Category Archives: Life

2020: A Year in Review

Unless something legitimately unbelievable happens in the next few hours, 2020 will finally be over. As I wrote on this year’s Epiphany card, let’s not do that again!

I’m too pragmatic (and a bit too superstitious) to say things like “next year will be better” or “it can’t get any worse.” Of course it could be worse. The world could actually, literally end. But it didn’t this year, and we’re moving on to a new year that we hope will be better.

At the very least, we’ll be more prepared for some of the things we were not prepared for this year. (You may define “we” any way that works for you.)

I would be remiss, however, if I did not swing by my blog to post an update on my experience of life in 2020 during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Like most of the country, I did not see this coming. We should have been better prepared. SARS and Ebola both reached the U.S., but they didn’t spread here, so we got complacent. I’ve had an emergency fund since even before I became debt-free, but I never kept emergency supplies until this year.

In early March, as the strange virus sweeping through China was clearly not being contained there, I finally stocked up. I now have a mid-sized first-aid kit, a case of bottled water, and several shelf-stable complete meals. That shopping was prescient because I never ran out of disinfectant cleaning spray or toilet paper, and I brought home some hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes that I hadn’t used in my classroom. Back in “the before times,” as my buddy Steve puts it, I rarely used hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes. I just washed my hands a lot (or rather, what used to be “a lot” but now seems like “not nearly enough”). The only thing I was short on was bread. I love bread, so that was tough. To each, his own.

I could try to describe the emotions I felt during those first few trips to the grocery store in late March. I’ve never gone panic shopping before major weather events, so I’d never personally seen bare shelves before. The experience was unpleasant.

Leaving school on March 13, we all honestly thought we’d be back after just two weeks. We weren’t trying to kid ourselves. We just didn’t know. My school has excellent tech resources, and I’d been almost 100% digital and paperless my entire time teaching there, so my transition honestly wasn’t that difficult. The hardest part for me was dealing with everyone else!

My school did not require me to do instruction over live video chat in the spring, for which I am endlessly grateful. Not needing to be in a building supervising kids for so many hours per day meant that I was able to sleep more, rest in the evenings, and watch so many plays and musicals online that I genuinely lost count. I started feeling like a normal human again (albeit one that almost never leaves her home).

The summer was quiet. I was able to meet up with friends from church a few times. I wore my mask even when others didn’t. I delayed my own return to Mass until a few weeks after parishes reopened. I have never been an early adopter; our pandemic era is not the time to become one.

I missed dance. I still do. Summers in the studio always made me feel less lonely. West Coast swing doesn’t work without a partner.

As fall approached, I worked with my coworkers and school parents on our reopening plan. We were able to bring back all of the students who wished to come to our socially-distanced classrooms. Some families chose to do school remotely, and we are still figuring out how that works. I don’t have a teacher desk anymore, and I now float from room to room for each class. I have figured out how to teach wearing a mask. We went for several weeks before students and adults were exposed to the virus in their communities outside of school. As I understand it, no positive case from someone who attends or works at my school has been traced directly to the school; everyone was exposed somewhere else. We moved the whole school to remote learning just before Thanksgiving, and we hope to return to the building mid-January.

Me, wearing the intense face shield I'm allowed to use at school

This is the only style of face shield I can wear at school if I don’t also wear a regular mask. I usually just wear a mask.

I read a lot of books this year! My best friend Sarah got married, and although the wedding was very small and had no dancing, it was still so full of love and joy. I auditioned for Jeopardy! again (online this time), and I got to see a whole series of Switchfoot concerts streamed live to my living room, and no one I know personally died this year (from the virus or otherwise).

My biggest takeaway from this year is the true importance of planning. Our perspectives have shifted now. Even I, once a major planner and the person who arrived awkwardly early for almost everything, have become much more chill. We must have plans, but we must also be ready to change them dramatically on basically no notice. When the plans don’t work out, we make new plans. And in a time when it seems like everything’s changing, we hold on to what remains.

Happy New Year!

Because I’m Black

I’ve been intentionally quiet over the past few weeks and days as I see more and more of my friends and acquaintances making declarations of anti-racism; sharing book, article, and speaker recommendations; declaring how tired they are of “everything that’s been going on“ (which could include the virus, really); and so on.

I see you. I hear you. I am not unaffected.

For those of you who didn’t know or may have wondered (which is something for which I don’t blame you), I am just black; all black, not mixed with anything. My mom’s side of the family has very light skin. Black people come in many colors.

I’ve also been thinking about what I want, what I need specifically. I speak only for myself, Lindsay Wilcox, and not for anyone else.

I want you to get to know the actual black people in your lives, and I want you to get to know them as black people. That includes me, so you’re off to a good start. 👍 I’ve been black my whole life. It is part of who I am. You might not think about that part of me when you think of me. That doesn’t make me not black.

I also want you to listen when people say that some things are not okay. I mean matters of race right now, but it applies across the board. That’s the phrase I use (“not okay”), and that’s what I teach my students, and that’s probably what I would teach my children if I had any. When someone⁠—anyone—says “that’s not okay,” the correct response is “I’m sorry.” Then stop talking. If it’s not a big deal, you’re all set, and we can all move on with our lives. If is a big deal to that person—even if it is not a big deal to you—keep listening. Big deals get explained. You can defend yourself second. The one who was offended gets to speak first.

That’s all I have to say for now. Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring.

Currently: January 2019

Currently at Lindsay Loves

It has been a while, dear readers. School started after my last post, of course, and I had a tough summer leading up to that. My annual Epiphany card should be at my doorstep tomorrow, ready to be sent, so it seemed like the right time to update this space.

(I’m also still off from school. This is the perk that made being in school all the way through midday on December 21 almost worth it. Almost.)

Here’s what I am currently…

Choosing: To share here that Mr. Man and I broke up. Several months have passed since then. I’m moving on.

Tidying: My closet, just a little bit. It’s never been full. I have a walk-in designed for two people, and I’m the only person that lives in my apartment, so I shouldn’t be able to fill it. I did have a tottering stack of clothes that are out of season or too big (but perfectly good), so I finally caved and bought a storage bin to hold them all. The whole space is much brighter now!

Resolving: To not let school take over my life. It’s simply not an option. I’m struggling with a lot of feelings, my mindset, negative self-talk, and the normal stress of my chosen field. Times are tough. I made it through the first half of the year. Second halves have not historically been an area of strength for me, but I can’t predict the future.

Exploring: The world of cinema. I went home for Christmas, as usual, so I had access to cable. I’ve been a cord-cutter for so many years that I always forget how hard it is to resist the siren song of over 100 channels. I usually dig around in the schedule to find my Christmas favorites, but this year was bad.

I saw Aquaman (gorgeous but blah story) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (incredibly complex) in theaters.

I watched all of these on TV:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Life Size 2: A Christmas Eve
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Now You See Me 2 (first non-HP movie I’ve seen with Daniel Radcliffe)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • The Santa Clause 3
  • Captain America: Civil War

I watched at least half of these on TV:

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Now You See Me
  • The Santa Clause (my favorite Christmas movie)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Lion King
  • The Holiday (my other favorite Christmas movie)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

And then I watched War Games on VUDU so I could get a discount for renting White Christmas, which is another favorite Christmas movie. So that will bring my total to twenty movies in two weeks… but every time I’ve tried to complete that list, I think of another one I saw!

Refreshing: My water filter. I love my Brita pitcher, but I flat-out ignored the filter change indicator. It’s built right into the lid; I had no excuse. My water does taste much better now.

Recapping: September through December (oops)

  • I reviewed a book for NetGalley for the first time in forever. It’s rather popular (my review; I don’t know how the book is doing).
  • I went to the dentist and was left alone without so much as a “sorry for the wait” check-in for thirty minutes. It was awful.
  • I was a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding back East.
  • I got to see my sweet godson for the first time in years. His family is nearby again!
  • I finished reading the Bible. It took me eleven years.

So what’s new with you? What are you exploring currently?


Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. Won’t you join us?

Currently: June 2018

Currently at Lindsay Loves

Well, that was a long hiatus. I hope to share what I’ve been up to in a future post, but for now, let’s just hit the ground running.

Here’s what (and where) I am currently…

Traveling: Nowhere, which is the way I like it. I rely so much on my habits and routines that the perks of traveling are outweighed by everything being so different from my usual life. I lived overseas as a kid and have lived and worked in several states, so I’ve had plenty of great experiences. I might be up for a few more, but traveling is not my thing.

Grilling: Nothing—I don’t know how! I was grilled in a couple of interviews recently, though. Not everything is in writing, and the Internet never forgets, so I can’t be specific yet, but I have news. Stay tuned.

Exploring: A new dance studio. I always knew I’d get back to West Coast Swing eventually, but it took until summer for me to have the bandwidth of time and energy to actually do it. Becoming a regular at a new studio will take some time, but I’ve done it before, so I’m confident that I can do it again. My shoes are already happy to be back on my feet.

Planting: The seeds of new friendships. Work takes up most of my time, so I didn’t have the bandwidth for friend-making, either. This is a good time, though. Making friends as an adult is difficult and awkward, but it can be done. Do you have any advice?

Playing: QuizUp and 4 Pics, 1 Word. Throwbacks, I know! I got a new iPhone a few months ago, so I’ve been using it a lot since I don’t have to deal with the sluggishness of my old one. (I made that 5c last for four years!) I paid to remove ads on QuizUp ages ago, so the 2-minute games are exactly my style. I did not pay to remove ads on 4 Pics, 1 Word, so I usually play less than ten levels before I get fed up and stop. I’m reasonably certain that the marketers did not mean for the ads to help me avoid getting addicted, but that is the result.

I usually end my Currently posts by recapping the previous month, but it’s been ten months since I posted, so I will spare both of us that labor… for the moment.

What’s new with you? What are you playing currently?


Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Sarah of Total Basset Case. Won’t you join us?

Surprise! I moved to Kentucky!

Dear readers, you might have been wondering why this space has been so quiet as of late. It’s because I moved to Kentucky. Surprise! Now that the move is complete, I can finally share here on the blog.

Mr. Man and I dated long-distance for almost a year and a half. Some time ago, when I realized that we were actually pursuing a relationship that might lead to marriage, I had to make a decision. He has a career here in Louisville, and I did not have one in Austin, so it made more sense for me to move to his city. That meant I had to decide whether I felt more peace about moving to his city without being engaged first, or whether I wanted to get engaged without ever having lived in the same city.

It was all about that feeling of peace, really. Sometimes feelings get the short end of the stick when it comes to discernment, but it shouldn’t be that way. God speaks to us through our emotions, our conscience, and our intellect. I knew which choice brought me peace and which just didn’t feel right.

We’re not engaged. And I live in Louisville now.

kentuckylicenseplate

New license plates means this is for real.

Wise women before me have faced the same decision. Wise women have decided to move without a ring, and wise women have made the move only after receiving a proposal or taking vows. This was what made sense for me—and for us.

I am between jobs now, which is less than ideal. The details make up a long story. But these days, we should be more concerned with the greatest story ever told, so I will bring this announcement to a close.

If I missed saying goodbye to you in person in Austin, I sincerely apologize. If you’re in Louisville, drop me a line so we can say hello! Either way, Mr. Man and I appreciate your prayers for our continued discernment.

Year in Review 2016

I didn’t even plan on publishing this before 2016 was over. I was too busy vacationing with Mr. Man for that. I did, however, plan to post this before the end of January. Trying to follow that plan turned into a lesson about priorities!

My 2016 Best Nine

My “best nine” photos from Instagram, based on likes.

So yes, I’m reaching back really far at this point. One of the benefits of focusing so much on personal productivity is that I keep detailed records in order to back up my terrible, terrible memory. Those help me with my GTD Weekly Review, and they also help me publish Currently each month.

I made my first pass through my year in an attempt to order and send Christmas cards “on time.” I don’t have a family to take a photo of, and I like to celebrate as much of the Christmas season as possible, so I started sending Epiphany cards a few years ago. You can get a good discount for ordering later in the card-sending season, and they seem more like New Year cards for my secular friends.

This year, I decided to forgo the “Christmas letter” style and go for bullet points. If you didn’t get your card, here it is!

Find Your Joy in the New Year

I had the back printed with just text (and space for signing!), so here’s that part:

2016 By the Numbers

Weeks of Bible study: 22
Appliances repaired or replaced: 3
Cities visited: 2 (Chicago and Houston)
Months I have been dating my boyfriend, Mr. Man: 14
Times I auditioned for Jeopardy!: 1
Hours on retreat: 9.5
Funerals attended: 2
West Coast Swing classes: 40
West Coast Swing workshops: 2
Books read: 22
Student loans paid off: 2
Blog posts published: over 130

I was also diagnosed with morphea (MOR-fee-uh) this year. It is a rare and incurable autoimmune skin condition, but I’ll be fine. Follow me at LindsayLoves.com, and share what’s new with you! Make 2017 a great year!

I always sign and address them by hand. It breaks my heart a little when I get a card that doesn’t bear any personal signs of the sender: sender and recipient addresses on plain white labels, pre-printed cards, no signatures. Yes, customizing them takes time, but that time is part of the gift.

Here are my “most posts” of 2016, in the style of Sarah Mackenzie of Read Aloud Revival:

  • Post with the most clicks: My most popular post published last year was a review of a video about discernment by Fr. Mike Schmitz and an article about discernment by Peter Kreeft. Believe it or not, the popularity was actually due to Twitter. I tweet a link to new blog posts automatically, and for that one, I used Fr. Mike’s handle to tag him. He retweeted it, and my poor little blog never knew what hit it!

  • Post with the most comments: I try to reply to every comment I receive, so the count is undoubtedly inflated, but my essay post about making friends as an adult got the most posts of any last year.

  • Post with the best picture: I really enjoyed my illustrations last year. So many online Jeopardy! screencaps. So many tweets. Several photos with Mr. Man. A couple of household organization wins. I really like the “demons are spiritual, too” meme from one of my 7QT posts, though, so that wins for 2016.

  • Post that was hardest to write: I sat on my morphea awareness post for a long time. I spent a long time hiding the visible signs. I struggled with how much I wanted to share here on the blog, and when, and what exactly to say. Finally, I just decided to do what I’ve always done here—share my heart. The compassionate responses I’ve received have brought me so much joy.

  • Post that was your personal favorite: I was very happy to introduce everyone to Mr. Man. We dated for so long before we met in person! Facebook technically still does not know we’re dating (I prefer it that way), but I’m sure that mysterious algorithm noticed the surge of traffic to my blog when I shared my post there. I’m very grateful that he’s in my life and that he allows me to talk about him here.

Finally, my recurring themes of 2016 were:

  • West Coast Swing: A returning character from last year. I continued the passive weight loss I’d started by getting any exercise at all (as opposed to my previous zero). I made it through enough of the Level 3 syllabus to start repeating months, so I got to experience learning from a new angle. I took a workshop with Jordan & Tatiana. I didn’t participate in the annual West Coast Swing flash mob, but there’s always 2017!

  • Endings: My grandmother died. Spirit & Truth disbanded. The Not Alone Series faded away. I went to the summer shows at Zilker for the last time, missing the literal ending of Macbeth due to a storm. I stopped hiding the morphea patches on my legs.

  • Marriage: Of course. Also a returning character. It has been an enlightening experience to put more of my dating preparation, so to speak, to practical use. I attended a retreat that was focused on relationships (not just marriage), and it was excellent. I have also had an adventure navigating a long-distance relationship. I always knew that a God-centered romantic relationship would take work. I am very grateful to be working with such a wonderful partner.

What were your recurring characters of 2016? How has 2017 been going? What are your goals for the rest of the year? Every day is a good day to resolve to change your life—and then do it!

Currently: March 2017

Currently at Lindsay Loves

The scant few days of February cause March to sneak up on many people. I have a couple of birthdays in my circle in February, though, so it always feels like just the right length to me. Non-bloggable matters have kept me moving through new projects, travel, and events. This year is moving right along!

Here’s what I am currently…

Watching: The final season of Bones! It didn’t start until January, and episodes have been moving right along. I was disappointed at the resolution to the cliffhanger. They built up another good arc, but it seems to be done again. It feels strange to be starting and ending a season in just a few months. I hope the series comes to a satisfying end. The almost-series finale a few seasons ago would have been really good. Can they top it?

I’m also up to Season 4 of Merlin. Both of the leading ladies got huge appearance changes this season. I’m not a fan, but I am excited to see how Arthur’s reign, Lancelot’s return, and Guinevere’s doomed romances all play out in just two seasons.

Eating: A ton of Mexican food. I know; I live in Texas, but still! I had a chimichanga for the first time last week. It’s basically a burrito, lightly toasted and covered with queso. It was worth trying, but so decadent. I should probably stick to enchiladas and flautas.

Saying: Many things to Mr. Man, as usual. I got to see him again last weekend! I also find myself saying more often than usual around the office that you have to make the machines work for you. Technology can be a huge time waster, but it also saves time like crazy. Auto-pay bills, the Dropbox mobile app’s document scanner, anything with voice recognition: use these tools! At least use them until the machines take over.

Wearing: Summer clothes! A few weekends ago, it was legitimately too hot for jeans in the afternoon. I felt ridiculous wearing shorts in February, but the weather was appropriate! I honestly don’t know what to wear most days. I just mentally prepare for being too warm or too cold at some point every day, and I try to remember whether my ceiling fan is still on when my bedroom light is off. I hate the light switch fake-out.

Posting: Not much at all, besides sharing my Sunday Style. My aforementioned non-bloggable matters are taking up time that I might otherwise use to blog. Some of my hobbies and activities are gone, but then there is Twitter. I struggle.

Recapping: February

  • I rear-ended a minivan on Valentine’s Day. No injuries. I blame the drizzle and the stop-and-go traffic. Insurance settled everything, so I’m all set now.
  • Yesterday was Rare Disease Day, so I shared my morphea awareness post on Twitter and Facebook.
  • My delightful optometrist prescribed me some antihistamine eye drops, and my eye started watering again, so now I have figured out how to use eye drops successfully. And no one had to tackle me like on Friends!
  • A dear friend hosted her annual tea party. I enjoyed blueberry jasmine tea, a butterbeer cupcake (it was Harry Potter themed), and much girl talk.
  • I went up to Ft. Worth to see Mr. Man. Due to my car repairs, I got to drive a rental, which was good and bad.

So what’s new with you? What are you saying currently?


Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Carrie of A Stylish Fit. Won’t you join us?

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