Goal #50: Have a Pen Pal

Letter from my pen pal

I officially have a pen pal! I got my first letter from my lovely pen pal Thistles and Whistles over the weekend. After realizing that we both have 101 things to do in 1001 days lists AND that both our lists contained the goal “have a pen pal,” a great idea was instantly born and we quickly exchanged contact info. Isn’t the internet an amazing thing? I don’t think we stop frequently enough to marvel at the potential connections and information always and instantly available. Never thought making a new pen pal friend from the UAE would be so easy!

It’s such a lovely experience to sit down in front of a blank piece of paper, scribble down some thoughts and opinions, telling someone halfway across the world about your life, then wrap it all up with an envelope and stamp and send it out on its long journey across the ocean. It’s almost like journaling, but you actually have a person reading and responding on the other end.

But what I really love about letter writing is the lack of instant response that we’ve all gotten so used to. Those different shades of pings, dings, and beeps regularly drawing us away from the present moment and uncontrollably pulling our gaze toward our phones and computers. With letter writing, you sit down with your cup of coffee, your most attractive stationary, your best inky black pen, and you use as much paper as feels necessary to tell another human what’s going on in your life. You don’t want or expect an instant reply. You want to wait. You want that other person to open your letter and leisurely read it over their cup of coffee. You want them to mull over what you told them for several minutes to several days before they pull out their best stationary and favorite inky black pen and give a thorough and well thought out response. You want to have forgotten about the letter you sent until several days or weeks later when you open your mailbox, surprised and delighted when you finally hold their response in your hands.

Speaking of which…time for me to compose my response! Hope you all get something good in the mail today.

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Feel Better Thursday

I’ve been sick, y’all, and it’s bumming me out. Sure, being sick seems like the perfect excuse to curl up with my laptop and do some productive internet-ing, but that’s not quite how it goes for me. My brain goes fuzzy and the most it can handle is turning on Netflix and slouching over to the kitchen to make some tea. A perfect recipe for doing absolutely nothing productive for a week. Great.

Since my mental and physical energy are finally starting to come back, I thought I’d remind you all that I’m not dead and give you a peek at some things that have been keeping me feeling positive over the past week:

Passion-planner2

I ordered a Passion Planner a while back and it recently showed up in my mailbox. It’s a mega useful planner slash life coach all packed inside a pretty faux leather binding. I haven’t gotten too deep into planning with it yet as a result of the sickness, but I’m pretty stoked to get down to business with this baby very soon.

yes

I recently said yes to something I wouldn’t normally do (goal #83) and hired a career coach to help me figure out what I should be doing with my life and how to get there. Asking for help from other people is not my strong suit, especially when it costs me money. But this guy came highly recommended, and I’ve been struggling a lot with this career question lately, so I figured I’d just take the plunge. We’ve only met once so far, but I’m excited to keep working with him. He started me off by having me take the Myers Briggs personality test to see what types of work my personality is best suited for. Apparently I’m an INFJ. Has anyone else every taken this test? What did you think of it? I thought the description of my personality type fit me shockingly well.

And finally, cats on roombas to make us all feel better:

kittens-roomba

Cat-shark-roomba

cat-roomba

Cat-On-Roomba-Going-In-Circles

Be well, friends!

February in retrospect

Goodbye, February, you sly minx. You’re here and then you’re gone before we really get a chance to know you. I’m over you anyway — too much snow, ice, and blustery-ness. I’m ready for March and the promise of an imminent thaw.

Due to said blustery-ness, I spent a good deal of this month indoors. Cooking, reading (closing in on the end of Infinite Jest! Damn this book just keeps getting better), moving-watching, making plans for the spring, and spastically checking the weather forecast (will we break 40 degrees this week???).

Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

My new recipe to try in February (goal #28) was spicy tempeh nori rolls. This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks — Veganomicon by the famed Isa Chandra Moskowitz — the genius behind Post Punk Kitchen. I’ve never made sushi before and we didn’t bother with acquiring a bamboo rolling mat, so these rolls have some character (read: are kind of ugly). Regardless, the whole process was a lot less intimidating than I had imagined and we ended up with a seriously delicious dinner. Definitely going to make these again.

Sushi

For such a short month, I managed to squeeze in a pretty hefty amount of movie watching (goal #49). I guess I was on a strong-female-lead kick this month (or always?) — here’s what I’ve been Netflixing:

The Duchess was beautiful and heartbreaking and made me so thankful that I live where I do, when I do. Kiera Knightly was lovely and Ralph Fiennes was very Voldemorty. Evita was okay, definitely an interesting story but it was hard to stay interested with over two hours straight of fairly cheesy songs and very little dialogue. Frances Ha was great — Frances is a painfully relatable character. I loved that it was set all in black and white, drawing your attention more fully into the story than the scenery and how to the narrative sort of flips the traditional roles that best friend and romantic interest generally play in movies. Frances is way more centrally focused on her best friend, at times obsessing over her like a jealous lover, while the potential romantic interest in the story sort of just comes and goes, providing cute supporting scenes but not being entirely central to the plot. In a World was an interesting view into the world of voice acting and the serious lack of female all-stars in the arena. It featured a cameo by Geena Davis and ended with a total girl power moment. What more could you ask for? Obvious Child was my favorite movie I watched in February. The story is so honest and Jenny Slate is hilarious. It was a really fresh take on the rom com, featuring relationships that actually seem real and relatable. Plus I totally love Gaby Hoffman and I wish she was my best friend.

I started working on goal #8 — fill a sketchbook with drawings. I used to be a lot more into drawing and painting waaaay back in high school, but I haven’t done much arty stuff since then. Very excited to change that. Here’s a sketch I did recently that I like. Also pictured: scotch on the rocks to help get those creative juices flowing.

hand-sketch

Happy March y’all!