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 We/I Did
1. The Indigo Girls with the Charlotte Symphony For the love, this was such a great night– we took the Circle de Luz seniors out to dinner in uptown Charlotte (Charlotte is the kind of city that has an uptown and not a downtown. It’s fancy like that.) and then to this concert, and it was just so exquisite- the food, the company, the music. I just sang and sang and sang and cheered and cheered and cheered and went to bed with a sore throat from singing and sore hands from clapping. Curious as to what the Charlotte audience sounded like singing Closer to Fine? Here you go.
2. Food truck breakfast. One of my birthday list items for this year was to eat from a food truck. I chased food trucks for lunch all over my neck of the woods without much luck (they never were where they said they were going to be) and so I figured this wouldn’t happen, and then, lo and behold, Happy and I came across a food truck at the Farmer’s Market one morning, and it had crepes. I LOVE crepes for breakfast. Best breakfast of the month by far.
3. Saturday morning soccer games. Happy had his first soccer season this fall, and it was just so much fun to watch him having a ball, making totally new friends, and growing in his confidence and skills each week. We also really loved hanging with the other parents, and, though I thought my whistle was rusted and hung up, I didn’t even mind when I was periodically called out of retirement to coach practice or games. Also, I like when Hap and I just go outside and play one-on-one. It’s fun to share a love of mine with him and to watch him enjoy it, too.
4. Inducting a new Circle de Luz class. Thanks to the generosity of 67 incredible women (from teenagers to septuagenarians), we raised enough money in scholarships (our commitment to every Circle de Luz member is that she will receive at least a $5,000 scholarship when she graduates from high school and pursues further education) to welcome six new seventh graders into our program. They are fabulous, and we are so excited to get to know them and their families over the next six years!
5. Presenting at the National Eating Disorders Association’s Annual Conference in Washington DC. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to serve on a task force for NEDA that focused on diversity awareness among eating disorder patients. It was an honor to do that really important work with a diverse array of people– both in backgrounds and in how they did their work from those who were patient activists to treatment providers. Because I so believe in this work, I was really honored to be asked by NEDA to facilitate a workshop on eating disorders and body image among women of color at their annual conference. I was able to partner with Dr. Gayle Brooks of Renfrew Center for the presentation, and I think we did a nice job of providing some really good information in our session called Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate. In addition to being so honored to do that workshop, it was also just really powerful to be at the conference for a day and have the opportunity to attend panels, talks, and workshops. A lot of inspiration packed into 24 hours.
6. All things football. If you have read the blog for some time, you know that I am an obsessive NFL football fan- specifically a Carolina Panthers fan. I also love playing (well, playing is, you know, a generous word) fantasy football. So the amount of football fun crammed into this month has been awesome. Fantasy football is back in session, and it’s one of my favorite little time wasters. It helps that both my fantasy teams are doing relatively well (they have each won more games at this point than my team did all of last year) and that my Panthers have rebounded (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, etc) from an inelegant start to the season. And it also helps that this month also included really incredible tickets (like 16th row, 50 yard line incredible) to a game that my boys won and a behind the scenes tour of the stadium. My football cup runneth over.
7. A great teacher’s conference. Happy is at a new school this year so helping him have a really solid transition has been a priority. I am loving that he and I can walk to school and he’s made some lovely little friends so those things felt like a darn good start. Then we had his teacher’s conference and he’s doing well and really loving it as much as we thought he was. Hooray!
8. All things Halloween. From gathering pumpkins for decorating to carving them, from Halloween Marching in town to going to parties, we’ve had a lot of fun celebrating Halloween already. I reckon tomorrow is absolutely going to blow the top of Happy’s head (although, fortunately, for us, Happy is only interested in his candy the night of collection. So far, we’ve been able to disappear candy bags after actual events and he never asks for them again. I, however, totally remember that there is candy in our house. My plan is to take some to class to share with my students!).
9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I will always have a soft spot for tales of high school (or folks that age) so I opened TFIOS prepared to love it, and I did. The book centers on two young people who meet in a cancer kids’ support group and form a lovely relationship. It’ll break your heart open (which is different from break your heart).
10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Another first love tale, this one with some 80s awesomeness. So, so tender and fresh. You’ll love it.
What did you love in October? What fun did you have? What books did you love?