You know how every time the calendar flips to a new page, there’s always a chipper collective “I can’t believe it’s [month, season, or year] already!”
I can. January was 6,000 days long this year.
Polar vortexes, minor sorrows from the minors, an ill child every so often, returning to routines without holidays to anticipate. You know, the grind.
But not all bad things.
We went to a water park resort for a week, which I’ll post about here soon. I made some peanut butter cookies that I can only describe as “disappointing,” which was pretty flipping weird. I mean, they’re peanut butter cookies.
Oh, wait, not all bad things.
I returned to a solid writing routine (again?): Wrote weekly blog posts (except when on vacation.) I submitted three essays, with a fourth ready to go by end of this week. I’m giving myself the gift of daily journaling/morning pages/daily dialog. I’m trying new things with this process in addition to marking the events of the day. I’ve unsnagged a few writing knots in the journal, which makes the whole thing worth the price of admission. Or some other inaccurate saying.
Submitted the short film I co-wrote and produced to several film festivals, and am obsessively checking my email to see if we got in!
I’m still having many moments where I expect my sweet dog to come up and hustle me for some turkey or a nice scratch behind the ears. Cold days like these, he was my constant companion when I finally made it to the couch to relax. We miss him so, and any dogs we see give us a lot of bittersweet smiles.
Trying to use Instagram more. So far I’ve posted pictures two new pairs of sweatpants and a bunch of “this is my life” type things. Not sure I’m doing it right. Fairly sure I don’t care if I’m doing it right.
Along with 300,000 other fantastic people, I marched in Chicago. Talk about an age check…two-and-a-half hours of standing and 30 minutes of walking and I was out of commission for two days. Maybe I need to up my exercise routine (by which I mean start one). Or get some of those gel inserts. Sexy!
February will be a month of branching out. I’ll be plotting out some books. I have three or four ideas that I want to map out using the Snowflake Method. Once I get a sense of them, I’ll pick which one I want to live with for the next year. Although Isaac Asimov might recommend I go at them all at once, sort of.
Here are some highlights of the last month that I recommend for your eyeballs:
I related hard to this article, especially the quote from Steve Wozniak: “I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee,” he writes in iWoz. “Not on a committee. Not on a team.”
One of my “rewards” for accomplishing something difficult is to watch a Ted Talk. That or dive into some Ferrero Rocher. I actually ate a few while watching Luvvie Ajayi talk about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. “Comfort is overrated” which is good because if I keep eating the Ferrero Rocher, these pants are gonna get mighty uncomfortable.
In a world where we worship wunderkinds and where not accomplishing something spectacular by 40 is considered a failure, this perspective is a sane voice in that insane wind tunnel of youth.
Hmmm. I seem to be reading a lot of articles like this lately. Do I seem upset? Is my worry about the current political state a point of triumph or irritation for you? Cool, cool.
My favorite read in January was And Here’s The Kicker, a surprisingly deep dive into the world of comedy writing, and a surprisingly engaging book despite the format (it’s one long interview after another.) The best writers, or at least the ones whose work I enjoy and admire, are surprisingly well-read, highly educated, and deeply passionate about their craft. There are some for whom the work comes easier than others, but honestly, a lot of the interviews felt like I was getting to spend time with the types of adults I grew up around, which made me weirdly nostalgic by page 25.
My husband and I were late to the Westworld train, but it was oddly addicting, although incredibly violent. We’ve had long talks about the nature of humanity and violence that were unsettling and profoundly interesting. I love when a show lends itself to big discussions like that. Looking forward to the next season, especially because Jeffrey Wright is one of my all-time favorite actors.
Speaking of big discussions, have you watched The Vietnam War miniseries by Ken Burns? We are finishing it tonight, and it is horrifying and important. Beautifully researched and with achingly powerful interviews, it’s a must-see. But I would space out the viewings a bit. It’s not the kind of thing to binge watch.
And now we’re in February, which seems to work very hard at warming itself. Hope this month brings you all the good things.