This is my first cozy post of the new decade! I like to use Friday to share some of the things I’ve been enjoying or thinking about during the week. It could be movies that stuck with me for some reason or something I’ve heard on a podcast. Sometimes it’s some little object that’s helping me through the week, and sometimes it’s just a silly thing that’s gotten me excited. It’s the way I try to keep snippets of cozy in my life!
Did you know that CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were members of a writer’s group called The Inklings? I just love that. The Inklings! It makes the think of leather bags, leather portfolios, fountain pens, and roaring fires. I finally watched Tolkien (last week?) and really enjoyed it. The movie doesn’t focus on The Inklings, but you do see another lovely writing group that sustained Tolkien through his adolescence. Warning: there are some war scenes that are difficult to watch! I had to cover my eyes several times, but I’m also very sensitive to graphic images.
I listened to Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s interview with Krista Tippett this week. His episode is called “First Aid for Spiritual Seekers.” It was a funny and inspiring episode and he talked a bit about a morning routine. Here’s what he said:
It’s daily. It’s daily practice. It’s ironic to me now — I’m in my late 40s, and I’m a father, and I’m a rabbi, and I’m looking at my life and how it’s evolving and who knows what else. And I sit every morning for a few moments, wrapped up in my father’s prayer shawl. I meditate and write in my journal. I rarely use any of the liturgical texts. And what it’s about is discipline. It’s just daily discipline. It’s a workout. And it’s the workout for gratitude. And it’s a workout for what Heschel called radical amazement and wonder. And it’s just an exercise in meditation in silence. Sit for a few moments and cultivate love.
And I’m so amazed that at this point, this tool that I inherited that’s in my toolbox is right there. And I don’t drink tomato juice, and I don’t read the paper, but I kind of do what my father did. I carve this little space each day for being in the “me” so I can be there more for the “we,” and I am now really conscious of how, at core, it is an exercise in love so that I can be there, more agile and helpful when more contentious moments happen the moment I turn on my phone or open my front door.
I like how he articulated these moments of self care as necessary to be able to help others. It’s hard for me to describe how waking up at 3:30 helps me be a better mom, especially since I’m not doing any housework or anything that moves my family forward. By finding time to do the things that I love, I’m free to focus on whatever is put in front of me throughout the day. I’m not (totally) distracted by my thoughts because I spent multiple hours with them that morning. It’s enough to have my notebook nearby to jot down little reminders throughout the day. More than enough.
Autism kicks me in the butt some days. Some of the hardest times are early in the morning – my middle bug is hungry and because he’s nonverbal, has a hard time communicating it. And I’m trying to make him breakfast, but it’s hard for me to communicate with him that it just takes time. Chaos. Violent tantrums. Things get broken and books get ripped. In the last couple of weeks, the music of Simon and Garfunkel has helped. I turn on the S&G station on Spotify and everything drops a decibel. It’s hard to say which one of us benefits from it the most, but music is amazing sometimes.
I’ve been doing a simmer pot lately. Super simple – orange peels, cinnamon sticks, a couple of cloves, and a splash of vanilla extract. Add water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Keep an eye on it and add more water when it’s low. You can put in anything that you love – I’m thinking of trying some coffee grounds soon. It smells amazing – truly. It permeates my home and I love it!
Quiet week around here! I’ve spent most of it with my head down and cleaning up from the holidays. Both boys started back with their daily routines yesterday and I cried a bit putting them on their buses. I miss them when they’re gone during the day. I love the quiet and I miss the noise.
Happy Friday, friends. I hope the weekend treats you well!