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Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Round Up 1/11/19 - 1st Ever Book Review, Back at the Zoo, Back at Inspiration Corporation, Pack Your Patience

Happy Friday! This has been an odd weather week - spring in January - then right back to single digit wind chills. Another week of weather whiplash! Fingers crossed for some snow this weekend!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend planned and happy reading.

1. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott Review
I figure to keep myself honest about my New Year's resolution to read at least 12 books this year, I should track the books I read this year! Thank goodness my wonderful friend Camilla came over this week to catch up. She is well versed in the world of Goodreads and gave me a helpful tutorial! Turns out I had signed up in 2009.......but never really kept up with it, so I am back! Let me know if you want to be connected. Since I'll be tracking my books read on that site/app, I figure its a good exercise to write reviews when I'm done. I was saddened to realize that I forget books in their entirety...when going through the website with Camilla I found myself saying "that one sounds familiar.....but I'm just not sure if I've read it or not" so this resolution will help me remember what I've read (& ideally what I think about what I've read) over the years.

So without further ado, here is the review I posted to Goodreads for Traveling Mercies! And thanks to my friend Jay for recommending it!
This is my first time reading Anne Lamott and I plan to explore her other writing! She is achingly honest in her discussion of life, motherhood, faith and family. The book made me laugh & cry in almost equal measure. There is almost a short story/vignette quality to the chapters, they don't all follow a single story line (outside of the fact that it is her life/faith we're reading about). I didn't mind this style, I quite liked it actually, worth mentioning in case you aren't in for it. Great for anyone interested in a frank discussion of Christian faith without a single, solitary speck of preachy-ness - I struggle to handle preaching.....but love to read about spirituality and faith. This book hit the mark.

Are you reading anything wonderful lately? Let me know in the comments - I would love to add it to my "to read list"!!

2. Back at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Due to childcare issues (& then our "new" car breaking down in December) I've hardly been volunteering at the Zoo this winter. This week was the start of a new normal where I volunteer on the weekend rather than during the week. It makes so much sense since Chris is home on the weekends and I don't have to hunt for a daytime babysitter! I already miss my Wednesday volunteer friends though. The great news is, this week at least, Lulu & I were guests at the Zoo on Wednesday and ran into several of our favorite volunteer friends! 

I've written about the importance of volunteering here before; but I do think it helps me to be a better person. I really love having some things outside of our home that are just for me. I imagine it is the same type of feeling working moms might have about work. A place to go that is your own, full of adults, and no diapers! Add to that the fact that volunteerism seems to be woven into my DNA. My parents are both regular volunteers and offer all kinds of support to their family and friends to boot (myself happily included!!) I guess it makes sense that I would see the value in giving back.

My volunteer shift fell on an unseasonably warm &  sunny day - so the Zoo was, well, a zoo! Despite not knowing any of the other volunteers, I had a good day & met some interesting guests. I loved talking to 2 young sisters about the family troop of gorillas in particular. The girls seemed to have endless (& interesting) questions and stayed to talk through the answers for upwards of 15 minutes. What fun it is to see the world through the eyes of kiddos.

Hooray to be back in the cafe at Inspiration Corporation serving breakfast after a months long hiatus! Again, due to childcare issues I had taken a break from my regular volunteer shift. Its funny isn't it, how the simplest solution is sometimes the hardest to see?? Without going into boring details - I am able to (quickly & easily) take the train to volunteer and Chris brings Lulu in the car to meet me at the end of my shift. He hops on the train & heads downtown. Why was I so worried about finding an early morning babysitter when the answer was just so simple?!? Feel a little sheepish about not figuring this out more quickly - but such is life, right? 

Either way, all of the same comments about volunteering I made above apply here- except in this case I get to stay with my regular crew of volunteer friends!! What a lovely treat to see such wonderful people at 6:30am! An added bonus is many of the cafe guests are habitual and come on the same days each week, so I had many friendly faces to serve as well. 

I was relieved the cafe wasn't too terribly busy for my first shift back in awhile - didn't want to fall down on the "job"! I embarrassingly screwed up one guests' name - a guest I've been serving for years- and screwed it up badly. I hate that I'm not great with names and taking a months long break from a group of people doesn't do my brain any favors :( That aside - it was great to be back. I'm happy to be there to be sure. 

4. Pack Your Patience
I read a lot of New York Times articles it seems......maybe because they do a lot of advertising on Facebook and I click on their posts which perpetuates itself by showing me more of those ads?? Who knows/who cares, but this article, How to Be a More Patient Person caught my eye and was really interesting. I certainly feel like I could use some support in the patience department - I hate when I lose my cool in airports, traffic, or with Lulu. How reassuring that patience, like so much else is life, can be learned and practiced and improved upon?? I do not love rushing - so what makes me feel that impatient, rushed feeling so often?? I don't know, but this article gave several ideas of how to exercise one's patience muscle- so that it can become your default setting!

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