What a month! February is hard in a lot of ways, but it’s the perfect time to lean into the things that give you life and focus on being as cozy as possible. It’s also a great time to focus on books and notebooks because it can be so difficult to be outside!
I love writing these monthly highlights – I often get so bogged down in the things I can’t find time for instead of celebrating the things that I’ve accomplished. When I look over my blog posts for the month and through my notebooks, I can see how much my daily diligence has amounted to. I hope you find something that sparks some inspiration for you!
I use my monthly highlights to linkup with two fun blogs:
- Ginny at Small Things hosts Yarn Along on the first Wednesday of each month – a monthly gathering of knitters and readers; and
- Anne Bogel at The Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts Quicklit on the 15th of each month, where readers share some of their favorite recent reads.
I hope you’ll visit their blogs!
For me, February is a historically difficult reading month. Maybe I’m just super grumpy thanks to all of the cold and dark days of winter, but I have a really hard time enjoying anything I read. It’s a strange pattern that I’ve noticed the last few years, but I did find a few books that I really enjoyed towards the end of the month.
I am all caught up on the Cormoran Strike series! Lethal White was an excellent addition to the saga, even if a bit long. It was a complex mystery with so many characters that it was hard to keep up with everyone. But Strike and Robin’s relationship continues to become more compelling despite nothing actually happening between them! It’s so much fun!
I’m aiming to read all of the Anne books in 2020 and Anne of Avonlea was just lovely. I laughed out loud so many times and found myself incredibly happy while reading this. The new characters were all perfect and my favorite was Miss Lavendar Lewis in her stone cottage in the woods. It sounds like a dream come true!
Nemesis was a cozy Jane Marple mystery that really piqued my interest. It’s the second to last in the Marple series and it really makes me want to go back and read them all in order. I would like to read more Agatha Christie this year but I don’t think I want to commit to another series right now. Perhaps 2021 will be a Miss Marple year for me?!
I keep reminding myself that projects only get finished when you work on them and even a stitch a day can make a difference. I finished this sweater for my oldest boy. I used the basic raglan sweater pattern supplied by Andrea Mowry’s So Faded Pint Sized, but I didn’t fade any colors. My oldest picked this out of my stash, which thrilled me because I had no idea what I was going to do with the yarn. I originally bought it to make myself a sweater, but there’s no way there would have been enough! And now it’s done and is a great layering piece for him.
I’ve continued to tweak the weekly layout in my Hobonichi Weeks to focus on what’s important to me. I added a habit tracker in Week 8 that I’m really excited about! I still love adding a few lines about each day on the left side of the spread. For years I’ve tried one those 5 year journals but have never been able to work it into my routine. This works for me because I’m looking at my task lists every day so I have an easy reminder to write those few lines each day.
In February I embraced focusing on my accomplishments rather than what I didn’t get done. I stopped “assigning” tasks to certain days and inevitably falling behind. Instead, I think of my tasks as a general guideline instead of a schedule and check them off as I go. It’s been quite empowering!
In February, I missed three days of morning pages. All were on Sundays and I allowed myself to sleep in, which is its own type of self care. I don’t regret my choices!
There are times when I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to still be writing these every day, but not lately. Because winter is so hard in general, it’s easy for me to see the importance of taking this time for myself. But I have a feeling that this summer my morning pages will be full of why do I do this? and I don’t have anything to say and this is just stupid. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the quiet sound of my fountain pen on the page and my silly little scribbles.
I’ve kept up my goal to read the Bible daily in February. My go-to daily intention (or prayer) is for a gentle and calm soul. It’s the perfect mantra to fall back on when I want to yell and scream and shout. I have a gentle and calm soul. And it’s very helpful to have this in the back of my mind when I’m writing my daily intention, because sometimes I have no idea what I’m “supposed” to be taking away from the passage I read that day.
I was a bit more lax on my evening Psalm reading and reflections – I missed a good chunk of the month (about 10 days in a row) as I doubted its importance in my day. But around the 20th I decided that I should just resume the practice – it only takes about 5 minutes and I can at least feel like I’m making progress through my notebook, even if I’m doubting its effectiveness in every way. But I was off course by the end of the month again – here’s to being more consistent in March.
My Lenten reading plan is to read all of the Gospels, which amounts to about 2 chapters a day. I started that on Ash Wednesday and am on my way through the book of Matthew!
I’m still loving my Hobonichi Weeks for this practice – and yes, I have two Weeks notebooks! There’s just enough room for me to write a few lines about the day’s reading on the right side of the page and then set an intention on the left side. I flip to the blank pages in the back for my evening Psalm readings and reflections. I’m considering getting an undated techo for this practice next year… but let’s let’s see where we are then.
Don’t laugh! Last month I shared my phenology chart, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy a compass/protractor set for $1 at the Dollar Tree and go for the whole wheel! Including drawing and watercolors, which has been a source of angst for me if I’m going to be honest. Just drawing those wheels and wedges tested me — I don’t think I’ve ever used a compass/protractor set as intended! Don’t get me started on what I went through to divide those wheels into semi-equal pieces. But hey — I do this when my kids are also drawing and painting and it’s good for them to see me struggling and (trying) to keep a good attitude about it all.
For the fun of it, I started one for the whole year – just to document the highlights of each month. Lots of people do these with much more detail, but this is as much as I can muster right now. Maybe I’ll be more confident with my watercoloring skills by 2021!
I finished setting up the bare bones of my March wheel last night and had to snap a picture because I thought it looked so cool! I’ll start filling it in as I get the time. Friends, this is fun!
This post is full of the things that pulled me through the dark days of winter and propelled me forward into March. It’s still not green here, but we finally saw crocus shoots last Thursday! The days are longer and in just a few months we’ll be in the garden. What has gotten you through February?