May 7, 2023

April in review & May goals

April was a long wet month.  I had a series of mini goals, which I barely mini-achieved. Here is a summary:

  • Finally do Will (Had to move appointment again - so it's booked for next week now)
  • Eat more Fruit. (We ate at least 2 melons this month)
  • Declutter (I have a large bag of things ready for the charity shop)
  • Visit 1 National Trust Site (Adorable easter egg hut success)
  • Continue Monthly Budget (Because of credit card theft I now can't access some of my credit card data, but I definitely will continue this and mostly have)
  • Continue Time Tracking (Oops, this stopped when I went away for the weekend)
  • Continue Kids & family photo albums (I think I got too into captions as I haven't finished, and I may go back to not captioning the kids albums and only captioning the family album)
I'm not going to lie, besides some highlights (easter egg hunt with kids, really good work trip to London, and amazing mountain biking weekend) April felt like a bit of a slog.  I'm hoping May brings a bit more energy and internal excitement.

I did luck into reading 4 awesome books in April:
Babel: an Arcane History - Ahh this was a great read.  Super long.  Super good.  I love it when really smart people write really good books.  I was captivated from the first chapter, which is the sign of a pretty great book.

The Light Pirate - Another amazing book.  Beautifully written.  I love books about big themes which use the themes to compel the characters, rather than characters to compel themes.  I also don't ever want to live in Florida.

Stolen Focus - Hari delivers an excellent and well researched book.  His chapters on big tech were great and even though I have read A LOT on this he still brought new insight.  Especially his conversation with Nir Eyal. I know this is into the weeds of smartphone-use-theorist battles BUT I think this is a great read and I love how he thinks.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai - Not sure where I got this recommendation from, it was another longer book but I really got into it.  I think I like books about compellingly flawed individuals trying to make good decisions.  I honestly hadn't thought much about the AIDS pandemic before and how it must have affected the gay community.  It's crazy it was only 1985 when all this happened, although this is fiction I can imagine it paralleled the reality for so many people.  

May has some pretty exciting adventures coming up - I have friend visiting from the states (YAY!) and I'm going to visit my bestest and her 14 week old baby.  I have some dinners with friends planned and hopefully I'll start doing yoga with my yoga buddy and writing with my writing buddy too.

Main goals for May:
Sell excess furniture on Gumtree: I think when kids are at different ages and stages you just need different furniture.  We have a love-seat we adore in one of the kids rooms but we need make room for a toddler bed for the 2.5 year old.  When the kids were little we got excited and bought Kallax units for everywhere but now we have an extra one which is sitting in the loft.  I think I will appreciate the extra space more than holding onto the furniture right now, and if I need more furniture I can buy it later.  I also have a Roomba I don't use so need to get that on gumtree, as well as a road bike I just don't use.  Selling things second hand kind of sucks (especially bikes) but holding onto things isn't bringing me joy.

What are your goals for May?  Do you sell things second hand?


  1. Thanks for sharing your April recap.
    May... Is my second favorite month(October is #1) The weather in NJ is usually delightful, I do a lot of gardening and just being outside improves my mood. Plus, we have end-of-school celebrations, mother's day, and memorial day weekend (I have 5 days off work this year) plus teacher appreciation week! It's a busy month but in a good way. Celebrations get us out of hamster wheel and add something extra to the daily routine.

    1. Oh interesting! My favourite month is also October, but I've never considered a "second favourite" month before. This year is a fun may in the UK because there are three bank holidays / Mondays off work. usually there are only 2 but coronation gave us one more. I think if the weather gets nicer then it will really be a good month, but April was such a wash out that I don't want to get my hopes up.

  2. Your mini-achievements sounds pretty great! Good work! Sorry to hear that April was a bit of a slog, though. Hopefully May is an excellent month all around -- and seeing two friends sounds really wonderful. I hope your writing buddy is a good one! I find it so helpful to write with a friend.

    1. Thank you! I am definitely so much better about writing when I have a writing date once a week. I hope you have a lovely May too!

  3. Thanks for the heads up on Babel, that looks like it might be really good. Did you read a physical copy, or maybe listen to it? I am very into audiobooks lately.

    I should probably try to sell more things, but I don't have a lot of patience for it, so I tend to give things away on a local Buy Nothing group instead.

    1. I read Babel on hard copy, I'm not very good at listening to fiction on audiobook. I'm not sure why, but I need to get better at it.

      I don't have much patience for selling and give lots to charity, but if something is niche or more than about £50 then I would rather sell it to get a bit of ££ back. I think my threshold used to be £20.

  4. I am in the market for an updated road bike (mine is circa 1980 I think?); it is too bad I can't get yours from Gumtree! I have looked on Craigslist but it is kind of overwhelming and also I have no idea what the quality levels are for these bikes, since one company can sometimes have a range of prices that is pretty darn wide! So I am not really on an active hunt...

    However, I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff! I have tried to sell some of my higher end shoes on eBay but am only having slight success; it is a little tedious and I have a "drop dead" date where I will just donate them if I can't sell them by then.

    1. Aww bummer! Craigslist is super overwhelming for bikes. I know this is a bit of a trek for you but the Marin Re-Cyclery often have nice bike and they know what they are selling:

      I used to try and sell things to make money, I think now it's partially that and mostly to have it out of my house and to someone who wants it. I used to try and sell clothes on ebay but it became such a pain I stopped. Sometimes I think selling it makes me feel better for buying something I didn't wear as much as expected. I hope your shoes sell!

    2. You are completely right; its the mental pat on the back for not "wasting money" by not wearing or using something that is really more important than the $19 I am getting for the shoes!

    3. Also I checked and there is an equivalent to Marin Re-cyclery in Berkeley, so I am totally going to go over there. I bet they can fix Bertha (the ol' road bike) as well, which my more modern (and snooty) bike shop near my house refused to do!!

  5. I have Babel on tbr list, but I think it will have to wait until I get back from Queensland so I can borrow it form the library.

    Good luck with selling your stuff. It is a pain but I'm sure you'll be happy once you've done it.