  2. All the birthdays - March and April are the birthday months in our family, and April saw J, my mum and my grandad all turn a year older, so the whole month was full of happiness. We didn't do a lot for J's birthday as he's not too big on celebrating, but we did go out to a Chinese restaurant for tea. The pair of us had been hankering for Chinese food for so long, but we wanted an occasion to go out for, so his birthday was ideal! We also didn't do anything for my grandad's - he's a pretty private person, so he did his own thing and we had a joined birthday tea for my mum and him (his birthday is the day after hers).
  3. Having a spa day - for my mum's birthday though, we went all out. As it was a big birthday (I won't say what because she'd never forgive me), we had a half spa day at Gisborough Hall. We had pastries when we arrived, then a back and neck massage, a facial and a foot treatment, followed by a two course lunch. Now, I've had chronic back pain since September, which the masseuse diagnosed as stress (whaddaya know?), so she targeted the areas that had been affected and oh my goodness, I've felt so much better since. I've been doing other things to help ease the pain, but that massage was the beginning. Seriously, she found 4 knots in one shoulder! Of course, the whole day was lovely and my mum enjoyed herself, but I've been thinking about that massage ever since.
  4. Overcoming confidence issues - I've expressed on my blog before about my body confidence and my issues around the way I look, and this was something that was challenged because of the spa day. Leading up to it, I had severe anxiety about having to wear a swimming costume and being half naked so that someone could touch my back. The thought of all of those things made me cry, want to be sick and kind of wish that something would happen so that we didn't have to go. As you've seen by the 'having a spa day' point, I ended up enjoying myself and overcoming my issues once I was there. It was difficult at first, but the woman who did all of my treatments made me feel totally at ease, so once I was laid on the table, I didn't mind about a bit of jiggle.
  5. Meeting new people - I met so many new people in April, mainly through the campaign project, but also because we have new employees in work and through other university assignments. This is something that I would have been terrified to do in the past, but I've definitely grown in confidence over the past couple of months and it really shows. I've been networking and I'm looking forward to what the future holds!
So that was April for me. Heavily university-related, but also full of birthdays and family time. I'd love to know what some of your highlights from April were!

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