Friday, March 27, 2015

what's making me happy this week, 1.

Every so often, in addition to those 52 essays I'm supposed to be cranking out, I'm going to publish a small list of what's making me happy, a la one of my favorite podcasts, NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. Nothing major, just a new series to remind me to count my blessings. 

Here's what's making me happy this week: 

- Keeping up with long-distance friends. Is it important to build community right where you are? Absolutely. I think it's imperative. But I also know how difficult and daunting that task can be, and instead of wallowing in my occasional loneliness, it helps me to focus on the friends I do have in my life. Last weekend, Jordan and I spent two days with a couple of our favorite people, and the visit served as a powerful reminder of the community we've already established. New friends are crucial, but old friends are life-giving in an entirely different -- maybe deeper? -- kind of way. 

- Book clubs. Author Gretchen Rubin references her penchant for book clubs in her new book, Better Than Before. She mentions she's an active member in four separate clubs, and at first, I was aghast. Who has the time? But this week, I met with my in-town Thomasville book club. I started a long-distance Skye book club with a couple of the aforementioned long distance friends. And I'm keeping up with two different "Sisterhood of the Traveling Book" clubs via snail mail -- one with long distance friends and one with online friends via Instagram. All of them make me happy, and, perhaps because of my job, they don't cost me much extra time and effort. (And even when they do, the time I spend is enjoyable.) 

- Better Than Before + Happier podcast. Before our trip last weekend, the store got in copies of Gretchen Rubin's new book, Better Than Before, and I am devouring it. Gretchen Rubin is kind of my spirit animal; if I'm hosting an imaginary dinner party, I want Gretchen and Shauna Niequist there. Gretchen's other books, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, have been favorites for a long time, and her new title about habits is sparking all kinds of excitement in my brain. I've annoyed Jordan and my friends with all kinds of facts about habit-making and what habits work for our personality types; it's fascinating information (to me), and Gretchen's new podcast is sparking fun conversations, too.

- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. 30 Rock was on television during my college years, which means I've really only seen a couple of seasons (shocking, I know). But when Netflix released The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt last week, I knew I'd be game. Ellie Kemper + Tina Fey = magic, in my book. The show is hilarious and quick, which means it's completely re-watchable. (A relief, since I've already finished the first season.) Plus the theme song is stuck in my head all day, every day.

- TheSkimm. My schedule is incredibly varied, which means I have to fight for any routine in my day. After hearing about theSkimm for months,  I finally signed up, and I love it. I thought a daily email would completely overwhelm my inbox, but instead, every morning, I read through the news stories and feel informed and ready to start my day. Highly recommend.  

And that's what's making me happy this week.


Laura said...

Yes to Kimmy Schmidt! We started watching that last week and it's so hilarious and goofy and weird. We love it.

Also, I really agree with keeping up with old friends, while simultaneously still striving to make new ones. There's something so great about catching up with friends who really know you and who you have a history with. I am a big fan of making reunion trips happen. Glad you had a great time with your friends!

Anonymous said...

Kimmy Schmidt is great. 30 Rock is basically the default Netflix choice for my husband and me, so we're all about some new Tina Fey material. And yes, that song... stuck in my head every other day.

"Unbreakable, la la la la, it's a MIRACLE!..." haha

Elizabeth said...

Yay you've listened to Gretchen's podcast. I've been pushing it on people a lot the last two weeks I just think the information is so valuable. I haven't had a chance to pick up the book yet but it is on my list!