Hello! Welcome to the last day of February. January seems like a hit-the-ground-running kind of month with all of the goals and ideas we dream up for the coming year, but February feels like a welcomed friend that invites us to take inventory and reflect. It’s the right point after the craziness of the holidays and the stagnation of winter and before the bustling beginnings of spring. I think February just might be my new favorite. Here’s what’s been going on this month.
I started this month with the goal to stay off of social media for the month, mostly Instagram. I was successful for 11 days. What I discovered in those 11 days, though, is that being present feels so good. I felt like I wanted to be there for my people more in person than through a like or comment on a social media platform. I believed I truly missed following certain people who I have no personal connection to, so I opted to reactivate my account. Not sure I really did miss them that much, but I do enjoy having the resources to check in and see what they’re up to. I did, however, seriously edit who I follow and chose to make my once public account private for the time being and removed anyone following me. My intention was to use Instagram solely as a place to get inspiration and not a place to share anything personal. I’d rather connect with friends and catch up in a truly personal way – face to face. I don’t know if that will continue moving forward, but I like it for now. I also had decided to mute most people’s stories. Remember when Instagram was just pictures and not stories that only lasted 24 hours and gave you the false impression that if you didn’t check them constantly you’d miss something? I miss those days. Since reactivating my account, I do feel like the changes I’ve made are helpful. The only problem is, it’s easy to get sucked into the discover section and end up clicking on one thing after another or winding up in an endless stream of cat videos. I did realize, though, that even without getting lost in Instagram, I was finding other not very productive ways to fill my time, like playing FreeCell or another addicting game on my phone that I don’t know the name of, but had to delete for its ability to aid me in killing too much time. It’s always good to audit how we really spend our time, I guess.
Early in the month, as well, the first daffodil in my yard opened up and I declared the first daffodil bloom means it’s time to switch out the clothes in my closet. (I noticed my first tulip opened today!) A few months ago, I decided to only keep a relatively small number of clothing items in my closet at a time and roughly separated my remaining clothes into seasons. It’s really been beneficial to see what I really wear, what I love, what I like but maybe don’t like the fit or fabric of, and what’s not worth keeping for me. I’m dreaming of a day when I have more of a capsule wardrobe of quality ethically made clothes that will last many years to come. For now, though, I was excited to replace my dark winter wardrobe with my favorite pastels of spring. It’s not officially spring yet, but in California “winter” temperatures don’t stick around for long and the spring clothes can come out quickly. No complaints here.
Something else super exciting that happened this month is my classes started for school. I had previously mentioned that I was going back to school after graduating with my bachelors last May to explore a different field of study. I registered for three classes: animal nutrition, soil science, and humans and the environment. Within the first week, I was jazzed about soil science and humans and the environment, but so-so about animal nutrition. Since the number of remaining units I can take before losing priority registration are limited, I opted to follow my gut and drop the animal nutrition class. I have to say, though, I feel like the other two classes are giving me a little pep in my step and I am so excited for them. I’m catching myself wanting to dive into sustainability and watch as many nature shows as possible, as well as simply learn more about the soil in my garden and what I can do to assist my seedlings that I transplanted or are emerging.
Food For Thought
Just yesterday, I finished the “last” of my seasonal cross stitches I set out to make a couple years ago. I say last because I want to switch out one of my summer ones and maybe make some additional ones in general. What started out mostly as a fun way to mark the changing seasons in a place like Southern California, where they can be easy to miss, has turned into something a little different. I’m learning and realizing how out of touch we tend to be with the natural world these days. We believe all types of foods should be available at the grocery store year-round and we haven’t a clue what a carrot seed looks like, how it grows, when it grows, and how long it takes until it can be harvested and eaten. Everything is so available all of the time that we never have to do or be without. But what cost is there to our planet and our quality of life as a result? Is a store bought tomato that was shipped from halfway across the country nearly as flavorful as one grown in the backyard or a pot on a balcony or porch? Is a $10 T-shirt worth it if it’s imported from elsewhere and is made of synthetic fabrics that won’t last, will further pollute the earth when it inevitably ends up in a landfill, and by someone who had to craft it into being and got paid very little to do so? Has convenience and endless options helped produce a wasteful mentality? Is newer or bigger always better? Do we lose the excitement of waiting for the first fresh vine-ripened tomato of summer by eating mildly flavored ones all year from the grocery store? Have we lost the ability to appreciate the reward that comes from hard work, skill, and patience?
Rundown of February 2021
Recently watched… David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet on Netflix.
Listening to… Chatty Broads podcast. Particularly an episode on sustainability (episode 105) and slow fashion (episode 230).
Learning about… human design. I recently discovered it and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it at the moment. It seems extensive and possibly useful for those who are into things like astrology, the Enneagram, or various personality tests or typing systems. (Chatty Broads also has a podcast episode on this. Episode 106.)
Binging… Girl Meets Farm on Discovery+.
Planting… cucumbers, beets, Swiss chard, lettuce, chives, spinach, arugula, peppers, lavender, and pansies.
Honestly… so happy to walk out into my yard and see flowers popping up. Lupines, poppies, tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth, oh my!
Finding humor in… binge watching a cooking show. I’m not a usual binge watcher, but of course I would be the type to binge watch a cooking show.
Hoping… to move towards making changes in my life to align myself with the type of person I want to be.