We are a one week into the month of March, and it’s a good time to share with you one of my monthly rituals. I take some time either at the end of the month or the first few days of the new month to take stock of the last 30 (or so) days. I, like many of you, feel that time can slip away from me if I’m not paying attention, and so many little victories go unnoticed and uncelebrated in the rush of it all. I take a couple of minutes, an hour tops, to remember, to celebrate, and to keep a record of these increasingly short days.
I borrowed this idea and format from one of my favorite writers, Tracy over at Shutterbean.com. I’ve followed her blog for years and she has become one of my favorite voices on the Internet. Her space is primarily a food blog, but her candid voice, willingness to share her life and family, and obsession with handwriting and paper goods delights me.
As we ease into March and the coming of a new season, let’s take a moment to reflect and look back.
Richard Claremont landscape paintings. I discovered this artist in the “discover” portion of Instagram, which is actually a really great place to find new-to-you artist and cat accounts. (That’s what you do on Instagram right? Artists and cats?) I find myself staring at his posts; I am absolutely fascinated by how he uses flat planes of color to create depth and movement in landscapes. The color, form, and texture creates simultaneously a recognizable scene and a completely abstract composition.
Painters who start their paintings with a bright background color. Wanda Comrie (again, Instagram) does this, and while barely any of the color shows through to the final product, it infuses a life to her subjects that is undeniable.
A quick trip to the Dallas Museum of Art with my mama. I feel very lucky that I can see world class art in just a 30 minute drive.
Crashing and Last Week Tonight on HBO. The former is a really funny show about stand-up comedy in New York. I love stand-up comedy, and love this show.
Waco, the miniseries about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.
Lots of YouTube videos about dog training, some more helpful than others.
Instagram stories. I love watching them and am so bad at making them.
The Artist’s Way. by Julia Cameron.
Origin by Dan Brown. I really liked it, but I like all of his books. This one wasn’t particularly ground breaking, but it was enjoyable and easy to read at the gym.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. Sigh. Ann Patchett is the best; her writing is so effortless and so beautiful but neither are the reason why you should read her books. Her stories are really good.
LitHub Articles. I signed up for this daily newsletter and while I don’t read all of the articles they send, so far it’s been fun to have a daily dose of something quick and inspiring to read.
Puppy training. Our next trip. Writing as a daily creative practice. This blog. Changes in my routine and how I react to them, more specifically how flexible (or rigid) I am regarding change.
My daily mix on Spotify is a wonderful mix of all the best 90’s tunes. There’s lots of Counting Crows and Pixies and Weezer and it’s great to put on while cooking dinner.
My Favorite Murder podcast, which, yes, sounds dark. And it is, to the extent that any true crime podcast is. But the hosts have great chemistry, they tell stories in an empathetic but humorous way, and it’s just a highlight of my week. SSDGM!
Van Morrison, always.
Bennington on SiriusXM. It’s a comedy radio show and I’m not ashamed to say I’m a total groupie.
Eating and Drinking
Honestly, whatever is easiest, which means too much take-out and really quick meals. This is unlike me; I usually find a lot of joy in the kitchen, but the new puppy requires a lot of attention, especially in the evenings, and I just don’t have it in me. Last night I ate cheese and crackers because I was snacking and then fell asleep before I got up to make dinner.
I include this because a (lofty) goal of mine this year was to go somewhere every month. I had a trip to Abilene planned at the end of February but it got postponed to last weekend, so technically I didn’t go anywhere. I did however go to Dallas a couple of times, like when I went to the museum with my mom and when I took the puppy to my parents house. That counts!
2018 Check In
I have a list of “bucket list” items that I want to get done this year, as well as some overarching goals, so I try to check in every month to see how I am doing. This way, it’s not late November and I’m wondering why I never got around to seeing a doctor. I’ll share my 2018 goals with you soon.
This month I checked off my list: see a doctor/get a physical and order new glasses. I willingly submitted to a blood test, ya’ll. Am I an adult now? Is that the measure?
I also consciously worked on deepening my daily creative practice, thanks in part to The Artist’s Way and my Morning Pages.
This section is pretty self explanatory: it’s a celebration! Good things happen every day, and it’s important to remember them when the not-so-good things happen.
Biggest and best moment was we got Buck. I had wanted a dog for a long time and was so excited when we brought him home. He’s a very good boy. He’s a puppy and I’ve had to become way more flexible than is my natural state, especially with my routine and expectations, but in general, he’s just the best.
Kevin and I also went out a couple of times, and we had my parents over for Superbowl Sunday which was a blast.
And that’s February! Bring it, March!