One of my goals for 2017 is to write more regularly- to map out all the little things that got me through the day and into the weekend. I’ll be sharing an article I couldn’t stop thinking about, a product I love, a song I had on repeat, or a book that really stuck with me: tiny glimpses of what I’ve been up to and things you might enjoy as well!
This was a particularly difficult week. The weather was all over the place- mid 60s one day, 20s the next with bursts of rain and snow, I’m starting to train round 4 of new hires, had a really awful day at work which reduced me to tears at my desk, routinely forgot to eat and existed on coffee, and have just generally been feeling pretty bleak about things. I say all this because I think all too often social media and blogging reduce our lives to highlights and all glow and no reality can 1) feel like a sham and 2) provide not a whole lot of comfort or resonance with those slogging through it. And I am definitely, definitely slogging through it.
Part of my enormous to-do list for 2017 included learning a language, learning to code, reading more, among about half a dozen other things I probably won’t accomplish. That said, I stumbled upon Strides which has been helping me prioritize and manage some of my goals. I use the desktop version since it doesn’t appear that they have an app for Android yet and it’s been a great way to finish off the day. No matter how totally terrible my day has been, it’s really nice to be able to log in and see the progress I’ve made.
Another goal that I’ve been working on is a sort of wardrobe do-over of sorts. I’m trying to really pare down what I have into versatile, interesting pieces and identify what’s missing. Lately I’ve really taken a shine to quirky button-downs. I used to never wear them because I thought they were boring and boxy on me but I’ve found some that I really love and wear almost like a uniform. Sometimes I’ll come across some really great ones at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, Talbots and Boden. I really love Karen Mabon’s and Samantha Pleet’s designs- I just wish I could afford them!
This week I finished up Clare Mulley’s The Spy Who Loved, a biography of spy Christine Glanville. It covers the span of her entire life in Poland through World War II in Europe and Africa, ending with her tragic death in Britain. I really enjoyed how she chronicled the unconventional choices made my Christine as she navigated a world completely changed by consecutive wars. Her choices- especially her relationships with men- seem so modern and it was really fascinating to see how she navigated very rigid, traditional ideas of romance and femininity which contrasted with her own ideals. Certainly, she had a bit of leeway given her upper-class status but there was also a very strong rebellious streak mixed in with some post-WWI Dadaist absurdism.
Given that this week has been all sorts of headaches, I opted for something to just lounge to. Something comforting with the lights down low and the candles lit. A lot of Johnny Flynn’s songs feel perfect to me for road trips. They have a real traveller’s quality to them. But I think he really shines in his lullabies.