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  • Writer's pictureMary

The February List

Where January cruised by on the momentum of the holiday season, February is when I'm feeling the need for a little rest. This month's calendar is packed, however, with many events for a short (though with leap day, not as short) month. I have a handful of medical appointments (screenings, nothing serious), family gatherings, a training session required as part of our journey toward becoming dog foster parents, a bachelorette, and a very special wedding. We're also really hoping to progress on the renovations for the new place, though that is up in the air at the moment while we wait for a quote from our preferred contractor.

I'm not sure how much free time I'll be able to eke out for extracurriculars. I've written my goals accordingly, focusing on foundational areas and letting myself take it easy between my various engagements.

Eat more fish, greens, and beans

Kev and I have been cutting down on our red meat consumption and we've enjoyed the change thus far. We've upped our fish consumption, begun doubling our batches of vegetable sides, and found a couple of bean recipes. Then, I came across this very timely article from Bon Appetit for healthier, delicious eating focusing on these exact ingredients.

For happy hour this past Friday, we met up with friends at Maiden Lane in Alphabet City, where we enjoyed discounted orange wine and snacked from their selection of seafood tins. Pictured above, the Don Bocarte anchovies. Makes me want to fly to Lisbon and bring back a suitcase full of canned seafood.

Get my sleep cycle back under control

It's been months, years even, since I had what I would consider a healthy sleep schedule. I'm an extreme night owl, and that means that I feel increasingly sleep deprived as the work week drags on, and end up sleeping in on weekends and kicking myself for wasting precious hours on my off-days.

I've accepted that I will never be an early bird, but I do want to sleep more than I currently do, which is between 6 and 7 hours a night. I struggle with ending my night, which in my mind only brings me one step closer to the next workday, but I'm also tired of feeling so damn tired all the time. My plan is to get ready for bed earlier, and to listen to my body when it sends those first signals of sleepiness.

Have a pleasant morning once a week (or more)

As a complement to my above goal, I want to reset my relationship to mornings. It's a quiet time that I know I can love and find rejuvenating - I just haven't recently.

For me, a pleasant morning includes a cup of steaming hot water with ginger and lemon, a check-in and some work on in-progress pottery, the time to pack up orders, and a walk with my pups.

Cut down on caffeine

It wasn't long ago that I would have two cups of bad coffee every weekday and half a french press each weekend day. I would have coffee at the end of dinners out. I love coffee, but I do recognize in my body a need to cut down. Sometimes, it's insomnia after a post-dinner cup. Sometimes, it's a generalized anxiety that is slightly worsened by jitters.

In the past couple of weeks, I've succeeded in limiting my intake to one cup a day in the morning, eliminating those PM cups. It's definitely helped with intermittent insomnia.

Because I love the taste so, it's easy for me to reach for a coffee drink without feeling like I need a pick-me-up. I know I'll need to make a conscious effort to keep this up.

Research travel

Ah... my favorite past time.

At the beginning of the year, our travel plans included Paris in March and China in May. With the coronavirus epidemic that's developed and quickly spread since December, we're unfortunately no longer planning to head to China. I was so excited to go back, show Kev around on his first ever visit, and see my extended family and meet some new babies. I know that we'll make it a priority to go as soon as it's safe to do so, but we're not sure when that will be.

Kev and I also resolved this year to each plan a trip to surprise the other with, telling each other only the dates of travel, and keeping the location a secret until very shortly before departing (after all, the excitement beforehand is one of the best parts of traveling). I've begun my research into options for where I'd like to take him, and I think I'll zero in on a few solid destinations this month. Perhaps I'll even be ready to book.

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