Last weekend, I spent a couple of days up in Vermont visiting a friend of mine from college. The polar vortex and temperatures dropping to -35F with the wind chill forced us to largely cancel all our outdoor plans and stick to indoor activities — wine and chocolate samplings, visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory, shopping at the local bookstores, and cuddling with my friend’s dog. (I so want a dog of my own now.)
I also accompanied my friend and her fiancee on a venue visit for their upcoming wedding while I was in town and, wow, I am so not interested in having a big affair should I ever get married. The decisions about menus and chairs and a hundred other seemingly small things, the question of what to do with out of town guests, and the struggle to stay in budget seems like a really stressful way to start a marriage. I mean, I was stressed out for them and I’m just expected to show up for the event! Over the years, I’ve had so many people tell me I’ll change my mind about having a wedding because my family or my fiance’s family or my fiance will want one. But that three hour site visit has sold me on going down to the courthouse with my family and having a nice lunch afterwards.
This weekend, temperatures in Boston have climbed to nearly 60F, and my book club was wishing we could relocate outdoors for our annual winter wine tasting. Today, I walked over to the arboretum and took a moment to sit and listen to the birds in the trees (and, unfortunately, the whirl of the generator for the nearby hospital). The arboretum is located in a neighborhood I’m considering moving to come summer, and the ease of access to so many green spaces in that area for car-free people such as myself is seriously pulling me in that direction.
Reading | Unfortunately, I haven’t found a non-audiobook to suck me in lately. I have nine books on my currently reading shelf over at GoodReads because I keep picking up books, reading a handful of pages, and setting them aside. I would like to finish The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, which my book club selected and I’ve already paid my dues to attend the meeting for, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker, which Emma Watson’s feminist book club selected for March. We’ll see. I did finish reading volume seven of A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori for #ComicsFebruary this morning, and I’ve already submitted a purchasing request to my public library for the eighth volume, although the English release date is still unknown.
Listening | I started Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell on my walk this morning. Rowell’s novels have received so much buzz that I was hesitant to pick up her books afraid it wouldn’t live up to all the hype. Twenty percent in, though, and I can see why she has so many fans. The 5.8 miles I walked went by so quickly, and I normally notice every single step.
Watching | After seeing Nick Offerman in ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ and listening to Amy Poehler’s book, I finally started watching “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix. I’m only halfway through season two, but I can see why so many people love Poehler’s and Offerman’s characters and the show, in general.
Concentrating | One of the things I’m really concentrating on this year is my own health. I was sick for over three months at the end of last year, and then I caught another cold back in January. I’ve pretty much maxed out all my sick days, and my boss hung up a sign by my desk documenting how many days it has been since a member of my group was out sick. We’re up to a whopping three days. So, yeah, really trying to concentrate on living a healthier lifestyle.
For me, this means following the advice from the nutritionist my doctor suggested I meet with and trying to incorporate exercise into my life. My parents gave me a trainer for my bike so I can ride indoors during the winter, and I’ve been trying out a couple of yoga classes through MoveWith. I’ve also taken two spin classes this month, which kick my butt yet leave me feeling absolutely energized for the rest of the day.
Trying | I also decided to give the bullet journal a try. (You can see my daily goal tracker photographed above.) I loved the Arc Notebook system in grad school, but it’s not really practical for me now that I no longer have daily assignments or exams to plan for. I’ve been using the system for about three weeks now and if it continues going as well as it has been, I plan to share more about it here. (Basically to show people that you can have messy handwriting and make mistakes and still use the system because, wow, are the bullet journals on Instagram and Pinterest perfect and beautiful.)
Anticipating | I have a couple of fun events with friends coming up over the next few weeks, and I know I have to start getting serious about apartment hunting. But much of my attention has been dragged towards April — season two of “Outlander” premieres April 9th, season four of “Orphan Black” is released on April 14th, and I have a lengthy vacation as a birthday present to myself. Should be a lot of fun!
The Sunday Salon:
The Sunday Salon encourages bloggers to get together –at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones– every Sunday and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another’s blogs. Salon participants are encouraged to blog about their time spent reading, pages read, information about current reading, discuss a reaction to a book, state what they plan to read the following week, or make suggestions for a group read.