Ah, February, the longest short month we have. Or maybe just the grayest. Either way, here we are again. Bills due, pages to turn, a time change looming.
February was a noisy month, the din of the world encroached on my little family – the news, the day-to-day grimness, lingering coughs, one massive windstorm leading to an impressive explosion as a transformer blew at 3 am, and the godforsaken nap prophylactic: local weekend skeet shooting.
I’ve been awaiting this next part of 2018 for a long time. As we “spring ahead,” so too does life and my career. My family and I have some opportunities (both collective and individual) in the coming months, holy yesses we’ve shouted uncertainly to the skies. More on all of that as things unfold in their due time.
For now, I’m trying to inhabit the final hours of February fully and with gratitude. I’m fighting some feelings of frustrated “I’m Done”-ness with action and plans and reminders that in a lifetime of different lives, I’m currently sloughing off this one and growing into the next one. I like the idea of reincarnating repeatedly in one’s own life.
Ok. Deep and weird. That’s how things roll. In my head.
The Olympics came in with a squad of drones and left with…a different squad of drones. My kids were obsessed, then after watching twenty variations of ice dancing, got over it. The good news is that for ten days, all they wanted to do was Swiffer and use the Roomba. Thanks, curling!
I’m into deep-cleaning these days: house, life, habits, saying yes to things I don’t really want to do. It’s exhausting, but the space to live, breathe, and interact knowing I’m surrounded by the people, things, and activities that make me happy is the goal.
I did a double-decker read of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and the parody (but not to be taken lightly) The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. The latter is less brazen than the title implies. The book is very clear about not being an asshole, and how to extricate yourself from certain situations with grace, dignity, and kindness. It boils down those wishy-washy decisions we have to make, the ones we chess game. “I don’t really want to do drunk karaoke with my workmates, but gosh, what will happen if I don’t go?” and compassionately yet firmly guides the reader through those choices.
We tend to complicate things by trying to live our lives in anticipation of other people’s opinions of us. THAT is very different than living authentically and still kindly, and we shouldn’t conflate the two.
I learned some things this month.
- Posting on Facebook about meatloaf will gin up mighty discussion.
- How to Spot a Sanctimommy (or daddy): say that you don’t think you can listen to your poor child’s turn-of-the-century cough after six straight days and nights of it. See what kind of response you get.
Some highlights of things I enjoyed this past month.
The memoir I’m the One Who Got Away. this is a fast read that slowly ignites the soul. Jarrell’s memoir deftly explores the complicated links love forges, how they are weakened or strengthened by forces internal and external, and how in many ways we cannot escape our pasts. We can, however, decide how we look back. Jarrell faces her life with a bold curiosity and shares those raw parts of herself in glorious, stunning prose. I am proud to “know” Andrea virtually, through shared projects, acquaintances, and online communities, and somehow I still managed to be surprised by how gorgeous this book was. Her prose is simply breathtaking.
John Oliver is back. Thank God.
TWO DOPE QUEENS. It’s just so so so good.
Not sure how I felt about this. I think I’d rather nap and just stop on weekends.
This is a heartbreaking reminder of what’s important to your children. Hint: It’s not enrolling them in endless activities.
I like this article about how we discuss things and reasons we offer assent that run counter to our own beliefs. Mostly, though, it’s a good reminder that for those of us involved in committees or groups or teams that are trying to work through multifaceted issues, we need to earn a “yes” and not expect it or assign extraneous character traits to anyone who doesn’t assent. Great list at the end.
You know what March brings? Brisk weather that chills, but when you get in your car, it’s toasty from of the sunshine streaming through the windows. Is there a name for that? In German perhaps?
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