30 for 30 // April's Progress Report

We're a third of the way through the year now - which seems completely ridiculous - and my 30th birthday is just over a month away! It's a good job I wasn't trying to complete this list before my birthday because I still have quite a way to go, but April definitely saw me make a little bit of progress..

  For starters, April saw me successfully: 

- Join a running group/club. ✓

After a few weeks of trying to psych myself up only to find one convenient excuse after another to bail, I finally made it along to my local JogScotland group. Being very out of practice, I was predictably worried about the running aspect of the group, but far more nerve-racking was the social, speaking-to-strangers element of it all. As it was, I needn't have worried because everyone has been incredibly welcoming and easy to talk to and I've found I can run more easily than anticipated. I've only been a couple of times so far, but it's been a very positive experience and I'm glad I made it along.

As for the rest of the list, many items are a bit more of a work-in-progress, accumulating throughout the year as a whole. Here's how those items were looking this month..

Sample a List of Food and Drink I've Never Tried Before

I was pretty unadventurous with my eating this month, but a visit to Howie's for my friend's birthday provided me with the opportunity to try both crowdie - a soft Scottish cow's milk cheese - and a chocolate panna cotta, in all its wibbly-wobbly glory. Both were tasty and got a definite thumbs up!

Read 36 Books 

I read 4 books this month, bringing my total for the year to 22:
  1. 'Travels with Rachel: In Search of South America' by George Mahood
  2. 'Raven Black' by Ann Cleeves
  3. 'This Is How It Always Is' by Laurie Frankel
  4. 'All the Good Things' by Clare Fisher

Visit 12 Coffee Shops/Restaurants I Haven't Yet Been to in Aberdeen/shire

This month I visited the Liberty Kitchen - not technically a coffee shop or restaurant, but so good I'm including it anyway. Based down at the Windows to the Sea sculpture at the Bridge of Don end of Aberdeen beach, the Liberty Kitchen is a beautifully-decorated food truck selling healthy food and hot drinks every weekend. I popped down one Sunday morning and enjoyed an oat milk turmeric latte and a bowl of porridge topped with blueberries and seeds while soaking up the spring sunshine. The dream!

Secondly, I paid a visit to the Bridge Street Social Club in Aberdeen for a pre-gig feast, including an epic 'Hallouminati' burger - a stack of halloumi, red pepper and avocado - with sweet potato fries. So good!

And finally, a trip to Ellon's Ice Dreams for a big ole tub of sorbet brought me up to a total of six new establishments visited this year.

Cultivate a Daily Relaxation Practice 

I was so diligent about incorporating some relaxation practice into my day at the beginning of the month, but it tapered off a little as things got busier. Still, I managed 19 days out of 30, which is a considerable improvement on last month. Most of my relaxation has been centred around guided breathing or body scans at bedtime and I've begun to notice a real difference in how easily I fall asleep when I do this as soon as I get into bed, compared to the times when I don't.

Sample 30 Gins

Gins number 8, 9 and 10 were Edinburgh Gin's original gin; El:Gin's Moray Mocha gin liqueur; and Whitley Neill's quince gin.

Increase Work Hours (Employed or Voluntary)

I was back on my volunteering game this month, working just shy of 15 hours in the cafe. I also put out some feelers and paid a visit to another organisation to discuss the possibility of getting involved in their work. I'm waiting for applications, references, medicals and PVGs to come through before this is confirmed, but even making the enquiry feels like a pretty big step. I'm going to be pushed well beyond my comfort zone if it comes to fruition and it's all a bit daunting at the minute, yet I'm excited by the prospect at the same time. 

Keep a Journal (At Least Once a Week)

Yet another failure of a month on this one, I'm afraid. At the moment, I tend to find that by the time I'm home from one activity or another and have the free time to do things like this, I'm so mentally drained that all I want to do is veg out and do something mindless that requires way less concentration than writing does. It's a pity because I find the act of writing both satisfying and a good way to process my thoughts when I make the time for it. Perhaps May will be the month I get back into it!


All-in-all, April saw some decent progress on the list as a whole and I'm looking forward to diving straight into May and seeing what I can tick off in the space of one more month!


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