all the things

Currently: January 2021

Inspired by Kelsey Wharton’s blog Rising*Shining, I am trying out something new this year.

There are a few posts I like to write regularly. During 2020, I wrote a gratitude post at the end of each month – real simply, just 5 things I was grateful for that month. In the fall of 2020, I started writing a brief post with a monthly mantra as well – just a simple intention I set at the beginning of each month.

I’m not sure if I’ll stick with this new monthly post, but here’s what I’m trying out – basically, a monthly post summarizing all the things I’m currently up to. What I’m currently reading, listening to, and watching – maybe what the boys are up to or what household tasks are on my list.

Currently reading:

I finished Anxious People earlier this month and loved it. My Christmas Eve book was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and I have been loving it oh-so-much.

Currently listening to:

So many episodes of The Mom Hour podcast, almost exclusively.

Currently watching:

Nothing really. Old episodes of Community when I’m falling asleep at night. Also watched Aladdin this week with the boys and they are newly obsessed with Abu!

Currently writing:

Just trying to get back in the routine of blogging regularly. Planning to dive into fiction a little more this month! A wisp of a fun idea has been floating in the back of my mind.

Currently the boys are:

Loving all their Christmas toys. Santa filled their stockings and brought them an electric train. Nana brought them a race track table, and Grandma and Papa sent some Toy Story toys and binoculars that they went crazy over.

Currently grateful for:

A trip to the bookstore (the Ivy in Baltimore) with Edgar! I had to pick up a birthday book I’d ordered, and I brought a masked Edgar with me. He’s been to school but pretty much nowhere else for the past nine months, and it was a lovely trip. He was allowed to buy one book, and he chose Construction Site, Mission: Demolition because he loves a series as much as I do.

Currently looking forward to:

Finishing this blog post so I can read a little more of Addie LaRue before the kids wake up!

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com
mantras

Monthly Mantra: Enjoy It All (Again)

I have a little apprehension coming into January 2021. I am fairly certain my school will return to in-person learning later this month. It’s what needs to happen for our students, for sure. But I have loved working remotely and I’ll miss it a lot.

That’s why my mantra for this month is going to be the same as my October mantra: enjoy it all.

I really want to remember how happy I am to be working remotely and getting so much time with my little ones. Whenever I have to return to the school building, I want to do it full of all the energy and joy I’ve stored up thanks to these months at home with my family.

I’m so grateful – for my slowly-building private telehealth practice, for the chance to go for a run in the middle of a busy day, for zero commute, for getting to pick Edgar up from school, for flexibility. And I’m going to enjoy all of it so that I can get back to school feeling refreshed and ready.

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com
goals

2021 Goals

There are so many reasons why I love December. It’s holidays. It’s my birthday. There’s a beautifully lit Christmas tree makin’ the house all cozy and merry.

And with the approach of the new year, I start getting really motivated to set new goals.

This blog is always a tool I use for planning, goal-setting, and resolution-making, and 2020 was no exception. I had big plans for a 2020 happiness project, with a monthly theme, small resolutions made related to the theme, and blog posts associated with the theme as well. That project went off the rails in February, and you know what? That was just fine.

I also made two resolutions last December. My resolutions for 2020 were to improve my photography habits – taking, saving, deleting, storing, printing – and to plan ahead. I’d say I did well on the latter and completely abandoned the former.

I’m going to make resolutions again, even though I rarely think about them beyond February. I’m not going to write about them too much here; I’ll write about them more if and when I actually make progress toward these goals.

My two resolutions for 2021 could also be my Words Of The Year: connect and disconnect. Connect with family, friends, and community through gestures and service; disconnect from the outside world so that your mind, body, heart, and soul can get some much-needed rest.

It’s December 29 today, and after a lovely birthday and a wonderful Christmas, I feel rested and merry and oh-so-loved. Happy almost 2021, everyone!

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

goals

38

It’s 11 a.m. on my 38th birthday, and I am eating a leftover Christmas morning cinnamon roll in a quiet house. Tamara took the boys out for an extremely cold bike ride so I could have a little time to write.

Last year, I got into a little funk on my birthday. I felt plagued by dreams not yet pursued. And I am largely in the same place, related to my writing goals and my career. Not 100% satisfied with my day job. Not finished with my novel draft.

Maybe I’ll get into a funk about these things next week, but right now, I’m simply grateful and pumped. Grateful for all that I have. Grateful for everything 2020 has given me – connection to my community, education and opportunities for activism, and so much precious time with my little family. Pumped because my birthday comes at a great time of year for clean slates and intention setting.

I’ll write more about some of my resolutions for 2021 in other posts, but the things I am contemplating today as I reflect are:

  • How can I help my family and my friends to feel special all year long? How can I stay connected with family/friends/community?
  • How can I optimize my bedtime routine? (Still falling asleep in my clothes. LOL but also would love to change this up!)
  • How can I maintain writing as a priority, and adapt my routine when responsibilities and schedules shift like they did this year?
  • How can I be fully present and mindful in my day-to-day life?

These are always the questions; these are the best questions. The answers shift, but the intention behind the questions remains the same.

There’s a carrot cake being assembled by two boys (with assistance) in the kitchen. Tamara got me a Nespresso machine for my birthday (!!!) and she’s going to help me learn to use my sewing machine as a bonus gift during the boys’ naptime. It’s a pandemic birthday, hopefully the only one I ever have, and it’s pretty all right.

Happy birthday to me! Happy day of resolutions, commitments, family, and love.

Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

gratitude

5 Things I’m Grateful For (December 2020)

This is a time of year that is usually great for my writing. I love to reflect on the year, and I love setting intentions for the year to come.

And, as always, I love writing my monthly gratitude list.

  • THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND ALL THE MERRY. Today is December 22nd, and I am just incredibly grateful for the holiday season this year. My family celebrates Christmas, primarily, and I have just leaned in to holiday festivities with all my energy and spirit. It has been lovely, and just the pick-me-up I needed. (See my post about taking merry to the next level here!)
  • SNOW! We had the first snow of the season on December 16, and it was a good snow – about eight inches deep. It came at just the right moment, when many people (myself included) have been feeling the weight of rising COVID numbers and increasingly cold weather. This was Jonas’s first time experiencing snow, and he was in love. (For ten minutes, and then he wanted to go inside to warm up his cold little hands!)
  • The adorable things my kids are doing lately. They make up games, like “Pop” and “Egg” – the rules are ambiguous, the fun is non-stop. They get magically, wondrously excited about the snow. They sometimes hide somewhere in the basement and I don’t even know they’re hiding until I wander downstairs and they jump out at me. (Like, how long were they snuggled together behind the couch?! Could be one minute – might have been ten!)
  • The approach of the new year. I am not really in the “Screw 2020” camp – it’s been a tough year, but nothing’s going to magically shift when the calendar changes from December 31 to January 1, related to COVID-19, ransomware hackers (long story, google Baltimore County), travel, etc. But I love a new year and the blank canvas it provides.
  • The little things. This year, a lot of the big things I’m grateful for haven’t been possible. I’ve found a lot of solace in the littlest things. Picking a tiny sprig of lavender and enjoying the smell. Adding songs I love to an Alexa playlist. Giving myself the gift of zero input (more on that later) by setting my phone aside for minutes or hours so that I can be fully present. My sweet and simply wonderful Christmas tree. Any and all of the tiny joys that make me smile.

Happy holidays to all! May your days be merry and bright and oh-so-awesome.

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com