Still sticking close to home due to the unending pandemic, although I’m slowly warming up to idea of going Out There again. Meanwhile, treasuring Home Things keeps me healthy and happy.
Fortunately, wherever I am, I can always find more things to love, like these:
Last December, my niece gave me a unique gift of writing stories. My stories. With the goal of it being a bound, hard-cover book at the end of the year, every other day, Storyworth automatically emails probing niece-selected questions to answer at my leisure, such as:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
What was something you were surprised to learn when you moved out from your parents’ house?
What do you like most about your siblings?
What things matter most to you in life?
Because I look forward to them so much, my eyes dart to these questions before almost any other piece of email. Responding carves a portal back into time. Some things, I’d almost forgotten pop into my head and suddenly I write a storm. It’s reflective. It’s cathartic. It’s playful. It’s therapeutic. Most questions take less than 15 minutes to answer, so I’m up to question #62. This is my life in micro-essays. I remember coaxing my mother into doing a memory book for my daughter at one point, but there were so many things she didn’t remember or want to talk about. So many of her stories are MIA and, in many ways, I hardly knew her. Whether all the stories matter or not, the thought that I’m passing on a trove of rich memories to kin brings me much joy.
I am obsessed with these candles. Pleasure stacking is one of my favorite pastimes and these check several boxes. I love candles. I love music. I didn’t know a genius couple had put the two together in such a cool way until I was gifted three for my birthday. First off, I’m a sucker for lovely presentation, so they had me with the gorgeous boxes that made them feel more elevated. Secondly, they are clean-burning soy candles with sensual scents that don’t overpower. Third, they each have their own playlist. I just scanned the QR code on the card in each box and the playlist popped up in Spotify (Apple Music and Tidal were also available). I didn’t know how the playlist would map to my musical tastes, yet I have to say that they were generous and well-curated. I discovered old and new (to me) artists who together instantly set a mood. I wasn’t surprised to Google-discover that the husband is a DJ. Sometimes I swipe the QR code just to hear a playlist for a few hours because, in my mind, music goes with everything. It’s always good.
I don’t know all the reasons I enjoy mowing my lawn so much, but my gut-sense is that it’s a bit of pleasure stacking too. I’m outside, it’s sunny (or at least dry), I’m moving. Triple treat. It takes about an hour for a surgically clean cut in the front and another half hour for the back. After, I’m sweaty yet feel powerful and accomplished. As you may recall, last year I got a self-propelled electric mower – a game-changing step up from push mower which after a few years was starting to feel like the equivalent of cutting my big lawn with scissors. Also love the mower is one of my happy colors – cobalt blue. Excitedly, I roll it out of the garage every time like it’s the first time, plunk the charged battery in, put my goggles on and giddily cut neat horizontal and vertical rows until the grass has a respectable haircut. Then, I go soak in an Epsom salt bath with my Treble & Flame candles and music. Of course.