Casual Friday + Plans Change

Where is January going? Overall, I feel like we’ve had a fantastic start to the new year. One of my favourite features of the One Line A Day journal? It gives me a snapshot view into what was happening exactly one year previous.

And this time last year was…really, really hard. We had entered another lockdown, the kids were in the middle of a 4-week hiatus from in-person schooling, and my physical and mental health was spiraling. It’s not like life is perfect in 2023, but every day when I read those diary entries from January 2022, I’m so happy last year’s tough days are in the rearview mirror.

I had to take a picture of this fabric at the OB-GYN office!

Earlier in the week I had an OB-GYN appointment. It was on January 9th, to be specific, and I had to laugh when I looked at my One Line A Day entry from January 9th, 2022 which read: Decided to tell Dr. X I want to go ahead with a hysterectomy. It’s time.

I’ve come full circle (with a few detours along the way). And then, sometimes, plans change!

Long story short? I’m not going to have a hysterectomy. I’m opting for an endometrial ablation and it’s scheduled for next month. It really is a long story (2+ decades in the making), but because of issues relating to scar tissue from my C-sections, any intervention is significantly more complicated. Since my regular OB-GYN is out on maternity leave (but I was triaged to see a replacement while she’s out), this latest doctor marks my fourth OB-GYN in the last decade. Each one seems to approach my case differently, with unique perspectives on weighing the risks and benefits of various procedures.

When I left my appointment on Tuesday, I felt absolutely exhausted. I had gone in with my eyes set on a hysterectomy and didn’t anticipate circling back around to considering any other option. But deep down I was really (really!) dreading it. Not the surgery and recovery, but the potential for long-term health issues related to the procedure.

This week I spent a lot of time on the phone with doctors, friends, and family members (including one person who had both an ablation and a hysterectomy). Someone mentioned needing to go with my gut feeling at this point – I have spent dozens of hours discussing this topic with medical professionals and I’m burned out from it all – and my gut was telling me to start with an ablation. I finalized my decision and have a date on the calendar which feels really, really good.

little moments this week

It’s hard to tell, but the car was covered in a thin sheet of ice.
  • Last Friday we woke up to a world of ice. Everything was so slippery! They delayed the school day by two hours, which was actually a nice reprieve from our typical race out the door in the morning.

  • Walking to school every morning has been great. It feels nice to settle back into this routine and most mornings we opted to walk a portion of the way through woods trails.
  • On the weekend my parents were willing to babysit and John and I went to see the new Avatar movie. It was good, though I think I liked the first one better? We only go to the theatre a few times a year, so it was fun to be watching a movie in a big-screen setting.
For context, here’s the space in July! No floor, no drywall…and definitely no mirror!
  • We hung up a mirror and a painting in our entryway. While this isn’t technically one of my goals for 2023, getting this done has already made my 2023 Ta-Da list. As expected, it took some effort; DIY activities do not come naturally to either of us. But’s it done, and I have loved seeing the transformation of this space over the last few months. After 5 years of upgrades and renovations, I think this is my absolute favourite functional change. To go from a tiny, rotted, leaking entryway to a bright, open, significantly larger space has been amazing. We also installed a transition strip (taped down while the special adhesive dries) between the new entryway flooring and our kitchen.

books lately

In what will come as no surprise to anyone who has an e-reader, I am now a huge fan of this medium. In fact, I have only read e-books since Christmas and the experience has been wonderful. At my OB-GYN appointment earlier in the week, I had to wait for over an hour and spent the entire time happily reading off my Kobo (which is as light as a feather and easily fits into my purse).

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford. This book had so much potential. It’s about Charles Dickens and the history of the writing/publication/ensuing impact on popular culture of A Christmas Carol. The first few chapters pulled me in and then the rest was a disappointing slog. I should have marked this a DNF and moved on with my life, but I stubbornly skimmed to the end. Sigh. For the record, it has great reviews elsewhere so maybe it’s me (but I don’t think it’s me).

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle. I wanted to read a book about Italy ahead of our trip there later in the year. I saw this book recommended months ago and it was available from my library for immediate download as an e-book. It ended up being an easy read. Did I enjoy it? Yep. Did I love it? No. Portions of the storyline involve suspended realism which – especially when randomly introduced into a non-fantasy book – always unsettles me. I didn’t love the ending. I never felt like I was rooting for any of the characters. But it was enjoyable enough and it definitely made me excited to visit the Amalfi Coast! (I am still looking for any recommendations/suggestions regarding time in Rome, Pompeii vs. Herculaneum, Sorrento, Positano, Capri, etc.).

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Sigh. During the very first session of my introductory English class in university, I declared Jane Eyre to be my all-time favourite book. I was 18, so “all-time” needed to be taken with a giant grain of teenage salt. Adding it in as a re-read for my 2023 reading goal felt like a failproof choice. Sadly, this book – for me at least – has not aged well. It was tedious, with lots of quotes like: I like you more than I can say; but I’ll not sink into a bathos of sentiment: and with this needle of repartee I’ll keep you from the edge of the gulph too; and, moreover, maintain by its pungent aid that distance between you and myself most conducive to our real mutual advantage. It was depressing on so many levels (physical and mental abuse). And the men. I understand cultural contexts, but Mr. Rochester’s treatment of Jane irritated me to no end (to Jane’s credit, she has a lot of spunk). But the worst of it was John Rivers who made me want to scream. Literally. That latter section of the book made me feel icky, especially since Jane still seemed to glorify him to the bitter end. Needless to say, this is no longer my all-time favourite book. Am I glad I re-read it? Yes. Do I think I’ll ever read it again? Probably not.

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. I noticed a friend had rated this book highly on Goodreads and, once again, it was available for immediate download as an e-book. Set in London during World War II, it traces the experiences of a book shop assistant during the Blitz. It was a good book. Sad, but inspirational. I did find the writing and character development lacked depth and things felt a bit stilted in places. But it was a solid read and definitely my favourite from this latest batch of books. I think this could be adapted for the big screen and would make a fantastic movie!

Hmmm. What else happened this week?

  • Work. It was actually a great week for work. I finally managed to schedule in and start prepping for an important meeting. I had some really great calls that left me feeling motivated in my various roles. Corporate taxes are coming and I dread this season…but ended up having a long – but productive – meeting with our accountant and I feel clear on next steps.
  • One of my aunts is visiting from the US (staying with my parents at their rental). It was nice to see her and we fit in various little fun adventures, including games with the kids; today is to involve coffee out at my favourite cafe and everyone coming to our house for supper (though none of the food is prepped, so guess what I’m doing this afternoon!).
  • Abby was tasked with bringing a sweet snack to a weekly youth activity; we made these Supernatural Brownies from Once Upon A Chef and they were delicious! Though, how could anything with that much butter and sugar and eggs not be delicious?
  • I’m tracking my time as part of Laura Vanderkam’s most recent time-tracking study. It has been a lot of fun. I wouldn’t want to do it long-term (and already track a lot of things in my daily planner), but I have really enjoyed seeing where my time goes in 15-minute increments. Turns out: work, some mindless scrolling, lunchbox prep, grocery shopping, time with family, blogging, post-school “chaos”, bedtime routines and, thankfully, a lot of sleep.

Your turn. How was your week? Have you read any good books – or watched any good movies – lately? Are you adept at DIY projects? Tell me how you feel about brownies!

Header photo by Sincerely Media

46 thoughts on “Casual Friday + Plans Change”

  1. Elisabeth, that is hard to have to keep revisiting the path forward. I struggle with choices with no “right” way. With something like an ablation or hysterectomy, you just won’t know 100% ahead. Either choice is a step forward and I’m happy you decided to go with your gut on this one. I wish you well with that procedure!
    I love brownies! I finished reading The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate. It has lots of interesting points about the world we live in and chronic conditions and illnesses. Fascinating but I was ready for a lighter read. I am currently reading The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. It won’t be a favourite but I’m enjoying it!

    1. Thanks, Shelly. I like black-and-white decisions, but this definitely hasn’t fallen into that category. BUT I feel a “peace” about things now that I didn’t when I was moving ahead with the hysterectomy. If the ablation goes well, I may look back at that positive COVID test as a good thing in October?

      I LOVED A Gentleman in Moscow, enjoyed The Lincoln Highway, but I actually DNF Rules of Civility. I might re-try it again? Then again, life is short and there are A LOT of books out there.

  2. Regarding Jane Eyre: I re-read it fairly recently, although I don’t think we were following each other then, so I am going to give you the link to my thoughts, which I think you will appreciate:
    I had read it as a young girl and WOW. I couldn’t remember anything about it except “crazy wife in the attic” and I was blown away by how creepy, terrible, and pretty racist it was! Yes, cultural contexts BUT STILL. #TeamAtticWife

    I just read Happy Go Lucky, which was holy crap DARK, and I am reading Our Missing Hearts, which is really good. Both are really good! But depends on your headspace, you know?

    Okay, regarding the ablation. I have many friends who have done this and it’s really helped. I hope it helps you too. It’s really hard to make such a big change in the decision process but I feel like you know what’s best for you and starting with an ablation might just be it. Good luck with it all.

    Also, January of 2022 was BRUTAL. Across the board awful. I’m glad we are not there. Although, it would be fun to have a mask made out of that fabric…

    1. Your review is SPOT ON. The whole leading Jane on bit infuriated me. So mean! In fact, most of the book is really people being mean to Jane (Miss Ingram is pretty awful, too – it’s not just men. And Bessie the maid from Gateshead seems to be held in high esteem but she was horrible and mean to Jane, too). Basically all I remembered was the attic wife bit when I went in to re-read it this time but she is the least of Jane’s concerns.

      Sounds like I’m not the only one who really struggled in January 2022. It was…rough.

  3. I need to start a OLAD journal; I do love looking back on the little snippets! Also I just read my grandmother’s journals and hers are basically day planners with one or three sentences per day and it was so fun to look at what she was up to! It also seems like she was very busy although I think that the journal does compress everything. I mean, you never say “sat around picking my nose” do you?

    Oh, those books… I did not love the ghost part of One Italian Summer; it turned me off. Jane Eyre was about a woman who puts up with male abuse (as far as I can remember) and I did not really enjoy it either. I agree with you about the Last Bookshop; it was okay but not great. I just finished the Bullet That Missed which I enjoyed and am currently reading Killers of a Certain Age which is entertaining but nothing special. I have found audiobooks to be my most used medium, as I am often doing something else at the same time (cooking, cleaning house, running etc.) I rarely just sit and read anymore!

    1. That’s so fun you have those old journals.

      I don’t want to give spoilers for One Italian Summer, but I found the woman’s relationship choices to feel icky and then sort of get explained away with the time warp. Not a fan of that at all.

      I’m waiting for the Bullet That Missed to come in for me at the library. I LOVED the second book in that series. I picked up Killers of a Certain Age but there was so much swearing and I kinda hit my quota on that with the first Robert Galbraith book.

      1. The Bullet That Missed was fun; I mean, how can you not love the foursome!? And spoiler…he is writing a fourth one as we speak! He also mentioned (I listened to an interview with the author) that he may start a different set of books with different main characters, which could be fun too. I really enjoy the series and his quirky characters. Like Bogdan (sp?); who would have thought he would be still involved after the first book? And I am so glad he stuck around!

  4. Oh yes January 2022 was terrible, COVID went through our house. In January 2021 I had shingles which was THE WORST PAIN IN MY LIFE for a whole month. This January is soooooo much better!! Good luck with the ablation, I think it makes sense to try it first, why not? You can always get the hysterectomy later…or hopefully it won’t be needed!

    1. I have heard that shingles are one of the most painful experiences – and they can linger for a long time. I’m so sorry you went through that – and then COVID a year later. Ugh, Colleen! Hoping January 2023 continues to be significantly better.

  5. I enjoyed ‘One Italian Summer’, perhaps more than it warranted because while I was listening to it, I was daydreaming about being able to see and talk to my own mom again. She died in 2008, so it’s been awhile. I also read another book of hers, ‘In 5 Years’, in which a woman goes 5 years into the future and finds herself in bed with a man who is NOT her current fiancé’. I liked that one a little more. I think this sort of time travel may be the author’s thing.

    I haven’t read Jane Eyre in donkey years. Aside from the plot, I am sorry to say that 19th century writing is difficult for me. I used to love it, but I’m not sure I have the attention span anymore to read much of it. Perhaps I should test myself, but read something a bit lighter. I do remember loving it way back then, though, the mystery and tragedy of it all, and also thinking how stupid they were in many ways. So much of fiction (and perhaps our real world as well) could be improved by honesty and communication, right?

    Good luck on your surgery. I hope it is enough and a hysterectomy is not needed, but the good news is that you are clearly proactive, so it if isn’t enough, you will be on it..

    1. This was the first book I had read by the author; I thought it had lots of potential, but lost me a bit with her one-sided view of motherhood (at first; everything was SO rosy about her relationship with her mom and that was all she talked about) and then the time shifting. But it wasn’t hard to read/finish!

      I’m just not quite sure what I thought of Jane Eyre when I first read it? There are just so many tough issues covered that I likely think about with a different lens now that I’m a mother/wife etc.

  6. LOVE your entry way– so pretty and calm looking. One Italian Summer was my least favorite of her books BUT Lauren Graham read the audiobook so that was pretty fabulous. I have read ZERO Brontë or Austin. For some reason I can’t psyche myself up to do it– weird, right?

    1. Well, feel free to skip Jane Eyre. Or…read it and give me your thoughts. I would be VERY intrigued (and Nicole’s review – linked above in the comments – is fascinating and thorough).

  7. I took a class in college on the Brontes where we read all of their novels. I remember loving it, but that was 20 years ago, so who knows how I’d feel about those books now! A lot of classics don’t hold up. I know you love the Anne series, but I was a little shocked but the stuff in Anne of Green Gables (racist comments etc.) I’ve also read The Last Bookshop in London, it was a good story but it was an average read for me too.
    I did chuckle that hanging up a picture is DIY for you… but I’m the opposite. I do all sorts of things like tiling, painting, installing molding, upholstery, and furniture making. My in-laws recently moved into a new house and asked me to hang up ALL their pictures. After about 20 I was totally over it but I do have a system and I’m pretty quick at it these days. I think it’s really just having the confidence to say “I have no idea how to do this but I’m going to try anyway”!

    1. Ha! Yes, hanging up a picture is DEFINITELY DIY. It’s shocking how much time and energy even simple things like that require from us.

  8. I always felt secretly guilty in grad school that I didn’t love the Brontes as many others did… I could understand the comparative themes, but everyone just set me off in them!
    We just finished watching The Glass Onion (finally); the second half was so much better paced than the first, but still a meh watch, sigh.
    I love a good underbaked brownie! I am not an edge person, but will eat a center piece with such joy every now and then!

    1. Meh is exactly how I would categorize The Glass Onion. I really preferred the first movie.
      I haven’t made brownies in years, but this particular batch was especially yummy.

  9. I liked One Italian Summer so so. I liked that it transported me to that region of Italy. But I struggled with the relationship between the protagonist and her mom. I could not relate to that dynamic and how she basically would choose her mom over her husband? That did not seem healthy. But the setting? YES!

    I should try a OSAD journal again. I had one years ago and then stopped using it and threw it out because I could not bear to re-start it with a gap in usage. But now I am maybe in a better spot to consistently do something like that. The start of Jan 2022 was horrible for us, too. We were in urgent care on NYD and then the ER later that week because Will spiked a high fever on antibiotics – I started at urgent care and they sent me to the children’s ER. But then, blessedly, we got a fast ENT consult – got the ok for tubes on a Friday and got surgery on Monday because of a covid cancellation! So things turned around but I came into 2022 absolutely exhausted as Will was up 3-5 times/night. I really don’t know how I was functioning. I handled all of the wake ups because nursing was a source of comfort him and obviously I only have the equipment for that. 😉

    2023 is off to a good start for me, too. I feel positive energy and excitement for the year to come! I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading so far. It’s WWII-adjacent which I appreciate. I am really burned out on books set in WWII but am ready for adjacent content. And Solito was a good read but harrowing! I love brownies! We made them several times this summer as they are very easy to make and I like that they don’t need to look pretty which is helpful when it comes to GF baking because things can turn out a little wonky. But GF brownies look and basically taste the same as non-GF ones since they are meant to be kind of ugly and very dense!

    1. Yes, the mother-daughter relationship seemed too over the top to me. But it was fun to read along about the setting; it sounded gorgeous being described in the book and, hopefully, I’ll get to actually be in that town in the coming weeks!

      Okay. January 2022 was clearly NOT a good time for many of us! I remember when poor Will got his tubes in; I’m so glad once the issue was diagnosed the turnaround for surgery was so quick! You had such a long, hard slog with illnesses…

  10. I am really happy that you have made a decision that feels good to you. That’s the most important part. Having something hanging over you that fills you with so much dread must have been so emotionally exhausting, so I’m glad that burden has been removed.

    Love your entryway! It is so pretty! Way to go for getting it into the shape you want. I also love your vest.

    Jane Eyre is a book I have never read! There are so many classics missing from my repertoire. But… maybe I can skip this one!

    1. That’s actually my heated vest (NGS’s repeated comments about how much she loved hers spurred me on to request one for Christmas)!

      I’m glad I’ve read Jane Eyre – and I’m glad I re-read it – but I wouldn’t recommend it! Which is so ironic because if you’d asked me a month ago to recommend a classic book, I likely would have said to start with Jane Eyre.

      I remember listening to a podcast (No Stupid Questions, I think) and they were discussing how much we forget about the books we read. But they also said – and this has stuck with me – that we don’t forget how a book made us feel. And for me that is so true. I couldn’t tell you all the nuances of A Gentleman in Moscow, but I could tell you I loved reading it. I don’t remember much of anything from Lord of the Flies, but I know I deeply disliked it.

      And I guess our sentiments can change. I used to love Jane Eyre and now…I see a pretty problematic book!

  11. You were INCHES away from having a hysterectomy, and now you have this other option- if this works out well, you’ll look back and say “I’m glad I got Covid!” when it seemed so devastating at the time. Just goes to show, we don’t really know if events are good or bad until we get some perspective.
    I also LOVED Jane Eyre as a teenager., but haven’t read it since. I wonder what I would think now. That line you quoted made me laugh- really? I liked that as a teenager? I probably won’t be rushing to re-read it anytime soon.
    We’re unfortunately not big DIY people either. Your entryway looks great- I can see why you’re so happy with it.

    1. I know you love Happier and all things Gretchen Rubin and your comment reminds me of that Little Happier episode she did about how we can’t tell from the outset (often at least) when something is going to be good or bad. The things that might seem like negative experiences, can turn out to be pivotal in moving us in the right direction.

      I would agree: no need to rush to re-read this, unless you want to see how frustrated you can get.

      The issue with not being DIY saavy is owning a home means there are ALWAYS things that need to be fixed/repaired/built and hiring out is both expensive but also time consuming (finding and managing contractors). Oh well. We all have gifts and talents, and home renovations are not part of our basket of skills.

  12. I’m in the middle of a fantasy trilogy and I’m enjoying it greatly. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available as an ebook, so I’m reading it as a physical book in omnibus form, so it’s more than 800 pages and it’s not particularly comfortable to hold. That’s the #1 advantage of ebooks, I think. I mean, it’s great to be able to have your book handy in a waiting room, but for me, it’s really about how easy it is to hold and increase font size and it’s always well lit. Ebooks are just so convenient if you can get enough of them on your device from the library!

    1. Yikes! 800 pages.

      Now is the time for me to admit that back when I said how much I loved physical paper books in a post, several people chimed in that they appreciated the lightweight nature of the Kobo and found paper books to be too heavy and cumbersome. I may have proverbially rolled my eyes. I’m so sorry, and NOW I GET IT!!! It really is so much easier on the arms and a lot more convenient to contort it into whatever position is necessary for maximum comfort. I’m converted and really didn’t understand how much easier and more comfortable it can be to use an e-reader.

      And being able to read at night without having to do anything (and it doesn’t hurt my eyes AND it naturally adjusts the lighting based on the time of day). A game changer.

      I think I’ll love it for fiction but may still prefer paper books for non-fiction. I take a lot of notes from non-fiction books and like adding in little flags and flipping back and forth between pages/chapters. All I’ve read up to this point is fiction and I find it cumbersome and annoying to use the digital highlights, so in a non-fiction book I think it might drive me crazy?

  13. About the change of plan, I think it’s better to go with your gut feeling on these things. No decision can be 100% sure and we need to listen to our instincts sometimes. I’m glad you found the solution you feel most comfortable. Hope it helps with d your long term issue. Since last year I’ve been extremely anxious about health issues. To the extend I wanted to start counseling. It happened when I was on a month long exercise break, which caused mild depression. now that I’m back into running, I’m much bette mentally. Still sometimes I feel anxious about my health if I don’t feel well one day. It’s a process I’m learning to go through.

    1. Health issues can quickly become all consuming. Having a consistent physical or mental health issue can overshadow…everything!

  14. I have a Kindle and have never become a fan. I wish I could approach mine with your level of enthusiasm. As for Jane Eyre, I too was smitten with it when I was in college. I’ve read it once since then and came to the same conclusion as you. Right now I’m reading Wide Sargasso Sea which is the backstory about the wife in the attic who Mr. Rochester tried to keep hidden from Jane. It’s good.

    1. I’m loving the Kobo, but I can see why it’s not for everyone. I do miss the sensation of turning pages AND I always smelled my books (an odd quirk of mine), so I miss that sensory experience.

  15. I am glad you are going forward with your health issues.
    I understand the struggle with the do the surgery, not doing, the following unknown… But once a discussion is made it seems at least you are in control again.

    I hope all goes well.

    So glad you enjoy your reader. Mine has been definitely spiking my number of books I read. It is just such a great thing to carry your whole library in the purse. I did read Italian Summer. I do understand your points. A good pick as preparation for Italy.

    I have never read Jane Eyre. Always wondered if I should but this doesn’t sound like I want to pick it up. But then, it is interesting how you can glimpse into a different time through those kind of books.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and support <3

      Loving the Kobo so far. I wouldn't discourage you from trying Jane Eyre, I was just shocked at how different my response was this time around...

  16. I had similar feelings when re-reading Jane Eyre. Sometimes I wonder if re-reading books I loved is a good idea or not because I just want to keep those good memories alive.
    The last week was a whirl – I agree to train two of our undergrads on a protocol what involves a lot of talking during the day. I always question if I do a good job at it. I always try to put a lot of into it when explaining things but sometimes since I never know what they already know/did before but then I worry it might be too much all at once, sigh. It’s also a new schedule since I signed the kids up for some new classes and my daughter had a band event at school this weekend.
    Not much reading going on but I started listening to the newest Cormoran Strike and book 5 of the Inspector Gamache series. I think the latter is my preference for now. I like how the characters in Three Pines form this little family and it keeps me wanting to know where they are going.

    1. Good point; it was nice to think so highly of Jane Eyre and was disappointed to find it a slog and SO different from my memory. Re-reading classics can be a tricky business (especially based on season of life; I’m very different than I was at 18!).
      I’ve never heard of the Inspector Gamache series.

  17. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite book, but I only re-read my favorite parts, the sweepingly romantic bits and the bits where Jane stands up for herself. Pretty much the Thornfield bits. And the end because I love a happy ending. I completely agree that St. John is not… great and I can see why he gets trimmed in so many movies. I don’t know when “having a crazy wife locked in the attic” went from romantic to problematic to me, but Mr. Rochester is definitely problematic now in ways that I didn’t see when I was a teenager. I wonder if it’s the times or me. Probably both.
    If you’re in the mood for another Victorian tome, you might consider Middlemarch (if you haven’t already read it). I read Middlemarch when I went to Italy twenty years ago, and there is a whole section set in Rome, which was cool to read while there – a lot of the things that George Eliot wrote about hadn’t changed since she wrote.
    I love brownies, but we usually just make the Ghiradelli box mix. I love how dense and fudgy they are, but they don’t keep well past a day or two so we have to eat them quickly.
    There is a movie called “The Man Who Invented Christmas”, wonder if it is based on the book? I had put it on my Christmas watch list, but never got around to watching it… too many Hallmark movies to get through, clearly…

    1. There are just so many layers to the things that bothered me this time that I either don’t remember (maybe I bristled at some of these things back when I was a teenager, too) or my perspective has sharpened.
      Jane has guts and I appreciate that! I suppose books can reflect that fact that truth is stranger than fiction; it’s not like real-world events aren’t worse?! But I guess I just expected to be swept away in a romance and this time around felt like it was unpalatable!

      I have NOT read Middlemarch, but have heard it referenced so many times. Maybe the book for me to read on the plane going to/from Italy?!

      I watched that movie last Christmas and it is based on this book. I was disappointed in the movie, too, to be honest, but didn’t clue in that it was based on this book. So when I ordered in The Man Who Invented Christmas I didn’t put two-and-two together. Oh well. I think I’m done reading background info on Dicken’s for a while, but I still love A Christmas Carol.

  18. Oh man, you had a lot of twists and turns re: your uterus-issues and OB-GYN switches and treatment plans and I can only imagine what a rollercoaster that must have been…. but hopefully the fact that the hysterectomy didn’t happen and now there is a new plan in place makes you feel better about how things turned out? I am crossing my fingers that this will have a huge positive impact on your situation.

    1. Thank you! It has been a lot, but in the grand scheme of things I’m still blown away by how fortunate I am. To have access to medical care, to be able to function with my health issues. They’re annoying, but not life threatening in any way and that is SUCH a blessing.

      But it does feel good to – hopefully! – be nearing the end of this saga and it feels even better to have something less invasive planned. I know it leaves the door open for more issues down the road, but at this point – in my gut at least – that feels like the best step for me <3

  19. I love my OLAD journal for the same reason – it’s reassuring to read that we were all really this sick same timelast year too. Plus the journal starts in 2021, when I had a 6 month old, so it’s nice to read that I’m generally sleeping a lot more now. I only wish I had started the journal in 2020, that year just disappeared in a haze of alone-ness and general trauma.

    I’ve never read Jane Eyre but never thought it would interest me. I definitely proclaimed “To The Lighthouse” as my favourite book when I was 18, and I haven’t read any VW since college. It’s always a gamble reading old favourites. Same as watching movies – I loved “The Never-ending Story” as a kid but watched it again and realized… it’s not that good.

    1. Yes! It has been such a nice – albeit concise – window into our past. Just the other day I told my husband: a year ago today, you were rear-ended in the car in a snowstorm. I had almost forgotten about that experience entirely and certainly wouldn’t have known it happened early in January 2022.

      I read To the Lighthouse as an adult and didn’t even manage to finish it. I found it depressing and it went over my head. But I think I would have enjoyed it more as a teen? I feel like I had more free time to let my mind wander with books like this? Or maybe I’m just to lazy to sort out all the themes. I know it is a steady favourite for so many writers, so perhaps I should try again?

  20. I have been much better about keeping up with my One Line a Day journal this year because I’m so excited to turn the next page and see what I wrote about this time last year! It’s going to be really fun to see what the little moments of life looked like over the next 4 years!

    I’m glad you made a decision that feels right to you. I hope the ablation gives you the relief you need and you can move forward with your life! I know it’s been really annoying being in this state of limbo for so many months (years?).

    1. Yes! It’s a whole other level of enjoyment this year now that I get to compare year-over-year.

      Thanks, friend! I’m really glad to be out of the limbo, have a decision I’m content with…and I’m just praying for the best (ie. a complete resolution to this particular health issue).

  21. Oh, my friend. I am so glad you came to a decision that is right for you in this moment. I didn’t realize the potential implications of the hysterectomy could be. It sounds like this is a good first step, a step that can be taken relatively soon (and perhaps bring you some relief). And I think we all want that for you! Sending you all the thoughts and hugs.

    Your experience with Jane Eyre makes me think of my love of Steinbeck, forged on a month-long trip to France in High School when (for some reason) I did not take a sufficient number of books. And there were no books in English available where I was staying (a tiny town I would love to see again, in the south of France, and yes, it was one of the best summers of my life, why do you ask? ;>). So we all traded books (I was taking classes with other HS students from Canada and the States). I got East of Eden. It was long. I loved it. I devoured Steinbeck when I got home. And now I wonder – as I have never reread those books – whether they would hold up? I’m not sure I want to know. 😉 (Side note: My mother LOVES P&P. Loves. It. Used to reread it annually. I don’t see the appeal, myself. ;>)

    Hugs, my friend. Happy February.

    1. Thanks, Anne! I’m very relieved and feel confident in this decision on how to move forward.

      I don’t reread nearly as much; I used to love re-reading a few favourite classics (The Swiss Family Robinson was an annual re-read for me), but I’ve not been doing it lately. Maybe that’s a good thing, because Jane Eyre did not stand the test of time for me.

      The Grapes of Wrath WOWED me on my first read-through. I loved it so much and was just in awe of the depth of it and the literary techniques used. Last year I read it again and was…just not nearly as enthralled. It was a bit disappointing! That said, I DO want to read some more Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath is my one and only Steinbeck book so far…

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