March, thankfully, brought in the first day of spring on March 20. Man, was I ready. I embraced the day with wide open arms as I was looking forward to finally shedding my winter slump.
With the first quarter of the year in the books, I took some time to reflect. I read and am now re-reading and putting into daily practice The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Early in the book, she writes:
“It is often said that what you give attention to grows in importance.”
Ain’t that the truth.
This can be said of the things and activities we plan but also the company we keep, right? In late 2017, I wrote about the importance of showing up. Having felt like I was neglecting some of my friendships, I had vowed to make more time to nurture those friends I hold dear. I cannot tell you how much it means to me that many of my friends have taken the time to meet with me this quarter. Friends I haven’t seen in both months and years.
All I had to do was reach out and ask and they made time for me. It felt so good to hear how they were doing, share in their struggles and celebrate their successes. I’m so grateful and I am committed to continuing to make time to see my friends. An unexpected benefit is I’ve also met several new friends simply by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and allowing those new relationships to slowly take root.
Why I’m Dating Again
New relationships and rekindling old ones are important to me but I’ve also begun something new in March: I’ve started dating again. Those dates are with myself.
One of the things Cameron recommends in her book is to schedule weekly artist dates. I used to do these regularly before I had kids and smartphones took over our lives and it reminded me how important they were to my psyche. I also read the piece by David Brooks in the New York Times last week: Longing for an Internet Cleanse. If you’ve been following my monthly updates, you know I’ve been trying to minimize the time I spend online needlessly. These weekly artist dates have been nothing short of amazing and necessary. If you’re interested in what I’ve been doing this month, here is where I went on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. I highly recommend scheduling your own artist date.
A Couple Of Recent Projects & A Tease
This month there are two projects I wanted to highlight because I’m so proud of how they turned out.
The Designers’ Designer: Shumaker Design + Build Associates. I had the pleasure of working with Suzanne and Garry Shumaker to write the bio for their architecture design + build firm based in Evanston, Illinois. It was such a fun writing project and it doesn’t hurt that Suzanne is a gifted photographer, too, and her images accompany my words on their site.
EatingWell magazine. Seeing your byline in print never gets old, at least for me. It was such a treat to write the Food With Purpose column for the April issue of EatingWell magazine (out on newsstands now!). My editor was great to work with and I loved interviewing Dave Miller, the CEO of Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, the subject of the profile.
Coming up…speaking of interviewing CEOs, I had the pleasure of interviewing a new CEO who recently took the helm of a 150-year-old company. That interview was so fun to do and I can’t wait to see the story publish (which should be sometime this week!).
Books I’m Reading Or Am Excited About
I have a talented group of friends and several have books that either recently come out or they have their pub date soon.
Vanessa McGrady’s memoir, Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption, came out on New Year’s Day this year. It was so beautiful to read Vanessa’s memoir because it’s rich with detail and so much love for her daughter.
Kristine Hansen’s Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook: Creamy, Cheesy, Sweet, and Savory Recipes from the State’s Best Creameries came out on March 1. I’ve been lovingly flipping through the pages and making notes on which ones I need to visit this summer because I’m feeling like a cheese tour is in order.
Coming Soon - but you can pre-order now!
Jodi Helmer’s latest book, Protecting Pollinators: How to Save the Creatures that Feed Our World, has an April pub date: April 18. It’s available for pre-order right now.
Cindy Kuzma’s latest book, Rebound: Training Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries, comes out October 15 (right after the Chicago Marathon for those running Chicago!). It’s also available for pre-order right now.
That’s it for now from me. I’d love to hear from you. What’s going on in your life? In the spirit of keeping my calendar open, if you’re up for a coffee date or lunch or visit to a museum, let me know!
Here’s to an even more beautiful and rich April, friends.