These Days

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Portland, Maine
Hi! What's new? Winter is officially upon us, leaving me desperately clinging to whatever remnants of the warmer months I can find and counting down the 3 odd weeks until we seek refuge from the cold and dark at my parents' place in Florida. That sounds a bit dramatic, but I really can't stand this time of year. I do try to make the best of it, though, with warm, cozy nights snuggled up in our warm apartment, lots of hot coffee, and books. Loads and loads of books. I've probably read/been listening to more books than I have since I started medical school. I have to say it feels amazing. Here's what I've been up to these past couple of weeks:

Reading: Like I said, so many books! I just finished Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, my commute listen, and before that devoured Garth Nix's Sabriel. Loved both. Cried at both endings. Next on audio is Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, and Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air is on my Christmas wish list. I saw his wife speak at an event for Columbia Medical School students and residents, and was blown away. So I've been looking forward to getting my hands on it for quite awhile. I'm usually not that into medical nonfiction, but there you have it.

Listening: some Christmas music, but to be honest I just haven't been feeling it just yet...which is very strange for me. I've been more into songs that would fall under the category of moody winter music (think Bear's Den, Wake Owl, etc.) plus some Kacey Musgraves (love this song, and Follow Your Arrow is also a gem.)

Wearing: favorite leggings from Pact (linked) to keep me warm. Black turtlenecks (just got another from Kotn (linked), because apparently I have become a full fledge, color-void New Yorker? Whatever. My coworker called me a sexy librarian, so I'm taking that as a compliment and going with it.) Can't forget my Patagonia parka (linked), which I will stubbornly live in from now through April-mid-May, probably. I guess the Floridian is still in there, somewhere.

Drinking: All the coffee...we make it cold brew, I heavily dilute it with almond milk and a bit of creamer, then pop it in the microwave. Kind of bummed because I've started to get headaches when I don't drink at least half a cup, but there's nothing like having a nice hot cup of something slightly sweet and rich and chocolate-y when it's dark and freezing cold outside

Buying: surprisingly nothing on any days- not Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, or Giving Tuesday. I feel bad about those last too, but not the others. We really need to get on our Christmas shopping but it's hard when you're trying to avoid Amazon but have so many people far away to shop for. We recently switched to Secret Santa style gift exchange in my family to make life a little easier (since a few of us are still in school, planning expensive weddings, etc.) - has anyone else done this? Felt a little strange but to be honest we are all at the stage where we don't all need loads and loads of stuff. So there you have it.

Eating: fish! Twice per week! And seriously loving it. We just drench salmon or swordfish (we don't use swordfish too often because of the mercury levels, but it is just so flavorful) in loads of lemon, olive oil, parsley and capers. I also love just making pasta with sauteed tomatoes and spinach, throw in a handful of capers or sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts and it really switches from a boring weeknight dish to something warm and flavorful.

Wanting: a bigger duvet! We are still using my full-sized one from college (how embarrassed should I be to admit this? A lot? ok. Well I am lolz) on our upgraded Queen-sized bed. Needless to say there is much complaining every morning, as it turns out my sleep alter-ego basically rolls myself into a blanket burrito every night without fail (sorry, husband.) I've been looking to get a cover from society6; the main question is do we go for a queen, or a larger size? Given my sheet-stealing propensity I'm thinking larger. What do other sheet-stealers do? And has anyone else tried the weird weighted blanket thing?

Enjoying: planning our spring time trip to Hawaii. I am so, so excited. We've been reading through the Lonely Planet Guide; I love that they include some books, music and films influenced by/about Hawaii. We've already devoured some beautiful slack key music; next up we're renting the Descendants. Maybe overkill, but I'm ok with it.

Hoping: I can finally get myself into a regular work out routine. I am a doctor; I know that this is an integral part of my physical and mental wellbeing; yet why is it so difficult for us to start a new habit? The cold certainly doesn't help. I tried a 20 minute youtube work out last week before work that totally kicked my butt; I'll probably to to do that at least a few times a week for starters. Definitely open to suggestions in this area, if anyone has advice!

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

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