January 31, 2017

January Recap

January has been a strange month to be in DC. I love this city but lately, it's been a hard place to be in. I've been trying to keep my head high and go about my day to day but it's hard not to get dragged down by everything that's happening.

I've moved a lot but I've never felt quite as unsettled as we do in this apartment. It's been one month and I still haven't even unpacked most of my clothes. I was so excited at having a 2 bedroom apartment so that I could have my own office, and I haven't used it once because my desk is piled with empty boxes. 

Overall this month, I'm starting to feel a little bit less stressed. I think all of the yoga has helped but I have a lot to improve on in this area. Here's a look at how my month went, by the numbers: 

Miles Run: 31

Minutes of Yoga: 896 (almost 15 hours!)

Books Read: 5
You can check out what I've been reading this month here. I'm also finishing up "The Last Days of Magic," which I'll write about in my February recap!

Trips Taken: 1
NY for roughly 1 day to escape the Inauguration Day madness.

New Recipes Made: 21 (Woo!)
One of my goals for the New Year was to cook at least one recipe out of every single one of my cookbooks. The idea being 1) to cook more at home, and 2) to actually make use of my slightly problematic obsession with cookbooks. While I don't think I've fully unpacked all of my cookbooks, so I don't know how many I actually have, I have cooked abundantly out of four of my cookbooks and dabbled in one or two others. I did realize that I have no interest in cooking out of one of my cookbooks, so I'm holding on to that for one more month to see if anything jumps out at me before giving it away. I could write a whole post on what cooking so much has taught me, so I think I will. Stay tuned!

Blog Posts Written: 11
I'm mad that I didn't post the last of my recaps about our Australia trip. I've written one of them and just need to finish putting my pictures into the post. I've posted more on this blog this month than I have since last April, so I'll call this progress. I'd still like to post more and actually stick to the schedule I made for this upcoming month. I also really want to make it a point to schedule blogging time, not just for writing, editing, and posting, but for reading blogs as well!

30 Before 30 Items Completed: 0

Highlights: The 31-Day yoga challenge! While I didn't actually practice for 31 days straight, I still completed the challenge and feel great about it.

Lowlights: The nasty fall I took at the beginning of the month that sidelined me for 2 weeks. I'm also pretty annoyed at myself for not using Classpass once. I've been pretty bad about using my Classpass membership lately and if I don't get my 5 classes in next month, I think I'll have to cancel. I love Classpass and don't really know why I'm not using it. 

So that's a look at how my month went. February is a short month and then hopefully, it will be spring! Although, we've had such a mild winter, that I'm just waiting for the worst of winter to hit.

The Month Ahead:
In February, I'm taking on a 28-day foam rolling challenge. I also want to continue practicing yoga regularly, at least 3 times per week. I'll be kicking off training for the Ottawa Marathon and I want to make sure I'm diligent about getting hill and speed work in. 

I also want to finish unpacking and actually set up my home office. I want to read 5 more books (to stay on track with my reading challenge), continue cooking up a vicious storm in my kitchen, take on French macarons, and celebrate my 30th birthday!

Before I wrap up this post, I want to say one thing. 

In the wake of all that has happened since the United States inaugurated a new president, I refuse to stay silent on the issues that matter the most to me. My Master's is in International Development and I spent a significant amount of time researching conflict, how it affects people, and how people escape from conflict. My dream is to work with refugees and I moved to DC to chase that dream. I've never spoken candidly about this but that dream has yet to materialize and today, as the Syrian refugee crisis continues to unfold and as we slam our doors in the face of refugees trying to come to the United States, my heart breaks that I'm not doing more about this.  My citizenship in this country is purely by chance. Both of my grandparents fled political persecution to come to an America that would welcome them and give them a chance at life. I only exist because they were able to take that chance.

Throughout this year, when I share these posts, I'll be featuring an organization that is doing important work to counter the hateful rhetoric and policies that are now the hallmark of the American political system. If you feel compelled to donate as well, please let me know. I would love to know that I am making an impact by sharing these organization's work with others. If you aren't interested, you can skip this part of the post.

This month, I'm donating $50 to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who supports people in humanitarian crises. The IRC was founded by Albert Einstein, himself a refugee to support those fleeing Nazi Germany. They've grown to support international humanitarian crises all over the world and have launched an emergency appeal and are trying to raise $5M to support families that will be affected by this new executive order. As U.S. funding to refugee resettlement camps gets slashes, the IRC needs to fill that gap to continue their work. I chose the IRC (as opposed to other great organizations fighting for refugee rights) because their work not only supports refugees here in the U.S. but overseas as well and I know that my money is supporting refugees whether they are being detained in an airport, are in a camp in Jordan, or are anxiously awaiting new developments here in the U.S. I hope to donate more as the year goes on but I hope it isn't always in emergency response to proposed policies.

Thanks for reading. How did your month shape up?

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