February Reflections

These reflection questions come from Susannah Conway as part of her Unravel Your Year 2019. Check out January’s reflection and then read on for February’s.

1. What have you created this month?

So many things. Creation is exciting and this month it started with pottery. I created bowls, mugs, and one plate. The hardest part of creating pottery is that it’s not a one time process for one item. First you have to get the right amount of clay. Then kneed it appropriately and throw it on the wheel, after centering it (a process that can take forever, as a newbie) you have to feel out the clay. Does it want to be a bowl? A mug? Does it want to be tall or short? Wide or narrow. There are so many aspects to this first part, it’s hard to know what to do. After that you have to let it set to dry but not dry too much. Then you have to trim away all the excess clay. One wrong move and you could destroy the piece. Or it might become a masterpiece. From there it’s waiting for it to be fired and then glazed.

Pottery isn’t the only thing I’ve been working on. Photography is also something I’ve been working in. I’ve been reading books and following a YouTuber who is challenging all that I know and what I do know is not enough. The photos for this post weren’t easy, because of all the snow. But then there’s all the other photos I’ve been working on. Some of which are posted in my 365 Project and many other I have yet to find places for.

2. What new experiences did you open up to?

This might sound odd, but I allowed myself to play a video game guilt free. Since I am not working and am not actively choosing not to, I feel like there’s this urgency to be “productive” with my time. To justify my lack of income contribution. For our anniversary we got a PS4 and I have decided to sink sometime into one of the games we bought for it. While playing I have decided to not feel guilt about those hours. However to remove myself from the guilt I have also set strict rules. I must get my to-do list done every week. This might not seem like a big deal but two things that are on my to-do list weekly is clean the bathrooms and vacuum. Two very simple things that I struggle with immensely. I’ve been making changes to make those chores easier and I’ve just been focusing on doing one thing a day.

This is what my To-Do list has looked like the past few weeks. As you can see with each week, I am not always successful. But the system is working far better than last year and consistency is what I am working towards.

Week 1

check in with accountant
vacuum
bathroom
fridge
b&n book exchange ✓
yoga 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓
gym 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓
groceries ✓
amazon order ✓

Week 2

check in with accountant ✓
vacuum ✓
bathrooms ✓
light book 1, 2, 3 ✓
yoga 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓
gym 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓
scan cards
clean email ✓
clean bookmarks ✓
office for light ✓

Week 3

bathrooms ✓
light book 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓ ✓
yoga 1, 2, 3 ✓ ✓ ✓
gym 1, 2, 3 ✓
scan cards
library ✓

Week 4

still in progress

vacuum
yoga 1, 2, 3
gym 1, 2, 3
scan cards
read 5 books ✓
groceries ✓
deal with accounting stuff
email campaign

I also did something else. But I am not quite ready to talk about it. Come March I’ll have my thoughts processed enough to write about, I hope.

3. Describe your impressions of 2019 so far?

  • Wisconsin is a bit of a wimp when it comes to truly cold weather (though I will note that the state did have some record breaking lows for January and February).

  • That while the cold outside doesn’t bother me much, the temperature in my house will never drop below 75 Fahrenheit.

  • Kevin is a wonderful man and I struggle daily with feelings of deserving his kindness and love. I was not shown this as a child and it’s weird to encounter as an adult and it still takes me by surprise daily.

  • That family is what I make of it and that sometimes that can hurt or surprise.

  • I am stronger than I think, but it’s still had to do a pull up when upside down.

  • I love snow pictures… and for some reason my favorites of Kevin and I lately have been of us smooching. It’s weird but I’m okay with it.

What I read in February

The Way of Shadows series books 2 and 3 by Brent Weeks

I started off the year craving an old books series I had read and thought it was this one. It wasn’t, but once I got started I wanted to keep reading. Ironically when I first read through the series I rated all the books 2 stars. But this time around I increased it. I left book one at 2 stars. Book two increased to 3 stars and book three to 4. I listened to it on audible and my only compliant was that occasionally the narrator would pronounce a word wrong and that it would be a word that was just super odd to mis-pronounce. I struggle with my emotions of this series, mainly because I am not sure how I feel about rape and slavery being written. Both sometimes are presented in ways that make them seem okay and normalized and while that wasn’t the case in these books it still bothers me. I just don’t yet have the vocabulary for what I mean to express yet. If that makes any sense.

Dungeon Desolation, book 4 of the Divine Dungeon series by Dakota Krout

My favorite part is the dungeon and wisps relationship and how even with a kid it was still interesting and nice. I am not sure how I feel about all aspects of the book but overall I enjoyed the series a lot and would probably listen to them again. This was a series I listened to with Kevin on audible.

Thirst No 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood, and Red Dice by Christopher Pike

This is the series I thought I was getting when I bought The Way of the Shadows on audible. This series is not on audible and for that I am glad. I ordered the entire series from the library, read through the first book and even started the second. But it’s just not as good as I had hoped. Everything felt contrived… the main character was just going through the motions and didn’t really have much motivation. I did enjoy the the first book even though it wasn’t that great. The second however is when things really just got weird. However I do feel like this is where Stephanie Meyers got some of her ideas for her horror show of books. It was good to go back and attempt to read these but also I’m just happier searching out better writing at this point.

Light Science & Magic An Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua

I picked this up because the Bite Shot YouTube decided to do a book club and book two was this book. Lightening for food photography Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. This book is a dense textbook. Something I am very much not use to reading. A lot of the things feel like common sense and get are also some of the hardest things to get right when shooting. I’ve been struggling with lightening for months for my yoga set up and I have a few new ideas that will make it better when I get a chance to invest in it. Lighting is hard and I struggle with how much I actually understood of this book.

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

This is a big book, like game of thrones big, just with far less characters. In fact we only hear one voice and she is telling her story to us. I love the way it is written, as a story being told to you. She actively says what conspired here isn’t important so I am not going to share that and the story moves on. There is a lot about the story I don’t like, slavery again is something that is in the world and very glossed over. This is also a very adult book, covering a lot of adult topics. It’s also a story I kinda want more of and so I will continue reading thought the series. Though I am not sure I like the direction it will go, it wasn’t a cliffhanger ending but it was an annoying one.

How was your month? Did you read anything interesting? How would you answer the reflection questions?