The January List – 2022

Happy New Year! I debated for a couple days whether I should continue with the monthly lists. My life is getting less and less exciting, so the news I have to share is also less exciting. But here we are. A new year, a new list. Albeit a week late.

1. New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair. So uneventful that I didn’t take any photos. The girls went to a friend’s house for dinner, so I took the opportunity to make a fancy dinner (baked brie, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes and smashed rosemary potatoes) for my husband and me. We watched TV, I forget what, I think the last couple episodes of Succession, until the girls got home. The only person interested in staying up ’til midnight was the 10-year-old, so I powered through with her, both of us watching our tablets in bed together until the clock on my phone turned to 12:00 am.

2. I got cleared to exercise – woohoo! That’s actually pretty exciting. I was happy to be able to walk the dog again. Not so happy to be walking him in the snow, but the first few times I did, my gratitude negated how much I hate being cold.

I’m still not allowed to do pushups or anything else that uses my pectorals. Hopefully I’ll get cleared for that at my next appointment in April.

3. We had Obi groomed for the first time ever. We’ve bathed him ourselves and have brushed him ourselves and we’ve cut his nails ourselves. But THAT ended up with blood everywhere and a frantic trip to Rite Aid for some first aid supplies and me crying in our bedroom.

He came home from the groomers smelling nice and looking so fluffy. And then the next day he went to playgroup and was back to his dirty dog self.

4. I started puzzling again. I’m not sure what that means. I’ve always enjoyed puzzles, but I wasn’t a fanatic about them until the pandemic. And then it became my therapy (and always done with a glass of wine or spicy margarita or sometimes tea, in hand). I’m not sure if it’s a means to escape or a means to stay grounded. Either way.

I found the above puzzle on Amazon (ugh, Amazon. Such a love-hate. And I DO shop independent stores for puzzles often, but sometimes Amazon is so fast and cheap, I can’t help it!). It’s Shakespeare-themed with all these fun scenes and the box includes a folded piece of all the Shakespearean characters you can find in the puzzle. But all the people are so tiny! And so many pieces looked the same. It was a doozy, but just the right level of challenging. Maybe I’ll do the Jane Austen one next.

5. The fact that I’m puzzling again means I’ve been listening to podcasts again. This one was pretty good and centers around crimes in unassuming Malibu, California. The second season was much better than the first, I thought.

6. Consequently, the podcast I listened to after that was Hell and Gone, whose third season, which I’m currently in the middle of, is about an unsolved murder based in Malibu as well. The narrator is also the investigative journalist on the case, and she puts in the work needed to actually try to solve the crime (and in some cases does, more or less). Really good!

7. Our January book group was picked by me (because I hosted this month). “Calypso” by David Sedaris. It was LOL funny in places and all too real in other places (the author discusses the mental and literal aches and pains of getting old, as well as the reality of family disfunction). Overall, it was a great and easy read and I recommend.

8. Speaking of getting old, it’s my big birthday year and I do find myself thinking about it a lot. I don’t FEEL 50, I don’t LOOK 50, so it doesn’t seem possible at all and no, I’m not in denial. More like I’m kind of just super annoyed by it.

A girlfriend recently told me that she’s given up on coloring her hair and she’s going to just let it go gray, partially because trying all the time (to fight aging) was getting exhausting. She’s stylish and smart and all of those things that you admire in other women and I was surprised by this for some reason. She’s not letting herself go by any means, she’s just letting go of the nonsense. Which made me think. If she can shift her mindset, maybe I can, too. Maybe.

9. Aaaaand then I went to go highlight my hair. Image and hair, courtesy of Village Salon.

I mentioned my age concerns to my stylist (because you know, I don’t WANT to look my age, but I also don’t want to look like I’m trying to look a different age). He said long hair doesn’t actually have anything to do with age and that most women my age/older have short hair a lot of times because their hair won’t grow past a certain length, or that it starts to look scraggly after a certain length. He said some “older” women can pull off long hair and he decided that he liked the length of mine and suggested we keep it long. SO THERE. #WINNING.

A fun story is that I was booked for a Wednesday appointment. Late Monday night I saw an Instagram Story on the salon’s feed, calling for hair models the next morning. Surely I was not the hair model they wanted, but what the heck. Wednesday was supposed to bring a crazy snow storm (which did happen, but the worst of it was Thursday), so I replied that I was available and they said okay. Not only were my services heavily discounted because it was a class, but they ended up cancelling all their Wednesday appointments because of the expected storm, so if I hadn’t reached out, I would have ended up having to rebook my appointment. It’s the little things, am I right!?

10. Earlier in the month, the same hair salon posted on Stories, looking for a local photographer to take headshots, and I ended up with the assignment. It had been a while since I’d had a photography gig and I loved being creative again after a hiatus. And bonus the gals were all so cute and sweet.

11. A very exciting January happening was that our youngest was the runner up (okay, so there’s no actual runner up, but it’s easier to explain that way) for the school’s Scripts Spelling Bee. Both girls competed, but the littlest (who had studied and studied of her own accord) made it to the final round, which I think consisted of five rounds. I was possibly the most anxious person there! Not just for my kids, but for all the kids. I don’t know how they handle it.

12. It was a busy month for the bookstore. People ask all the time what it is that I’m doing since we aren’t opening for months and months. But there are so many logistical details to work through and figure out. The cafe/bar area has been configured, kitchen equipment ordered, speaker positions mapped, office built-ins figured out, competitive analysis somewhat done. Etcetera, etcetera and etcetera. And I love it all. The problem-solving especially, working through all the different scenarios and coming to a collective conclusion.

SO. That’s January, and here I am in February already. At the end of 2021, I was very excited to make some New Year’s resolutions. I LOVE making New Year’s resolutions. Never got around to it. I also fully planned to pick a “word of the year,” as many of my friends inspired others to do on Facebook they had done. I didn’t even make a short list.

And guess what. I’m not bothered by it. Which is saying something, me not being bothered, because normally I would be. Disappointed that I didn’t do the things I told myself I was going to do. So maybe something IS shifting in me, after all? BUT. That remains to be seen. I’ll keep you posted, as always.

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