Just Life

Looking Back | February.

Last month I started Looking Back with a slightly broader lens – encompassing not only the daily photos, but also a few reflections. This month I’m making a few more tweaks:

1. What am I celebrating?
+ first signs of Spring, another beautiful amaryllis season, and 41 years with the same Valentine.

2. What worked well? what didn’t?
+ our cookbook club – two meetings in and I think we have a plan that’s going to carry us through.
– the planning for our women’s service was at times both stressful and frustrating; this was my 4th (or 5th?) year leading the preparation and it was the first where I didn’t even have final liturgy by February 1 (let alone March 1). Once Easter is behind us, I need to plan a meeting with our pastors and PW leaders to agree on how next year will work.

3. What surprised me?
+ how easy it was to settle in on a “daytime uniform” once I started paying attention to what I really like to wear and what makes me feel good about myself (also limiting my choices).
+ 45-60 minutes a day is plenty to get a balanced workout (cardio, strength, stretching) and doing it EVERY day makes it easier to stay on track.

4. What were the best conversations?
+ every single one I had with the attendees and presenter at the Still and Still Moving conference.

5. What was a discovery?
+ The StyleBook app.
+ taking a week away from the blogging world is ok.

6. What voices am I listening to?
+ Sarah and Beth on Pantsuit Politics. They are keeping me sane with everything that’s happening in our country right now and I cannot recommend their podcast highly enough.

7. What was the best thing I watched? read?
+ I watched two great shows on Netflix – The Spy and Rocketman – and enjoyed every minute of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Bookclub discussion (a Zoom meeting) with Alix Harrow, author of Ten Thousand Doors of January.
+ Murmur of Bees. (“best” was a tough choice this month – I finished six books and rated 4 5-stars and 2 4-stars … embarrassment of riches!)

8. What am I leaving behind?
– ALL the beige sweaters and shawls and most of the gray ones.
– sharing all my book reviews on Instagram. I might share a few, but more than that was just stressful!

9. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
+ the Women’s Service (thankfully now past!)
+ a Spring/Summer making plan

I know February probably seems like ages ago (yikes, March did get off to a sneaky, quick start!), still … how about you? is there something from last month you can share? I’d love to hear!


  • Bonny

    Wow, you’ve shared lots here and learned a lot in February also. Learning so much sounds like a successful month! I don’t think I can even remember February since March has been a pretty big month in so many ways.

  • Karen

    Sounds to me like February was a particularly productive month—lovely collage of photos to help document it! I’m most impressed with the daily workout routine. I get to the gym three days a week–first thing! Once it gets warm enough, I’ll walk regularly, but my cardio really takes a hit during the winter.

  • Sarah

    It sounds to me like your February was about balancing your life and letting go things that weren’t working for you. I hope that you’re finding those decisions are making for a better March!

  • Carolyn

    Hi, Mary–I found you last summer while trying to find a Summer Book BINGO to participate in, and I really enjoy your blog & photography! This post is such a great way to re-cap. I’m with you on the ‘uniform.’ It’s not at all boring, as it may sound. I find it to be liberating, actually! It’s funny, I started getting so many compliments after I culled my closet and started doing Courtney Carver’s 333 project (which I admit to keeping a loose hold on the ’33’)…wearing what’s right for me–and not overthinking it!–feels so much better than putting something on simply to justify keeping it in my closet!

  • Kym

    Let’s hear it for the uniform! 🙂
    It looks like February was a great month — filled with learning and love! Thanks, Mary.

  • Kat

    Good things, one and all! (although I do miss your presence when you miss blogging!)

    I am stunned at how rapidly March is “marching along”!

  • Vera

    That’s a whole lot of good stuff right there! I think Feb was a great month for you. And…congratulations on 41 years with the same Valentine – that’s awesome! I’m curious about your “daytime uniform” – hope you post about that. And (see that “and?”) here we are in mid-March already!

  • karen

    your February reflections are pack full of insights. I love how you are embracing some parts of your wardrobe and letting go of other parts! Such a nice process.

  • Margene

    You have a beautiful way of describing what is/has happened in your life over a month. A view of what your routines are like, where you spend the most time, and what is on/in your mind comes into focus. Thank you for sharing who you are and what is important to you. I am now celebrating the signs of spring and listening to the beginnings of the dawn chorus. We’re in the back and forth time of spring-winter tug o’war.

  • Lydia

    February- so long ago! I HIGHLY recommend The Green Book-Steve and I really enjoyed this movie and it’s one I’d watch over and over.