Finally made it to the end of August. It is a month that seems to have gone on forever. For me August is split into two halves. The first half I am still in summer holiday mode usually in denial that life is about to change but aware that it is as at least one or two days are spent spending a fortune to get the kids back to school. Then the dreaded day dawns the summer holidays are over and its back to reality with a bang as the second part of August begins. The part when you realise that you have lots to catch up on in every area of your life with maybe the exception of the garden. Summer is coming to a fast end. And you are totally and utterly broke and you still have two weeks to go till pay-day with the kids requiring money for school lunches, clubs and they are still eating you out of house and home. This happens each year and each year around about the second week of August I start to reflect on what I want to achieve in the months leading up to Christmas both work wise and personally and give myself an audit of how I am doing which usually links me back to my New Year resolutions. So although I have this year been keeping check of my resolutions each month August was a time for a real audit.
As highlighted above August was a month when I felt as ever rich on pay-day. By day one of school shopping I felt not so rich and by day two knew it was going to be a long month as it proved to be. When this happens the easiest thing for me to do is to revert to being a cash only type of gal as that way the bank budget may not be great but I can easily keep account of it and also budget with what I have left. Plus the reason I resolve to use cash more switch less is because it always feels much more real when I am spending in cash and I am much less likely to treat myself. So my resolve here is need to do better. Re group and save so that we can sail through the Autumn and Christmas period. (well that’s the plan). So save not spend is the new resolve. Though admit I am allowing myself one treat and have ordered the Hairy Bikers second healthy living book. But its a small treat and I will try in September to carry on in the efficient manner I have achieved in the last two weeks in August. It’s amazing I have put more thought into food. Used more produce from the garden and the freezer and lasted on not a lot with relative ease. So much so the kids have been very complimentary about meals not realising that we are actually on an economy drive.
August has also been an up and down month weight loss wise. It didn’t start well as I was working funny hours so I could look after the kids and as a result taking them out for picnics during the day and really didn’t want to sit there with cucumber and humus as they tucked into a yummy picnic. So I didn’t. And I put on weight and was rather down in the dumps as this was then followed by a week in the Lakes and I was sure this would also result in more pounds on. Surprisingly I had a welcome surprise on my return lost all the weight gained over the first week and was back to where I had been. Which I put down to two very long fell walks and the fact that we ate fish all week. So eating more fish is my additional August resolve. The aim is to eat fish at least twice a week as we have found that it seems to help with weight loss and we like it. So having thought there was no way I would get to my target weight loss at the end of August I am delighted to say that I am on target! And the joy of the month was putting on a pair of trousers not knowing what size they were and finding they fitted and were quite baggy and are two sizes lower than I was at the start of the year! It’s a great feeling. Now that life is going back to normal it is far easier to get back into the 5:2 diet.
Weight loss has been my 2013 resolve successes alongside writing more both fiction and non fiction. Other resolves have been less successful. Really need to get back into reading a business book. Will need to keep an eye on shopping. August shopping was about the kids but need to make sure as above September is about saving not spending. Last year’s resolves still being kept though. Grateful things each day helped a lot in August a few days I was down in the dumps and it focused me on what is important in my life when it seemed as if you are getting attacked from all sides.
I also added to my what I have read notebook. August was not a great book month but two books stood out as highlights. One I would recommend if you like or as I do love “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and liked the “Help” is “The Sweetest Hallelujah” by Elaine Hussey. It made me laugh and it made me cry and it made me believe in the power of women and friendships. My book of the month though would be “Island Wife” by Judy Fairbairns. It’s non fiction about her life on a Hebridean Island. It appealed of course as I dream about living on a Hebridean Island and writing. But that said I think it has much more appeal than that. It’s about bringing up kids. It’s about families and relationships with your family and your in-laws Granny at the Gate was a hoot. It’s about the fact that life is often not fair and its tough but is also gives you a great deal if you look for it. I read it in one sitting and handed straight over to my parents to read. I now follow her blog. Brilliant. http://judyfairbairns.co.uk/2013/08/27/island-blog-96-lead-dancer/
So August for me is a time of reflection. What would my school report card look like? What I have done well and what not so well? What are the key areas that need to be looked at moving forward. I wouldn’t say it was the easiest month and I would say it was the longest month but at the end of it I am feeling positive and ready to move on to September and the final stages of 2013.