January 2024 was not my favorite month. But despite obstacles, a month usually contains things to celebrate - books read, content listened to, projects worked on, and happy moments to remember. A quick recap helped me realize that despite its setbacks, January 2024 was a month in my life still filled with good things.
What I Read:
The Right Kind of Wrong: The science of failing well (Amy Edmondson)
Written by a professor of leadership and management at Harvard, this book is a scientific approach to identifying, understanding, and harnessing failures of all kinds. I am only half done but finding it a very valuable read. Added bonus, I am 'book clubbing it' with a friend I have not spend nearly enough time chatting with over the past few years. As she is one of my oldest friends, I know I can be very open while discussing failure on a personal level.
Familia: A novel (Lauren Rico )
A random fiction book I picked at the library when the book I requested (and thought was in) was not there. I had two minutes before I had to be somewhere, so it was an impulse pick. Easy, interesting read, which was appreciated this month.
The Comfort of Crows: A backyard year (Margaret Renkl)
This book is broken into chapters written each week of the year, highlighting nature at the time of the year I am reading them. It will be a slow read, one chapter per week over the course of the whole year. I am already loving this new rhythm. It takes only a few minutes to read a short chapter and I am aiming to read the winter chapters each Sunday morning in bed (with coffee). This year, two of my intentions are to cultivate my love of nature and cultivate my love of seasons…this book helps with both of those. This is needed, especially now, as I struggle with winter and feel disconnected from nature. This reading habit can help shift my attention to the season outside my window and the nature living inside of it for a few quiet minutes each week.
What I Listened to:
The Tea is Made
What I Worked On:
Microlearning course for a project in Greenland
Blog posts on my website, continuing my December start to blogging for the first time since my Greenland blog for students in 2021! I wrote about modifying heritage (should we change that which we inherited from the past?) and a piece about effectively communicating numbers to people (and why we should pay more attention to this). I am enjoying writing here, where my thoughts are not tied to a specific project but can wander to where I want them to go.
Business-y stuff (as the professionals call it...smirk) for both my LLC (Modern Anthro Consulting) and my husband’s landscaping company (taxes, biennial statement, etc)
February break plans
Spring class prep and launch for four classes.
January content on trends reflecting humanity's disconnection from nature for the Heritage Engagement Project with Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy.
What I struggled with:
New after school/daycare for all three kids (wreaking havoc on schedules and immune systems)
Starting new semester and teaching four classes for the first time in over a year (negotiated lower load last spring and maternity leave last fall). The physical exertion it is taking for me to stand in front of so many people and teach in back-to-back classes while pumping in-between classes and meetings is intense. As in almost pass out intense. Introvert/mom problems.
Snow day changes with the four college/school/daycare centers we are currently at (“This one is on two-hour delay. This one is open but we need to pack a lunch!”).
What I really enjoyed:
Brunch with Justin’s oldest friend and his wife on their way home from Montreal.
The indoor waterpark and play place hotel I shipped my older kids and husband off to for the night (enjoyed from afar, in my quiet home, with my quiet baby).
A solo retreat overnight in Lake Placid right after the New Year. Retreat included a hike, focused work time on some interesting projects, my annual goal/intention planning and 2024 reflections, and a glass of wine in bed. It also included fighting the urge to settle for the convenient hotel breakfast. I was rewarded when I ventured out into the blue-tinted, snowy Adirondack morning to find a cozy little coffee shop I’d never been to.
A dinner with two other North Country families where my friend feed six adults and our combined 10 kids without batting an eye.
A long weekend in Florida for my husband to visit family without any weather or travel delays (enjoyed vicariously).
A yoga in the dark class and a new weekly yoga therapy class.
Long coffee dates with people whose company I really enjoy.
The beauty of winter in the North Country