It’s Thursday…and I’m going “casual”? This is almost as disconcerting as DST!
While my faith doesn’t overtly permeate my writing in this space, my relationship with Jesus does permeate my life and I’m going to share more about this topic tomorrow, Good Friday.
Which means I decided to show up a day early and stake claim to Casual Thursday.
Without further ado, a recap of the week:
FRIDAY + SATURDAY | This was a very busy 36-hour period of adventuring. I’ll share the play-by-play action next week but any guesses where we went? Here are a few pictorial hints (bragging rights to the first person who figures it out).
If you’re still stumped…here’s one last hint. On Saturday morning I completed my daily 1 km walk on a trail called The Haunted Woods.
SUNDAY | We arrived home late on Saturday absolutely exhausted. But a night of good sleep left us all energetic enough to go to the early service at church. For regular readers: “The Knitter” ended up sitting in our row. New 2022 goal – introduce myself to “The Knitter” so I can stop referring to her as “The Knitter.”
Before lunch, I made a giant pot of soup for Monday’s supper while other members of the household played video games and mini-sticks (I have drawn a hard line and refuse to participate in either of those activities).
Abby and I took advantage of a free concert series just down the street. Side note: I wish I loved classical music…I like it, but don’t love it. Nevertheless, it was a fun time together and you never know what exposure to the arts might spark some delight when she’s older? We both agreed our favourite piece was Liszt’s Ballade No. 1 in D-flat major S170. The pianist played this new-to-me work beautifully.
After we got home I walked exactly 1 km in the rain; I had debated skipping the day and officially stopping my streak, but why?
It was date night, so I read to the kids while they ate supper; after the disappointing “duds” from the previous week, the kids loved every single book in this set. Success!
After the kids were in bed, John and I watched The Outfit. I had no idea what to expect going in but thought Mark Rylance was brilliant, as always.
We also finished Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary. It took over a month for us to get through all three parts of the miniseries, but I found it fascinating to watch their final album come together. I got goosebumps when it showed them walking away from the rooftop recording session and the text overlay said it was the last time they ever played together publically. If you like the Beatles and enjoy behind-the-scenes footage, this is a gold mine.
MONDAY | I tackled work first thing and opted to show up an hour late to my book discussion group. I was home in time to run 3 km with John, eat some lunch, and then worked until supper time.
We came agonizingly close to getting Wordle in two tries (a new family goal for 2022).
We watched 2 episodes of the sand-sculpture competition Race Against the Tide as a family before bedtime.
When John started his sabbatical, we opted to stop getting help with housecleaning (for the last 18 months we had someone come 2 times/month for 2 hours). I think a lot of this has to do with my personality, but I ended up doing several hours of work in advance of each cleaning session. I’d do all the dusting, pick up the furniture so our lovely housecleaner could be very efficient with floors and bathrooms. But it also meant I was doing things like dusting and getting my floors cleaned more than needed, and the timing wasn’t always convenient.
Ironically, I’ve really enjoyed not having to prepare for cleaning as often. But, as you can probably guess, things have gotten a bit…lax. So after the kids were in bed, I mopped a few rooms and listened to the recent Best of Both Worlds podcast episode with Oliver Burkeman. I planned to do the whole upstairs, but after my initial burst of energy wore off, I gave myself permission to quit for the night (there have to be some perks to being an adult, right).
TUESDAY | We woke up to one of those perfect spring mornings. It was crisp but sunny with not even a hint of wind. What a beautiful setting for our walk to school!
I did a bit of work, but really wanted to fit in a walk with my best friend and between conflicting schedules and rain forecasts this was the only slot that would work. We ended up having a great walk (and talk) and I left the conversation energized for the day.
Home by 10 am, I powered through a lot of work tasks. My post on not rushing was very timely – I had to remind myself not to rush through a rare creative work project; I was getting frustrated with how long it was taking, but reminded myself this is actually something I really enjoy doing. I managed to finish it by the end of the day and submit it for revisions.
I had a work call at 1 pm which went much better – and ended much earlier – than expected. Always a nice feeling.
I’ve been working after the kids come home from school a lot lately, but signed off when they walked in the door. I made ants on a log (chocolate chips and walnuts on a banana with PB) and read Levi facts from a big book about pandas (his Grade 1 research project topic). He had a neighbourhood friend come over, so I made muffins and did dishes while Abby read me poems from a completed Language Arts project. The poem readings continued while I mopped both bathrooms to complete my mopping work on the main floor! Parenting AND mopping simultaneously. This felt like a very big deal, somehow.
Levi’s friend ended up staying for supper; I happened to have an allergen-friendly meal prepared, and spontaneous invites tend to work best anyway.
We read books in bed – another set of winners! The Button Book would be perfect for 4-5 year olds. And the groundhog book was especially enjoyed because the author was ABBY LEVIne…in a fun nod to the kids’ names.
I rarely watch TV during the week, but we opted to close the loop on Elizabeth Holmes and watched the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. It was interesting, especially having just finished watching The Dropout.
Continuing on with an entrepreneurial theme: I finished a slightly dated (2015) book about Elon Musk. Because of personal experience with startups, these topics resonate. While we’ve never been involved with something of this scale, the relentless pace, the incredible number of moving parts that all have to fall into place behind the scenes – I get it. And it feels…like it validates (?) how exciting and exhausting our quasi-related experiences have been!
More broadly, these people – Musk, Holmes, Jobs, Page, Gates – whether they experience meteoric rises and/or falls they all come with, as the book describes, “accessible eccentricities.” It requires a very specific sort of individual to carry out these feats, and I find it fascinating to see the common themes (and divergent outcomes) among entrepreneurs.
[About Musk]: “One night he told me, ‘If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat.’” [These people don’t seem to eat or sleep much.]
“He doesn’t say: ‘You have to do this by Friday at two P.M.,’” Brogan said. “He says, ‘I need the impossible done by Friday at two P.M. Can you do it?’ Then, when you say yes, you are not working hard because he told you to. You’re working hard for yourself. It’s a distinction you can feel. You have signed up to do your own work.”[I find this to be an important distinction with parenting too; when my kids feel like they have ownership over a task and/or choice they are far more motivated to participate.]
[Larry Page, from Google]: Good ideas are always crazy until they’re not. [And it’s hard to know from the outset when an idea is just going to stay crazy versus end up being genius…]
WEDNESDAY | Walk to school, work, run (with a quick stop at the library to exchange books), lunch, work.
Highlight: When I discovered a 2-hour morning meeting was optional (and I didn’t need to attend), it gave an unexpected boost to my whole outlook for the day!
Last-minute a friend texted to see if I wanted to meet at a playground after school and we wound up spending a happy hour watching the kids entertain each other, basking in the spring sunshine!
- The birds singing in the morning. Most of the time I involuntarily tune it out, but what a rich backdrop it provides if I just…pay attention.
- Our living room blinds. Having these up after almost a year really does bring me both satisfaction and joy.
- Watching a friend’s toddler colour on a piece of paper. Such a simple task, but to watch the concentration on his little face was breathtaking, in a way. Especially now that my own kids write and it no longer feels like I have a front-row seat to the miracle of learning. But, of course, it is still wonderous at any age!
- Watching the kids sleep. It is always, always a source of joy.
- Our beloved librarians. On Wednesday, one saw me walk in the door and immediately got my stack of holds off the shelf before even saying hello! They know me so well.
- When John brought over our favourite maple syrup candle for me to smell (unlit!) while I was working at my desk. (Our love of maple syrup runs deep; this is my go-to teacher gift. It smells divine).
- Running to a random 170 bpm playlist from Spotify; it ended up being a great combination of songs that felt motivating and whimsical.
Phew. A busy week, albeit short. How was your week? Is Good Friday a holiday where you live?