Saturday, January 31, 2015

January In Review

Today is the last day of January!  One month of the new year is already coming to a close!  It was a good month for me in many ways.  The holidays continued well into the first week; daughter was home until mid-month; there were several family gatherings to attend and visits with friends; time for prayers and contemplation; productivity mixed with rest and relaxation.

Here's a quick review of my January Balance Wheel:

Spirituality:  Attended the monthly prayer meeting during the 2nd weekend of the month and I continue with daily devotions;  I consider this segment to be well plumped.

Daughter:  Having daughter home for the winter break and being off from work meant plenty of time for being together.  I was able to spend time with my daughter until after the middle of the month because I went back to Berkeley with her, when she returned to campus after her holiday break, and spent a few extra days with her.  Since then, we've video chatted every evening and there have been a few "Good Morning" phone calls (usually from me to her to wake her up) and at least one, "I can't wait to tell you my good news of the day!" call from her!   Another well plumped segment of my life. 

Environment: As always, there's much that needs to be done in this segment, but I am going to focus on the positives!  Not going all out with holiday decorating meant easy undecorating and putting away afterwards.  I have begun the first round of going through and cleaning the rooms; I need to start implementing routines.  This segment needs additional plumping.

Family:  Attended a cousin's birthday celebration one weekend and an aunt's birthday celebration another weekend, plus phone calls and social media.  Another well plumped segment. 

Friends: Had a friend over to lunch once, met other friends at the prayer meeting and family birthday celebrations; stayed in touch over social media and exchanged phone calls and emails.  This segment, too, is well plumped.

Career:  Going well.  Work can be stressful at times, but, on the whole, I enjoy my work. 

Finances:  This has been a very "spendy" month!  Daughter's spring semester tuition and fees had to be paid in early January.  There was the expense of our plane tickets to Berkeley (and mine back, as well).   And the regular monthly expenses and daughter's February rent has to be paid at the end of this month.  On the positive side, the money for the tuition and fees was already there in savings and everything else has been budgeted for in the monthly budget.

I went over on some of the budget categories (e.g. Pet Care: allocated $50, but spent $59.54 because I bought 2 buckets of litter, at once, to take advantage of it being on sale at $9.99 per refill bucket instead of the usual $11.99; Garden Care: allocated $125, but spent $161 because I purchased a peach tree to plant, however, the cost of the peach tree can be deducted from the Miscellaneous category).  On the other hand, I stayed under budget on some of the categories (e.g. Car Gas: allocated $300, but spent $51.64 because I didn't drive to Berkeley; Personal Allowance: allocated $20 and spent $6.74; Miscellaneous: allocated $50 and spent $36 for the peach tree and bag of soil amendment).   On the whole, I stayed within the overall budget.       

Health:  I was still recovering from December's period of illness when I had a relapse in early January.  Then, just this past week, I felt very tired and not quite 100%.  So, this month has not been the best where health was concerned.  However, on the positive side, no major illnesses, just minor ailments, for which I am very grateful.  This is definitely a segment that needs improvement, though.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies:  I was able to take some vacation time at the beginning of the month and, again, a couple of days mid-month.  I've relaxed playing computer games during the evenings, I read a couple of library books during the month, and I did some knitting.  So, I am pretty pleased with this segment and feel it was well plumped.

Productivity and Time Management:  I got most things done in a timely manner.  I still feel I am not making the maximum use of available time, but maybe I have unrealistic expectations.  This is another segment that needs more attention.

Goals and Achievements:  I was able to get one item crossed off my Master List!  One item I had listed in my Master List was planting a peach tree to replace the one that died a couple of years ago.  That replacement peach tree was planted, yesterday!

All in all, I think January was a good month.  Mostly balanced with one or two rather important areas needing more attention.   There's always room for improvement, isn't there?

How was your January?  Have you had an opportunity to look over the month and see how things were?   

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