Discover more from Growth Spurts with Michelle Elman
September REPORT (Reading, Eating, Playing, Obsessing, Recommending, Treating)
I listened, I adapted and now I'm starting a new feature to tell you about things I have been loving!
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A number of you said that my monthly round-ups were quite narrow to London and therefore not useful to you so I have listened, changed and adapted. Welcome to my monthly REPORT and as you might have guessed from the title, each letter stands for something new!
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Reading: What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?: Discover A Life Filled With Purpose And Joy Through The Secrets Of Jewish Wisdom by Michal Oshman
I will leave the official book review for when I do them all together but when I very kindly got sent this book, I clearly missed the subtitle because once I started reading, I was amazed by how the whole book is framed around Jewish wisdom. As some of you might know, I am Jewish by blood, not by religion (that is how I was brought up saying it). I’m 50% Ashkenazi Jewish and when I did 23AndMe I was shocked to find out, it’s precisely 49.9% versus my Chinese side that actually comes from all over Asia because they migrated a lot. The Jewish wisdom in this book reminded me of a story my father always told me about his ex-father-in-law who was a rabbi. Anytime they went shopping, he would never lock the boot and when my father asked why, he said ‘If they feel the need to steal it, then they need it more than us’. It summarises why I have always felt a closeness to Jewish culture, probably more than my other heritages.
Eating: Singaporean Prawn Noodle Soup (Hae Mee)
My mum has been in London this month and that means plenty of Chinese food, a lot of which I have never tried to make myself. This one took me wayyyy back and I actually don’t think I’ve had it for years. It’s so simple but all the magic is in the broth! What actually provoked her to cook this was she had bought me a packet sauce so you could make it really easily but when she tried it, she decided it wasn’t good and so made it fresh! There is something about these noodles too that are my favourite!
Playing: Lego Flowers
This was a birthday present from the lovelyand turned into a date night on a week I was really down and ill. My boyfriend decided he was going to plan a date night for Friday after work and since I was in a negative headspace told him it wouldn’t work because I didn’t want to leave the house. So he planned it without us leaving the house. What’s shocking is that at the age of 30, this is the first time I have ever done Lego and wow is it hard! How do kids do it?! I loved doing it, but I also loved giving up and passing the difficult bits to my boyfriend to fix haha! It felt really meditative and calming and it was even better to do something different!
Obsessing: My Perfect Hotel
I’ve been going through a few blood tests and IV drips where I’ve needed to fast and I won’t lie, it’s been difficult. Quickly, I found myself scrolling through TikTok food videos and it started reminding me of some of the worst of my disordered eating days as I did that (but with Instagram pictures) for 6 weeks in the hospital. As I always say: if you do the same thing, you will get the same results. So I downloaded this game instead! And it worked, I have been hooked, I survived all my fasting blood tests and no more scrolling food videos on TikTok! If you like management games like Diner Dash or Two Point Campus, this will be up your street! I found it incredibly hard to pull myself away from it and hence it is in the obsessing category.
Recommending: Reformer Pilates
Since my body has been going through the wringer at the moment, I was finding my gym workouts too difficult and wanted to do something slightly gentler on my body. I actually used to do reformer pilates a couple of times a week but last year I moved to a gym that didn’t have a reformer bed and it eased out of my life! Well, my gym now has one and especially on days where I’ve had a headache (which at the moment seems to be every day), we just do a lying-down workout. I know some of you will be thinking, well if you have a headache, you shouldn’t be working out. The irony is exercise seems to be the only thing that stops my headaches for about 20 minutes after and I need it for my mental health. One of the things I hate about being so ill is feeling so weak all the time so if I can have an hour where I feel strong (even if it’s lying down!), I’ll take it!
Treating: No longer working 9-5
Since my boyfriend has moved in, especially because we work in the same room, I have felt pressure to sit in my chair if he is sitting in his chair. It’s like work-from-home presenteeism. Let’s be honest though, I don’t work normal hours, I spent four hours on Sunday creating a long-form Instagram post because that’s when the creativity struck me, I spend many evenings out for work and if I am having a burst of creativity, I will often work into the evenings. Many of my mornings though are quite quiet and I drag myself out of bed, even though I love my sleep, just to sit there! Not anymore! I spent Monday morning walking in Hyde Park for three hours catching up with a friend on the last week of her maternity leave, I am letting myself lie in again and will watch TV if I have nothing to do in the middle of the day. I realised that a perk of working from yourself is being able to control your schedule so what is the point of trying to follow the norm when that’s exactly why I don’t!
Do you like this new feature? Let me know! What have you been loving this month? I would love your own REPORT! I check out the comment section a lot so come chat to me!
Lots of love,