Thursday, February 25, 2021

daily delight - february 25


this has been a crazy week with a really big project at work. long days filled with teams meetings online and long evenings working. it's both exhilarating and exhausting and one last zoom at the end of the work day that stretched to almost two hours was a bit miserable (see previous post). more than a bit actually. and i cried real tears when it was over. at least that one wasn't work. the work stuff is good, even it is very intense right now. or maybe because it's very intense right now. but the book i ordered the other day - george saunders' a swim in a pond in the rain - arrived today and though the stupid post person left it out in the rain, leaned up against the door, it wasn't there long enough to get more than a bit damp. and though i have a lot of books piled on the shelf beside the bed, there's something delightful about a brand new book, freshly arrived. 

guarding my energy

as they always say in the nytimes cooking facebook group - a kitten for the algorithm

the older i get, the more i feel aware of my energy and how the people i am around affect it. especially in these times when we're not around people all that much, it becomes much more apparent who gives you energy and who doesn't. and i find my lifelong desire to be part of a group (who doesn't have that?) at odds with whether or not that group gives me energy. and as i sit here on a zoom with one of those groups, i can tell you that it does not give me energy and in fact, i feel it draining what energy i had left at the end of a long and very busy day. and i am going to have to put aside my desire to belong and protect myself and my energy. my energy is more important than being part of a group. i don't think i've been very good at that equation for most of my life - too often choosing to persevere and go for the belonging, so it's high time i started listening to myself and my needs.

and now it's over and i have an overwhelming urge to cry. the pettiness and the snark. i just can't take it from people anymore. i think these times have left me feeling raw and even a little bit broken. i don't have anything in common with several of these people. they don't give me anything, least of all energy and frankly not even just general kindness. i have to not second guess the feeling in my heart that it's simply not worth it. and the ones in the group who i do like, i can still like them without being on this board. the snarky, energy leeches take too much. 

in these strange times, we need people who give us kindness and creativity and energy and we need to stay as far away as we can from those who don't. it's really that simple. maybe that's the good thing about this time we're living in, it has given me a lot of time to consider what's important and who deserves my time and energy. damn, i want my two hours back.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

daily delight - february 24


i couldn't let the month of daily delights go by without including what's a daily ritual - perfume. even through the pandemic, i put a spritz of perfume on every day. these two, both of which were given to me by my sister, have been in daily rotation. in fact, my barrel from min new york is getting dangerously low. i love its smoky, rich undertone and it's been the perfume of winter. but dirty flower factory by independent perfumer kerosene lifts me up and makes me happy like no other perfume. it meshes perfectly with my own chemistry as it unfolds during the day, the scent subtly changing throughout as i wear it. both of them are somehow related, but very different - maybe it's the deep, musk, ambergris undertones both have. dirty flower factory is lighter and brighter and more flowery, while still seeming lived in and down-to-earth. barrel, more wintery and smoky, like curling up with a peaty islay whiskey on a bearskin rug in front of a fire. i love them both so much and feel a moment of conscious delight every time i use them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

daily delight - february 23


this cat. he's such a character. he makes me laugh. he snuggles with me while i sleep. he's very set in his habits - treats from the drawer below the t.v. around 6 and a couple squeezes of cat malt at bedtime. dipping his paws in my paint water. insisting on pawing open the bathroom door when i go in there (ok, that's a little irritating). he's a good companion for all this working at home. he's a good boy. hollister. today's delight.

a few random things i've been thinking about

into the fog

after listening to that great episode of the ezra klein show with george saunders yesterday, i've definitely been pondering how to get more ideas and less netflix into my life. one big step would be just to read more actual books. after four years of being glued to my phone by the latest antics of the former guy (twitter's new name for him, thanks to biden), i feel like i got dumber. hell, the whole world did. i think we're going to have to have to claw our way back to intelligence, one great book at a time.  and we need to have deep conversations about those books. in fact, we need to have more deep conversations in general. 

i feel like my ability to understand the world has degraded. perhaps because i more or less stopped reading books. i didn't stop reading - i just do most of it on my phone these days. and that's clearly not good for me, nor for my understanding of the world. after four years of constant abuse at the hands of a sadistic narcissist, i feel bruised and damaged and my brain is fogged and confused and it honestly feels harder to make sense of things. mostly because truth is so strangely up for debate. i hope it's not a permanent state, but i feel like i will need to work hard to make sure that it's not.

even just my ability to understand people and their motivations and actions feels like it's degraded. perhaps it's from working at home and not seeing or being around other people - more or less not really seeing anyone but husband these days. and all those old people i try to avoid at the grocery store don't count. i feel like i'm forgetting how to be around people. and communicating via messenger and email and teams doesn't help.

as usual, i find myself bewildered by people who don't look like who they are. that's kind of ironic, since right here on this blog, i wrote a post about how i didn't look like who i was. but in this case, the person looks super creative and alternative and fun and turns out to have the equivalent of a very straight-laced, persnickity, finger-wagging, rule-following accountant on the inside, without actually being an  accountant, in fact, i don't really know what this person does for a living, but it must involve following lots of rules and even coming up with new ones to also follow. maybe i object because it's so disappointing. i think if it was the other way around - someone who looked like a straight-laced accountant, but was actually super creative and alternative - i wouldn't be disappointed, but pleasantly surprised. and maybe even a little bit giddy. which is maybe why the actual situation leaves me confused and maybe even a bit sad.

 * * *

oh oh, bye-bye laughing emoji. i guess it's gone the way of thumbs up.

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found a new substack - psychopolitica
i'm hoping it helps with the whole deeper thoughts and conversations thing.

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there's also the sad news that they will stop making the dumle suckers. that delectable caramel, chocolate-covered goodness handed out in danish primary schools. the child is bereft. and i may be wondering if we can get into germany at the moment, so i could run for the border shops.

Monday, February 22, 2021

daily delight - february 22


i just listened to a marvelous podcast episode. it was the latest episode of ezra klein's podcast and he interviewed writer george saunders and it was a deep, erudite conversation, but not at all inaccessible. george has a new book, where he explores ideas through 6 russian writers - it's called a swim in a pond in the rain and i intend to order it as birthday present to myself. it's a wide-ranging conversation and it was exactly what i needed at the end of a long and hectic day, as a big project at work ramps up towards actual activation. i got into a pessimistic place at the end of the day had a hard time seeing my way out of it. so, i put on the podcast, took a long, hot shower (my speaker is waterproof), used my new function of beauty shampoo (it smells of lavender and is heavenly), and listened to george explain how he understands the world through russian literature. that's something i used to do myself and i was pleasantly reminded of that. and it was just what i needed to put aside my concerns, which i had managed to whip into a place of importance that they didn't warrant. and i used my brain on bigger thoughts for a little while. and it felt absolutely delightful. i suspect we could all use a bit more of that. go and listen to the episode, it's a great start. definitely a moment of deep delight in an otherwise rather stressful monday. oh, and how about that morning sunshine we had this morning? (see photo above) that was pretty delightful too.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

daily delight - february 21


husband dug out this foundation for the greenhouse this weekend. and while he was digging away, i trimmed the oak "hedge" we have in the garden, weeded around about half of the fruit bushes - until my hand cramped up, and pruned the pear espalier. i brought in all those branches i trimmed off in a vase - i hope they open into spring blooms. but even if they don't, those sticks look surprisingly fetching on the kitchen table. it was so nice to be outdoors all weekend, moving around, breathing in fresh air, listening to the spring chatter of the birds, drinking coffee in the garden and discussing our plans for a whole greenhouse village. we've already sourced a second used greenhouse, so we'll have two for this season. i'm already planning on having a table and chairs in one of them, so we can enjoy being in the garden even on rainy days. garden dreams are definitely today's delight.