Weekly Good Things - Week 47
December Intentions, Good Things, and the Weekly Meal Plan.
We’ve had a bout of stunning fall afternoon light. (Ignore my weird smirk and just look at the light hitting the top of these trees!)
I hope you’ve had a generally good long Thanksgiving Weekend! My holiday was blissfully low-key - my family brought food to my house, and we all sat around and enjoyed ourselves.
Blast from the past: This weekend my cousin Dan and his (awesome) wife Jasmine were visiting from Seattle with their kiddos, and it was nice getting to spend some time with them. I got to be auntie – which includes things like being a human jungle gym – which is delightful. We went through a box of old photos and here I am with my cousins Dan (right) and Mike (left) wearing one of my favorite ever party dresses.
Still feeling like I need to recuperate from the shift in daylight hours, I’ve been working on adding intentional Joyful Activities, Self Care, and Good Things into my day to day. I’m hit or miss when it comes to working on my monthly intentions, but this week I actually sat down to do them in advance.
I don’t think of these as “to-do lists” more like “options”. Here’s my first stab.
Out and About
Movie Theater (with Popcorn) on $7 Tuesday • SOWA Winter Market • The Holiday Market at Snowport • Burdick’s Hot Chocolate and a winter chocolate box • High Tea (at BPL?) • Quick trip to NYC to see a friend visiting from Luxembourg • M+J’s yearly holiday party • Dog Walks with friends • Movie Night at Home with Popcorn • Winter at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • Sargent exhibit at the MFA
Self-Care List • Massage • Charcoal Face Mask • Eye Masks • Stick on Nails until you can get a manicure again • Find a new TCM/Acupuncture/Acupressure person • LMNT order
Lift (Weekly Lifting 3x) • CRAW • Run the Firehouse! (10 miles from Heartbreak Hill Run Club) • Yoga (weekly Ompractice) • Pilates (Reformer?) • I’ve already signed up for the Needham New Year’s 5k
Inputs List (Podcasts, Reading, Watching) • Recipes to Cook • Cooking Projects 2024 • Bean of the Month • Hobonichi Prep for 2024
2024 Calendar • Sketch in Sketchbook • Winter Good Things Guide
List 5 things to giveaway on Buy Nothing • Figure out what you would outsource 3 hours of at-home support (Cleaning blankets? Dog beds? Body Doubling?) • Research options for said support • Updated addresses for New Year Cards • Ask Keren for her recommendations for Fancy Candles (now that you’ve broken the seal with the Voluspa Gilt + Pomander candle
This Week in Good Things:
Good Listening: this week the most interesting podcast episode I listened to was Huberman’s on ‘A Science-Supported Journaling Protocol to Improve Mental & Physical Health’. The concept is around journaling specifically about past difficult experiences in a particular protocol format in order to provide therapeutic relief. I found the notes about the science to be fascinating, and I’ll be trying this method myself.
Healing Touch: this week I had my once (quarterly-ish?) massage. There was a time in my life where I was going regularly to acupressure, but stopped. Getting body work done has a clear positive impact on my day to day mobility and my ability to do sports, so one goal I have in the new year is being more intentional about figuring out advance scheduling (but not too frequently!)
Nailed it. I’ve learned over the years that I need to keep my hands manicured regularly or I will destroy my nails. The past few weeks have been tough on my hands, so today I slapped on some Kiss IMPRESS press-on nails, and the first person who saw me in the wild complimented me on my manicure.
Who do you outsource decisions to? I’m trying to update my Movie list, and asked a few cinephiles to add their contributions to my list. This got me about 50 new films to add that I haven’t seen before. (I also use Letterboxd, which is like GoodReads, but for movies.)
Coffee with Friends: a thing I’d like to do more of in the new year. I’ve been trying to figure out which coffee shop is my favorite in the neighborhood for a casual beverage. (The answer is that they are all packed - so the best option is to take a coffee to go and go for a walk and talk with a warm drink in hand.)
Party-Watching the Loki finale. I’m a big fan of watching shows with friends. (Even though Disney got rid of the party-watch feature) and now we have to go ‘3, 2, 1, PLAY’ and pausing for bathroom breaks is more of a challenge.
Dog Walks with Friends. Last week I traipsed around the neighborhood with Bertram and his Corgi friend Sawyer (and her human, Summer). This week we met up with Guinnevere and her Frenchie, Sylvie.
Acquisitions of Note:
I try to keep spending to a minimum on Black Friday, but my local shoe store (The Barn Family Shoe Store) did have a fire sale on my regular shoe (the Brooks Glycerin 20), beyond the 25% off that Brooks had on their own website, so I picked up three pairs. In normal season, I pick up pairs at Heartbreak Hill with my Heartbreakers discount!
I received a Pendleton blanket as a well chosen gift.
Tis’ the season to buy yourself a waxed Amaryllis bulb. (It’s worth it!) Seven dollars at Trader Joe’s and it provides day by day excitement and you don’t need to water it.
I upgraded two substack memberships to paid:and (I’m a long time fan of her blog Shutterbean!)
Good Things to Think About
🌨 How do I make my personal templates/checklists more accessible for the weeks that I have low energy? One conversation I had this week was about how to design for different energy levels. One of my systems that works the best each week is my “Friday Reset” which is a checklist that lives on the whiteboard on my fridge. It’s really simple: laundry, trash, dishes, shower, boxes, restock stuff, meal plan. Ordered roughly in the order I’d like to get things done. There’s a space for one or two other things (like “blanket/sheets”) I’ve been trying to think about how to re-create this for other aspects of my life - like workday needs.
👋 I’m thinking about Connection: meaningful ways to stay connecting with friends and family members (without necessarily spending more in-person time together). Things like nice notes, little things in the mail, meme trading, notes around meaningful dates, party watching, Zoom dinners, reading the same book with or without a book club. What do you do to stay connected? (Soliciting ideas!)
Other Good Things
📺 Watch: was sad about this week’s Bake Off contestant leaving! Also, here’s a ridiculous recreation of the Great British Bake Off tent… with snails.
👅 Good Tastes: I had Noma Pickled Chanterelles on a rice bowl this week, and the world is sleeping on pickled mushrooms.
I absolutely loved this clip with Tig Notaro on Colbert about her kid heckling her at her standup show.
The Weekly Meal Plan:
One of my more enjoyable (for me) end of the year retrospective activities is going through my list of meals over the past year. I think the past year has been a little thin on creativity, so for 2024 I’m going to pay a little more attention to a list of a dozen or so dishes I can eat on repeat that are outside of my current usuals. Bean of the week: Rancho Gordo large white limas.
Saturday: Takeout from Grandma’s Kitchen, a truly delightful Taiwanese restaurant around the block from my house.
Sunday: Leftover’s Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef, gravy, mashed potatoes
Monday: Tteokbokki with chicken thighs
Tuesday: Butter beans with parmesan (or possibly with miso and tomato)
Wednesday: Fish night, rice bowl, nori, cucumbers, pickled ginger (this was the most eaten meal of my year)
Thursday: Soba noodles with tofu, tahini lemon dressing
Friday: Pizza night (either Cape Cod or Tenderoni’s)
Lunches: Leftovers (including baked beans and quite a bit of cheese), TJ’s lamb vindaloo with yogurt, assorted TJ’s bean burritos, TJ’s breakfast burrito.
Snacks: Soft boiled eggs (made a dozen), cottage cheese, cheese sticks, chicken sausage.
Treat: Chocolate mousse. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones.
That’s all for now! Hope you have a great week!
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