At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
Things I/ We Did
1. Speaking at University of North Carolina-Wilmington. I started the month in Wilmington, North Carolina where I was about to teach a class on media literacy in their Women’s And Gender Studies Department and then speaking that night on research and findings from Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina. It was a wonderful visit– I met wonderful people, had such interesting conversations, and just really enjoyed myself.
3. Celebrating a dear friend’s promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. It was just so cool to witness someone I have known and loved since 7th grade– whose initial commissioning I attended back when we were 22- receive such significant recognition for her hard, good work. It was a lovely, funny (yes, today’s Army has a sense of humor) ceremony, and it was also nice to be an environment that I grew up– Army personnel everywhere and with my best friend’s family. Good times all around.
4. Speaking at University of Saint Joseph. I was so honored to be invited to speak at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut as part of their National Eating Disorders Week events. I met incredible people– students, staff, and faculty– and had some really great conversations. An added bonus is that a dear friend of mine from high school drove two hours to come have lunch with me while I was there. How sweet is that? I got to hug her, catch up, and meet her beautiful baby boy who was just the sweetest. Such a good, good time!
5. Speaking at University of North Carolina- Charlotte. I really love where I teach and was so touched when the Health Services Department asked me to speak as part of their National Eating Disorder Awareness Week events. An added bonus was meeting new students, future students, and even students from four years ago.
6. Celebrating Happy’s half birthday. So Happy’s birthday is in August which means he never gets to take cupcakes to school to celebrate with his buddies. This is his last year at this particular pre-school and so I just wanted to do something that allowed Happy to have that little rite of passage of celebrating one’s birthday with friends at school. So we whipped up and decorated cupcakes so Happy could take them to school and share him with his class and his gymnastics buddies.
Products/ Services I Dug
7. True & Co. This bra company goes all Warby Parker with bras. Basically, you complete a 2 minute online quiz and they use that to come up with a bra fit profile for you. Then, for a $45 deposit, they send you 5 bras to try on– 2 they select for you outright and 3 you select from a carefully curated group. You send back whatever you don’t want and your $45 goes towards the costs of any you decide to keep.
On the Bookshelf
A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinski is reasonably content with her quiet life, her dog, Frank, and her career as a visiting nurse. But everything changes when Chip Reardon, the golden boy she adored in high school, is assigned as her new patient. Choosing to forgo treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned to his New England hometown to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poignant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing.
the perks of being a wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.
Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.
What did you love in February? What’s on your list of simple or not so simple pleasures?