Slow down and simplify

For me, right now: August 2018

I am a bit bleary-eyed as I write this as I’ve just returned from Chicago. I took a short, impromtu trip to help out a family member. While the trip focused on practical matters, we also had plenty of fun.

For me, right now: August 2018 What I've been doing, reading, listening to, making and thinking about.

Can you tell I like pickles? Mustard application needs improvement

I’ve visited Chicago before, so this trip was more about hanging out and appreciating everyday local gems than seeing the sights. I discovered Jeni’s ice cream  and Dovetail brewery. I tried horchata and root beer for the first time. I ate at Chicago Diner  and could do so every day and be very happy. But, the highlight was going to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, a smashing introduction to baseball … plus hotdogs!

One thing I noticed during the many, many hours I spent on planes and in airports – charging stations. They are more common and popular than water fountains. When I last flew long-haul four years ago, we were nowhere near as addicted to our phones!

What I’ve been:

  • reading: The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Get your hands on a copy. Maxine is a fantastic storyteller and you’ll devour the book in no time. It’s a memoir of growing up as a person of colour in Australia in the 80s and 90s. As an 80s kid myself, there were lots of familiar touch points. Who else remembers coveting and then finally receiving a Cabbage Patch Kid? However, Maxine’s childhood was very different from mine, overlaid with ever present racism and bullying. She relates the impact relentless bullying and racism has on the person she becomes. Her story highlights to me how crucial it is to stick up for others and call out bullies, and that your actions as a bystander really matter, as much as those of the perpetrator. I make it sound depressing, but Maxine is a kick-arse human, compelling heroine and very funny.

For me, right now: August 2018 What I've been doing, reading, listening to, making and thinking about

  • listening to: Straight and Curly. I’m a long-time fan of this podcast and the recent episode on the Four Burners Theory is a must for anyone interested in work-life balance.
  • making: a baby cardigan with techniques I learnt at my first-ever knitting class. I’ve been knitting since my Nana taught me as a wee girl. I know how to knit fairly well, but there is nothing quite like learning new things with an enthusiastic group. It was a lot of fun and I will be seeking out more. With hobbies, it’s easy to fall into the trap of collecting equipment as an expression of the hobby – I have a couple of tubs of wool as testament – but I got a whole lot more value from the experience of those classes than I would’ve from buying a couple of bags of knitting supplies.
  • thinking about: spring planting in my veggie garden. I’m much better at planting things than remembering to look after them – that’s something I aim to improve this year.

How was August for you? Are you looking forward to the change of seasons?

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