Friday, April 3, 2015

what's making me happy this week, 2.

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: 

- Holy Week. This is our first year to follow Holy Week alongside a body of believers; in the past, we've experienced Lent with friends, and we've attended Holy Week services every once in a while as visitors. Those past years were meaningful, but I'll admit there's been something incredibly special about joining a church as they commemorate and celebrate Holy Week. (It's also been powerful to walk alongside millions of other believers who honor these traditions, too.) As usual, I don't know what the future holds for our faith, but I am incredibly grateful for this season and how we've been able to experience these ancient liturgies and traditions.

- A Little Life. I first heard about A Little Life through NPR, but now it's officially everywhere. The book is 700-plus pages -- not for the faint of heart, and quite honestly, not typically for me. I have so many books on my nightstand that I typically avoid more lengthy books. But A Little Life is beautifully-written, haunting, even, and once I started it, I couldn't stop, even when the subject matter became more heavy. I'm about a third of the way through, but thus far? Well worth the days I'm spending reading it. 

- Podcast recording. I love our bookstore's podcast. We've gotten on a pretty regularly weekly schedule, and I've enjoyed talking with and interviewing so many people from my town. We talk about books and small town living and writing and reading; our latest episode features a conversation about Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin's book I still can't stop talking about. If you're a podcast listener, give us a try. I think we're getting better and better.

- Jawbone UP. Okay, so after reading Better Than Before, I snagged a Jawbone UP on a Groupon-type site for $50. I'd read about them and seen them before, but I wasn't sure a FitBit-type system would work for me. Now, here I am, tracking my steps and my sleeping habits (I may track food, but right now, that seems like a hassle), and I'm already making changes in my daily routine. Gretchen taught me that monitoring habits really works -- especially for someone like me -- so I'm thrilled. More habit-building details to come in a later post.

- Planning imaginary trips. I once read that vacations don't just make us happier; it's the planning of the vacations that really gives us a happiness buzz. In that vein, the fuzzins (cousins plus friends, if you're new around here) and I are imagining a road trip to Austin for the upcoming Gilmore Girls reunion. Just talking about it last weekend got me excited... No idea if we can make it happen, but pretty fun to dream about, yes? 

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

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