I think November turned out kind of meh. There were some good things, but also a lot of struggle to keep myself moving on the things I needed to do. Here are my reflections.
Hiking – I completed my hiking goal for the year. I did my final hike at the beginning of November. My husband, stepson, and I all went to Lake Accotink on a beautiful day. We hiked the roughly 3.8 miles around the lake. Although my stepson struggled a bit with the length, it is overall a relatively easy hike as it is mostly flat. That makes 12 hikes for the year. I think it highly unlikely I will do any in December since the weather is much colder and there are so many holiday obligations taking up time.
Christmas Shopping – I make a goal each year to get all my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. I did better this year than most. Everything is bought except the presents for my stepson. I have my gifts for my stepson from me, but I traditionally shop for the Santa items together with my husband. He is never in any hurry, so we will end up doing it like Dec 23rd. Bonus, I have the majority of my presents wrapped too.
Non-Traditional Thanksgiving & Friendsgiving – We went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. It is always a toss-up as to whether a visit with them will go OK or be a disaster. This year, thankfully, it went well. There was no drama, no one was drunk, no one was sick, and no one was in a bad mood. We had crab legs instead of a traditional meal. This is not my favorite food, but I know my husband was super excited about it. We played an 80s/90s music trivia game, and I won. Saturday we went to a friend’s house where I got my more traditional turkey dinner. I am so glad they invite us, because I enjoy the Thanksgiving meal and my family rarely seems to do it on the actual holiday anymore. We also played games there, Pandemic (first time played and I loved it) and Munchkin (which I never like but everyone else seems to enjoy).
Holiday Portraits – Our holiday portrait session was another thing that went surprisingly well considering how difficult it sometimes can be. We started a little rocky because the Picture People studio we have used the past couple years is closed. It turns out Picture People has changed ownership and as a result many locations have been eliminated. We found another one that was not too far away though, so I made an appointment there. The session itself went very smoothly. They did a tag team system of one person putting us in the poses and another taking the pictures, which seemed to make it go much faster. My stepson behaved himself really well this year, which is never a guarantee. Finally, our pictures came out great. We had several good options from which to make our choices. The only downside was the prices have gone up considerably from prior years (and no information on the website so it was a surprise at the end of the appointment), but I keep reminding myself it was still much less than if we had hired a private photographer to do them.
CPA Studying – I am still struggling with the material for AUD. It all blends together in my head. Every type of engagement and report is so similar, so the study guide and the videos go over and over the same things. Of course, there are minute little differences in there, so I cannot just skip everything. My scores on the quizzes and simulations have been all over the place. Sometimes I get perfect scores, sometimes I get more than half of it wrong. I have no idea what this means for me taking the actual exam in a week. I have a couple more sections in the Wiley program to get through this weekend. Then I will spend next week doing flash cards and practice questions. I just hope I pass, because I do not want to have to spend more time on this material.
Job Search – I made zero progress on the job front this month. I kept putting it on my To Do List, but I just never got to it. I could partly blame the study schedule which has gotten a little heavier toward the end (I allowed myself to get a little behind over time). Mostly though, it is just a mixture of fear about making the wrong decisions that keeps me frozen and laziness of not wanting to do more work after I finish the studying for the day.
Media Addiction – I did slightly better on my media addiction during November. I tried to isolate my usage to a little bit in the morning and then the evenings, except for Saturday (a free for all) and Sunday (no media except TV night with the hubby). I made it happen about 70% of the time. I want to cut it back even more though. I still do not think it healthy to spend every evening listening to podcasts and/or watching Youtube videos. I want to get back into reading, writing, relaxing, thinking in my evenings. It is just so hard, because once I start clicking I just keep going until it is bedtime.
Diet & Exercise – It has not been a great month for me and my health routines. I am still working with the same diet plan, net below 1800 calories most days and under 1200 occasionally. I only hit my goal approximately 60% of the time, although at least most of those non-compliant days were barely over the limit not complete blowouts. I am struggling with the exercise routines too. I am still aiming for 4 active days a week, but I have definitely not hit it (maybe not any week) this month. The Monday/Tuesday friend has been inconsistent because of her schedule, but instead of doing something on my own I have just not done anything. I have been a bit hit or miss with going to the yoga class on Tuesdays too (I cannot decide if I like it or not). I still love my Thursday Ballet Burn class, but the studio closed one week for snow and another week for Thanksgiving. I have done some walking on the weekends, but it is hard to motivate myself to leave if the weather is less than perfect. Overall I only gained about a pound thankfully. I just want to keep my weight steady through the December holiday shenanigans. I can refocus and work on the next 10 pounds in the new year.
CPA Exam – My exam is scheduled for Dec 7th. I just want it to be over.
Job Search – No studying for the month means I will have more time open to work on my job search stuff. Part of me wants to just wait until all the exam sections are over (March, cross-my-fingers) and then start looking, but I feel like that might be stretching it a little thin on our savings, especially if it takes several months for me to find something. I just need to stop making excuses and start working on it.
Holiday Festivities – December is always packed full of stuff. No matter how much I try to limit my involvement, I seem to agree to way too many activities. So far on the agenda, I have a Trivia Night, a Jazz Concert, a visit from my mother complete with a show in DC and a Christmas lights activity, a Light Up Festival, and a possible Open House. Then, of course the holidays themselves, which I am sure will be another trip to the in-laws.
Christmas Movies – I try to watch Christmas movies every year. This year I have decided to focus on nostalgic movies/shows from my past. I am focusing on my childhood favorites not necessarily the best holiday fare, so I expect the cheese factor to be high.
There you have it, my month in review. See you next month!