I am writing at my new desk with morning light filling the room. My view is out a north-facing window and the light is lovely. From my desk now I can see blue sky streaked with clouds and the bright pink of my neighbor's bougainville popping over the wall. Just outside and below the window, there's a patch of gravel along our friendly orange wall and I'm thinking of filling it with vines that will climb the wall, cactus, and succulents. My desk was a custom order* from a maker I found on Etsy and I waited eagerly for several weeks as the desk was built and shipped. When we set it up and I stood at it for the first time the desk felt so...friendly! I don't know how else to describe it. The space around my desk is tidy but if I turn and look I see several bulky things filling the room (a mattress, a play kitchen, a high chair – all listed for sale on Craigslist) and a few final things that have not found organized homes (Chris's amp, some framed art). It's not a cabin in the woods by even a long shot. But when I stand here and see the space I have that is just for writing and working it fills me with so much happiness.
What a pleasant way to head into September, the prelude to fall. Even though it's still hot (I know I say this so often but it's true for so much of the year here!) I feel that this month we breathe a sigh of relief. We made it through another Arizona summer. This month the overnight temperatures will start a slow decline. By mid-month I hope we can open the doors and windows in the morning to let the cool air in. The beginning of September reminds me that the holidays are on the horizon: Halloween costumes, what to make for Thanksgiving, our Christmas gift-giving plan. These are all fun for me to think about when I have plenty of time to plan.
I love the idea that September is the other January. It feels like the month for being productive and practicing good habits – healthy eating, exercise, sticking to budgets, focused work – that will carry us through to the new year. One habit I am looking forward to is bringing a hot mug of tea to my desk, my cozy and light-filled corner, and writing.
+ Got the boys started at their new school and rode bikes every day to drop-off and pick-up
+ Made several healthy + delicious dinners and found new recipes to put in our rotation. These include egg roll bowl, evolved lentil wraps (both recommended by Erica, thanks friend!), spicy sesame zoodles and crispy tofu, and fish tacos made with Trader Joe's fish nuggets + mango jicama slaw
+ Started working on a book proposal (I'll share more about my writing goals and planned projects soon)
+ Bought plane tickets, rented a house, and made other arrangements for our trip to New Haven this October for my ten year reunion from graduating from Yale with my master's degree
+ Had a wonderful book club retreat to Sedona
+ Had a really good solo parenting weekend while Chris was out of town
+ Made time for workouts in addition to Orange Theory and I'm feeling fit and strong
Big things happening in September:
+ First family camping trip – so excited!
+ Chris turns 41!
+ Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert
+ Take time each Sunday to plan out the week. Scheduling dedicated chunks of time for writing and podcasting has been really helpful. In addition, I'd like to plan an activity or two to do with Cedric and pencil in housekeeping and general admin stuff so that it doesn't encroach on my creative time.
+ Help the boys decide their Halloween costumes and make plans for making/buying them.
+ Start planning for the Christmas holidays. This will include creating a Christmas 2018 spreadsheet and brainstorming gifts and holiday activities.
+ Final push to set up the office/writing studio. Now that I have my desk I feel like everything else can get organized around it.
Recurring monthly goals:
+ Weekly phone dates with my mom and regular phone dates with close girl friends.
+ Thursday night at-home cookies dates with Chris. I need to restock our freezer with cookie dough this week!
+ Don't start or end the day with my phone.
+ Go to bed by 9 pm. I have been struggling with this one! I've been reading some great books and it's hard to put them down.
*I purchase the industrial wood desk with pipe legs in ipswich pine finish. I request a custom height of 41" so that I can stand comfortably at it.