It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau
This week it is all about redefining busy.
Thanks to Kym, I am focusing on looking at the busyness in my life and I am well into week two of The Busy Boycott. I have been focusing on redefining and protecting my time. This week’s challenge is “do less” and in total honesty I am struggling with this one! Greatly!!
In this effort to redefine busy in my life, I have been looking at this blog… Are Monday – Friday posts necessary? Do I have something significant to share? Steve had an interesting idea and I am thinking about how to make that work. Lots of things are rambling about my brain and change is coming, but what that change will be I am not exactly sure!
The final thing I am looking at is Knit Night. While I enjoy getting out and the camaraderie of being with other knitters some weeks Tuesday’s just feel so rushed. So, I am pondering a bi-weekly schedule to see if that will alleviate some of the rushed and harried Tuesday’s.
This exercise in busy has truly been eye opening for me. Are you doing The Busy Boycott? If so, how are you feeling?
Want to see more lists? Head on over to Carole’s!
I have been trying to up my poetry reading this year and this month brings me to the poetry of Michael Longley – a very prolific poet and I am fortunate that my library has a collection of his works. It has been fascinating to read bits and pieces of his work each morning as part of my morning meditations. Longley’s works provide the loveliest way to start the day and I thought I’d share one of the poems I read this week with you.
by Michael Longley
When you woke me up and showed me through the window
Curtains of silk, luminous smoke, ghost fires,
A convergence of rays above the Black Mountain,
The northern lights became our own magnetic field –
Your hand on my shoulder, your tobacco-y breath
And the solar wind that ruffled your thinning hair.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
I had a moment of panic this morning when I looked at the calendar and realized that we are almost midway though September! Here are some of the things that are on my list this week!
The summer months were so wonderful, and the extended daylight made it so easy to ‘blog in the moment’ and that early morning light worked well for that day’s inspiration. However, darker mornings (as well as the recent spate of grey, rainy days) have really thrown a monkey wrench into that process. I need to get back to Blog Planning and my list includes getting myself back to doing that. Yes, this means less spontaneous posts – but it also means less stress about photos and content for the day!
Likewise, summer meals also fit into the ‘in the moment’ category with practically no planning at all. However, as we enter fall that same meal spontaneity is not working quite the same. I need to get back on track with some actual meal planning. My list today includes doing some of that so there is a reduction in the recurring ‘what’s for dinner tonight’ conversations where the answer is ‘I have no idea’ LOL.
Finally, two weeks from tomorrow we head off to Michigan to visit the kids. Two weeks! I need to get my list going! Every year we take way too much stuff. This year, I am hoping to curb that significantly by curating last year’s list. Yes, past me made notes for future me in my journal! Hopefully, this year we will take just the right amount of stuff!
There you have my things for today! What are you planning this fall?
Need more things? Head on over to Carole’s!
Recently, Kym shared some excellent inspiration about checking in on your year. These were excellent reminders for me and have me thinking about some needed “course corrections” to move me back on track.
It is funny how easy it is to think you are on track but when you review where you are you realize that you have drifted off course a bit.
I have let activity slip and have become an expert excuse maker to myself to “make this okay.” And, while walking in gazillion degree heat might not be fun or making time to do Pilates can get lost in the shuffle, these are necessary for feeling good and more importantly – sleeping well – every day!
The Art of Being Busy can be overwhelming. I moved a couple of things off my “things I have to do list” but I am certain that there is more that I can do so I took Kym’s suggestion and have signed up for the “Busy Boycott” and am really looking forward to the changes this will bring! This challenge starts on Monday – so there is still time to sign up!
Finally, the change of seasons brings me to closet organization! (This looks really interesting, but I am not sure I am ready for that level of minimalism…yet!!) But, my plan is to begin Operation Closet Reorganization this weekend and focus on it for the next week or so. Yes, I am also being realistic in understanding that this will not be a quick project – which is a challenge in and of itself. I like to tackle things that will be easy to finish, and I tend to avoid things that are not. But, setting the expectation that this will take time will hopefully help the process!
There you have my things for this week! Want to see more interesting things? Head on over to Carole’s!
…or, my five-ish best reads of the summer!
For me, this was truly the Summer of Reading (Thank you, Mary for organizing another amazing Summer Book Bingo!)
This summer hearkened back to the days of my childhood and the joy and excitement that was summer reading. Growing up as a child, we had little money and we did not take vacations, so for me a good book would take me far away!
And, that was how I spent this summer – miles and miles away inside the pages of the books I read. It was a wonderful summer with 50 books and 2 Bingo Cover All’s! But, not all books are equal, and I thought a great way to wrap up the summer would be to highlight 5 books that I don’t think you should miss! And, if you have not read them – these are books that I would urge you to read and soon!
Number one on my list is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje in post-WWII London. I truly loved this story and I loved how Ondaatje told it. His way with words is masterful and his characters are so memorable! I truly hope that this book will win the Man Booker Prize this year. It is most worthy, in my opinion!
My second favorite book of the summer was The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner. This book drew me in from the first page with a line from Derek Walcot’s poem Islands: But, islands can only exist. If we have loved in them. And, so I spent a good number of days on the island Castellamare falling in love with it and the Esposito family. I truly did not want this book to end!
Coming in third was The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman. And, yes, I read all three books this summer because spending time in Brakebills and Fillory was so exciting! And, while I thought book two was not quite as good as books one and three, this series has stayed with me and the final book was just amazing and how Grossman wrapped up this series was spectacular and I highly recommend it! (After note… did you know there is a SYFY series about these books?? Yeah, I did not either and you can find seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix)
I was fortunate to be able to fit a good number of Louise Penny’s books with Armand Gamache in Three Pines on my cards (three this summer) and I am going to lump them (The Nature of the Beast, A Great Reckoning, and Glass Houses) together in fourth place. You can never go wrong with Armand!
Finally, I am at the truly hard choice of picking a final book to bring this summer to a close, and I have thought about this long and hard as to which book I will put on this Best of Summer list. It was not an easy choice because I read so many amazing books this summer. But, in the end Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin gets the final spot. And, really… spending time in Paris this summer was not painful at all! This book was so much more than I expected and it made me laugh, it made me cry, and I fell in love with Jules Lacour! This book easily gets 5 stars!!
You can see my entire list of summer reads here.
Happy Labor Day everyone!
Today it’s all about things on PBS you don’t want to miss!
PBS has partnered with Chef Marcus Samuelsson in No Passport Required. The series follows Chef Samuelsson on his journey to some amazing cities across the US highlighting its unique immigrant culture. It comes at the most perfect time as well, this is the America I love living in… rich, diverse, and so delicious! I highly recommend it!
The Great American Read returns September 11 when America’s best-loved novel will be revealed! Have you voted yet? There is still time!
Finally, The Miniaturist debuts in September (at least at my PBS affiliate) and I am so looking forward to it!
There you have my things for this last Thursday in August! Want to see more, then head on over to Carole’s!