January is almost over and all I can think is thank goodness – first, January might be my least favorite month. The coziness of the holidays are gone, and what’s left feels cold and exposed. It sounds odd, but at this point I am just ready to move on to spring! I’m also still in disbelief and deep disappointment at the state of politics; but today is the women’s march and I am proud to see so much activism around the world. We saw many marchers headed to Oakland/SF marches on our way to the zoo this morning.
On top of the cold, drizzly weather here, David and I have been sick most of January. Whatever we got really knocked us on our bums, it was horrible! I hadn’t been sick in awhile and got very frustrated at this one. Ok, I think I’ve said nothing positive yet. When I was training for Ironman Texas and triathlons in general, I used the mental trick “think two positives for every one negative thought”. So here are my positive thoughts for January:
Nathan time: David has had some very long hours at work, but on the bright side, I got to watch Nathan and spend more time than usual with him this month. It’s only temporary and after all the time together I really miss my little sidekick when I am back at work! Nathan is pretty easy to take care of these days, and a very loving kid. He just loves books, cars and giving hugs. Our daycare is already potty training him and he is almost there – woot woot!
Winter Cleaning/Declutter: Another positive this month is that we did a big “winter cleaning” to ring in the new year – it feels SO good to get rid of stuff. We had listened to Mari Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year, and we have already taken some tidbits from her. We (try) to keep things that we love and stay minimal, store things vertically where we can see them, and keep things off of countertops as much as possible. It’s never perfect, but every little bit helps. Still, stuff adds up and we had several bags going to goodwill, plus many bags in the garbage.
Before & after shots of my closet in Texas
The vertical folding is a game changer in smaller spaces.
Nathan had a ton of fun with the weeding-out process at the time.
Recently, my cousin introduced me to Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (I haven’t read the book yet, just the blog), which is about a family in nearby Marin County whose trash for the year can fit in a ball jar! I know my trash for a day doesn’t fit in a ball jar. The family also lives a very minimalist life which allows more time to focus on experience rather than things. David and I discussed it and we’ve been inspired to make an effort to watch what goes in and out of our house. The less we bring in, the less we have to throw away or recycle and put out – and we potentially save more. So far our small changes (less shipped/packaged items, switching from paper towels to cloth, reusing/fixing what we can, and really asking ourselves if we absolutely need something before we purchase it) seems to help. We aren’t ever going to be minimalists, but maybe we can think of ourselves as “essentialists” – gotta have the essentials for our hobbies and sporting activities, but the unneeded clutter can go.
Book Club: Oh on the topic of books, another plus is that I joined a book club! It’s a group of 30-something women in my town and they are all really nice. We meet once a month, and it’s a good excuse for me to get some girl time, and many of the women are young moms too. I’ve only read one of the books so far, but I’m determined to read this month’s pick. I’m trying to be more social and meet more people (not always easy for this introvert). I’m thinking I will try to host the girls in the next few months. I also joined our nearby library and found out that I can rent books on my kindle (how have I been in the dark ages on this?!). It’s so convenient.
Seasonal food: being back at home after the holidays, I always love getting back to my own kitchen. I’m loving all the seasonal produce here in the Bay Area. We have nearby markets that are like going to a farmer’s market. I’m obsessed with the Monterrey Market in Berkeley. I haven’t whipped up anything of chef quality, but I’m enjoying the switch to roasted veggies and warm soups lately.
Date Night: Our day care does a monthly date night that we are starting to view as a given and have date night every month. It is something we look forward to and fun to try new things/restaurants around town.
Vacation Planning: we are starting to plan vacations for the year (around the daycare schedule), and we’ve booked a weekend in Yosemite this spring and are looking at a possible Easter Seattle trip to see my sister’s new digs. Both places I’ve never been!
What are your positive thoughts for January?