• Mary

The March List

Updated: Apr 15

Since I've been awake at all hours of the day and night I can tell that the sun has been rising earlier as the weeks pass. I'm really looking forward to the end of this COVID winter and to warmer temperatures for backyard time and for taking Jazz out into the world. March brings the start of spring, daylight savings, and steps back into real life.


February ended with a visit to the studio, only my 2nd since Jazz was born. It felt great to bring home finished pieces, and to spend a couple of hours glazing what had become a very full shelf of items.

Pottery
Some of yesterday's haul

Prepare for a studio trip

Since I won't be able to resume my weekly studio trips for a little while, I'm hoping to make each visit as efficient and productive as possible, which means not heading over until there's a good amount of work to either drop off, glaze, or pick up. Yesterday's visit worked out this way - I'd filled a box with as much as I could carry for drop off, and came home with that same box filled to the brim with finished pieces.


I'm thinking my next visit will be in 2 weeks, and I've made a rough list of what I aim to sculpt in the meantime to be ready to bring in.


Kev goes back to work

To say that we have a routine at all right now is not exactly correct; parenthood for us has been about trying to make it work day by day (or more accurately, night by sometimes very long night). Just when we’d think we were getting into a rhythm, Jazz would hit a growth spurt or a developmental milestone and completely dash the schedule to which we’d tenuously begun to get accustomed. But over these past 7 weeks we’ve been figuring it out together.


Starting today, Kev is back at work, which means things are changing once again. I’d felt very supported during the time when we were both off from work, and I took comfort and found joy and solidarity in doing it all side by side. Now, there will be stretches of time where I’m on my own, and he’ll need more restful nights in order to function as an employee again. I’ve been nervous about this transition, and it’s something that we’ve talked about for a little while now.


One way that I mentally prepared for this change in Kev’s schedule is to aim for a change in mine as well. That is to say, my goal is to have a return-to-work of sorts myself, to pottery. I’m going to try to carve out more time for sculpting when the baby is down for naps. Let’s see how it goes.


Plan for our spring garden

After a snowy winter, the ground will thaw and allow us to get to planting for the upcoming growing season. Now is the time for planning which plants we want, when to start seeds, and where they’ll go once ready to be placed in the ground.


Last year, I found success in growing tomatoes out of grow bags, but had trouble getting flower seedlings to survive transplanting from seed starter cups. A fig tree we planted took root nicely and grew over the course of the season, but an apple tree we placed to the side of the house seems to have died (we'll know for sure in the spring). We had an herb garden in tin cans and small pots that we used all summer and fall, and this year I think we’ll move some of the herb collection from the backyard to our front patio for easier access from the kitchen (since they’re in containers anyway) and hope there’s sufficient sunlight there.


This month, I'll be researching more options for our zone 7 garden, starting seeds that I have on hand, and perhaps ordering some new seeds as I expand the variety.

Eyes on my goals for the year

I'm beginning to see that some themes for this year are a slower pace, more flexible plans, and an openness to plenty of uncertainty. Great if you can embrace them, but they aren't the most conducive for setting clear and measurable goals. I'm still figuring out my approach to this year and how I'll balance shifting priorities. For now, I'm keeping my tentative goals for M&m near at hand in the form of a Google document, returning to it and editing it often.


Look back at travel

As we approach one full year of pandemic life, I'm beginning to allow myself to think about travel again. No plans or anything close to plans yet, but it no longer makes me sad to daydream. Perhaps this month, I'll finally start to recap my Japan trip and work on my travel diaries for the cities we visited in 2019.


In writing my travel diaries, I like to surf YouTube for travel vlogs and guides so that I can see the places I visited once again and be reminded of what it was like to walk the streets and see the sights. Watching videos on Japan lately has been equal parts nostalgia and inspiration. We spent two weeks there and it felt like we barely scratched the surface, and the whole family wants to go back again someday.


With COVID vaccination programs rolling out under a newly capable federal administration, we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I no longer feel moored to a year-long, paused present detached from both the past and future, which means I can say things like "let's put this on the list" or "we should go here" and it isn't preposterous. It's a great feeling.


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