Just Life

Looking Back | January.

One of my goals for this year is all about developing a more robust “looking back” practice. I’ve been looking back through the lens of these daily photos for years and I love this part! It never fails when I put this collage together that I remember something good that happened, see how many days we really did have blue skies, and notice something about the changing seasons (the days are noticeably longer now). I haven’t been so good, though, about practicing the reflecting piece and for sure the part about figuring out what to leave behind or work on.

When I shared my last OLW post for last year, I framed my reflections with ten questions that I thought might work just as well for one month. And … hummm… some of the questions are a little hard over just a one-month period! I tweaked a few and combined a few more … and some of the answers are work I need to do away from this space. In any event, I do think it’s a fine place to start!

1. What am I celebrating?
* all the time I spent with my family who are friends, including the debut of a cookbook club with my mom, Karen and Lydia and a movie/bookstore date with Katie and the boys

2. What worked well? what didn’t?
* using my calendar to track what I’m reading and knitting each day, and using one of the monthly planning page (each month is a column with entries for each day) to record finished books and knitting projects. It makes it really easy to look back and see when I started and finished something.

* my email inbox – I’m struggling to keep up with it and it bothers me. ditto Feedly.

3. What were the best conversations?
* with my mom, Karen and Lydia about our cookbook club
* with Katie about reading more, together

4. What was a discovery?
* The Lazy Genius Podcast
* Spotify’s Daily Mix playlists. I now have about five weeks of listening history. I’m really careful with doling out the ♥ … and it’s working. The Daily Mix lists are getting better and better!

5. What voices am I listening to?
* I have a crush on Pádraig Ó Tuama after listening to the first episode of his new podcast Poetry Unbound and the latest episode of On Being (I cannot even describe how much I love the reading he does toward the end – maybe 3 minutes left to go … I wish I knew how to snippet that little bit!).

6. What was the best thing I watched? read?
* Mrs. Maisel Season 3
* Sarah Bessey’s Out of Sorts

7. What am I leaving behind?
* Holly’s infection (thank goodness)
* setting unrealistic expectations for myself and then being disappointed when I don’t measure up

8. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
* finding a rhythm with the things I want to do every day to be sure they get done (and balancing that with those unrealistic expectations!)

How about you? Is there something from your January you can share? I’d love to hear!

 

10 Comments

  • Carole

    I’ll share something new I did in January: I fell in love with yoga! I think approaching our monthly photo collage with questions to get us thinking about the month is a great idea. I’m going to incorporate this practice into how I blog about my monthly photos and videos.

  • Kat

    Wow, your January was so full of you and so many other familiar faces! I especially love your photo from the 12th! That is a great smile! 🙂

    But all those cocktails just look so delicious! XO

  • Bonny

    I love your look back! It’s interesting that things tend to look a lot better than we might remember when looking back, and it gives me hope for February! I was glad that I finally remembered to re-pot my amaryllis bulbs in January; I spy yours ready to bloom!

  • Sarah

    I’m glad to hear that, for one thing, you’re heading into February with a healthy Holly! Looking over your images from January, I see lots of smiles, lots of good reading, and some signs of spring.

    I’d say this year I learned that January doesn’t have to be miserable, but I think that’s mainly because we had so little winter weather.

  • Kym

    What a great way to look back and reflect, Mary. Your questions are such great ones — and I love how it’s evolving for you. (And ugh to email inbox… It is one of the things I’m really trying to stay on top of myself this year, but what a trainwreck!)

  • karen

    my daily planner has been working out for me. I see WHY I didn’t knit a lot. There is a lot of work involved with blogging and reading blogs that I am now just realizing… I also see how I spend my days and how I can tweak my days. It’s so good to feel that I am choosing to do specific tasks.

  • Vera

    I always enjoy seeing your month full of pictures. That is one very blue sky you are showing! Lots of smiles and lots of good things Mary. I’m another one who is so glad Holly is doing better.

  • Patty

    Your look backs are always a treat Mary! I love that you have so much family in there. I do like your questions too…#7 is particularly good. 🙂

  • Karen

    You are truly blessed to be surrounded by family! I was pretty happy with how things went in January. Your collage represents the one missing thing from January for me—photos. The winter weather always decreases my energy for photography—the days are dark and cold, and our old house has little natural light for good photography. So I’ve started a photo-a-day for February, and I must admit it’s already a challenge for the reasons listed above, but I’m sticking with it. I think there will be lots of flower photos. I’m not good at capturing social events, and I have mixed feelings about that.