Today I’m grateful for challenges!

It has been a whole month since I started my 2016 blogging journey and it feels good to be looking at February knowing that I’ve got one successful month under my belt. The blogging side of my 365 Grateful project was always going to be trickier and, I imagine, as life gets busier I might end up posting less frequently. On a side note – it’s also pretty amusing that 2016 is a leap year and thus has 366 days, but sadly I didn’t register that before this weekend!

So, challenges are a good thing. Sometimes the process of a challenge is less pleasurable and I know I’m prone to feeling frustrated and, at times, disenchanted. Take piano, for example. I have been learning Chopin’s Nocturne in C Minor Op. Posth since about October and before Christmas I’d pretty much conquered the first page. It’s my first Chopin piece and as a massive Chopin fan (particularly of his Nocturnes) it is exciting to be learning it. However, with all of my deadlines pre-Christmas and my exams afterwards, practising fell by the wayside and now I’m rusty. It’s a challenge to remain positive, to not be despondent and to take this as an opportunity to improve. My mission to be kinder to myself, to be less of a perfectionist and to be more mindful is, again, a challenge.

I’ve just embarked on my final semester of university – year 3 of 3. In the next few months I will write a total of 20,000 words across 4 different projects. The focus for my dissertation is, appropriately, the nocturnes of John Field and Frédéric Chopin. I will also be looking at E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View and the use of music within the book. My other 2 projects will take me into the realms of Disney’s Fantasia and I shall also critically review a musicological text. The prospect of this (all of which, I might add, will have to be completed by 9th May) daunts me immensely.

How am I going to write so much? How am I going to find time to read everything that I need to read, to digest, to ‘situate myself’ (buzz phrase right there) in amongst all that has been said before me? And then be original, and have an opinion of my own… It’s scary. It’s a challenge. But on the flip side, I am incredibly well supported. I have a truly excellent mentor who will be my guide for 3 of my 4 projects and I am immensely grateful for her! My second lecturer will also ensure I don’t stray too far from the prescribed path and will ensure that I know what I am doing. Obviously, I also have the support of my fabulous family, friends and ever-patient partner, so it’s going to be fine. I can do this.

I happened upon another challenge this afternoon, one that involves handwriting! I love physically writing something. It’s such a pleasure to choose a card, take the time to write it, slip it inside an envelope for someone lovely to read. I horde stationery, collect fountain pens and adore ink, so this is perfect! It involves hand writing something on a theme/topic for each day in February and posting it on Instagram with the hashtag, #RockYourHandwriting. Today’s topic is your name and my contribution is shown below. (As it’s an online thing I’m opting for my default username.) I’m looking forward to getting a daily shot of creativity as the month progresses!

I hope you’ve also had a good Monday and have a super week ahead of you.


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