March, the month of Celebration

Hi all! April is on and, if you follow me on social networks, you might know I returned to Boston! I am now a visiting student at a computational division of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. I will be here for nine months and in about two weeks there will be a blogpost about my life in Brookline, another town in the Boston area. I love my new house, people and neighborhood already! =D However, it’s not Spring yet and yesterday it snowed. Let’s hope for better weather soon 🙂

As usual in my Happiness Project 2018, the first post of the month is a review of the goals of the previous month. I wanted to be a more celebrative person in March (becauase it’s my birthday month and also the birthday of the blog) and I tried to do so! This year I celebrated my 29th birthday the way I wished and surrounded by love and good vibes. I also celebrated having my first manuscript from the PhD thesis submitted to an academic publication (next week’s post will be something like “Academic Manuscripts for Dummies”). Most of all, I celebrated being healthy, because I spent one month sick with mononucleosis and I felt miserable and depressed. But now that’s all gone! Let’s get started?

1 – Take my birthday off work (for the first time ever!) and have a day devoted to self care

YES! I even slept the night between March 19th and 20th at an hotel nearby my house with a spa and a pool and what better way to start my day so relaxed than swimming on the pool at 8am and then going for a continental breakfast? I’m soon going to do a collab with a friend from the blogosphere about planning staycations during your PhD, but having booked the hotel in the off season in the same day, for a week day, made us get a wonderful price. Continuing with the self care, if going to the seaside is therapeutic, it certainly is, does doing so in a very windy day account for additional self care? These two IG posts document that “self-care” :p

Celebrate with me! 🔬🎂🎈🎆 . Last week I haven't been very active on either the blog or social networks, but that's because I was busy planning and celebrating three important milestones 🙂 . 1- my birthday was on Tuesday and I turned 29. I have a 30 before 30 list to complete but the first item is to submit my PhD thesis. Will I make it? 2- I submitted my first PhD manuscript for peer review in a good journal in my field on Friday! I'm so happy that we came this far after a year of changing datasets and modeling methodologies. Now fingers crossed the reviewers like it! Do you want me to write a post on some tips to prepare a scientific manuscript and explaining to a general audience why there are necessary? 3- My blogging birthday was yesterday, March 25th. It's been two years of Pulgarita and putting my childhood nickname to life. I hope I can keep showing that PhD students are not people who do nothing and don't have a real job, but yet showing its possible to travel during a PhD. I am so grateful for the people I met and the opportunities I had related with the blog! Can't wait for planning new things 🙂 . What do you expect to see from me in the third year of blogging and social media presence? Hope you keep following the journey and I want to follow yours too 😉 . #HappyBirthDay #celebration #phdstudent #traveltheworld #cascais #Portugal #gradschool #phdchat #academiclife #beach #jumping #bythesea #thestemsquad #wearestemsquad #womeninscience #acwri #blogging

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The rest of the day involved being with a few loved ones and toasting. I felt so energized after feeling nervous about my birthday like I always do. For my 30th birthday next year I want to do something really original, but I have almost one year to think about it.

2 – Celebrate each small accomplishment of my PhD, blogging and workout schedule with a small treat

Workout schedule = LIE! I was sick in bed for half of March + half of February, so working out was trying my best to sleep, drink water and not have fever.

PhD accomplishments = I didn’t really celebrate that I submitted my article (it was on March 23rd!), but it was crossed with the farewell dinner of a lab colleague, so that accounts for a celebration 😉 and I also celebrated my last day at the lab in Portugal by going with colleagues to Arco do Cego, the garden right next to Instituto Superior Técnico (my alma mater), where everyone goes to chill after work when the weather is good. This is a locals’ thing, so if you’re visiting Lisbon make sure to do it, beer is super cheap there.

Blogging accomplishments = Well, not really, since I didn’t post as regularly as I wanted, but I kind of made all my posts celebratory, even the interview to Lisa was related to her PhD viva. Relatively to my blogging birthday (it completed 2 years on March 25th), I planned to release a post about my favorite moments of blogging, but it ended up being on the same day as my extended family lunch to celebrate my birthday, so it was way more important to bake the desserts and spend time with family 🙂

3 – Share more positive moments by organizing with family and friends

I still don’t feel a very forced effort by me to celebrate all the good things, but I felt a few changes. I made sure I baked desserts for my family special dinners and even engaging in doing margarita ice cream to share in the last days in Portugal because hey, margarita is my favorite cocktail (make sure to go to Border Café in Harvard to drink them at a very reasonable price if you’re in Boston, or to Las Ficheras in Lisbon for the happy hour). I also tried to see as many friends as possible but I did this time a better schedule for me. I made everything very calm, I didn’t rush to see everyone, I kept my health and sanity my priority as opposed to the insane anxiety I felt in November when I spent one week in Portugal. When I came back to Boston, I made sure to celebrate seeing my friends that were about to leave with things that are endearing for them. Being able to notice the good things in life and marking them makes things more special 🙂

For April, the tone should be slightly more serious, since it will be a very career focused month (productivity is the theme). However, I have felt so happy about new opportunities that have been arising and cheer for me. Hope you also have a very productive yet celebratory month! I will make sure to create a Pinterest board with productivity tips that I will find useful, so follow my Happiness Project board for more content 😉

Cátia

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