YOU KNOW I LOVE me some winter, so I don’t actually need to be “saved” from the winter blues. Still I’ve enjoyed the theme as it has been passed blogger to blogger across the internet. And so I thought I’d take a minute to consider All The Things bringing me joy right now.
A Change in my Reading Habit I decided in December it would be a lovely thing to gift myself a few small indulgences that would simply make me happy. Chief among these is the permission (my own permission—the hardest to come by!) to wake up early, brush my teeth, get my coffee, and get back in bed to read. Y’all, this has been life-giving. For one, I’ve a stack of I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS books that I’m actually making my way through. For another, there’s some sort of force-field that forms around me just from claiming the time. It doesn’t take much—my self-to-self agreement is only 15 minutes. But beginning my day with me in charge of me offers some sort of emotional energy payoff I never expected. And staying engaged with a book and its characters means I read more through the day and night, as well. (It doesn’t hurt that I’m currently all caught up in Barbara Kingsolver’s DEMON COPPERHEAD which is brutal and important and might just be my favorite book of all times.) I enjoy this time so much I will actually get up early to accommodate it.
Place & Time 3-wick Candle, Cedar and Fig I could seriously burn a cedar-scented candle year-round. I don’t, but I could. And this one from Joann Fabric (who knew) is my fave. Not too heavy, not too light, just right. (And deeply discounted right now if you order or can find in stock.)
My Library Card Is it a bit shameful to admit I went several years without checking out a library book? By which I mean I didn’t go to the library to choose or pickup a book that I then brought home to read. I used the Libby app extensively for audiobooks and the occasional e-book (not my favorite way to read), but if I wanted the physical book? I bought it. Then we moved downtown and now we live less than a mile from a charmingly perfect branch of a big library system. WELCOME TO THE CENTURY, Cathy. The combination of a digital card catalog accessible from anywhere, with the ability to reserve online, makes picking up a hot new release a cinch. And 14-year-old Cathy, who worked a thousand years ago at the Lonesome Pine Regional Library (to this day my dream job), still can’t get over the fact the checkout period is THREE WEEKS and do you know how many books you can check out at once? SIXTY. Sixty books. (I can’t see ever doing that but still.) You can renew FIVE TIMES if the book’s not on hold. And if you are overdue? The fine is ZERO cents. It’s grace and glory, compliments of your public library. Grace and glory in equal measure.
This Salad Methodology Chopped brussels, chopped kale, roasted winter veggies (any combo sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnips, rutabaga, beets, carrots OR just straight up roasted sweet potatoes, my faves). Top with easy-peasy Balsamic Dressing and a bright, happy sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. So good! Plus you can make the veggies ahead as part of a yummy winter dinner and you’ll have the leftovers right there ready to toss into your salad for lunch.
Making Every Day This is nothing new for me—I have a creative project going ATT. But during January I’ve added to my daily schedule a series of tiny acrylic abstracts. As an exercise it is low cost, low stakes, and therefore low expectation. But as a practice? It’s fun, energizing, and a great reminder a small act of creation is creation nonetheless. Plus who knows? These little guys could be just the push I need to finally get my Etsy (or whatever) act together. Best of all? You can do these, too! I learned via an online painting class Show Up + Shut Up: Strategies of an Insecure Artist with the lovely Carolina Della Valle via jeanneoliver.com. I highly recommend.
The Playa Linen Shirt from Athleta With my new-ish transition to my natural silver hair and a skin tone that’s changed from warm to cool, I’m rethinking my wardrobe to adapt to my new Soft Summer color palette, as recommended by the consultants at Created Colorful. A favorite item is this pretty shirt in Tawny Rose—a good, muted color for me and a steal of a deal in clearance!
I could go on, you know I could! But I’ll close with a wish your January has been filled with new discoveries and warm and cozy comforts that are, in the words of Barbara Brown Taylor, saving your life right now in the midst of these cold winter months. I’d love to hear if you care to share in the comments!
30 Days of Joy