Dispatches From Home: Day 148

This morning I woke up possessed by the urge to eat a croissant for breakfast. The timing of this craving was convenient, because the bakery down the street sets up a tent in the parking lot on Saturdays and sells coffee and pastries to passers-by. I’ve seen them there, with their arrows and “stand here” stickers and masks and hand sanitizer by the gallon. So today I put my own mask on and joined them in the parking lot, barely registering everyone’s theatrical sidestepping to ensure social distance that a few months ago would have made me feel panicky. This is just how we spend a weekend morning now.

I describe my croissant urge as random, but the truth is that earlier this week I read Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah and have been daydreaming about pastries ever since. It’s a fantastic memoir of her year alone in Paris, awaiting her diplomat husband’s return from an unexpected assignment in Iraq. Her descriptions of the food she ate and the loneliness she felt spoke to me; Adrian’s been gone for three weeks, and while this can hardly be compared to one’s husband being sent to a war zone for a year, some of the anxieties are the same. I’m lonely. Cooking for one doesn’t speak to me and I often end up eating scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. I take comfort in the fact that the bubble he’s living in is COVID-free so far, but I worry constantly about his safety.

Adrian and I spent three short days in Paris in 2017 on our way home from a wedding in Italy. The wedding was great, but I was itching to get to Paris, and when we finally made it out of Paris-CDG airport, we made the most of our brief time in the city: we devoured pastries, visited the street where my parents lived when I was born, ordered practically everything on the menu at a Michelin-starred bistro that was by chance open on a Sunday when everything else in the city seemed to be closed. We walked everywhere, enjoying unexpectedly perfect blue skies in late December. It was glorious.

The time goes by. Adrian will be home in a few weeks, which seem interminable now but will pass, as all things do. Maybe someday we’ll travel again; we’ll go to Paris and eat pastries that shatter into a shower of crumbs, and he’ll give me the last bite of his croissant because he knows that’s my favourite part, and we’ll get lost in a maze of streets and turn a corner to suddenly find ourselves at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and we’ll laugh and laugh. Then again, our trip is so perfectly preserved in my memory that maybe it should remain undisturbed. Maybe, someday, eventually, who knows.

For now, I’ll have to content myself with standing in the bakery parking lot, shooing wasps away from my iced coffee, leaving with two loaves of bread destined for a week of toast-based dinners. It won’t be this way forever, but does that kind of thinking that ever make the moment any easier?

Bullet Journal Updates!

It’s been almost two months since I started my bullet journal in the hopes of getting more organized at home, so I thought I’d do a quick accountability post. Here’s how my bullet journal adventure is unfolding so far!

Overall, I really like the process of using my bullet journal. It took me a while to get the hang of it, and I’m still refining the process to make it work for me — I have a tendency to spend way too much time doodling, which isn’t a problem when you use an electronic calendar — but the benefits of using a paper method are becoming very clear.

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I use my bullet journal primarily to track my habits. I experimented with a few different layouts before landing on the one I used for my April 2017 habit tracker (above). It makes it really easy to see how consistent I’m being over the course of the month.

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How to Make Any Regular Weekend Feel Like a Holiday

Last Monday was the first day of spring, which seems hard to believe given the negative temperatures and bare trees in Toronto this week. This, combined with the fact that there are no long weekends in March this year, has made it difficult to really, truly enjoy weekends. Sure, the days are getting longer, but it’s freezing and I can’t sit on a patio. Sure, I could stay home and binge-watch a Netflix series, but I want real, “thank goodness Monday is a holiday”-type R&R. What’s a girl to do?

Frigid, rainy weather be damned: with a little imagination, any weekend can become a long weekend, regardless of whether or not Monday is a work day. Here’s how I plan to spend my faux-long weekend:

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Project of the Week: Getting Organized

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How do you stay organized? I use my email calendar to schedule my work meetings, calls, and due dates, but when it comes to my personal life, I prefer to do it the old-school way — a calendar pinned to the wall in the kitchen, a to-do list in a spiral notebook, and handwritten reminders for more urgent tasks. I even keep a list of what’s in the fridge taped to a cabinet to help me plan meals during the week and avoid food waste. While the visual reminders are a great way to stay on top of things, it means that my work space is occasionally littered with sticky notes that stress me out rather than inspiring me to work.

I’ve been wanting to try bullet journaling for a while now, but I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I liked the idea of keeping everything I need to know in one place, but found the notation style to be a bit overwhelming. Also, if the Instagram #bulletjournaljunkies tag is any indication, people who are into bullet journaling are REALLY into bullet journaling. It all seemed a bit intense for someone who had a mostly-functional system already in place.

https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2016-05/13/17/enhanced/webdr11/enhanced-17451-1463176212-1.pngThe process, in a nutshell. (via BuzzFeed)

Continue reading “Project of the Week: Getting Organized”