Adventure 2019!

Do you pick a word or theme for the year? I started this practice several years ago. It is part of an effort to be more intentional and create the life I want to have rather than just letting life happen to me. It started as a casual effort but became a more serious endeavor once I started using the Dragontree Apothecary Rituals for Living Dreambook and Planner (affiliate link.) I love the thought-provoking exercises in the Dreambook section and the practical application of breaking my goals into tasks and scheduling them in my planner. I always feel as though Read More


2018 Annual Review

Welcome to my year end review of 2018. My first instinct at the end of the year was to go through my journal and make a list of all the cool things I did in 2018. There were so many things! While I was making my list, I received an email from James Clear with his annual review. I decided I liked his format. He got the idea from someone else, and I have seen a few others use it as well. If it works for them, it can work for me, so here goes…. What went well this year? Read More


Not So Empty Nesting

A few months ago, I started a blog post about my struggles with my youngest going to college and leaving me with the proverbial empty nest. I never got around to publishing that blog. Now it has taken me several attempts to hit the publish button on this one. Despite my usual tendency to overshare, something in me doesn’t want to put this out into the world. But here goes…. Honestly, I felt like I handled the empty nest better than anticipated. I was sad, don’t get me wrong, but I had spent months preparing for the sadness. The struggle Read More


Audiobooks I Solemnly Swear to Listen to Once Each Year

My first blog post was about some of the books that have changed my life. I have also made it known that I rely on audiobooks to help me reach my reading goals. (BTW, as soon as I finish my current audiobook, I will have met my goal for the year.) I know there are endless podcasts and playlists and other things that I could be listening to… but I often find myself returning to some of my favorite audiobooks time and time again. Naturally, I love fiction audiobooks. Some of my family’s road trip picks have been Mary Shelley’s Read More


Excellence is Not an Act, It’s a Habit

This adage from Aristotle gets kicked around a lot. We all want to be Excellent, right? Then again, some of us want to spend a lot of our time watching Star Trek reruns. I have to believe that there is space in my life for both. At my previous job, I had this quote posted at my desk. I had that job for a long time, so I am not sure when my fascination with habits started, but I began following James Clear and Gretchen Rubin several years ago. I just finished the audiobook of James’s new book Atomic Habits. Read More


Working with Lunar Cycles

Balance I had been working with the lunar cycles for several months when I saw the theme for October’s New Moon: Balance and Harmony with Polarity. This theme was about balancing masculine and feminine. My current state felt as if the masculine was so prevalent that I wanted to do the opposite of balancing – I wanted to squash it. I witnessed my resistance to this theme and took this to mean that I had some work to do in this area. I didn’t commit to earth-shattering change during this cycle. I made the minimal commitment to “Look and Listen” Read More


A Discovery of Witches

Empty Nest Update I have been in a reading slump. You might remember that I spent most of the year preparing for an empty nest. I was really worried about what life held for me when I no longer had kids at home. When the time came, I took it pretty well. This was largely due to prepping and planning and important connections with people who made sure I had plans on my calendar. The kid, on the other hand, did not fare so well and will be moving home in December to consider Plan B. Disappointment happens. I went Read More


Judge a Book by Its Cover

Everybody does it. Given Context is my way to blog about the books I read and how they fit into the larger context of my life. Sometimes there is an uncanny connection with something in a book and something in my life. Other times it is not that straightforward. Today I want to talk about judging a book by its cover. This post is over a year in the making. Last year one of my book clubs decided to try judging a book by its cover. It was a great idea from our leader to pair a beautiful book with Read More


Girl, Wash Your Face – When Rachel Hollis met Emerson

A spur of the moment selection I know that Rachel Hollis is a blogger and lifestyle guru. Well, I know that now, after reading Girl, Wash Your Face. I don’t remember ever hearing of her before I picked up this book in the airport on my way to my first-ever solo vacation. I tend to be a bit of a worry-wart, and the only book I had was on my phone, and the only boarding pass I had for my connection was on my phone, so I worried about draining the battery and decided to buy an actual paper book. Read More


How to Walk Away and the Literary Canon

What Everyone Else is Reading I saw How to Walk Away recommended in one of the many emails I receive about books. I checked the library app for the book, and it was not available, so I put myself on the waiting list. It is usually a good sign when everyone else wants to read a book. There were several people ahead of me on the list, so I had high hopes. A lot of what I read is science fiction or classics, so I might not have heard about this book if it wasn’t for that email. If I Read More


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