this year, so far.

the end of twenty sixteen was one thing after another after another. i actually had a note saved in my phone with each day, and all of my commitments, listed out. i had a separate list, of things i needed (or wanted) to do, and i would comb the first list for openings. on this day, i have time between the chiropractor and church to run to the mall. or, i'll have time to grocery shop on my way home from work that day. all of my time was accounted for and, as someone who needs a lot of "me time" to recharge, i found it to be very exhausting and, in some ways, it feels like i am still recovering.

(because, january has mostly been a steady rotation of congestion, sinus pressure, and a sore throat – thankfully never all at once – with a few days of aaaalmost feeling better sprinkled in between.)

january had nothing on the calendar, though, and it was quiet and glorious and looked a little something like this.

i took almost no photos. because i did almost nothing. usually by the time weekends came around, i felt exhausted. from the week, from this lingering cold. basically all of my photos are of the boys i nanny. sometimes together, mostly separately.

i did an overnight nanny job. with the little guy i watch every day. and even though i sleep at my sister's house when i visit, and would absolutely wake up at any time of night for my nephews, i've never had to. i've never been solely responsible for a little human all night before. it was fine, but i also had this fallback of it's only one night. and this is why i know i'm not ready to be a mom. he woke up at 5:27am.

i fasted television. including netflix AND hulu (and those are the only two forms of tv i watch). as part of a 21-day fast that basically my whole church participated in. technically, it's not over yet so i will save my comments about it for later.

i read six books. my goal this year is 52. (a few years ago, i attempted to read 24 and didn't quite hit that mark.) ever since i gave up netflix last spring and realized how quickly i go through books, 52 doesn't seem like an intimidating amount.

i also read a lot of political things. it would probably be equivalent to another book or two, with the amount of words i've read. and i have a lot of thoughts about it, which i won't discuss here, but i do want to mention the struggle in finding balance. with how to take in enough information to be informed but not so much that i'm consumed by it, and with how to talk about it. as someone with a degree in communications, i keep coming back to the latter. maybe the thing that gets me is not how much or how little i read, but the ways in which it's being discussed and shared – the ways in which i feel like i want to take in and learn so much, but am not able to process or let any of it out.

and that is how i ended my january. by deleting the twitter app off my phone and texting my sister to tell her we should talk about politics more.

good things from january.

montague workshop. brad montague, creator of kid president, has a new youtube channel where he creates and uploads the most inspiring videos. the still above is from the video "a pep talk about a pep talk," but if you only watch one video today, let it be "a story about a bird."

branden harvey's weekly goodnewsletter. in an attempt to highlight hopeful newsworthy stories that are often (always) overshadowed by stories from our brokenness, branden started sending out a weekly newsletter with the silver linings to terrible events, or unrelated feel-good stories that remind you the good does exist. you can read more about it and sign up here.

the "work your window" series at elevation church. the best way i can describe what this series is about is to quote pastor steven from week three, "the power of potential:" if i use what i've got, god will be what i am not. recommended for anyone who gets stuck in that cycle of "it's all i've got, but it's not enough, but it's all i've got."

the chronicles of narnia. by c.s. lewis. i never read these growing up, which is kind of weird considering i grew up in church and wasn't allowed to read harry potter. why did no one suggest i read these books instead? maybe i wouldn't have gotten as much from them if i'd read them when i was younger, but these books are doing good things for my soul right now.