As I was reviewing my Things I’m Loving list for May, I discovered I never posted my April list! I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because April felt like a string of deadlines held together with days of increasing stress, moments of thinking I was about to have a lull in my schedule to relax, and realization that there was yet another extra project/reading/paper thrown at us. April was definitely not my best month but I was able to pick out a few things that made it a little less stressful.
1. Spring flowers!
April was full of both spring showers and spring flowers. Walking between classes, it was always nice to just breathe in the fragrance and take a moment to concentrate on something outside the stress of school work. And it brought back memories of relaxing walks through Showa Kinen Park to view the Flower Festival there last year. It makes me want to go back right now!
2. Study groups
When studying up for finals, I’ve found that study groups can be a huge help. If there was a concept I was trying to figure out, sometimes hearing someone else’s perspective would help things click. And I found that explaining concepts to others was helpful not just to them but also to me as it helped me solidify my understanding since I had to be very clear in my explanation. A win for everyone!
Yes, that is the name of the public transportation system here in Honolulu. 😉 You might be thinking this is a strange thing to include on my list, especially if you’re familiar with public transit in the US. When people think of public transit here I’m guessing the first thing that comes to mind for most are the hassles of buses not showing on time (or at all), standing out in the rain waiting, etc. Usually I walk to campus and work just for the exercise but during April when my schedule was so tight, that extra time for sleep was much appreciated. And really I never encountered any problems with the system here. I would simply check on my phone to see when the next bus would arrive and head out to the nearest stop. Of course traffic can always make the timing a little off but the buses I rode were all carrying a tracker so I could simply check my phone for an updated ETA at any time. Convenient!
4. The Blacklist
Granted, I didn’t have a lot of time for watching TV as finals approached, but I did try to keep up with some of my favorites, including The Blacklist. This series starts out with one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals, Raymond Reddington (played by James Spader), turning himself in. He offers to share with them information on other criminals they don’t even know about but will only talk to Elizabeth Keen (played by Megan Boone), an FBI profiler brand new to the job. The show is in it’s 3rd season now and the mysteries surrounding Reddington and Keen are still being slowly untangled. It’s a fantastic series and I think Spader steals the show. I would definitely recommend this!
5. Pepperidge Farm Double Chocolate Nantucket cookies
These made a regular appearance on my shopping list, so much so that if my husband was stopping at the store and asked if I wanted anything, he’d say, “I know, cookies. Anything else?” And no, cookies weren’t making up my entire diet. I simply trusted him to come up with the rest of the meal plan and I focused on the dessert. 😉 Each cookie is packed with dark chocolate chunks and you know how I feel about dark chocolate. With or without milk, these are just so good!
So that’s my list for April. It was a very hectic month and I think I allowed myself to get much more stressed than I would like to admit. But these items helped make the month a bit more pleasant and May has been quite different as you’ll soon see with my May list. Stay tuned!