This summer

This is my short list of goals for this summer. I’m still taking quarantine very seriously, so my summer plans don’t involve much going out around other people, aside from my boyfriend who I’ve been quarantining with. But I’m not worried, I think we’ll still have a great summer.

Pick our own produce. Upick is kind of the perfect socially distanced activity. You drive right in and out of the fields in your own car, and there’s plenty of open space to wander away from other people. Our local farm is pretty huge and offers tons of different fruits and veggies to pick like raspberries, peppers, cherries, zucchini and much more.

Kayak as much as possible. A couple years ago we invested in our own kayaks and a big fancy rack to transport them on our car. I think it’s one of the best investments we’ve ever made. Living in Metro Detroit, we’re close to lots of lakes and rivers, so there’s always a new spot to explore. I really can’t think of a better way to spend a warm summer day than cruising down a river in my own little boat.

Take a couple trips up north. My family has a condo on Lake Huron with a really nice, big beach that’s nearly always empty, making this another perfect quarantine activity. All I want to do when I’m up there is lay on the beach, go swimming, eat lots of snacks, and maybe go for a hike—all perfectly easy things to do while avoiding other humans. Plus, the trip up there is only 3 hours, so we don’t even need to stop for bathroom breaks (as long as we watch our beverage intake!)

Take care of our garden and use our fresh produce. Right now we’re growing squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, rosemary, parsley, and garlic. I can’t wait for the plants to start fruiting and to cook with all this lovely, fresh produce. We have SO many tomato plants right now—I think I’ll work on perfecting a salsa recipe this summer.

Launch my Etsy shop for printable planner pages. I’ve been slowly working away at creating some printable planner pages for like…over a year now. I tend to really take my time when it comes to personal projects like this, but I’m happy to say this one is almost ready to launch!

May/June things

Wow, hey July. We’re here already, huh?

What have I been up to the last couple months? Great question, let me see if I can remember that far back.

I recommitted to learning and talking about racism. This is an exciting moment of deeper understanding and focus on a problem that has been swept under the rug by white people for far too long. We are moving forward and I’m committed to being a part of that. In particular, I’ve been really interested in the (new to me) concept of defunding police departments to give a bigger portion of city budgets to more productive areas like housing, schools, mental health, and addiction services can lead to better outcomes and less violence.

I’ve been doing lots of yoga and going on lots of runs. Taking the time to slow down and breathe during my yoga practice or getting my anxious energy out with a run around the neighborhood makes an incredible difference in my mental health. Lately, my brain space has felt pretty scattered, and moving my body every day is one of the best ways to make that space feel a little less chaotic.

I took a walk every day in May and woke up at 7am every day in June. And I liked it. I thought it would be REALLY hard to complete these goals, but it actually wasn’t once I committed to following through with them. I only missed 1 day of walking and 2 days of waking up at 7—not half bad considering how little self control I usually have when I don’t feel like doing something!

I discovered how much I like working in the yard. It’s been clear to me for a long time how good it makes me feel to spend time outside. And for the last few years I’ve enjoyed growing herbs and vegetables in our backyard. But I’ve always thought about putting in the effort to make the plants grow better and the yard look nice as boring, waste-of-time work. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but this year I actually look forward to spending time out in the sun pulling weeds and tending to the plants. I love the feeling of being coated in sun and dirt and sweat mixed with the pride of having an outside space that looks and feels so much more beautiful and inviting.

A thing I read

Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting

I hope you might consider this: What happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it.

What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels.

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I hope we don’t ever go back to normal.

Before this pandemic launched all of us—unwillingly—out of our routines, millions of people were already suffering. From an economy that works only for the very few, from a healthcare industry that can bankrupt you for getting sick, from a housing crisis that leaves hundreds of thousands of people unsheltered.

I hope we don’t rush back to how life was before and keep lying to ourselves that those problems can’t be fixed. We’ve seen that our government and businesses can work harder to support us. We should use this unprecedented opportunity to hold them to that and change our sense of normal to something better.

Comfort food

After a long stretch of listening to a lot of new music, I’ve been craving my old favorites. So I made this playlist of songs that I loved in high school and college. These are songs that I don’t think I could ever get sick of. They make me feel comforted, nostalgic and peaceful. It’s a good time to do things that make ourselves feel good.

2020 goals check in pt. 1

Remember back in January when I posted a long list of goals I had for each month this year? Well, I’m delighted and surprised to announce that I’ve actually kept up with them. Aside from missing a couple days of yoga in January, I’ve actually done the rest of the goals every day each month. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • January: Do yoga every day
  • February: Meditate every day
  • March: Read every day
  • April: List to a podcast every day

Not only have I stuck to each monthly goal, but I’ve even kept them up in the following months. I wasn’t really planning to do that when I first thought this project up, but I’ve been enjoying having each of these things become part of my daily routine. I guess I unintentionally stumbled upon a great way to build good habits.

The next four months will be a little more challenging though:

  • May: Go for a walk every day
  • June: Wake up at 7am every day
  • July: No TV for the month
  • August: Talk to/text/message a friend/family member every day

I doubt I’ll end up adding this set of habits to my daily routine after the month commitment is up, but I guess we’ll see what happens!