Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Parks and Rec is ending, and other things making a mess of me


I've been struggling with routine and winter doldrums.  I can't stay awake past 8:00, I can't get my act together and write the to-do lists that usually keep me focused. I'm living in a constant state of scraping by, and it's too hard.  Some of it is weather and some of it is depression that Parks and Rec ends tonight.  I also need to pull my head out of my ass.  Lovingly.

I pulled some good articles about self-care and made a little Pinterest board.  There is some cute/helpful stuff.  Most self-care advice is shockingly mundane: eat some healthy food, stretch your muscles, light a candle, get some rest.  But that's the shit we're not doing that makes us seek out self-care advice in the first place, so I get it.

Also, I encourage to watch your favorite shows, drink some spiked cocoa, and browse pictures of cats and dogs being friends without shame,  Looking up the GIF for this post cured half of my ails instantly (the link to GIF above and 1000 more is here).  Also making me happy: 

Reading: Yes Please by Amy Poehler, The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lanni Taylor.  I love the main character in that last one, and starting the second book of that trilogy might be another thing that perks me up. (My Goodreads profile for all the info)

New podcasts I've discovered: Book Riot and Invisibilia.  Makes chores melt away.

Binge-watching: Friends, New Girl, Firefly, Portlandia (all Netflix)

How do you take care of yourself when you don't feel like it?What's lighting you up in the dead of winter? Also, please feel free to share your favorite Parks and Rec GIF because that made my morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February 14th, 2015

There are a lot of things I need to do right now.  I need to make a grocery list.  And a meal plan.  One before the other.  I need to scrub the tub crayon off the tile in the bathroom.  I need to read my library book before it's due, and work on my story before I lose steam.  I need to read the play one dear friend wrote, and mail a book to another.  I need to take the tags off the little play animals I bought the boys for Valentine's Day, and dig their little metal mailboxes out of the hall closet.  I need to take out the trash, and fold the laundry that has been in a heaping pile on the armchair for a week.  For a week. There is probably at least one toddler snack tucked in those once-clean clothes.  My house smells a little, and I really want to take a shower.

This morning, though, I've been cleaning digital house.  Doing the purge that I often do when I'm feeling stale and stilted- getting rid of blogs and Instagram accounts that make me feel icky.  Searching for feeds that will feed me.  Ones about writing, and picture books, and magic, and astrology. I've been browsing pictures of women around the world celebrating Galentine's Day, and it's been making me slightly weepy.  Good weepy. It's taken me so stinking long to recognize the need for girlfriends.  Girl Friends.  Women to go arm-in-arm with.  Ladies to laugh with at 10:30 on Friday night at Chilis.  Ladies to share Harry Potter buzzfeed articles with.  Ladies to trade badawesome puns.  Ladies to cry about raising kids, to admit "failures" to.  Ladies I trust to see the inside of my car (read: the floor, and the things that gather in cup holders). I can't list them all.  I'm so lucky to have them.

Today is Valentine's Day, and we usually celebrate by going to a museum.  I think this year we might just settle for a diner outing, maybe a stop at a bookstore.  Our family's love is best celebrated by reading, watching movies, staying local.  Ben took me to Barnes and Noble on our first Valentine's Day. We're not glamorous people.  He rubs my feet.  If I stay awake to the end of a movie, it's considered an act of passion.

I just wanted to check in.  To hear myself talking out loud.  It's a rough time: family illness, endless snow storms, mental exhaustion. The kids aren't sleeping.  Ben and I are restless. My computer is broken, the boys keep peeing in our bed, and jumping on the couch (I'm not like the other moms, I'm a cool mom!) has led to broken springs that push into our asses when we try to relax.  BUT oh BUT BUT BUT. We have oil in the tank and we are together.  We are healthy and mostly happy.  We live on the greatest iceberg with the best museums and schools. We have shared interests and personal projects and a tiny scrap of wisdom that lets us realize that this mess is temporary and it is to be cherished.  At least 70% of the time.  

This ends my stream of consciousness. Stay warm, lovelies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Be Your Own Book Club February 2015: Yes, Please





I've been waiting forever to figure out the perfect way to get a virtual book club rolling.  I took suggestions (thank you, Facebook friends) and looked into ways that other bloggers and Instagramers share what they read and love. Finally, I decided to jump in and get moving, and we can iron out the kinks afterwards.  I'm figuring out this is one of the only ways I accomplish anything at all.

Basically, let's read together.  Let's pick out books and whether we like them or hate them, let's talk about it.  Let's give free passes to bail WHENEVER for ANY REASON. Life is too short to force yourself to read anything.  This club has zero rules.  Drop in when you want.  Drop out when you want.  Lurk and see what other readers are gushing over.  Everyone can play.  

Here is how it works: Every month a book will be chosen.  Throughout the month, you can comment on the blog post or chat on Twitter & Instagram about what you're reading.  Just use the hashtag #beyourownbookclub and we'll be able to find each other. Share quotes, favorite characters, ask questions, demand to know why, exactly, we're reading this!?  Defend your favorite scene.  Wonder out loud.  Just be nice to each other- you already have that down.  

Now, for the book list.  Because I have no idea who will want to play along, I picked the first month's book.  Yes, we're halfway through February, but let's not waste any more time.  This being the season of Galentine's Day and love in general, I picked Yes, Please, a recent release by Amy Poehler.  This was strategic- a lot of awesome people have already read it, so we can get a good conversation going without a lot of stress.  Plus Amy Poehler is funny and strong and probably has some good wisdom to pass down.  I've been saving this book like special treat for some time now- let's share it together.

I don't want to be the only picker of books, so PLEASE leave one or two books you'd like to include as selections in the comments.  THIS CAN BE ANYTHING: new release, 100 years old, fiction, memoir, young adult, super racy, pioneer-based, ANYTHING.  Don't worry about whether it's a good "fit," because there is zero commitment to this, so suggest what YOU would want to read!  I'll post a master list and we'll pick a new one every month (maybe out of a hat?  Something professional and diplomatic).  

I'm pumped to read with you.  Seriously.  Don't forget to leave your suggestions, and don't forget to use #beyourownbookclub to show off you holding your book or ask a deep question or just say "HEY PEOPLE WE'RE READING TOGETHER ON THE INTERNET THE FUTURE IS NOW!"