Linking up with Leigh Kramer!
Now that I’m back to blogging again, I thought I’d take some time each month to share and reflect on what we’re up to. It’s easy for me to look back on the last few weeks totally unable to remember any details. But my life is made up of details, so I don’t want to forget them.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee): Perfect, of course, and I wish I’d reread it sooner.
The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion): It was interesting. I’d never read anything by Didion before and her take on the grief experience was painfully honest. It wasn’t uplifting, which I actually kind of appreciate, because suffering so often seems (and is) utterly pointless. I appreciated that. I think I prefer Lewis’s A Grief Observed, but I haven’t read it in several years.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsberg): A childhood favorite that I hadn’t picked up since childhood. I read it in a night and it was so fun. What does it say about me that I really love Claudia as a protagonist? I wouldn’t want to be her mom, but I love imagining her as an adult.
Quiet (Susan Cain): I want to talk more about this book in a separate post, but the long and short of it is that this book was deeply gratifying to read. Everyone should read it, especially managers and teachers. I bought the kindle copy but I may actually shell out for the paperback for future reference.
Bits and pieces from Teach Your Own (John Holt), You Are Your Child’s First Teacher (Rahima Baldwin Dancy), and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, none of which I want to return to the library. We’re thinking about homeschooling when our kids are old enough, and I have been reading everything about it I can get my hands on since December.
Coming up in March: Gilead, Lizzy and Jane (I’ve started it — I got it for $.99 on a Kindle sale; it’s OK), and Jane Eyre (!!!!) among others. My friend Maggie and I are reading our way through the Brontes this year and I can’t wait.
On my mind
I’ve been thinking a lot (a lot) about writing, and working on incorporating it back into my daily life. It feels so good, like slipping into a favorite outfit — the one that makes you feel like you. This makes me feel like me again.
I wrote out my testimony this month. I was supposed to read it today at MOPS, but it was cancelled because of snow. I’m hoping I will still have an opportunity to share it, but at any rate I think I’ll post it here as well when I’ve edited it to my liking. I’m happy with it.
I’ve also been working on simplifying decision-making through the way I meal plan (I hold to certain parameters every week), how I dress, and what we do with our days. Reading up on Waldorf philosophy has also impressed on me the importance of rhythm in our days, so having that in mind has been helpful too. Spending my days with an almost-three-year-old who doesn’t nap is tiring, and anything I can do to simplify helps me preserve much-needed energy. And mental energy is every bit as important as physical energy these days.
We’ve spent a lot of winter afternoons with all the couch cushions on the floor, coming up with creative ways for Will to jump around and be active. This winter has been really good and this afternoon routine is a big reason why. Our life is so wonderfully simple right now.
We had two snowstorms last week after an entire winter without a single flake! Will had to miss preschool, but other than that we had a lovely time at home. We had family visiting, too, which made for a full house and lots of much-loved company.
I have also been really loving the winter light in our house. I was a little apprehensive moving away from a house that was flooded with sunshine every afternoon into a midcentury ranch on a wooded lot, but happily I adore the light here. Natural light is essential, and good light cheers me up and makes me happy every morning. (File under: the little things.)
Anna continues to be the perfect baby. She’s a dream.
I’ve also really been enjoying season 5 of Downton Abbey, and as usual end every episode embittered to have been born into a time when people don’t dress for dinner in fabulous, glittering dresses. I’ve been watching it while knitting and eating chocolate, and I can’t really think of a better way to spend a winter evening.
Onward to March! One more week until daylight savings, and three more weeks until spring.