What a difference a month makes as a fully vaccinated person!!
May has been pretty damn glorious especially considering I spent May 2020 locked-down and primarily in isolation. I’m enjoying the unmasked big outdoors. And I have also been unmasked in family and friends indoor gatherings. I’m still masked inside public places, including; stores, restaurants, my office common places and public transit. I have taken 3 bus rides and 3 Ubers. Big month!
Now, May hasn’t been all cookies and wine. The PT Cruiser needed a new ignition starter and flunked its emissions test. My credit card was hacked online. My internet router went on the fritz…again! The dentist says I need my wisdom teeth out. And the doctor’s scale confirmed I put on some pandemic poundage. Still, after the pandemic, all of that seems pretty minor in comparison. And May has been big-time social with mega meet-ups with family and friends.
Abi came in from California for a Mother’s Day surprise. The family hadn’t seen her in-person since the pandemic started. I got to hang out at Diamond Lake with her, Jenny, mom & dad, Christy & Bob, and Matthew. It was fantastical spending time with family. Abi came back to Chicago and we had dinner with Bilger.
Bill and Roger hosted James’ birthday dinner party with a hilarious crew (Bilger, James, Smiley, Ellen, Matt, me). I celebrated Josh’s birthday with him, ribs and his men. I had dinner with Bilger, Bob and Maureen. I had brunch with Collin & crew and Becky & Mateo. And I had lunch with Mary. I even went to the Art Institute with Bill and James when our Grant Park walk got drizzled on. We saw the amazing Bisa Butler exhibit. This month’s picture is a postcard James sent me of a Bisa Butler quilt. So beautiful… both Bisa’s work and James’ gesture!! 🙂
I went back to Diamond Lake over Memorial Day Weekend and hung out with Jenny, mom & dad, Joey & Kylie & Palmer, Karlie, Michael & Erin, and Megan & Grace & Carson. I raced back to Chicago for 24 hours to host Maryam & Keith’s farewell party as they head to Liverpool. So, I got to hang out with them, Jen & Scott, Bilger, Ellen, James, Scubi, Tom & Becca, and Erin & Andy. Then, I headed back to the lake on Monday for more boat rides and family fun!
I hung out with a lot of people! The very opposite of last year at this time when I saw no one in person. I’m happy to say all were vaccinated except for Grace (getting her first shot next week) & Carson (hopefully this Fall). I can officially report I’m no longer wading in. I have, in fact, jumped into the deep end.
Besides coming out of my cave to play, I also did this.
- Work! I continue to work at the office on Thursdays and from home the other days. My company is thoughtfully debating what the future office plan is. I’m pretty much in the personal choice camp. I see my sweet spot as 2-3 days in the office depending on my schedule needs.
- Working Out! I ended a 131 day streak of getting in my daily 10K steps on a Saturday. It was intentional. I turned to Abi and announced the streak was ending. That way, I could continue to enjoy sitting on a bench with her in the sunshine. My new goal is to get in 12K steps/daily so I can stay above 70K steps/weekly and enjoy the occasional, deliberate sloth day. Josh and I are getting more and more workouts on the roof. In addition, I took a yoga class -indoors with a mask.
- My pandemic escape into television entertainment is tapering as I’m spending more time out of my house. I did see a couple oldies like “Wander Lust”, “Jane Austin Book Club” and “Sneakers.” I also rented and enjoyed “Together, Together” and “French Exit.” Plus, I saw “Cruella” (on Jenny’s dime), “Mulan” and “Big Shot” on Disney+.
- *I hit level 5262 on Candy Crush and maintained mindful yet social wine drinking. I am almost done with my preventive care having seen my eye doctor, dentist, and family practitioner. I’m a mammogram away from my healthcare maintenance. Plus, I need to schedule my wisdom teeth to come out before a cavity causes me any pain. (GROSS!)
My May goals took a decidedly deliberate path once I read James Cleary’s “Atomic Habits”. I highly recommend the read/listen it changed my perspective on adding things to your life instead of denying yourself. I changed three things I’m doing daily.
*When I wake up, I read! I used to wake up, turn on CNN, check my FitBit sleep score, check my emails and play a little Candy Crush. Now, I make myself a cup of coffee and read for 30 minutes to an hour depending on my day’s schedule. I don’t look at any screens (phone, TV, computer) until after I’ve read. At first, it was hard. My mind was racing. Now, I lean into the quiet and enjoy reading the words on a physical page. In May, I read 5 1/2 books:
- Josh suggested “Atomic Habits” by James Cleary. He also recommended I sign up for Cleary’s Thursday 1-2-3 newsletter which I did.
- I finally finished ”The Seine, The River that made Paris” by Elaine Sciolino. I’ve been reading it for five months. The chapters are independent stories about different aspects of the river. It makes me want to travel to that river and explore it myself.
- Mom gave me “In an Instant” by Suzanne Redfearn. Redfearn tells the story of a family tragedy from the perspective of a non-survivor. I’m not spoiling anything that aspect is on the cover. The character development was incredible. The story itself was haunting and up-lifting. If you read it, definitely read the author’s notes… powerful!
- Nita gave me “Lead from the Outside” by Stacey Abrams. Abrams is a boss! She is hard-working and inspirational. The book isn’t so much a biography as a tutorial to living your best career path. She has practical advice for folks in laying out a successful life. I was surprised to learn she is a poet and a published romance novelist. In her book, she describes the importance of a ‘side hustle.’ Her guidance would be helpful especially for those in the early years of a career.
- I’m finishing listening to “Persist” by Elizabeth Warren. This is my second Warren book. The woman is brilliant and down-to-earth. I love her describing something that made her so mad she could spit. I know she would be a great President because she has empathy, a vision, and plans. She describes herself as ‘I’m a planner, fighter and a learner.’ Me too, Liz!
- Jen gave me “Daisy Jones and The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I devoured it! Reid formats the book as band members and production crew being interviewed. The retrospective is about a successful rock band in the 70s. It definitely highlights sex, drugs and rock & roll. It’s an intimate dissection of the emotional power play between band members. The making of an album is in particularly a grueling process that comes down to the editing. Loved it! I miss reading about what the characters are up to.
- My other new habit is having a smoothie. Josh has been encouraging me to get more protein into my day. And I have been focused on getting in more fruits and veggies. The smoothie brings it all together, protein, veggies and fruit. I feel like I’m getting between 30-40 grams of protein in a serving. I’ve been enjoying…
- Berry Smoothie: almond milk, frozen cherries and blueberries, spinach, almonds, greek yogurt, protein powder
- Date Smoothie: milk, frozen banana and dates, spinach, almonds, greek yogurt, protein powder
Next week, I’m trying avocado smoothies. I love being a mixologist!
*My third habit is ending the day with a cup of decaf coffee. I’m currently sipping on sea salt caramel flavored coffee. My two favorite liquids are coffee and wine. I’m attempting to sub in coffee for my end of the evening wind-down ritual. It does give me a sense of calm and cozy.
I feel all these add-ins to my life are helping me be a better version of myself. And isn’t that what it’s all about? I’m going to continue to focus on adding positive habits and people-focused moments to this month’s agenda. I already know I’m going to see more friends visiting from Palm Springs and Dallas… so excited! I really do LOVE people, especially my people!
“June is bustin’ out all over.” Me too, June! Please stay safe, mask up for others’ comfort when necessary, and be kind to everyone!