I was on a great streak with this blog and then… life happened. I know I’m not the only one who is finding it hard to concentrate these days, but I can’t help but be frustrated with myself. It seems like every time I hit my stride sometime else happens in the world to that makes everything feel overwhelming or meaningless. I’m in a really privileged position right now, my life is actually pretty good, but it’s hard to give myself permission to feel this when so many bad things are happening to so many people.
So, I’m working on balancing this all. I do what I can, even if it’s just donating a few dollars or promoting a post. I try and feel my feelings without judgement, but also without emoting all over people at the center of all the traumas. If this resonates at all, I found concept of ring theory to be really helpful. I make sure I take time to rest, but I keep alert for when I start to feel restless, which is usually a sign that I’m fully recharged.
I’m also getting better at planning things out in advance. That helps me to keep myself posting regularly even when things don’t go according to plan. This blog is still very much a work in progress, but it feels good to know that I am actually progressing. The thing I’m most proud of right now is that, lately, every time I falter, I’m able to pick myself back up and get going again.
On that note, there are a few new things going on around here this week:
Mini-Loom Review: In addition to this newsletter, I’ve also posted a new review this week. If you follow me on IG, especially in stories, you’ve seen the mini-loom and linen coaster kit I got from Flax and Twine. It’s been my first foray into weaving and I’m more than a little addicted. Check it out here: Weaving Loom Kit for a Useful DIY Project: Review of the Flax and Twine Weaving Patterns Linen Coasters Kit
Crazy Quilt Progress: I finished up the first block of my crazy quilt, the fan, and I started a new block. I can’t wait to show you what this new one looks like when it’s finished! In the meantime, you can take a peek at my planning process here.
Dissertation Progress. I’ve gotten back into the habit of working on my dissertation regularly. I do really want to finish it. Ideally, I’ll be done writing by the end of the year and be able to defend sometime in the spring. It’s long enough now that it feels a little overwhelming, but I do think regularly setting goals for myself is helping.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. This is my first Book of the Month Club pick for September (I couldn’t choose!) and while I’m not quite finished yet, I already wholeheartedly recommend it. This book provides a framework for understanding how the systems in this country that promote racial inequality evolved and continue to work. It compares them to other caste systems, primarily in India and 1940s Germany, in a way that brings out the deep cruelty of such systems. Wilkerson has this amazing way of laying out a clear argument while simultaneously providing examples and accounts that let you feel the horror of caste systems on a visceral level. This book is also extremely timely, reflecting where the U.S. is right now as a society. You can purchase Caste at Bookshop/Book of the Month or wherever you like to buy books.
Fairyland Cottage. I’ve been feeling stressed lately, so I’ve been turning to a little corner of the internet I like to call “ChillTube.” It’s the part of YouTube with calm, aesthetic videos, mostly involving women puttering around the house. Lately, the Fairlyand Cottage channel has been one of my favorites. If you want to watch a woman wander around the Irish countryside and talk about the herbs she’s picking for tea and whatnot, this channel will very much be up your ally. Watch on YouTube.
Big Red Robe Tea. Where I am right now, just outside of Chicago, it’s starting to feel like fall. There are still some warm days and the trees are still green, but there are more leaves on the ground every day and the sun is rising later and later. This has me reaching for teas that are a little more smokey and rich feeling. One of my favorites lately is Big Red Robe, a variety of roasted oolong. It smells like walking through the forest after the leaves fall and it is good for multiple steeping’s. It’s generally not too hard to find, but mine is from Tea Source.
- Friday Update September 4th, 2020: Actually Working On My Dissertation and Drinking Tea
- Weaving Loom Kit for a Useful DIY Project: Review of the Flax and Twine Weaving Patterns Linen Coasters Kit
- Friday Update August 28th, 2020: New Projects, Finished Projects, and Other Peoples Projects
- Friday Update August 21st, 2020: Finished a Project, Now I’m Running Away to Live on an Island by Myself
- Book Review: Fibershed by Rebecca Burgess