February Fascinations

A few tidbits about life lately...

1.  I love the Olympics!  I feel so inspired that athletes and leaders from almost 100 different nations can come together and compete in an international arena, despite terrible conflicts,  perpetual disagreements, and the worsening divide in our world.  On the Olympic playing field, everyone is equal; we are all global citizens yearning for harmony.  The opening ceremonies were a beautiful representation of South Korea's culture.  I loved the animal symbols, representing the idea that all living beings come from the same energy source.  I also loved the duality and juxtaposition of ancient symbols and traditions with tech savvy innovations, which also highlights the celebration of South Korea's culture, past and present.  I'm really excited to watch figure skating (as always) and skiing, and I can't wait to cheer on my new favorite athlete, Maame Biney, an energetic 17-year-old speed skater!  Go USA!

2.  One of my New Year's Resolutions was to avoid shopping for the entire year.  I would give myself a satisfactory rating in accomplishing this goal so far.  Target is my downfall.  And books.  And coffee.  But I am doing a better job of sticking to my list at the store, drinking coffee or hot chocolate at home instead of spending money, and avoiding the impulse to buy things from friends' online sales and businesses.  I am also enjoying browsing book stores without always feeling the need to make a purchase.  I think this goal will be a work in progress.

3.  We got a Roomba for Christmas.  She is now part of the family.  It is hilarious to watch Kua and Ady react to Roomba when she's cleaning the floor, especially when she changes directions! 

Toddler versus Roomba

4.  I learned a new word recently that describes me perfectly: pre-crastinator.  The opposite of a procrastinator.  Someone who is preoccupied with doing things in advance and never putting something off.  I prepare my work ahead of time, make lists, get projects done before the due date, remember upcoming birthdays, and aim to reduce stress by planning ahead.  However, I listened to a fascinating podcast recently about some of the potential benefits of being a procrastinator in terms of fostering creativity and allowing for the best work possible.  One of the speakers explained that doing something right away often leads to more conventional ideas, which can hinder creativity.  This makes sense to me, because even though I often go with my first idea, I often come up with more creative ideas if I ponder something for a while and let the thought incubate.  I think there can be a lot of benefit in slowing down and letting our thoughts wander sometimes.  I also believe that it's okay to allow our children to be bored sometimes, because this allows space for creativity and problem solving.  I'm going to keep these ideas in mind while working on some upcoming projects.

5.  What is everyone reading lately?  I recently finished Donna Tartt's The Little Friend and Louise Erdrich's newest book, Future Home of the Living God.  They were both haunting and well-written, the type of books that stay with you for a long time.  In the next few weeks I'm making my way through Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, and Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  One of my goals this year is to read all the books on my shelf before I buy anything new!


6.  Does anyone have new recipes to share?  I made Chicken Pot PiesSweet and Sour Pork in the slow cooker, and baked sweet potatoes using these tips this week, and I'm planning to try this Restaurant Style Filet Mignon again for Valentine's Day!  Over the weekend I'm going to make my favorite Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting.  Yum!  (Also, I just realized that it's Mardi Gras on Tuesday.  I don't have the energy to attempt a homemade King Cake this year, but I am going to make my favorite jambalaya with shrimp and sausage!  Laissez les bons temps rouler!)

7.  Speaking of Mardi Gras, in less than two weeks I'm heading to NOLA to present at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association!  I always look forward to this annual conference and I come home feeling inspired and energized by the leaders in the physical therapy profession.  In addition to my presentations, I will have the opportunity to attend continuing education sessions, network with thousands of therapists from around the country, and attend the annual business meeting of the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy, for which I am a Board member.  Yay PT!

That's all for now!  Happy Mardi Gras!


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