(Late) Weekend Reading
January 29, 2024

I lost track of yesterday, but I didn’t lose track of the thing that I wanted to share with you.

It’s a post that I saw on Instagram, actually, and promptly shared in my stories. It’s from Tumblr and attributed to the author flowerais.

It reads:

a big part of being happy is being excited. be excited for everything – making a cup of tea, decorating your future apartment, seeing a friend again, falling in love unexpectedly, the next episode of a show you like, finishing something stressful, buying something you’ve been saving up for, a new album, sunsets, traveling, road trips, and the feeling of going to bed after a long day. think of something to be excited about and daydream about it often when you’re sad.

This really hit me, especially since I’d just been recently thinking about how to create more things to anticipate in my daily life.

It struck me also because the most painful periods of my life have been marked by lack of capacity to feel excited.

When that’s not the case—when excitement is accessible to me—I want to nourish my relationship with it.

I thought about how easy it is to lose the sense of excitement that kids are so animated by. My best friends’ daughters have such a profound capacity for wonder, whether they’re presented with a brand new environment or a brand new colored pencil.

Most adults do find excitement in their lives, but I think it becomes increasingly focused on big things: big milestones, big achievements, big occasions, big trips.

I love having a trip to look forward to as much as anyone, but right now I’m trying to bring more joyful anticipation to the every day.

As flowerais points out, there are actually so many experiences that are worthy of excitement: moments with friends and partners, sensations of relief when tough things have passed, funny or sweet encounters with total strangers, literally any experience of art, seasons, sights, smells, and sounds.

And of course there’s food and drink, all of the downright delicious or simply tasty things that a person can consume over the course of a meal, a day, a week.

What a gift.

Anyway, as this new week gets started, I’m aiming not only to feel more daily excitement, but also to notice how many things are worthy of my excitement. And I offer that invitation to you, too.

Happy Monday evening, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

1. I’ve tried zucchini noodles, I’ve tried sweet potato noodles, and now these carrot noodles look intriguing. Especially with peanut sauce!

2. Amy’s chopped broccoli and green tahini chickpea salad is so fresh and colorful.

3. The most silky smooth, creamy avocado hummus that I’ve seen.

4. Barley is one of my favorite grains, and it’s clearly time for me to turn it into breakfast porridge.

5. I’ve been enjoying shaved, raw fennel a lot this winter. I’m eager to try Heidi’s shaved fennel salad with some of my cashew cheese.

Reads

1. A sweet, humorous reflection on how the experience of health challenges can shape our behavior with healthcare workers.

2. It can be a wonderful experience to help others, but the distinctions between being helpful, being codependent, and bearing too many burdens can get fuzzy, too. I enjoyed this short listen about a non-profit that aims to help women from marginalized communities, especially eldest daughters, maintain some healthful boundaries in their lives.

3. My clients ask me about hydration all the time. The truth is that it depends—there are so many variables that can affect a person’s own optimal water intake. But The New York Times does a pretty good job at giving a succinct, generalized answer here.

4. Some useful tips on persisting through an inevitable phase of any new project or activity: the period when you’re feeling as though you might not be any good at it.

5. Good advice on getting out of a food and cooking rut, which I think is a common enough winter phenomenon. I love the foraging tip—I do that myself whenever I’m feeling uninspired!

I can very earnestly say that I’m excited about new recipes that I plan to post about throughout this winter, the coming week or two included. And all of the many small things that deserve my anticipation in the week to come.

xo

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