It feels totally ridiculous to publish this post today. I’ve been working on it throughout the month and I think it’s really important to have these reflection posts – something to allow me to look back at all I’ve achieved by taking small steps every day. As a relatively new stay at home mom of three, my duties aren’t tracked by any measures; I’m not rewarded with a yearly raise; I don’t have a job description to fall back on when I become overwhelmed. So these posts help me clarify what’s important to me on a day-to-day basis.
But friends. The world. As soon as we think we’re figuring out this pandemic life, we are thrown into such a loop and it’s so difficult to look away. And we shouldn’t look away. To be honest, my little daily habits of journaling and reflection have helped me more than I can even describe. I hope something in this post will help you find a habit that helps during this horrific moment in human history.
On the first Wednesday of the month, I’ll use this post to linkup with Ginny at Small Things. Ginny hosts Yarn Along – a monthly linkup for bloggers who love to knit and read. And on the 15th I will link up with Anne Bogel at The Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my notable reads for the month.
Favorite Books of the Month
I finished 13 books in May — not only was it quantitatively my best month of 2020 so far, but it was also my best month in quality. It seemed like every book I picked up was amazing – it’s nice to be on a reading roll!
I’ve continued my Year with Anne by reading one book a month. Anne’s House of Dreams has been my favorite so far. Once again, there’s a whole new cast of characters and landscapes to get to know and love. I’m going to be sad when I finish this series. Every month someone in the comments says, this is the perfect time to read Anne! And they are 100% correct. Anne is so heartwarming and full of hope – perfection.
I’ve actually gone a couple of months without reading a WWII fiction novel, which is surprising! But The Things We Cannot Say was top notch and I was fascinated by Alina and Tomsz’s story in Poland. And the present day story featured a young woman named Alice with her own compelling plot. There was so much that I loved about this book!
Emily St. John Mandel is so talented at writing books with strange timelines and edgy ideas. The Glass Hotel is her most recent offering and I enjoyed it very much. This one played with the idea of alternate realities and dimensions, while being firmly rooted in one of the major tragedies of this century – the 2008 financial collapse. It had a tiny bit of a sci-fi flair which I don’t typically like, but it was built into the plot so well that it was easy to just stay along for the ride.
Hobonichi Weeks – Weekly Habit Tracking
My Hobonichi Weeks is one of the things that have kept me grounded throughout the last few unsettling months. Each Monday morning I share the previous week’s spread. It’s just enough motivation to keep me on track each week! I’m in the middle of some really exciting streaks:
- I’ve written in my journal 58 days in a row
- I’ve walked at least 10,000 steps 55 days in a row
I sincerely believe that 95% of the credit goes to habit tracking – I don’t want to break the chain! This is the longest I’ve been able to keep up with a habit tracker. I used to draw out a big, complex one every month in my old bullet journals and then I’d fall off the wagon when I started to see so many blank squares. I’d feel like such a failure. But it’s so easy to start fresh with the weekly format. If you had a bad week, leave that baby behind. You don’t ever have to look at that again! Just keep going.
I’ve totally stalled on my Birkin Sweater. I’ve been stuck on the same sleeve for over two weeks! The motivation to work on this just isn’t here and I’m at peace with that, but I did manage to knit about an inch on the sleeve last night. This will get done, just not by Mother’s Day (of 2020) like I planned. Obviously.
Morning Pages – Daily Journaling
May was a wonderful month for morning pages. Along with my hobonichi weeks, it’s been what I’ve consistently turned to for quiet time and reflection. This is a flip through of my journal entries for the month. I enjoy filming these because I love to see the pages that I write each day add up to something bigger. I love having stacks of filled notebooks and the only way to fill them is to write one page at a time. So that’s what I’m doing.
The month of May was so hard. March was hard. And damn, April was hard. The month of June, although only two days in, feels even harder already. Self reflection is an important aspect of our lives. Recognizing and reflecting on our automatic thoughts is hard. But it must be done if we’re going to grow as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a country. This is only the basic work, but without it, nothing is actually going to change.
I’m hopeful for June. I have to be. If you’re looking for me, the best time to find me is between 4-7am at my quiet little desk in my quiet little corner with my quiet little notebooks. Please say hi!