Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: Moments with Purpose

The hardest thing about 2020 is feeling out of control.  Pieces of my life are being shaped (and sometimes derailed) by a pandemic, a suffering economy, and ongoing political upheaval.  And as the year drags on, it’s hard not to become despondent or crippled by malaise when feels like there is no better day on the horizon.

Last week, I was feeling that fifth-month of pandemic depression pretty hard.  But this week was peppered with milestones that got me thinking about how quickly time passes.

My “baby” brother turned 33.  I vividly remember the day he was born, and it’s mind-blowing to realize that he is now an adult with a job and a wife and a baby.

This blog turned 12.  TWELVE.  My small August Recess project has exceeded any hopes I had for it in the beginning.  And all I can say is thank you for choosing to read it, to keep reading it, and to tell your friends about it.

And last night was the fifth anniversary of my first date with Kyle.  I definitely did not think on that first night that he was the man I would one day marry.  But life is surprising.

Creating this blog and meeting Kyle, I didn’t understand what a big impact those events would have on my life.  I didn’t know that 12 years later, I would be typing this out in a house in Spokane, Washington with my Miniature Schnauzer snoring at my feet while our contractor nails new baseboards in the master bathroom I share with my husband.

As Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Or if you need the Pinterest-ready version:

This message from Not So Small Talk really resonates with me.

I feel like I’ve lost 3/4 of this year to circumstances beyond my control.  I was just hitting my stride in February when the world upended.  So as different as the world is today, and as hard as it can be to navigate this now-normal, I think I can still finish this year strong.  I just have to keep my eyes looking forward and remember that as long as I am trying, even if I’m failing, that is better than sitting stagnant.

The pandemic is going to take something from us all.  But I don’t want to give it more than it’s due.  So I’m going to start thinking about how I can give the remainder of this year purpose and start building a foundation to set me up for success when this all ends.

I love a good documentary, and The Booksellers is now one of my favorites.  This highly acclaimed doc tells the story of the bookstore owners and antiquarian book dealers who populate the book business.  From cute little shops on the Upper East Side to giant operations, the doc discusses America’s reborn love of reading, what the future for the industry looks like, and what it really looks like to run a dusty, old bookshop.

It’s charming, light and makes me long for a trip to New York City.  Soon, Big Apple, soon.

Bringing new life to every day activities is the pandemic mantra.  This picnic set from Amazon makes having lunch in the park across the way or in your backyard a breeze.  I just go to the market, pick up some pre-made favorites and a bottle of chilled wine, and call it a day.  And since the weather is about to trap us all inside again, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors while you can.

We’re still not back in our kitchen, but I added Half Baked Harvest’s fish tacos with lime pickled pineapple to my post-reno recipe list.  They look fresh and easy and perfect for the end of summer.  Also, hope good does lime pickled pineapple sound?

Has your diet of vodka, carbonated beverages, processed carbs and restaurant take out made your skin feel less than firm?  Given you a bit of puffiness you can’t shake?

If so, this cooling mask is the greatest.  I usually loathe products with eucalyptus, but this mask is like a day’s rest and a liter of water sipped poolside at a spa.  I put it on, and 15-minutes later, I felt like a new woman.  My skin looked absolutely revived and refreshed.  It also felt softer and firmer.

And at <$6, I bought five more.

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  1. E says:

    I love this perspective about the year. I’ve been trying to focus on what I’ve gained from the pandemic and this time in quarantine rather than what I don’t have. It doesn’t always work but I’m keeping at it!

    August 26, 2020/Reply
  2. J says:

    Early on, I was listening to Brene Brown’s podcast – the one with Glennon Doyle, and she said something like, “in 5 years, people will ask you how you spent the pandemic? What was it like for you? Why not decide NOW to make the answer to that question – that story – the absolute best story it can be.”

    I think about that future question often and it has really shaped my perspective and how I have spent this time. Life moves fast, but we have more control than we think we do, and we can create some amazing stories right now.

    August 26, 2020/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    I cosign everything you just said about the pandemic. The whole God laughing at your plans saying is ringing so true this year. And as the daughter of a librarian and author, I can’t wait to watch that documentary! Your recs are usually a little too serious and/or crime-y for me, so I’m super pumped this is totally up my alley.

    August 26, 2020/Reply
  4. Jenn S. says:

    “Has your diet of vodka, carbonated beverages, processed carbs and restaurant take out made…”

    “Well, I never!” I huffed in feigned indignance. Honestly its like you could have a hidden camera here.

    August 26, 2020/Reply
  5. Ral says:

    Really great post. I’m bookmarking this.

    August 27, 2020/Reply