Jan 19, 2014

Seeing the Glass Half Full

Backyard covered in frost on a winter morning

We’re now more than midway through January, which means I’ve made it through half of one of my two least favourite months of the year. We’re actually having a very mild January in this part of the world, with temperatures rarely dropping below zero and lots of crisp winter mornings that remind me of the season’s redeeming features. Still, the end of the holiday season always gets me down, and I’m so glad we’re slowly by surely edging towards spring. Nevermind that there’s at least still a month and a half to go until we begin to see the first signs of it — this year I’m determined to celebrate little victories and small milestones. I want to do my best to see the glass half full.

Media-wise, I’m completely caught in my first TV obsession of the year: Friday Night Lights. I might attempt to write a full-length post about it when I’m done, which will likely range from “YES, hearts forever!” to “Ugh, season 2 — WHY, writers, WHY?”. I really love it despite its flaws, though, and watching it has been a reminder that I’ll forgive a series a lot if it manages to get me invested in its characters. I’m also grateful that my TV year started so well, as January and February are the months when I crave a TV obsession the most. I’ve been lucky the past few years: one year ago I was binge-watching Parks & Recreation, and two years ago I was just beginning to immerse myself in the wonder that is Gilmore Girls. I hope this tradition continues for many years to come.

As for reading, Long-Awaited Reads month is going well. As you might remember, I decided to tackle two trilogies to begin with, and I’m now halfway through L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Climbs and very nearly done with Hilary McKay’s Exiles trilogy. Both are turning out to be perfect January reads — kind, gentle books that provide a daily refuge, with humour as well as insight in Mckay’s case and very interesting proto-feminist elements in Montgomery’s. The one disadvantage of reading series is that I won’t have anything to blog about until I’m finished with them. I have one unfinished draft I’m working on at the moment, but after that there might be radio silence around these parts for a little while. Also, after two weeks of glorious reading over the holidays I kind of resent how slow my reading has been on days I work. I had lots of errands to run during my lunch breaks this past week, and most evenings I end up nodding off after ten pages no matter how much I’m enjoying my books. Adulthood, why so hard?

I wanted to leave you with a couple of things that have helped me with my efforts to stay optimistic and not succumb to the January blues. First, here’s a vlogbrothers videos about remembering that there are good things out there even though the world can be a really harsh place: Hank Green’s “The Golden Gate Bridge Didn’t Collapse!”:

And lastly, here’s the Veronica Mars movie trailer, so we can all watch it again and bask in our collective happiness over the fact that this is a thing that really exists:


  1. The trailer! I needed that reminder. Whatever else happens the VM movie is happening too.

    I'm super excited that you're reading Exiles as we have already discussed. I want to know who your favourite sister is when you're done (it can be all of them).

    And I hear you on the reading front. I really miss my hour lunch break - it would be so great if there were somewhere I could sit during my half hour one. I keep trying to get into reading shorts on the computer but you probably know how hard it is to keep all the time to yourself if you don't go right away from your work position. Glad to hear you're making it through Jan though and I await more work details via e-mail when you're ready to give them.

    PS. Post will actually come this week, I promise!

  2. Glass half full - yes! For me, the post holidays means taking a deep breath and swimming like hell for May (the end of school!) Where I get bitchy is around April, when it starts to get hot down here and the teachers are getting on my nerves. This year I have one kid going off to high school (ack!) and the other one starting to look at colleges and driving. This is why my word this year is "strength"!!

  3. Here in Ireland Feb marks the beginning of Spring. I'm already seeing buds on the trees and I've even had some flowers bloom. Plus the daffodils and crocuses I planted seem to be growing. Which is very exciting as they are the first bulbs I've ever planted :)

    But it has been a very mild winter here too, very windy at times, but temperature wise.

  4. Thank you for the Hank video...it hasn't erased my profound pessimism about the environmental state of this planet...but I think it was a larger message that I really needed to be reminded of. And the Veronica Mars trailer--I think I've watched it about a dozen times since I first found out about it, but another watch is *always* welcome! :)

    I'm so sorry that these winter months are so hard for you, and I have to admit that it makes me feel guilty for loving winter so much. (I know it's ridiculous to feel guilty but I do, especially during Feb. which is my favorite month of the year.) But I LOVE how you try to combat it!!! I love that you're being proactive, and I need to remember to be that way during my not-as-easy-to-stay-happy times.

    *HUGE HUGS* And loads of wishes for an early spring for your neck of the world!!!

  5. Jodie: OMG hard. But I think Phoebe - she cracks me up, and plus I love how she'll surprise everyone every now and again by being super perceptive. Reading these reminded me to pester you again to read the Casson family books when you have the chance - they're like an even more well-executed version of the same thing and I think you'd really like them. RE: lunch, I'm lucky to have a full hour, but if I need to do something outside or if I run late in the morning and don't take a packed lunch and need to go buy something (which happened like every day last week, ugh) it just goes so fast. But yeah, having half an hour plus having nowhere secluded to go sounds way hard :( Lastly, yay post! Looking forward to it.

    Sandy: Go Sandy, you can do it! *cheers* I know I complain a lot about my life, but I don't know how people like you or Debi below do it - you're seriously super heroines. Good luck with everything.

    Fence: Here it depends on the year - last year it was still snowing in April and it just really got me down. Fingers crossed that the mild winter will continue and we'll have an early spring. It always cheers me up so much to see the first snowdrops and crocuses. PS: I know you've had it forever, but your Kaylee icon is just the best <3

    Debi: There's really nothing to feel guilty about :) I do like the idea of winter if I think about it abstractly, but the actual experience... yeah, not so much. Thank you for the good wishes and I hope you have a wonderfully cosy February.

  6. Every time I look at a calendar and I see that it is STILL January, I can't really believe it. This feels like the longest month of all time and I'm very ready for it to be over. I'm ready for spring! Though I'm also anxious for summer and the end of the year because M is graduating from school and I'm excited to see where we end up, but also anxious about figuring it all out.

    Thanks for posting that Veronica Mars trailer because, even though I have already seen it a bunch, it made me really happy to watch it just now.

    I am the same way about craving excellent TV this time of year! I watched American Horror Story last weekend and liked it a lot, though it is scary. Then I watched S1 of Pushing Daisies yesterday and today and it's just delightful. The perfect antidote to scary episodes of AHS.

  7. Lu: Ugh, I know right? January just lasts forever. I understand being wary of the future and the changes it will bring, though *hugs* I hope everything goes well for you guys. Pushing Daises is indeed adorable! And between you and Memory, I'm very tempted to give AHS a try.

  8. I think February is my worst month. I like winter but by February I'm ready for sun and flowers. It can be hard to keep positive when it's gloomy out. Walking and being active really helps.

  9. The February 'blahs' are why we chose that month for letter writing. It is nice to receive fun mail and this way people know there are some on the way and can look forward to it. :)

  10. YAY so happy that you are enjoying Friday Night Lights! Isn't it wonderful? Doesn't it make you feel all the feelings?

    Also, Veronica Mars trailer: All yes all the time. Why is it so long between now and March 14th? And even longer before it opens wide so that I can see it?

  11. So with you on the January mood. Going outside--even if it's in the car--in the morning can help me. I go around humming "color and light" from Sunday in the Park with George some days, craving more of both.

  12. Yesssss, Friday Night Lights! Such an amazing show. And not to worry, the occasional ridiculous moments in season two will soon be but a memory. :)

    I'm with you on the whole January thing--it's been feeling especially hard this year. Books and TV are pretty much the way through.

  13. I just started a new job and have been so tired after work that my reading is seriously lagging. It's so hard to find time for it sometimes. Yay for the Beronica Mars movie!!!


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