Looking Back | January.

‘When you remember today, what will you remember best?’ ‘All of it,’ she said. ‘It wouldn’t be complete or real if you left out any part of it, would it?’

Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety

Of course, I’m pretty sure the daily photos themselves self-select a brighter version of the month; and sometimes those daily photos aren’t even moments I remember. This month, though,I recall all 31 of them. Highlights include:

  • wearing three new sweaters (one of which, Miromesnil, I finished in January – Jan 2)
  • time in my study … reading, knitting, journaling, making messes (Jan 12)
  • a pedicure! (Jan 5)
  • pretty buds and flowers on morning walks; the icy camellia (Jan 17) is a favorite
  • snow! (Jan 16)
  • debuting a new One Little Word (Jan 25)
  • in-person smiles to celebrate my sister’s birthday (Jan 28)
  • and a messy pile of boxes the Saturday I helped Sara move (Jan 29)
  • evidence of longer days (Jan 30)
  • a new Apple watch (Jan 31)

I’m grateful to these daily photos for marking those happy memories. and I’m grateful to this Looking Back practice for reminding me to mark all the other moments, too.

Life Draining: so much worrying about folks in my life (including an aging four-legged one). finding fault with little things and bickering about them instead of letting them go.

Life Giving: watching my mom successfully navigate the beginning of her post-injury recovery. watching Sara get settled into her new home. finally seeing Katie & Sam in person after more than a month (not pictured – Jan 30). a wonderful conversation with our former pastor about a potential Spiritual Growth seminar in August (working title “It’s Hard To Be a Human”). the grace and encouragement I’m receiving at church as I grow into my new leadership role.

A (short) Happy List: Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone playlist (Spotify link). I finally finished the mohair wrap for my sister’s birthday … and she loved it even though it was still damp from blocking when I gave it to her (Ravelry link). Watching Emily in Paris season 2 with Marc. Jumping on board the Musselburgh bandwagon. and getting this blog onto WordPress’s hosted platform; it’s so much easier to manage!

What made your happy list this month?

24 thoughts on “Looking Back | January.

    1. yes. I’m now a few months into my first Next Right Thing journal … I paged through the filled out months yesterday as I wrote the post and was pleasantly surprised at the lessons those lists taught.

  1. So many good things in your month of January. I like the idea of recalling what is life-giving and what is life-draining. As my Mom used to say, “into each life a little rain must fall.”

  2. I love that Stegner quote and may have to put Crossing to Safety on my re-read list. It’s hard not to worry about people and animals in your life, but I’m glad you have so many good things to help with balance.

    1. I’m glad I finally read it! and that most days I can find the balance … especially the days when I grab that quick afternoon nap!

  3. I struggle with worrying tendencies and have to focus on doing what supports my mental health. Gratitudes help but sometimes just talking to someone helps as well. it’s a slippery slope talking to someone because then I’m magnifying in my brain what I want to minimize focusing on…

  4. You really did have A Month, Mary. I hope life settles down into a more comfortable and less-stressful rhythm for you now, and that you’re able to continue finding the good as things (seem to) disintegrate around you. XO

  5. Whew… January was a very full month for you! Good thing it had 31 days!! 🙂

    I to am hoping for life to settle down… and while “reality me” knows that is really not possible, I do hope that you find what you need to carry you though the days.

    1. and doesn’t February feel like a cheat with just 28 days? like couldn’t they have borrowed from January and March and just smoothed it all out? and thank you!

  6. The best thing I can say about January is that it’s over! I never like it much, and we had some challenges this January, so I’m happy to be moving closer to spring.

  7. Well that was a month! Plenty of smiles and good things in your photos though. I do love your sister’s mohair wrap – it is gorgeous. Thanks for the Spotify link too – good music there. Hoping that February is a more gentle month for you Mary.

    1. I had NO idea that authors created playlists for their books – it’s such a gift! and thank you Vera, we are grateful for all the good hopes!

  8. My new [1 day old now] watch-whoa-what a big screen! Knowing that each day gets me closer to a “regular” shoe and warmer mornings.

  9. You captured the highlights of January perfectly. And you acknowledged the things that were difficult, too. It’s a good way to reflect back on any month.

  10. So many wonderful and happy things to remember about January. I love the thought of looking at life giving and life draining.

  11. That quote is fridge worthy! Emily in Paris was a January gift for sure. And yes to life giving and life draining…we work to maintain the balance!

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