May was seriously FULL ON! It was one of those months that I found myself not stopping for breath, because work was so busy and I was trying to squeeze extra things in anywhere I could, so let’s see what happened!
- May is the month of Eurovision and I like to make sure that here in Girls Boarding, it is fully appreciated! We get the girls together and play our own Eurovision game. The girls bring a drink and a treat, exchange it for a country picked at random out of a hat and if their country wins, they win the treats. This year was exceptionally tense because Austria was so close to winning! We thought we had done it, people started discussing attending next year’s event…and then we came third. Oh well, it was worth it was it for the excitement. What was even funnier was that to make it even, we all had two countries each and one happened to be left in the hat that didn’t get shared out. It just so happened that that was the winning country and we retreated to our rooms at the end of the night with the snacks we all came with. I suppose that means everyone was a winner right?!
- Some people are surprised when I tell them I have never attended a music concert. I have such a range in my music tastes that I have never thought about spending money on seeing one particular artist over others. However, this month I did attend a different kind of music concert; the Game of Thrones live concert experience. There was a live orchestra and choir and the songs from the show were all played live whilst clips from the episodes played. It was incredible! It made watching scenes like Ned Stark’s death, the Battle of the Bastards and the Red Wedding even more tense and thrilling to watch and I could see people around me holding their breath, covering their eyes and (one woman) even crying. If you ever have the chance to watch it, get tickets early because it’s extremely popular. Click here to watch a clip of the show.
- May was Mental Health Awareness month in America and from the 14th to 20th of May it was also Mental Health Awareness week in the UK. Whilst I don’t claim to have done anything unusual to mark the occasion, I did have a rather uplifting moment during this time. I have a little A5 notebook that I have been writing quotes in for a while now. I wrote them down if I could relate to them or if I knew I would need them in the future. It was not a regular thing I did like some people do journalling, but it was something for me to look at and remember how I was feeling at that time. Some I could remember why I needed them, others I didn’t, but what I did know was that each of these words of wisdom served a purpose at that time and whatever it was, I made it through. It is what inspired the words of wisdom feature on this blog and when I went to write in it this month I found there to be only one page left. It had taken just over five years to complete (I started in the first few weeks of university and finished in the last few weeks of my job here in Vienna) but I already have a second book ready. Who knows where I will be when I finish writing in that one?!
- Totally not my news, but my brother got a tattoo this month. Why does this make it onto the list? Well, just because it is my favourite thing ever. He got two sound waves…of our dogs barking. He makes me laugh so much because I can just imagine years into the future someone presuming it is someone’s voice or his child’s heartbeat on an ultrasound and him having to tell them, no it’s actually my dogs. The best part of it is that when I asked my Nan what she thought of it, she told me she thought it looked like two felled Christmas trees!
- As well as Eurovision there were some other great activities in girls boarding this month. We also went for coffee and cake at the Hundertwasserhaus. This is located in the Landstraße district and was created from the ideas and designs of painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The apartment buildings are covered in various colours, shapes and patterns and is very different from Vienna’s more traditional buildings. Definitely well worth a visit if you happen to be visiting (make sure you’ve got your camera ready!)
- This month our five Grade 12’s graduated high school! It was crazy how proud I felt of each and every one of them and of course I cried like a baby when each of their names where called. I know I will see a fair few of them as they attend universities in the UK, but even so, after seeing all their highs and lows over the last two years, it was sad to see them pack up their belongings and leave boarding for good.
- At the height of busyness this month, I knew it was also important to take time off. I had the best facial at Deea nails and beauty in Vienna. It’s on Ballgasse in the 1st district. I also escaped to various cafe’s around the city in order to get away from the craziness for a while. It’s so important in times of high stress to take time off and take time for yourself even if it’s just for an hour or so. I always feel so much better prepared to tackle life head on when I’ve done so.
- I have another uplifting book recommendation for you this month! It’s called One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley. It is her story of how, when battling a severe illness she decided to set up a website called ‘One Million Lovely Letters‘ and write a letter to anyone who might need it, no matter the situation or where they lived. It was a very inspiring story about how providing hope and uplifting others also changed the way she felt about her own situation. I read the book extremely quickly, and I suggest to anyone feeling a bit low to sit down and over the course of a weekend (or whatever time off you have) take in all the book has to offer.
- Of course in May the big event was the royal wedding and whilst not everyone around me was quite as enthusiastic as I was, I did find a site airing it and we watched it on our big tv in boarding. It was one of the very few days this month when I just relaxed and didn’t do work or try to apply for jobs. Plus to the people saying it is not news worthy, that may be true, but I just feel we hear about so much hatred and misery happening in the world at the moment that to focus on something happy once in a while isn’t going to harm anyone and clearly brought joy to a lot of people.
- I’m testing out some new natural products this month. My friend Holly recommended Eden Garden essential oils to me. I have read about the power that aromatherapy can have in helping to calm anxiety and so when I heard about Eden Garden I was intrigued. I purchased one of their anxiety ease oils and also a personal inhaler. This means I can carry the oil around in the inhaler and whenever I feel nervous, stressed or anxious I can use the oil to calm me down. So far it seems to be really working, the blend of Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang and Lemongrass is very subtle but does the trick and I even recommended it to my students to help cope with exam stress.
May was an odd one. A rollercoaster of emotions that went up, down and somersaulted around, but in the mix of it all I found this poem to add to my quotes book that really just made me take a pause. It was so perfectly suited for how I was feeling right in that moment, so at the end of this post I leave you with this;