Hey friends, I made us a playlist for October. I only included songs that I thought would fit on the soundtrack for a creepy, mindbending horror movie, so if that’s your jam, give it a listen!
Are you willing to embrace that truly slight inconvenience — and maybe pay a few dollars more — so that a person’s job is significantly less shitty? Think about in practice: are you willing to wait five more minutes for an Uber so that, when you get in, you know that your drive has health insurance and is making a living wage? Are you willing to pay $4 more for your yoga class (YOUR YOGA CLASS!) so that your teacher, who you likely venerate, can have some semblance of the stability/peace you yourself are attempting to find BY GOING TO YOGA??? Are you willing to have slightly less so that others can have significantly more? Or, as I like to think about it, do you actually care about other people?
Lately, lots of us are thinking and talking about burnout. How our work and daily routines are making us tired and sucking the joy out of our lives. We’re starting to think about what actions we can take to alleviate the feeling of burnout in our own lives. But this article asks us to think about how our actions can create burnout in other people.
In a small sense, that means respecting the boundaries of our colleagues, friends and family in a golden rule type fashion (do unto others…etc). But in a larger sense, that means buying into systems that respect those boundaries and allow us feel like real humans instead of meaningless cogs in the capitalist machine. And maybe MAYBE making a small, slightly uncomfortable impact on our own lives in an effort to make a much larger, game-changing impact on someone else’s life.
I think this idea is so important and one we don’t often think about. Don’t we all just want everything cheaper, faster, bigger? If it comes at the expense of another person’s wellbeing and financial stability, personally I’d rather have it a little more expensive, slower and smaller.
I found this article courtesy of Jocelyn K. Glei‘s newsletter which always has really great links about work, creativity, and making your life more enjoyable.
I intend to be the kind of person who does what she says she’ll do. It mostly doesn’t work out that way, but the intention is there. I make to-do lists so at the very least there’s evidence that I’m alive and trying. Here’s what I’m trying at this fall:
- Obligatory: go apple & pumpkin picking / carve said pumpkins / visit the cider mill
- Continue spending time outside as much as possible before it gets frigid
- Take a trip up north to see the trees change colors and get some quiet time away from home
- Bake a pie
- Host a spooky movie night
- Purge the house of unwanted things so I’m not surrounded by ugly junk while I’m stuck inside all winter
- Cook a big ass meal for my friends
What are you trying at this season?
Hey, here’s what I got up to in September:
I attended DIY Fair and bought some killer candles. Every year my neighborhood hosts a weekend-long event where local artists and crafters set up shop under big white tents that take over two entire parking lots plus main street. I go just about every year and struggle not to spend an entire month’s income on art, candles, jewelry, and food. This year, I maintained my self control and only purchased a giant roasted veggie sandwich covered in hash browns and three candles from this shop I love called Pagan Potions. I bought the Unfuck Yourself candle from them last year and loved it, so I got another one this year plus Money Money Money and Manifestation Muthafucka. They’re all so beautiful and smell amazing. I’ve been burning the Unfuck Yourself one every day the past couple weeks, and I’ve felt so much more motivated and at peace than usual.
I cozied up at home and watched a whole bunch of tv. I started and finished the last season of Jessica Jones which I loved. I’m really bummed the series is over. I’m not generally that into super hero stuff, but the characters and story lines in Jessica Jones made it a great show that would’ve held up without any of the super stuff. My boyfriend and I started and finished the first season of Altered Carbon which was decent. The story was interesting, but it was a little hard to follow at some points. I wasn’t super invested in any of the characters, but the world building was pretty cool. My favorite thing I watched was definitely The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance. I started off by re-watching the original Dark Crystal movie, which was a huge staple in my childhood, before racing through the new show in the course of one weekend. I was a little nervous about how it would maintain continuity with the original movie, but I was pleasantly surprised that they treated the original with respect and brought in some interesting new pieces that actually fit well with the existing narrative.
I cooked so many stir fries with the spicy sriracha peanut sauce from this list. I’m obsessed with this sauce—it’s mega easy to make, I always keep the ingredients stocked in my pantry, and it’s so good I honestly lick the spoon to get every last drop. I like to pair this sauce with brown rice or buckwheat noodles (these are my go-to) + whatever veggies I have on hand + tempeh or whatever Quorn fake meat product I currently have in my freezer. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, this would be it.
I had my regularly scheduled cleaning at the dentist. Keeping up with doctor appointments is a super important part of self care! I don’t particularly like the dentist, but it does feel really good to check it off my list and come home knowing that my mouth is healthy. It keeps those anxious what-if-I-have-a-million-cavities-and-need-ten-root-canals thoughts at bay. At every visit I schedule my next one for six months out since that makes it a WHOLE lot more likely that I’ll remember to go. My dentist even sends me text reminders a few days before my appointment which is super helpful. Consider this your call to GET YOU A DENTIST YOU ACTUALLY LIKE and MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT today.
What did you get up to in September?
Everyone does goals differently. We approach them annually on January 1st or around back to school time. We fix them as permanent staples in our year or revisit and revise every few months. We have a long list of 20 aspirational to-dos or simply one big dream. I always like seeing the different ways people work on getting what they want out of life, so here’s how I do it.
I package my goals according to four major themes: work, life, learning and health (and yes, you better believe I color code them in all my list making).
Work goals encompass anything related to what I do to make money. Things like client projects, admin/billing, or working on aspirational projects I hope will someday contribute to my income.
My current work goals include:
- Maintaining all my regularly scheduled work duties.
- Holding myself to scheduled work blocks instead of just working when I feel like it (hello to the challenges of being your own boss and working from home!!!)
- Exploring a few new avenues for making money and being more creative.
Life goals are things I do to maintain day to day functionality, including chores, errands, and home projects.
My current life goals include:
- Cleaning unwanted stuff out of the house and donating or recycling it (this one is ALWAYS on my list—how do I have this much stuff??)
- Sticking to a chore schedule so I’m not constantly frazzled by a messy house.
- Giving a little DIY update to a few pieces of furniture I’m not totally in love with.
Learning goals include anything I’m interested in learning. That might be brushing up on skills I need for work or investigating something I might want to pursue.
My current learning goals include:
- Doing one Creative Live course per month to keep my ideas fresh and my mind interested. Anyone else use this site? It has so much useful info for free—I love it!
- Reading a few chapters a week from this book to brush up some skills I need for work.
- Learning about managing my money and investing. This is one I’ve been putting off for a long time because it’s intimidating as hell.
Health goals are my favorite because this is where I prioritize my mental and physical health. Anything that keeps me happy and healthy goes into this category, like planning trips, trying a new recipe, scheduling exercise, or making doctor appointments.
My current health goals include:
- Trying a new recipe once a month to keep things interesting in the kitchen. My favorite spots to find new recipes are Joy the Baker, The Kitchn, and Love & Lemons.
- Doing fun outside fall activities like visiting the cider mill, apple picking, and going on hikes.
- Keeping up with a weekly exercise routine that my boyfriend and I have recently embarked on together.
How do you do goals? What are you working on right now?
I don’t know about you, but when the seasons change, my anxiety always goes into overdrive. I live in Michigan, where the weather fluctuates like crazy on a good day, so the season changes can be a real (not fun) roller coaster.
I really started getting in tune with how much the weather affects my mental health when I started using a mood tracking app called Daylio. Every day I track how my mood was on a scale from awful to rad, along with activities I did that day and other emotions I felt: relaxed, motivated, weird, etc.
It’s been really informative to see the patterns that show up in my weekly / monthly / yearly mood cycles. I’ve been using it since early 2017, so I have some pretty solid data to work with now, and the app organizes my stats into handy little charts, making it easy to see that my mood takes a clear dip around April and then again in September/October.
This year, my mood has been a little more even each month, without really severe highs and lows, which is great progress! I still feel that extra prickle anxiety this time of year, but I’ve been able to bounce back a little quicker since I’ve learned to prepare for it.
Here’s what I’m doing to keep from getting knocked down by my mood during this season change:
- Keep spending time outside and soaking up all the sun I can, even though the weather is getting colder
- Make plans with friends to do fun things and get out of the house so I don’t get stuck in a couch vortex of sadness
- Maintain my exercise and healthy eating routine because endorphins are magic!
- Lean into the season change and stop expecting the weather to behave. Surprise 90 degree day in the middle of a chilly week? Put those shorts back on and lay out in the sun while you still can! A sudden cold and rainy day after a week of sunshine? Light those pumpkin spice candles and get cozy with a book inside!
Any one else struggle with season changes? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to cope/thrive in these challenging times.
Ok, so I forgot to post for kind of a while. It’s fine though—summer is busy and sometimes I can’t stand being glued to a computer while the sun is busy making the outdoors delightful.
I’m back here to tell you I made a playlist for the month of September that I think is quite good. Summer is over. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of feelings about that. This playlist is an outlet. Let’s thank summer for filling us with extra dopamine and then throw it in the trash so we can make room on our shelves for fall.