Monday, January 11, 2016

Recommendations (2015)

Walking to work: folks, driving alone in a car to the office is not my style. I hope I never have to do it. I'm so grateful for my 10-15 minute walk, spent listening to some favorite tunes or the NPR One app, during which I feel morally superior to all drivers everywhere.

Sewing Your Own Pillowcases: it's remarkable how a couple of pillows make my apartment seem infinitely homier. Thanks to sister Megan for recommending this simple pattern that even those of us with limited sewing skills can successfully decipher.

Hormone Horoscope: womyn everywhere, you are one free download away from this handy little app. It shares information about typical hormone levels throughout your monthly cycle and ties them to emotional and cognitive functioning. I've never paid much attention to this for myself, but it was a good year to start tuning in. Of course loneliness and fear are big parts of making a major life change, but tying some of the more despairing moments to those low-estrogen times of month are helpful reminders that I'll likely be happy again sooner rather than later.

The Katy Trail: the longest Rails-to-Trails trail in the country is perfect for a multi-day bike tour. I hear it's also a great route on which to find good eating and drinking along the Missouri River, though my three-day 225 mile ride didn't allow time for a lot of leisurely stopping along the way.

Spokane, Washington: I didn't know when I moved here, but Spokane doesn't have the greatest reputation in the Pacific Northwest. It's a small city in a very white, conservative part of a liberal state. I also didn't know that it has a vibrant and growing arts scene, a cool downtown, some fantastic local businesses, and an increasingly progressive political flavor. If you need some more evidence that Spokane should definitely be on my list of recommendations, check out this Tumblr: Spokane Doesn't Suck.

Going for it: the phrase "we've just got this one life" has been echoing in my head for the last year and a half or so. In ways yet unprecedented in my life, 2015 has been all about living into that sentiment: recognizing that time is limited and some chances won't come again and I can't wait to start x, y, or z until I'm more prepared. I ended a long relationship and dealt with the torrent of associated emotions; I took a new job in a new field in a new city in a new state; I made friends with amazing people and deepened friendships with other amazing people, did some online dating, found the most progressive church in Spokane and started worming my way into the community there. And more. Lots more. This framed card sits on my bookshelf at home. I think it's inspiring. Here's to going for it in 2016!