You know when a small business or restaurant says it’s expanding? Well, I don’t see why that same principle can’t apply to an individual…namely an individual’s life. Lately, things have felt a little too consumed by the bubble of graduate school & work and I’ve decided to create something to move me outside of this–project: expansion. I’ve found it’s easy to slide into a space that neglects seeking out things that truly bring joy, following through on adventures and experiencing moments in a curious and playful way. So, as this picture that I recently took helps to illustrate, I am going to attempt to expand (really deliberately) my horizons while still maintaining my life as a good enough grad student. I want to take responsibility for filling in the gaps to support a more satisfying and full life. I will try to document my efforts here in order to keep myself expanding.
When I take a trip I love to catch up on the books friends have suggested to me. This time, I am excited to read The Night Circus and The Art of Fielding. They come recommended by some pretty great friends of mine, that know me well & it looks like the rest of the world has for the most part also enjoyed them too. I have so much academic reading normally that I am looking forward to indulging in some fiction. I also really love the cover design of both of these books…okay, I sometimes do judge a book by its cover!
A friend who had never seen my room before was admiring my walls this past week & it made me realize that I have collected a few things over time that to me just seem normal (ho’ hum) since I look at them everyday. It’s nice to see your life through another person’s eyes once in a while–it’s a good reminder. And, I love a good print. Some I find on my own & others are given to me by special people.
Seem to be reaching that point.
// image from here
I really enjoy spring weather, especially when I lived on the East Coast. It felt like things were suddenly alive again, & all of the cliches that you think about spring…they really happen! Everyone is in a better mood, people stay out later after work (maybe grab a beer on a rooftop), styles evolve overnight into lighter pieces & you might feel like you’re falling in love (with everyone). The change is I guess a bit less noticeable out on the West, but there is definitely a shift, & one that I am a fan of. I am partial to a good picnic & I think spring bodes the best conditions for a satisfying one. The combination of grass, food, bare feet, sun, & friends–you can’t really go wrong. I’m hoping to find some green space around here with some pleasant people watching too (I admit, I do miss Prospect Park). Maybe I need to transition to the beach-picnic kind of idea?
//image from here
It might sound counter-intuitive to catch up on movies when you are working on finals, but it actually works for me quite well. I have a rewards system that keeps me productive & doesn’t get me into too much trouble. What I do: Pick three new-ish movies you’ve wanted to see, plan out your work schedule in the morning, work, work work…& end with your reward of being cozy & tuning everything out with a movie. I rented these three from iTunes & even though I give them mixed reviews, my system worked well. I got my work done and was fairly happy. My Week with Marilyn was probably my fave, Young Adult was much more depressing than I was expecting, and Like Crazy made me a little sad for obvious reasons to some. Hope you had a nice weekend!
An unusual thing happened–it was gloomy in Los Angeles the past few days. To combat this I decided to firstly, color coordinate the ancient Reader’s Digest books at work (while waiting for a client…shh don’t tell). And secondly, buy a bunch of flowers and make arrangements all over the apartment. When I walk by both they really do make me cheer up a bit and have reminded me that little things can make a big difference. Here’s to brightening things up!
//photos by mjbh
I realized recently that I haven’t been dancing in quite awhile. I may need to remedy this soon. Key ingredients for a good dance time: who you’re with, the music, the atmosphere, your state of mind.
// images here
Simple flowers in mason jars. That’s the way to my heart. And these colors just make you want to swoon a little bit.