April 2019 Review
About 5 min reading time
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April has been a month of adjusting. After Tia and I broke up, I was sent spinning a little bit trying to figure out what comes next. We talked things over, and had considered trying to work things out while separated. In the end, that did not pan out, so it’s on to something else for me.
At the start of the month, my company joined an intramural kickball league (and we’re currently ranked number 1). That’s been a great activity to keep me busy, and to bond with my coworkers even more. My old roommate also came down for a weekend and we hung out, I brought him on a hike with a few coworkers and we just spent a lot of time hanging out.
I had an awesome 26th birthday, with my coworkers giving me some custom label Jeff Bezos-themed hot sauces, a fake letter from Mr. Bezos, and a fantastically troll-ish video proclaiming their undying love for Jeff Bezos. The joke here is that I very vocally criticize Jeff on a regular basis at the office. Followed with a nice dinner out and attending a live taping of How I Built This with some of them, and it just rounded out a great day.
In the middle of the month, my mom visited for a week and we packed a busy week! I dragged her to my company’s kickball game (and she even played!), and a dive bar after - she was a great sport about it. We visited the Bronx Zoo, the Museum of Natural History, went to see Puffs, toured a chocolate factory, ate some kick-ass barbecue, saw Captain Marvel and a whole lot more. It was a nice pick-me-up after the rough few weeks before her visit.
The end of the month brought a new outlook. After Tia decided she didn’t want to try to work things out after all, I began to consider the situation differently. It turns out we just saw our relationship - and more importantly, relationships in general - very differently. Our expectations just didn’t align. Through this new lens, I was able to reframe the situation as something good. An opportunity to find something better. And I have so many other good things going for me right now. Leaning into all of that has been incredible. My 100 Happy Days challenge has been instrumental in this framing (see my Instagram posts).
Despite being far away, my long-time friends have been incredibly supportive and that’s something I was really grateful for all month long. My coworkers have also been really understanding and supportive when I’ve talked with them, and it’s been awesome to get to know them through this situation a little more.
So, April was pretty full, and a serious rollercoaster. Let’s watch it show up in the numbers:
Hitting my productivity goal 15/17 days is pretty great. Kicking the average up by over 20 minutes is also solid. After the breakup, I initially dealt with it mostly by throwing myself at my work, and it’s really showing here. I’m hoping to keep riding that productivity train for a while to come.
- Productivity pulse of 79 (+0)
- Met All Productive Time goal 15/17 days
- Average 5h 26m (+23m) productive time per day
RescueTime Top 5 Categories:
- Software Development (34%)
- Communication & Scheduling (33%)
- Business (8%)
- Utilities (7%)
- Reference & Learning (5%)
My most productive day switched to Wednesday this month, and no other day had a strong correlation any more. I think that reflects my consistency lately more than anything. I’m a little curious about the Tweetbot and caffeine correlation - I wonder if caffeine makes me more likely to get distracted, or if this simply reflects that I have more caffeine on work days and check Twitter at work.
- I use Slack more when I have more events (40%)
- I’m more productive on Wednesdays (21%)
- I use Tweetbot more when I consume more caffeine (36%)
I’m not at all surprised by the trends here. Exploring the city with my mom, and hiking with my friends made for a much more active month. The emotional turmoil seriously decreased my appetite and I did end up eating and sleeping less - neither of which is great, but that I kept my sleep above 7 hours is, I think, a win. Losing a bit of weight is, by extension, unsurprising. I am also no longer splitting many expenses with someone (plus now paying for health insurance), which means spending much more of my income. This is, I think, going to be the biggest challenge to adapt to. I’m actually surprised I didn’t go over budget, but this does reflect a big drop in savings rate.
- Average of 8,917 steps / day (+17.6%)
- Average of 1,918 calories / day (-10%)
- Average of 7 hours 10 minutes of sleep / night (-9.9%)
- Average weight of 140.8 lbs (-2.1%)
- Average body fat percentage of 12.3% (-2.3%)
- Average of 203mg of caffeine / day (-16.8%)
- I spent 89.8% of my income1
The strong correlations between Friday, food, not skipping breakfast and my mood make me think I should eat a little more breakfast. I’m not always hungry in the morning, but forcing myself to have even just a little bite to eat will probably be a good thing. Looks like by Thursday I still need that caffeine boost. Tagging “reading” more when I get more sleep also seems to check out. I often struggle to bring myself to read in the evening because I feel too tired. Getting a little more sleep might be the key to cracking open a book a little more often.
- I consume more calories on Fridays (28%) and when the day is cooler (23%)
- I spend more time active when I spend less time asleep (25%), and tag “reading” more when I spend more time asleep (24%)
- I consume more caffeine on Thursdays (21%)
- I have a better day on Friday (18%), when I don’t tag “no breakfast” (33%), and when I consume more calories (38%)
- Finish Radical Candor
I didn’t finish it, but I did make a lot of progress so, it’s not all bad. I will definitely finish it this month, so I’m not going to carry this over as a focus item.
Get Health Insurance
I now have my own insurance. I guess that means I’m officially an adult.
Do Another 100 Happy Days Challenge
I’ve started this and have been posting to Instagram since my birthday. I recommend taking a look!
- Keep riding that positive wave
The very end of April (and so far at the start of May) has felt very different. A new sort of positivity about the future and I want to keep that rolling as long as possible. Not that I wasn’t feeling positive about the future before everything happened, it was just a more mellow comfortable positivity and this is a more exciting positivity that’s really invigorating.
- Write a non-review blog post
Maybe it’s all the introspection lately, maybe I just miss writing. But I haven’t written a blog post or anything really that isn’t a monthly review in a while so I’d like to take a crack at something a little more longform.
Just two focus items for the month. The first is so open ended that I’m willing to just spend the month figuring out what it might mean. May is going to be better. I don’t know exactly how, but it’s off to a really good start, and my main mission is just to keep that rolling.
The future is bright.
1Monthly spending is calculated as expenses, divided by income, minus 2%. The 2% reflects my 401k savings, which never arrives as income in Mint. This is to help me better estimate what my overall savings rate is.