We made it through January! It didn’t feel as though it lasted forever, though I know for some people it did, but it just sort of felt like plodding along. Every day is the same. That kind of thing. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just what it is.
There were some small wins:
We established a routine that we (mostly) stick to.
The allowance of days you can take off to care for your “sick” kid was extended from 10 to 20, and the definition was expanded to allow parents to use kids being home due to lockdown as part of those sick days. And I learned my freelance insurance also covers this. I still have to fill out the paperwork (on a weekly basis) but I’ll be claiming this because every little bit helps.
We made it outside almost every day, even if some days we only walked to the nearest mailbox to drop in a postcard before coming back home.
Speaking of, I did write a lot of postcards, and I plan to continue writing more. It’s nice to bring a smile to someone’s day when they get unexpected mail, and it’s always nice when someone writes back.
I read 12 books (six comics, five books, and one children’s chapter book in German).
I rode 451 kilometers.
We had two snow days (by which I mean days where we woke up to a blanket of snow and went out for a couple hours to play and the snow didn’t immediately melt). It actually snowed a lot more this month but not all of it stuck.
One of my clients had a company-wide talent show, so I rewrote the lyrics to a song and played my ukulele. There were 14 entries and it was a lot of fun to see all the cool and silly things everyone can do.
I did a mostly dry January. I started it as support for a friend who was doing it, but I actually broke it on January 29 when I just really wanted some wine. My main focus in drinking less over the past four months or so has been not to completely stop, but to be more mindful of figuring out motivations for drinking, to think about how it might affect my sleep or moods, and to savor it more when I do decide to drink. It also helps that I’ve found a few non-alcoholic drinks I enjoy that scratch that itch for when I want to drink.
We gave up on reading after 21 days of lessons, because it was becoming more stressful and less fun. It taught me a lot about learning to honor my kid’s desires to do certain things, and I know when he wants to keep going he’ll let me know. For now, we’re focusing on phonics and writing.
In February, I want to keep up with the routine we’ve established but I’d like to do better at going to bed earlier.
Other than that, my sole focus will be on reading Black authors. Of course, I read books by Black authors all through the year, and I think only reading them during Black History Month is somewhat performative. But there’s also nothing wrong with doing it. The first seven books below are ones I’ve started and would like to finish (because I just keep adding more and more books to the currently reading list without finishing enough), and I might as well keep going with the other three, which are high on my list. It’s a short month though, so I know I’m being ambitious, but let’s see how far I get.
The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Rosewater by Tade Thompson
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
And of course, it’s my birthday month! I have nothing planned for my day, obviously, but I’m excited anyway, because I love birthdays.