I generally hate reading. I love the idea of reading a book, and have a tower of them next to my bed, but am not compelled to open and consume them. Audiobooks – very yes. Eyeball books – very egh.
In my college Comparative Literature class, a fellow student/pal was giving me a hard time and announced to everyone, “Jenna is a book hater! She hates books!” It’s been like 20 years and I still remember the scene. I can hear his words and see my TA’s face melt into disappointment as she wrinkled her forehead and said, ‘Jenna…why?” The hurt on her face would make it seem like I killed a member of her family.
Fast forward a couple decades…My bestie has made a tradition of giving me books on birthdays and holidays. You might think, “Wow, what a terrible friend to give you books when she knows you hate reading.” On the contrary. She knows how much I hate reading and gives me books in spite of this. She knows exactly when I … Read the rest
Around New Year’s Eve, I perform a “Year in Review” with myself. It involves me going on a wine or coffee date with my journal and evaluating various buckets of my life. Work, love, travel, creativity, health, home, learning, etc…I reflect on highs, lows, surprises and lessons in each bucket.
While it’s nice to recap the past 12 months, it’s also an illuminating way to reveal what I want to do more or less of in the new year. Through this process, I get clarity on the person I want to be in the year ahead and how to prioritize my time. It’s not so much about setting resolutions as it is creating a pie chart for how I want to spend my time.
As I closed out my 20s and peered into my 30s, I constructed a vision for how I wished to move through my new decade. Fresh from my trip to Europe and eager to conquer the next phase in my adulthood, I created a platform. I reviewed my 20s, sifted away … Read the rest
If I told you one of my best friends is a journal from 2009, you might think I’m a sad, lonely hermit. I have countless journals that live in a box in the basement, but this one – my blue journal – stays in my bedside drawer.
While I’ve intermittently kept a journal my whole life, it wasn’t until 15 years ago that I made it a consistent practice. My journal serves different purposes at different times. Sometimes it keeps secrets or helps breed new ideas, but usually it’s a safe space to store the chaos that gunks up my head. Most importantly, my journal is my companion. I’m rarely without it. It keeps me company like an old friend, and when I ask questions, it responds in its own way.
Ten years ago, I wanted to commemorate my 30th birthday with something bold and memorable, so I traveled to Europe for a couple weeks. I went alone but never felt alone. Between the daily cast of characters that came into my life and the … Read the rest
I got an email last week thanking me for the order I placed with Pampered Chef. I hadn’t placed an order. I thought about it for a bit, and with my dad’s recent attendance at a “guys night” Pampered Chef party, this kind of gesture had his name all over it. When I asked, he said, “Yes, it’s a half-year birthday present.”
Half-year birthdays were something we celebrated when I was in elementary school. It gave July babies like me the opportunity to bring birthday treats to school and get the same dose of attention as those spoiled school-year babies.
In your head, you might be thinking my childhood was marked by two elaborate birthday celebrations each year where I was showered with gifts and parties. It’s not like that. “Half-Birthday” was a fake holiday solely reserved for school. However after so many years of celebrating, the date has become lodged in my parents’ heads and they routinely send Facebook posts or surprise kitchen devices.
This year, my half-year birthday marks the halfway point for … Read the rest