We took a full week off this past week - we traveled to Michigan to visit family and completely unplugged. I can't say enough about how much this did for our psyche and, now that we're back, our productivity. We were burnt out in profound ways, but a week of good rest, doing nothing productive, and just enjoying each other and family and friends has brought us into 2019 with a new energy. Also, two weeks with no routine for a 2 and 4-year-old has given me new and loving eyes for the routine that sometimes feels monotonous and exhausting, but gives shapes to those long days. We're back at it today and everyone seems happy about it!
One of the great thing about some time off was that I got some extra opportunities to explore some Conversationalist threads. Here are my recommendations from this wonderful week:
I got One Day in December from our book club Christmas book swap. Admittedly, the synopsis sounded a little too gooey and contrived for me - girl makes eye contact with boy while riding bus, girl falls in love with boy in those moments, girl spends rest of her life looking for boy. BUT, it was a perfect holiday read and a beautiful love story. It was quick, easy, and sweet. I highly recommend it as a read to put a little spark in your January!
I was also skeptical about seeing Mary Poppins Returns. Among other things, how could anyone fill the gargantuan shoes of Julie Andrews? And, how could we revisit the storyline without repeating it? Too much to ask of any movie and no reason to mess with the perfection that is Mary Poppins. And yet, I LOVED everything about this movie. The story was a perfect one to reconnect us with Mary Poppins and the Banks Family, the cast was amazing - there are even wonderful interludes with Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke, and Angela Lansbury, and the music was catchy and great. I went with my daughter and my in-laws - all three generations loved it. Go early and often!
Some of our family started talking about a Kacey Musgraves concert over the holidays, and I was embarrassed to note that while the name sounded familiar, I couldn't name a single song of hers. My husband did a quick search to pull up a couple of hits only to find out that her most recent album, Golden Hour, was #3 in NPR's "Best 50 Albums of 2018" list. Who knew? (Well, apparently millions of people based on her album sales, concert tour, and downloads.) We did not, but purchased Golden Hour and have been listening every chance we ge. The whole album is good, but my favorite is "Rainbow" and Joe's favorite is "Space Cowboy."
I learned a little this week about the history of New Year's Resolutions - did you know that humans have been making such resolutions for 4,000 years?!? A tradition that dates back to the Babylonians, but perhaps is best summed up by one authors categorization of this practice as "a triumph of hope over experience." Source: Westacott. It's an intriguing practice and an interesting study in human nature. I enjoyed reading more about the history of it and getting some tips to keep resolutions from this How Stuff Works three-part article. Based on what I learned, I'll be making a refined, clearly stated list and publicizing it ASAP!