Of Note — May 18

It's been a tough week. On Tuesday we had to say goodbye to our family dog, Koda. He was fourteen and a half years old and just the fluffiest, most loving pup you could ever imagine. I was able to go to my parents' house and spend the night with him on Monday. I just laid on the floor with him and brushed him and soaked up our last time together. It was sad, but I'm so glad I went.

I am with my parents, headed to New York, for my cousin's college graduation. We started our drive on Wednesday (just past DC) then drove to New York City yesterday so that we could see Come From Away on Broadway (more on that below, but spoiler alert — it was sensational). Now we are en route to Poughkeepsie. This weekend will be the perfect antidote to the melancholy of the week. I love spending time with my extended family, and I'm eagerly anticipating the copious amounts of hugs and wine the weekend holds. 

Another great thing the weekend holds? THE ROYAL WEDDING! That is another huge thing getting me through this week. I didn't think I could be any more excited for the wedding, and then last Saturday they announced that the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, will be giving the sermon. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! Michael Curry is honestly one of my favorite people in the world. Before he was the presiding bishop, he was the bishop of North Carolina for 15 years, so I grew up with him. He is the most amazing speaker I've ever heard; I don't even pretend to know how to define the Holy Spirit, but the only time I come close is when he's preaching. His words will be so inspiring and loving and healing. Harry and Meghan are very lucky folk to have him and are very gracious to be sharing him with the world.

 With Bishop Curry in 2015. I'm now one degree of separation from Harry and Meghan!

With Bishop Curry in 2015. I'm now one degree of separation from Harry and Meghan!

Currently reading
I am reading The Wedding Date, which isn't totally dissimilar to the movie of the same name. AKA it's a romcom set up, but this time it's the guy who needs a date to a wedding he doesn't want to go solo to! He invites a woman he meets when they get stuck in an elevator together (if that's not a meet-cute than I don't know what is), and romance ensues. I’ll probably finish it today before we get to Marist. It's easy and cute. Perfect read for a car ride to New York.

Currently watching
My parents and I saw Come From Away on Broadway last night, and we all loved it. It's the (true!) story of Gander, Newfoundland, a tiny town (about 7,000 people) that welcomed 6,700 people from 38 flights that were grounded there when the American airspace was closed on 9/11. They came together and took care of all the passengers, and this show is the musical retelling of that week. The ensemble cast of 12 people plays all the roles, townspeople and passengers; the staging is simple but effective; the MUSIC!!! The music is joyful and as Newfie as can be, with fiddles and accordions and Celtic flutes and ugly sticks. Being about 9/11, it of course has its sad moments, but it was so much funnier than I anticipated and completely moving. I loved it and would a thousand percent recommend seeing it if you're able to.

Currently listening
I am introducing my dad to Desert Island Discs on this road trip, and I'm loving the chance to dive back into this podcast. Because it's not super timely, I tend to phase in and out of it. It's so interesting to see the differences between how certain people choose their discs. Some pick based on memories, some pick based on musicality, some are totally random. I love it. One of my favorite eps, without a doubt, is Tom Hanks's episode. He is a national treasure and deserves only good things, and I would very much love to be his best friend.

Currently eating
This week, the May wellness goals kind of went out the window. I am definitely an emotional eater, so I went hard on a Digornio's pizza and Ben & Jerry's ice cream when I learned about Koda. It was delicious and exactly what I needed, and I don't feel one single spot of guilt in it.

Currently loving
Koda, flowers from friends, going to SoulCycle, Newfoundland folk music, Rent the Runway unlimited, dinner with Claire and her parents, steak, Digornio's, the city skyline from the Hoboken pier.

Of Note — May 11

Remember how last week I was waxing poetic about the perfect weather? We've now reached the point in May in North Carolina where it's absurdly hot and you realize that you won't be actually cool again until October. Blergh. Nevertheless, it was a lovely week, filled with family time and friend time. One of the highlights was definitely going to vote with my mom in the primary election. All but one of the candidates I voted for won, and it has me very excited for the fight and change to come this fall.


Currently reading
The best thing I've read in the past week is Ta-Nehisi Coates's piece in The Atlantic reflecting on the recent Kanye drama entitled "I'm Not Black; I'm Kanye." I am not a huge Kanye fan (I like some music, thank you for Chance the Rapper, but I can leave the rest of it), but I loved this essay. First of all, there is no better writer out there than Ta-Nehisi Coates. The essay is very personal, nuanced, and empathetic while providing an articulate critique of Kanye's bs. It's fantastic and well-worth reading (even more than once).

Currently watching
I'm not even ashamed of how much I love Jeopardy. This week and next are the annual teacher's tournament, and I have been tuning in every evening to watch. Literally, my dream job is to be a member of the Jeopardy clue crew.

Currently listening
I went to see the North Carolina Master Chorale perform Hector Berlioz's Grande Messe des morts (more commonly known as his Requiem) on Tuesday night. During my senior year of high school, my choir was invited to be a part of a choral festival that culminated with a performance of the Berlioz Requiem in Carnegie Hall (here is a little more background about that performance/the piece, and peep our review in the New York Times here). This is a very special piece of music for me, and it was incredible to hear it performed again. It was beautifully done and just as affecting as it was seven years ago.

Currently eating
There are about a million restaurants that have recently opened/are opening soon close to my office (granted, it feels like 75% of them are the same iteration of pizzeria). I tried one of them, Frutta Bowls, this week, which is a smoothie and smoothie bowl restaurant. I had a kale smoothie bowl for lunch (with banana, strawberries, blueberries, almond butter, chia seeds, protein powder,...and maybe something else on it). It was delicious and surprisingly filling. Can't wait to spend way too much money there!

Currently loving
Voting, fresh flowers, jumbo slices of pizza, face masks, margarita nights with friends, Janelle Monae music videos, and early bed times. 


Of Note — May 4

We're in that time in central North Carolina where it's perfect — cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon, perfect in the evenings, no humidity, no pollen. It'll last approximately 8 days before summer hits, so I'm trying to soak up every moment of it.


Currently reading
Working on three right now — The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee (that's the sequel to The Thousandth Floor that I mentioned last week), The Body Book by Cameron Diaz, and Citizen of the World by John English.

Currently watching
If you haven't seen the documentary Jane, you need to check it out ASAP. In the 1960s, a couple of years after Jane Goodall started observing chimpanzees in Tanzania, National Geographic sent a wildlife cameraman to record her work (whom she ended up marrying after an adorable telegram proposal but that's another story). Hugo van Lawick recorded 140 hours of footage that was then lost for SIXTY YEARS in the Nat Geo archives. After it was discovered, Brett Morgen made a documentary, weaving the historical footage with an interview with present-day Jane. It was empowering and inspiring and visually stunning. Everyone needs to see it!

Currently listening
I am finally caught up on the podcast Forever 35. It's two pals, Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir, who talk about serums and lipsticks and self care routines and interview fantastic women about all of those things (and more!). It's one of my new favorites that I love tuning into; I am just a little bummed that I am caught up and can't listen every single day now.

Currently eating
It's warm enough to grill again! This week I made grilled salmon and, at the last minute, threw brussies in the grill basket and cooked those too. That dinner — complemented by a vodka with grapefruit soda water — was a delicious kick off to the summer-ish weather.

Currently loving
Family dinners, having a fixed phone screen (!!!), LIVERPOOL GOING TO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL (!!!!!!), new make up setting powder, eating lunch outside during the work week, popping into an instructor friend's barre class, fresh flowers on my bedside table.

May Goals

Another month, another not being able to believe another month has passed. How is it already May!? 

The weird thing about these goal lists is that they are teaching me to be okay with not accomplishing goals. For a really long time, I wouldn't set goals because I was terrified of not meeting them (I am "Hermione on her third-year Defense Against the Dark Arts final" level afraid of failure). In the past couple of years, I have become more comfortable with setting goals at all. But I know that I still have a tendency sometimes to set goals I feel confident I can achieve rather than ones that will actually challenge me.  These lists are pushing me to do more and forcing me to realize that I haven't failed and my life is not over if I don't meet every goal perfectly. As a recovering perfectionist, that's a really important thing to practice!

 Boston, MA; May 2017

Boston, MA; May 2017

Here is what I hoped to accomplish in April 2018:

1. Read three books — including one physical book (not on Kindle!)
I read not three but four books in April! The four that I finished were all on my Kindle, but I am also working on two physical books — The Body Book by Cameron Diaz and Citizen of the World by John English. So this one is done!

2. Visit two independent stores in the Triangle
Once again, this one was a swing and a miss. I did go to an independent book store in Pittsboro (where the Cecile Richards book talk was), but I didn't buy anything. So does that even count? I do want to challenge myself to go to local businesses more often, but I'm not going to push this one again.

3. Go on one podcast walk per week
Once again, I didn't get this one done. My initial goal was to do this during the work day, but I have been struggling to feel okay pulling myself away from my desk — even though I know that I shouldn't, because it can only improve my productivity. But I'm going to expand this a little and maybe try to get these pod walks in on the weekend or after work.

4. Clean my car and get the oil changed
I accomplished half of this goal. My car is still woefully messy (all kinds of coats and jackets and shoes can be found within), but I did get my oil changed and tires rotated. That ended up also involving new brake pads (to the tune of $400), which wasn't ideal but needed to be done. I'll clean (and wash! Now that the pollen has mostly cleared!) in May.

5. Deep clean my bathroom
DONE! This took most of last Saturday, but I tied every single nook and cranny and feel great about it. It won't last, but just accomplishing the task felt great.

6. Continue journaling at least once a week (a habit I added during Lent)
This wasn't necessarily a once-per-week event, but I journaled 3 or 4 times in April, which I am really proud of! It feels like a burden, but once I'm in the middle of it or finished, I feel great.

7. Make an appointment with the eye doctor
Notice how I didn't say "go to the eye doctor" here. I know my limits. I booked the appointment on April 30 (procrastination station over here) and will be going to the doc on May 26 — to one of only FOUR appointments I could choose from for the entire month of May. I don't feel like my eyes have changed too much, but it has been almost 2 years since I've been to the eye doctor so I need to go. I'm also interested in trying contacts...stay tuned.

8. Accomplish a new goal on my 101 things in 1001 days list
I made progress on several but didn't complete any. I know I'll get some done in May for sure though, so carrying this one over!

And here are the new goals for May! Some of them are carry overs from April, and the others are health/physical wellness focused. Like I mentioned above, I'm reading Cameron Diaz's Body Book, which I had previously read about half of and LOVED, but it was 2016 so I never finished. I just haven't been feeling my best lately, and that has really inspired me to focus in on nourishing my body and moving it in a way that will make me feel strong and empowered.

1. Read two books — including one physical book (not on Kindle!)
(I'm lowering this one because one of the physical books I'm reading is pretty long, but I want to dedicate myself to getting through it!)
2. Go on one podcast walk per week
3. Clean my car
4. Accomplish a new goal on my 101 things in 1001 days list
5. Celebrate my cousin's graduation from university
6. Exercise 5 days per week
7. Actually do something to recover on my rest/recovery days (i.e. foam rolling, yoga, stretching — not just sleeping in and watching Netflix at night)
8. Eat meatless at least one day per week
9. Only consume sweets, soda, and french fries on days that have an "R" in them (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
(This may seem — and may be — too restrictive for some people. But after my experience with Whole 30 and my many years of giving up these items for Lent, I know that I need to have pretty firm rules in order to follow through. It works for me, but may not work for you! To each their own!) 
10. Stay hyrdated!

Whew! That's a lot, but I'm excited to jump into what is definitely going to be a fun and exciting month.