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 week was crazy weather as usual- 70s one day and 40s the next. When it wasn’t raining and hailing you could find me outside…in flip flops and short sleeves. Like it was June!
One thing that I’m so so glad I drug myself across town for was a Black History Month lecture at St. Louis County Library. They have loads of great speakers coming up that I’ve got marked on my calendar. After getting burned at a campus lecture the night before (think rambling, off-topic lecturer), this one was such a great experience. Sami Bentil, an artist from Ghana who has worked in the States for years opened the speaker series off by discussing the importance of the arts in education. He specifically linked teaching classes like drawing and understanding human beauty and thus, respect for the human body and for others. Following him was Dr. Stefan Bradley a St. Louis University professor and De Nichols, a local artist. Both focused on the impact of socioeconomics, propaganda, internal and external narratives, the importance of inclusivity, and of knowing where you came from and where you’re going.
Mixing the theme of art and rights, I decided to finally sit down and watch Woman in Gold. It follows the story of an Austrian Jewish woman and her fight to reclaim her family’s lost Klimt painting from the Austrian government. Countless artworks and family heirlooms were stolen during WWII – a great deal of them reside in museum storage as litigations take years to resolve. The movie itself can be a little slow but Helen Mirren is fantastic as always and a nerdy Ryan Reynolds shows up as her lawyer.
For 2017 I created a pretty extensive to-do list. For some of these I use the Strides App to stay on top of things. I whole-heartedly recommend it for anybody trying to track progress. This is my monthly check-in:
- More research- food history, linguistic history, 19th century socio-economics
- More writing- blogging and fiction
- My goal was once a week. I’m now up to 3 posts per week.
- Still working on getting back to fiction
- More arting- oil pastel, watercolor, gouache
- Bought supplies. Have not committed to doing yet.
- Learning Spanish
- At 22% on DuoLingo!
- Cooking more- Japanese ceramic steaming, baking, just generally taking better care
- Made soup, brownies, cornbread, biscuits, and a weeks worth of breakfasts
- Started DIYing Spanish Lattes at work (espresso, sweetened condensed milk, orange peel, cinnamon)
- Working down the STL best restaurants list
- I use going to lectures and events as an excuse to check out new places
- Monthly/bi-monthly supper clubs – not yet!
- Closet overhaul
- Did one massive closet overhaul. Need to do again in a more ruthless fashion during warm weather.
- Learning to code
- started learning HTML and CSS but man is that hard to do post-work when tired!
- Learning to sew – nope!
- TRAVEL- at least once, hopefully twice per year
- Boston, London, and Cornwall this May!
- Somehow managing to up my savings / retirement (ha!)
- Surprisingly, yes! Paid off one student loan and almost done with the other. Managing 7% (+7% matching) for retirement and another 7% in straight savings. In July, we typically get at least a 3% raise so this is when I really plan on re-evaluating.
Not bad, huh?!