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January 2021 Check in

Hello everyone! I've been thinking for awhile now to do a monthly check in with all of you to update you on what's going on in my world. Ideally, I'm planning to have them up the first week or so of the month. So let's dive in.

As of two days ago, we are on to a new year! The last month of the year was incredibly busy for me and finally things feel like they're slowing down. Or at least, I'm hoping they will. I've been getting back into the swing of my research for my writing, but I've also noticed that I haven't been "reading for fun" in awhile. Don't get me wrong, I've been really enjoying the articles I've been reading. (Never thought I'd say that...haha!) I've just always been a big fiction reader and I haven't gotten lost in the world if fiction in some time. So I'm trying to get back into the swing of that. I recently started reading the novel Orphan #8 by Kim Van Alkemade. It is a historical fiction novel that has a similar tone as to the articles I've been reading, however it's an escape nonetheless.

Just before the end of the year, I had a day that I spent with one of my coworkers to catch up and have a fun hang out day. One thing that we discussed during the day was keeping journals. I used to write in a journal every single day without fail. But in time, a lot of that went away. As I got older, there were things I didn't want to write about. I didn't want to face the bad things that happened. I wanted to hide away instead. Even though I started writing so much as a young girl because it helped me deal with the troubles of life. So I bought myself new journals that day and a pack of fun new pens to try and start keeping a journal again. So far I'm still trying to get back into the habit of it. But this is also being treated as a sort of journal for me.

This past week, we got our first big snow of the season. We had flurries on a few different occasions, but nothing that really stuck. And I have a love/hate relationship with snow. Living in Wisconsin, there's no avoiding it. And I think it's really beautiful and peaceful. But driving in the snow can stress me out at times. So that night during the first snow, I was very frustrated driving through it. But by the next morning, I was able to appreciate how beautiful it all looked around me. Now that I'm able to stay home for a few days, I'm enjoying it much more. I like the cozy feeling of the winter, but I wish the sunlight lasted a bit longer. However, I've made a point of putting up Christmas lights all around my living room that I plug in every night that brings more brightness to the dark evenings.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is jigsaw puzzles. Growing up, my mom would dig out jigsaw puzzles. It was always our winter activities. I enjoy putting puzzles together any time of the year, but winter time is when I usually do them the most. I had been feeling a bit stressed yesterday, so I pulled out a small 500 piece puzzle and put it together while I cleared my head. I spend the weekend with my sister a week ago and we spent the weekend putting together a handful of puzzles. I'll probably look through what I've got and start another one this evening.

I'm hoping to read some new books this year and watch some new shows and movies. I often find myself rewatching the same movies and shows over and over again if I can't decide on something. While it's nice to enjoy something again, I also want to enjoy new things too. So it's a habit I'm trying to break. Just before the end of the year, I finished the fourth season of The Crown on Netflix and have been hopping around with other new shows. I also decided to watch a new movie last night (okay I started it...and then quickly fell asleep). I hadn't watched The DaVinci Code before, but everyone had always raved about it. And my falling asleep had nothing to do with how good it was. I just struggle staying awake for movies. But I finished it this morning and really enjoyed it. I know many rave about the book as well as other Dan Brown books and I may finally be convinced to give them a try sometime.

So that's what I'm up to these days. I'd enjoy hearing from others about what they're up to these days, what their goals are for the year, etc. And we'll see where I'm at come February!

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