February 27, 2018

Taking Stock

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Let's catch up...

Feeling - Motivated. I'm starting a new project at work, and although I don't handle change well, I'm determined to stay ahead of that anxious feeling this time. 
Watching - Superhero movies. We saw Black Panther last week, and watched Thor: Ragnarok this past weekend. Loved them both. (P.S. - I told the boys I want to be Hela for Halloween. Cate Blanchett is fabulous.)
Wearing - Sweaters and boots, boots and sweaters. It's winter. It's been a long, weird, wet winter, too, which has felt more like a very long spring. And I hate spring. I am certainly craving the warmer days.
Appreciating - Bad Yogi studio. I really like Erin's yoga classes, and they enable me to do yoga more at home. The classes are of various lengths, so I can choose what fits my schedule. I did a full hour on Sunday morning, but only had time for 20 minutes on Monday. More yoga makes for a happy Mary.
Eating - Lots and lots of veggies. Roasted. In Salads. Soups. I'm doing a good job getting my daily servings of veggies. (Which justifies my nightly dessert.) 

Reading - Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone. I adored The Nightingale, so I picked this one up right away. I'm about halfway through now, and it's keeping me up too late at night, because I don't want to put it down. 
Listening - Brandi Carlile, First Aid Kit, Glen Hansard, and Brian Fallon. I adore First Aid Kit. I'm watching the announcements for the Newport Folk Festival, and that's the name I want to see more than any other. 
Wanting - More time outside. The cold and dreary (but not cold enough for skiing) weather has been difficult. I need to get outside, take more walks, or hikes, something.
Anticipating - A trip to Costa Rica for Spring Break. Is it here yet?
Planning - Our trip to Barcelona in August, with a few days in London on the way home. 

Thinking - I don't spend enough time with my friends. And friends are important.  
Realizing - I turn 44 next month. 44. But then again, Cate Blanchett is 48, and she did this, so...
Loving- This weird phase of life, where I get to experience baseball games and superhero movies with my boys while I come to terms (or not) with my own age. 

February 23, 2018

A Few Things...

This picture reflects my mood today. Pensive. I just want to lie upside down in a wingback chair and feel my feelings. I really want the black cat to watch me from above, too.

Here are just a few of the articles I've bookmarked (somewhat) recently...

How I Stopped Checking My Phone And Started Using It With Intention. I do some of these already, but I could do more. It's a continuous process, to check in on how I'm doing. I downloaded the "In the Moment" app, but I honestly think that just gave me one more thing to check on my phone! I know others who have found it helpful, though. For me, the "rubber band on the phone" reminder helps, along with no notifications, and keeping the phone charging after I get home and go to bed. (Here's another good one on the same topic.)

Family Dinner, Redefined.  Lots of tips about how to handle the family dinner. This week in particular, I've been having the feeling of dread when I realize that I need to decide what to have for dinner again. (Must we eat dinner every day?!?) I definitely need to get back in the habit of planning for the week, but I like some of these other tips and reminders too.

Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to Girls. As a mom of boys, I am endlessly interested in this topic of how we parent boys and girls differently, whether it's conscious or not.

The Problem with Seeking the Best for Your Kids. I think about this all. the. time. We ended up in a community with good schools, but not because that's what we were seeking. We mostly moved to the suburbs, because I need space! I wanted my boys to be able to run outside and play. We got that, and we also got good public schools. But I think often about what I could do to support Boston public schools without actually moving there, and what my boys are missing by not being exposed to a more diverse education.

Women Aren't Nags—We're Just Fed Up.  A harsh title, perhaps, but valid. I've posted something similar before, but I still relate and think it's good to talk about and ensure understanding.

The Final Interview with Sturgill Simpson, According to Sturgill Simpson. This one's just for fun. I find Sturgill Simpson to be highly entertaining.

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. Since reading this, I think about how I greet my kids every time I see them. I think I naturally lit up anyway, but I'm very conscious of it now.

Adam Rippon's One Technique For Staying Calm Under Pressure. I am loving Adam Rippon. He and Leslie Jones can do commentary every time as far as I'm concerned. These are great tips for staying calm. Perspective and gratitude go a long way.

The Boys Are Not All Right. The Parkland school shooting is taking up a lot of mental space these days. I listened to the news with sadness as I heard about the victims and the heroes. I watch with awe and admiration the students who are fighting to be heard. I become angry and frustrated listening to everybody fight about it, as though this is all hypothetical and there aren't real children dying. I've read a lot about it, but this article provides a different focus, instead looking at the possible reasons why boys are almost always the ones doing the shooting.

February 22, 2018

A Little Nostalgia on a Winter's Day...

I'm not typically prone to nostalgia - I try to focus on the present. I enjoy thinking about the past, reminiscing, but I don't long to go backwards. However, I recognize that my perspective and this tendency to look back continues to increase as I get older. It's a strange thing, this whole business of aging. I notice the passing of time so acutely now. Each passing of a week, a month, a season. The start of another school year, another Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Then the long, cold, dreary January. 

I've never truly felt the optimism of January and the start of the new year. It does feel clean and simple and quiet, especially after the excesses of December; but it also feels like a bit of a let-down, and I'm never quite sure what to do with myself. I exercise, eat healthy, get outside as much as possible, and wait for it to end. 

This feeling has extended long into February this year. Possibly because we typically take a vacation in February, and we didn't take one this year. And so my waiting continues. It's been another weird winter in New England, without a lot of snow to entertain us and keep us outside. We did get some skiing in over the weekend, and I was reminded how much it improves my outlook on winter. Skiing and yoga and good books. 

Work has been good. Challenging and interesting and forcing me to think about the things I want to focus on. I am starting a new project, and as I've discussed at length before, I am not comfortable with change. Consulting is a strange business for someone who readily admits that, but I have made a tentative peace with being uncomfortable. The accomplishments and successes along the way motivate me, as does the opportunity to surround myself with smart and ambitious and interesting people. 

And so I work, and read, and do my yoga, and my mind wanders to previous winters, especially as I think about my boys and our experiences together. 

Nostalgia creeps in most, I think, when life is quiet. 


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