Tag Archives: Revision

When My Exams Are Over….

This time next week, I’ll have finished my dreaded, life stealing CII Personal Finance exams, trying to forget about the impending results as I attempt to become a Chartered Financial Planner (funnily enough the results are due on the day of the firm’s Christmas party). I’ve been working on these exams for 5 years now, alongside my full-time job, though I’ve been qualified as a Financial Adviser for 3 of those. Now it’s time to try to secure the holy grail “Chartered” title by completing the Advanced Diploma, even though I’m going to stay well and truly behind my desk in the back office, there’s more and more pressure on us technical kids to be as qualified as we possibly can. And if you want to get anywhere, you have to work at it, right?

  
It’s boring. It’s unexciting. And it’s not easy. The course materials are dry. The text is quite literally grey. And they make it as difficult as they can for you to pass because the materials and exam sittings go for over £100 a pop for each module. Because it’s so dry and so difficult, the process has been stealing a lot of my free time. And, finally, after two 3-hour exams next week, I should be free. Unless I fail.

When I struggle to concentrate, I find my mind drifting to all the things I could be doing with my time, so I thought I’d share some of my autumn/winter plans with you, even if it’s just to stop them swimming around my mind! It’s quite therapeutic to think about all the things you’re looking forward to!

  
1. Cook more! At the beginning of the year, I started this blog to give me the motivation to keep trying new recipes. And it was going really really well, until my evenings became too squashed up to really let me think about my grocery list and take the time to approach things in a chilled and creative way. So back to the kitchen! 

2. Have a clear out. I’ve been trying to systematically tidy my flat every few months or so, this drawer one evening, that cupboard on a Sunday afternoon, and so on, but I just haven’t had the time over the last few months, so I’ve really just been keeping the place clean and tidy in plain sight. If I pass these exams, my study materials are hitting the recycling, my clothes are going to be thinned out and my junk is going in the bin. It’s going to take some work, but I’m really looking forward to the calmness of the results.

  
3. Take up Yoga. I used to take yoga classes when I was but a girl, but it fizzled out fairly quickly when my auntie got bored of taking me and I’ve had a mild inclination to start again ever since. I’ve never really been one for exercise, so yoga suited me down to the ground, but now I’m a bit fitter and into regularly pushing myself, I think it might be time to start again, especially as my Blogilates routines and leaving me a little stiff in the late evenings and mornings. I’ve been doing Blogilates for about 2 months now and I really think it’s doing wonders for my strength…we’ll see if it survives the long-term! Anyway, I’ve discovered Yoga with Adriene, a YouTuber who offers free Yoga “practice” (as she calls it). There are beginners tutorials, foundations to the trickier moves and also a 30 day series which I think I might try. She also has a couple of early morning routines as well as a bedtime routine, which is where I might start. I think there are other classes you can pay for, but you can’t really go wrong with this taster, which looks to require about 30 minutes a day. 

   
4. Read. I love reading. Adore it. Especially in the autumn and winter when it’s so cold outside, but so snug and cosy inside. Sadly, there just isn’t the time when you have two tricky exams to cram for. I actually got so excited about the prospect of the pile of books waiting for me that I came vey close to a Busted style jump looking in the window of WH Smith the other day when I remembered I’d get my hobby back. Bliss, bliss, bliss.

  
5. Plan my wedding. Yeah, I should probably get on to that.

  
6. Crafting and Sewing. My sewing machine is feeling neglected. And who doesn’t love a Christmas craft?!

7. Give more time to friends and family. While the positive result of frantic studying is that I really don’t have time to watch Strictly with my Nan, I really need to be less miserable about giving up my time… It’s just so precious when you work full-time and have lots of other things going on. 

8. Go on holiday! Hopefully with a blog to follow. Don’t worry; I plan to schedule a few to fill the gap!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Sundays seem like a day for blogging. Sundays are for getting lunches and clothes ready for work, yes, but they’re also about snatching those last precious free weekend hours for yourself. Sundays are for reading, for baking for cooking. And soon, Sundays will be for watching a film, with a cup of tea and a blanket. Bliss. 

My Sunday started with a ridiculously long lie-in which I’m both ashamed of and at peace with. If you don’t have to set an alarm, it’s healthy to sleep for as long as your mind and body will you to. Every now and again. I felt guilty about it at first, but I still managed to have my grocery shopping done and packed away by 12.30 so it’s not all bad. 

  
Today’s food haul involved replenishing some bakery supplies, stocking up on fruit and veg for the week ahead, and finding some protein-rich goodies to base some weekday meals around. Mr Brooker will be very cross indeed when he realises I’ve strayed from prudently choosing recipes and shopping for them, but I just didn’t have the time or inclination I had last weekend, so I’ll be making it up as I go along this week. That said, I do know I have the ingredients for pad thai, which is no longer new to me but is infinitely satisfying. I do have some recipes from last week to share though so worry not. 

My day went a bit off course from there, however, as my aunt texted me to invite me for an impromptu lunch. So I shoved the rest of my shopping on the fridge, ran my straighteners through my hair, changed my top and hit the street for a wonderful warm duck salad, wine and coffee. I know, I know, that isn’t the way to whittle your waist into a wedding dress, but I’ve made my peace with it today. After all, I could have had a pizza! I grabbed some water as soon as I got back and have resolved to replace my planned ribeye steak and corn supper with something leaner. Besides, it means I’ll skip my Sunday coffee and small chocolate biscuit later on. 

Pushing back my workout until my food has digested, I’ve been hitting the books ever since. I’m now two exam passes and an application away from becoming a Chartered Financial Planner, and that means a lot of time spend looking at words, numbers and charts. 

  
Not to worry, eight more pages then I can get back to this lovely piece of ice cream and jelly (that’s what my English teacher used to call chick lit – there’s a time and a place for it as long as you finish your meat and two veg).

  
Then workout, Nashville and who knows. 

By the way, I noticed Vivianna blogged a week or so ago about how to get out of an exercise rut. I’ve dropped a dress size by combining Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred with No More Trouble Zones, and I’m considering jumping into Blogilates given we’re nearly at a new workout calendar month but I’m a little be scared since Jillian has been so good to me. I’ve switched over to Blogilates for two workouts this week and have found that I spend more time on it but that the time seems to go much more quickly when I’m doing it, if that makes sense. I’m just worried I won’t get enough cardio in. I’d love to hear about your experiences if anyone has anything they can recommend!

Anyway, I’m off to do my eight pages! Catch you later, lovely followers.