… coming to you from my favorite place right this very second. I must admit I am not a huge fan of having the laptop actually in my lap, but the breeze and the view are more than worth it.
Thinking about … what I’m going to do this weekend. Apart from my weekly FaceTime with Diane tomorrow morning and church on Sunday (our annual cannot-miss Youth Service, which concludes with a slide show that always makes me cry … “kids” I taught in Sunday School a few years back are now graduating college. I can’t wait to see what their post-college plans are!) The family reunion begins for me next Thursday – at its peak attendance point, next Saturday morning, we will be 13 adults and two little boys. I’m not sure I can bank alone time (do any of you other introverts out there know?), but I think I’m gonna stock up, just in case. Good thing my current favorite activities – knitting, sewing, reading, walking … are all great to enjoy on my own.
Grateful for … Pantsuit Politics. for their smart, informed, thoughtful and grace-filled conversations about really hard things. Today’s episode hits really close to home – literally – because they’re talking about abortion. They take a deep dive into Five Things you need to know – in preparation for an episode next Tuesday where they’ll share their perspectives. They followed this same format a few months ago about criminal justice reform and still remember listening while I was on a walk and bursting into tears (really, I was sobbing on the sidewalk) when they talked about forgiveness. Like I wrote last month … conversations and connections like this give me hope! I also love their Instagram feed and stories and the not-about-politics discussions. I even found out last weekend that Sarah (from the left) is a KNITTER. Yep. worlds colliding in a very nice way.
Inspired by … the results of my intentional gratitude practice this past week. I’ve been closing out my morning journaling with a gratitude list for years. But this past week was the first time I specifically noted the thought, sat with it for at least 15 seconds, and then checked my emotional response. I felt joy, warmth, love, connection, calm and openness. 15 seconds y’all – that’s powerful! Fr. Rohr references a study by Rick Hanson (from Hardwiring Happiness) in Chapter 4 of The Universal Christ. Hanson calls this the Velcro/Teflon theory of the mind. Basically, we may be hardwired to focus on problems (the Velcro) at the expense of positivity, gratitude and simple happiness … and also, I’m finding, hope (the Teflon). Hanson’s work showed we have to hold on to the positive thing for at least 15 seconds for it have lasting impact. and that we can reprogram ourselves. just by actively thinking about good stuff. I’m hooked.
Fun … Summer Reading! yeah, I’m not hosting Book Bingo, but I do have plans to read. and I was delighted with Anne Bogel’s Summer Reading Guide which dropped this week. Most of these books aren’t going to be available at my library until next summer (or maybe even summer 2021 based on the waiting lists right now), but her list got me thinking. I started The Alice Network this afternoon (for bookclub) and was happy to see Kate Quinn’s latest on Anne’s list. along with a new Peter Heller (I loved The Dog Stars). There are a host of Jane Austen re-tellings out there … but I think I just might need to re-read the originals. My four favorites are Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion. Each of these has been my “favorite Austen” at some point; I’m not sure where I’ll start. There’s also a new Jackson Brodie coming out in June, I still haven’t read the latest Inspector Gamache, and the latest Maisie Dobbs landed in my Overdrive Loans today.
Before my reading plans get too set in stone – what is top of your list to read this summer?
…and now back to the knitting. Happy Weekend, my friends!