When’s the last time I did a Month in Review post? Why, it was January 2013!
I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and in it she cites research that indicates that those who are acutely aware of what they’re grateful for are more contented. That makes a lot of sense to me, but often I’d rather not “waste” time contemplating the good things; I’d rather distract myself with activities or blogs or online shopping. But I’ve been feeling awfully restless and discontent for no real reason, so I think it’s time to give this another try.
In October, I (often with Daniel in tow):
- coordinated the thrift shop’s anniversary sale
- attended a beautiful wedding
- partied it up at a friend’s birthday party
- visited with college friends who came to visit
- picked apples at Carter Mountain Orchard
- ate delicious, home cooked apple pie thanks to the friends who came to visit
- sight saw on Skyline Drive on a foggy day
- sang a solo part in the church choir
- moved my fair trade blog over to Blogger (and got 1,070 views in the first month!)
- wrote about lessons learned working at a thrift shop
- went on my church’s 2nd annual hike
- helped secure funding for the thrift shop’s maintenance fund
- watched Fright Night with friends on Halloween
- started reading Silence by Shusaku Endo
I’ve been manic for the past few days. I have this sudden urge to do, make, complete. But it feels unhealthy, because I’m never satisfied and I’m always on edge. Perhaps starting up a Monthly Goals post series will redirect my activity to something a bit more satisfying.
- List items for Platinum & Rust every week.
- Go to Carter Mountain Orchard.
- Visit Skyline Drive and take lots of photos.
- Find a nice candle and burn it often.
- Finish painting bookshelves and get the library back in order.
- Watch Hocus Pocus while eating homemade popcorn.
- Cut my bangs.
What are your goals this month?
October felt almost normal.
Daniel and I in our Halloween costumes
This month I (and sometimes Daniel):
- enthusiastically attended my ballet classes
- worked, one latte at a time, through growing crowds at the coffee shop
- grieved (however briefly) over the loss of our mouse, Chantico, and bought a new mouse, Hecate.
- suffered through an art film our friends insisted we watch
- talked into the night on a front porch
- attended the Black Voices Gospel Choir Fall concert, and loved it
- ate at some good restaurants
- went to my church’s women’s small group consistently
- witnessed the Dalai Lama’s and Bruce Springsteen’s visits to downtown Charlottesville
- met people from all over the world thanks to the universal need for caffeine
- drank lots of spiced hot chocolate and cafes au lait
- walked around a pleasant historic area downtown
- got a library card
- (somewhat) successfully fixed my car’s minor lock problem
- finished decorating the living room and kitchen
- thought a lot about feminism, sexism, and Christianity
- appreciated the fall leaves
- survived Hurricane Sandy/Frankenstorm
- visited Washington DC for the first time
- wrote two poems after a long hiatus from the craft (one, two)
- attended a Halloween party
- began watching Friday Night Lights
- cemented local friendships
- fretted over our finances
- sold many items at Water Lily Thrift
- enjoyed fall
- got my first taste of what winter will be like
- read 5+ books
- dyed my hair dark brown
This month, for the first time since moving, felt normal. Many friendships are secure and openly mutual. We’re even invited to things on occasion! We spent less time exploring and more time inside, partially due to cooler weather. I grew more secure on a personal level and felt more satisfied in my free time activities (reading, writing poems, organizing, thrifting, etc.) I did feel a bit stir crazy and I’m currently brainstorming ways to fill my time. I can’t decide if I want to pursue a side job or if I should focus more on Water Lily Thrift. We’re walking a tightrope financially and spent a lot of time working out a budget and then trying to actually follow it.
I realized that what you leave behind can hit you hardest in the small ways. You want a friend to commiserate with on local events or weather annoyances. You hear of a new store opening and just wish you could helpfully tell someone about it or check it out with them. You enjoy the excitement of making new friends but miss the comfort of old friends. Your neighborhood is beautiful but you miss having a park within walking distance. You are tired of telling people what FSU stands for. You aren’t capable of giving people good directions within town. You begin to realize that the culture of your new location differs from your old home in just enough ways to make you feel like fish out of water (for instance, southern aristocratic culture is annoying).
All that being said, we really do like living here. People here are more like us in terms of background, beliefs, political leanings, and education than most citizens of Tallahassee and that’s made it easy to settle in.
See all monthly summary posts here.
Before the month is over, I intend to enjoy:
- Making use of my scarf collection
- Comfy cardigans and flattering jeans worn out in the lovely, mildly cool weather
- The printed tees I’ve added to my wardrobe lately
- My gray, second-hand Minnetonka moccasins
- Crossbody Vera Bradley bags, perfect for adventures
- Old school Madeline L’Engle books and literature on Christian Feminism
- My ballet classes; I wish I could go more than once a week
- Hot chocolate and mochas
- The colorful fall landscape along Skyline Drive
Happy October and joyous Fair Trade Month. If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I’m on a mission to spend my money on ethically produced products; now is the perfect time for you to join me.
You can take the Fair Trade Pledge over at Fair Trade USA. Check out their list of Products and Partners while you’re there.
I’ve compiled a mini list of ethical companies and resources for you to peruse:
Don’t forget to shop local, too. You likely have access to lots of small farmers and businesses from which you can purchase locally produced, organic products. Thrift shops and vintage stores are a great alternative to buying new. As Amy Skoczlas Cole of eBay’s Green Team says, “The greenest product is the one that already exists.”