Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes on Event-Filled Weeks and Jeopardy!

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I am about halfway through another big swing of events. I had a couple of Skype and phone dates filling up my weeknights. I was up early and out until mid-afternoon yesterday, then I did chores until I went back out again. An old friend came into town this weekend, so a group met up for dinner after church. This coming week, I will have another friend date, stop by the summer church history study at my parish, go to a work social event, and make a day-long retreat. All of this activity is crazy, but it is a blessing to have so many friends and to not be bored!

— 2 —

I was up early on Saturday for the saddest reason. Some dear friends of mine lost their son to stillbirth last week. They buried him this weekend. It was the most beautiful and terrible experience. It was beautiful because the Mass is always beautiful (heaven touches Earth!) and because it was at the same church where they were married about a year and a half ago. The church was about as full both times, which is a testament to the community they have built. It was terrible because the death of a child is always terrible. I could only express my sorrow and assure them of my prayers.

— 3 —

I’m still working through my Life Plan. It’s supposed to be a living document, so I’m doing my best to keep it fresh without giving in to my tendency to revise endlessly. I came across a quotation that I hope will help me focus my efforts:

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker

— 4 —

Also a Church Word: It's defined as a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. What is matter?

J!6 has so many Lindsay-friendly clues! As I said before, I am hoping that some of these kinds of clues actually make it to the show if I, too, make it to the show.

— 5 —

Whose What?: Dumbledore's Army is a fictional organization that held meetings in this school. What is Hogwarts?

Seriously.

— 6 —

International Days of the Week: Of dies mercurii, dies solis, or dies martis, it's Wednesday in Latin. What is dies mercurii?

Mr. Man works with Latin, so I was especially proud to share that one with him. I only know church Latin and what I can make out from my knowledge of Spanish. For this clue, I used the latter.

— 7 —

Mr. Man himself sent me this one, perhaps suggesting that this would be a worthy pastime if I become independently wealthy:

If you watch Jeopardy! backwards, it's a show about rich people paying money for answers to questions.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Why I Don’t Have a Favelog and My Trip to Chicago

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I’m back to normal Quick Takes this week, although I have plenty of recommended reads in the queue for tomorrow and the future. (I’ve already drafted tomorrow’s post, so I’m cautiously confident about my ability to actually post it then.)

I realized this week how much I enjoy reading nonfiction. It’s mostly self-help type nonfiction (productivity, personal finance, books about writing), but I like it. I’m not a biography person, but one of the things I like to do with my time is reading, so that helps eliminate some of the potential paradox of reading about productivity instead of actually being productive. I feel like I’m doing both!

— 2 —

Recommended Reads is my current implementation of a favelog. This is a term coined (as far as I can tell) by Ari Bader-Natal. He was searching for a way to aggregate his likes, favorites, etc. from various social media sites into one place as a personal archive, independent of the original sites and easily sortable and searchable.

I like the idea of a favelog, but I haven’t currently created one for a couple of reasons. (There’s a method to my madness, I swear.)

— 3 —

I want my blog to be the hub of my personal brand. I don’t want a sub-blog. If you want to follow me on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Pocket, or Pinterest, you can follow me there. (Links are in the sidebar below my photo.) You know what kind of info you’ll find in each place. I like that division.

I’m not sure there’s a use for “show me everything Lindsay has shared everywhere” unless you are Mr. Man, and he seems to like his current workflow just fine. I tried to suggest that he use an RSS reader, but he was not into it. Then again, he does not read dozens of blogs like I do.

— 4 —

When I share something on one of my social media profiles, I really only want to share it there. When I read something rec-worthy in Pocket, though, I usually want to offer commentary beyond “you should read this; it is good stuff.” IFTTT won’t pick up anything from Pocket Recommendations automatically. I love the fast, easy way to add commentary and pick a custom excerpt using Pocket Recommendations, so I’m going to keep using that Pocket feature. I will just have to share them to non-Pocket users by hand, i.e. through regular posts here at Lindsay Loves.

— 5 —

I have a decent decision tree for what I share to each profile. When I share something on Facebook, I invite interaction from my Facebook friends. I don’t care if non-Facebook friends never see it. When I retweet something, I don’t care if people who don’t follow me on Twitter don’t see it.

I generally don’t cross-post the same info to more than one profile; when I do, it’s deliberate. I sometimes blog about posts I’ve also shared to Facebook, but not often. I sometimes share Instagram posts to Twitter or Facebook, but that’s rare.

I do automatically share my Goodreads progress updates and links to new Lindsay Loves blog posts on Twitter, but that’s because Twitter is ideal for “right this second” updates. It’s fun to say “I am on this page of this book right now” and “I published a new blog post right now.” If you follow me on the original sites, though, you can also get “not right this second” updates: “How far along is Lindsay in 168 Hours?” and “Is there anything new at Lindsay Loves?”

— 6 —

Enough about that. I spent last weekend in Chicago with my BFF and my BF. It was a whirlwind trip, and there was regular wind blowing through the city, but it was absolutely worth all the trouble. The Internet is amazing for building and maintaining relationships of all kinds, but there is nothing quite like being close enough to touch someone. Separation is hard.

— 7 —

I got a bunch of reading done on my flights to and from Chicago (and in the airport, since I had to get there stupidly early). I think that’s my new strategy for airplane productivity: bring a real book (so my phone battery doesn’t get worn down too quickly; iPhones have amazing battery life when you’re only playing stored music) and just read. Plane naps are never even refreshing. On my flight back to Austin, I reached up to turn on the light and nothing happened. I was very upset at having to potentially read in dim light, but then it came on as mysteriously as it had failed to moments before. Hooray!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Introducing Recommended Reads

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

I am introducing a new regular feature here at Lindsay Loves. One of my greatest loves is reading (although I usually say “Harry Potter” because it makes a better sound bite). As of this writing, I follow 81 RSS feeds using Feedly (5 are feeds of my own stuff, to make sure it publishes correctly). I send most of it through to Pocket to read there. I also save things to Pocket from Facebook, Twitter, and other random sources.

So that’s a lot of reading that happens entirely online. Once I successfully built a habit of processing my RSS feeds once a week and reading in Pocket at least once a week, I realized that I wanted to share what I’m reading quickly and easily. Pocket recently introduced super-easy dedicated profiles, but mine is only chronological, it’s not searchable, and it’s hosted by Pocket. I want to corral everything through this space since it’s a unified source, and I control it.

Enter Recommended Reads. I’ve been collecting posts that I want to recommend using an IFTTT recipe. Here are seven of my recommendations to get things started:

— 1 —

A Practical Wedding: Four Ways We Learned How to Stop Fighting About Money

FIGURE OUT YOUR BAGGAGE FIRST. The plan when we moved to California was always that I wouldn’t be in a hurry to find a full-time job when I got out here. Michael’s new gig afforded us a temporary financial cushion that would allow me to remove myself from the daily grind of my cubicle in order to take my photography business full time. (Heck, that was half the reason we said yes to uprooting our lives and moving clear across the country.) We were both on board, and we both knew it was a temporary situation. Still, it surprised me just how insecure I felt about my financial contributions once the plan was in action. While I had always been comfortable with Michael taking the lead on managing our finances, suddenly I was reading into every little thing he said about money like it was a personal dig at my employment status. Did he just ask me what I bought at Target? He’s trying to control me!

I was definitely projecting my insecurities onto Michael. But Michael wasn’t without anxieties of his own. Being the primary breadwinner made him feel like he needed to be extra responsible for our finances, since they depended mostly on his employment. So before we could tackle the logistical parts of our financial situation, we had to have a lot of conversations about our feelings. For example:

Him: I feel like I need to be extra vigilant about our finances, because if I lose my job, we don’t have anyone’s salary to fall back on.

Me: And I feel like I don’t get a say in our finances right now because I’m not making a competitive salary anymore.

And so on. Confronting our baggage didn’t fix things right away (more on that in a minute), but it helped us get at some of the root causes of our fighting and parse out what was financially triggered from what was emotionally triggered.

This is genius. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better explanation of how to address people’s emotions around money.

— 2 —

The Catholic Thing, via Catholic Education Resource Center: We Can Do Better

The psychological reality is that every spouse brings special gifts into marriage, but they also bring psychological weaknesses, which are most often deeply buried out of conscious awareness.

The weaknesses commonly brought into marriage are the result of a lack of a secure loving relationship with one parent, most often the father; selfishness, described by many popes as the major “enemy” of marital love; severe weaknesses in trusting; emotionally distant behaviors resulting in spousal loneliness; controlling, disrespectful behaviors from unresolved hurts with a parent; failure to master anger daily by growth in forgiveness; misdirected anger that is meant for a parent or others; weaknesses in confidence; excessive anxiety associated with irritability; family of origin sadness/loneliness that spousal love cannot resolve; modeling after a major parental weakness; adult child of alcoholism or divorce anger and mistrust and the failure to understand Catholic marriage and its support from the Lord’s love and grace.

The majority of spouses who pursue divorce—in our experience with several thousand couples—have never worked on these issues.

A very critical article, but a valid point about strengths vs. weaknesses going into marriage.

— 3 —

Of the Hearth: The Dream in Fulfillment: What My Interracial Marriage Has Taught Me About Racial Harmony in the U.S.

Excellently written. This respects multiple points of view, I think.

— 4 —

Simcha Fisher at the National Catholic Register: Love in the Time of Zika

When the first world hears that third world women might have babies with birth defects, they set up a clamor for more abortion. This is how it always is: we see suffering, and we want to solve it with death.

— 5 —

Rorate Caeli: Breaking News: Cardinal Gerhard Müller Corrects Idea of Allowing Holy Communion for “Remarried” Divorcees

With this statement, Cardinal Müller corrects any speculation that he would support the idea that “remarried” divorcees could live in a sinful relationship and at the same time could receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. With this statement, the crack in the door has been closed again by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Good. We don’t need anyone else caving to “get with the times,” which are terrible, by the way.

— 6 —

Jackie Bledsoe for Michael Hyatt: One Simple Trick to Strengthen Your Marriage

It may be time for you to enroll in the continuing education about your spouse.

Conveniently, I love learning.

— 7 —

Money After Graduation: You Work Too Hard Not to Care

If the thought of tracking every penny that goes out of your bank account is making your head spin, I have a revolutionary idea that will make it infinitely easier: stop buying so much stuff so often.

I committed to tracking my expenses. I wanted to buy something. I didn’t buy it because I didn’t want to have to track it. I saved money.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Reflection, Discussion, and My New Computer

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

It’s almost Pentecost. I had a lot on my mind going into this week, and I was hoping that my buddy the Holy Spirit would show up for me as I prayed my novena. Well. You get what you pray for, especially when it is a host of things that make you reflect. I’m looking forward to a quiet, normal weekend, during which I will hopefully have the opportunity to reflect on everything that’s swirling around in my mind.

— 2 —

We discussed mercy throughout the ATX Catholic Retreat a few weeks ago. I was on a panel featuring fellow contributors (and people I know offline) Kraft and Trenton, and we talked about technology and mercy. It sounds like a strange topic at first, but I was pleased with the way the conversation went. I had to take some of my own advice, so I’m pretty sure that didn’t come from my heart alone. (See the note about my pal in Quick Take #1.)

You can listen to a recording of the mercy and technology panel discussion over at ATX Catholic. The post also features a rare photo of me without my shoulders covered. (I took a sweater for the time we spent in the Shrine’s chapel; I don’t like being in churches with bare shoulders.)

— 3 —

It took several days for me to unbox my new computer, but I finally got around to it. I just didn’t want to put in the time, and I struggle with change.

I had my first laptop, a Dell Inspiron 1150, for over five years (all the way through college and halfway through grad school) until it died. There was a manufacturing defect that made it overheat constantly, but I got Dell to replace the faulty part for free, out of warranty. (Yes, that’s another throwback, can-you-find-my-comment post.) Then the operating system failed, so it wouldn’t start. The Geek Squad at Best Buy removed the hard drive for me, I enclosed it, and I saved all my data!

This time around, when my HP Pavilion (currently just over eight years old) started to enter the throes of death, I started backing up my files. The computer actually still works… if I remove the battery completely, keep it plugged in, and hibernate it before unplugging. It’s a tedious strategy that keeps me tethered to the wall, but the computer’s been working okay despite limping along. I knew I needed a new one, though, so I saved up for it and finally pulled the trigger so I can devote that saving momentum elsewhere.

My new Pavilion has Windows 10, so I’m learning to use that. It feels like a flatter version of Windows 7, which was a shinier version of Windows XP, so I think I’ll be okay. I’ve managed to avoid the versions that everyone hated (Vista and 8). Coincidentally, this computer is a shinier, flatter version of my old computer. I did have to solve a Skype–Windows 10-specific microphone problem. Skype is essential to my relational life; I am very grateful to Mr. Man for helping me find a solution.

— 4 —

Category: 10-Letter Words; In the Catholic religion, there are 7 of these Jesus establish and entrusted to the Church.

Category: Communication; The signal that a papal election is complete is smoke of this color coming out of the Sistine Chapel chimney.

Whaaaaaaaaat? Jeopardy! has had some amazing categories during the Teachers Tournament. The sad part is that, because this is J!6, those questions were not actually asked on the show. I can only hope the actual aired questions are that awesome if I get on. I’ve got seventeen more months in the contestant pool; there’s plenty of time for the awesomeness to swing back around.

— 5 —

The best short commentary on the presidential prayer of Jesus (John 17) is that they are the words of a dying man, so they are completely honest.

The best long commentary might be this by my other buddy, St. Augustine:

When he had said to his Father: “And now I will no longer be in the world…; I am coming to you” (Jn 17:11), our Lord recommended to his Father those who were about to be deprived of his physical presence: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given to me.” As man, Jesus prays to God for the disciples he has received from God. But note what follows: “So that they may be one just as we are.” He does not say: That they may be one with us, or: So that they and we together may be one thing just as we are one, but he says: “That they may be one just as we are.” That they may be one in their nature just as we are one in ours. The truth is that these words imply that Jesus spoke as having the same divine nature as his Father, as he says elsewhere: “The Father and I are one,” (Jn 10,30). According to his human nature he had said: “My Father is greater than I, “ (Jn 14,28), but since God and man form one and the same person in him, we understand that he is man because he prays and understand him to be God because he is one thing with the one to whom he prays.

“But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.” As yet he has not left the world; he is still there; but since he is shortly going to leave it, he is no longer in it, so to speak. But what is that joy with which he wants his disciples to be filled? This he has already explained a little before, when he said: “That they may be one as we are.” Concerning this joy, which belongs to him and which he has given to them, he foretells to them the perfect fulfillment and that is why he speaks about it “in the world”. This joy is the peace and happiness of the world to come and, to gain it, we must live in the present world with self-restraint, justice and devotion.

— 6 —

I went to my friend Don’s Derby party again. It was delightful, although I would have appreciated it starting on time. That is part of why I don’t like football: you never know when the game is going to end. I have things other than spectating to do. Everyone else can go spectate without me; that’s cool. Have fun.

— 7 —

It’s raining today, which is not a common occurrence in Austin. We were in a drought so severe that several islands our big lake emerged. They’re usually underwater. Now they’ve disappeared again, but I still can’t get used to life with regular rainfall patterns.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Pentecost, Tweeting with Catholic Celebs, and the FMLA

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

The Pentecost novena has begun! It is one of my favorite novenas, particularly because the nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost are the reason novenas last for nine days in the first place. I also love the focus on the Holy Spirit, the beautiful language, and the opportunity to sing the Stabat Mater with different, happier words.

You can find the novena text I use over at EWTN. There are a few typos. Scroll down to get to the beginning of each day’s prayers; the long prayers at the top of the page actually come at the end of each day. The italicized parts can be sung to the tune of the Stabat Mater. I couldn’t find a good video of that melody that didn’t have a vaguely disturbing slideshow, so you will have to search it yourself or ask a friend.

The timeframe for this novena applies even if your diocese observes Ascension Sunday. Mine has Sunday; most U.S. dioceses do.

— 2 —

Me + Twitter = Catholic celebrity interaction!

Matt Fradd liked my tweet

Love Matt Fradd. His tweet was about how “Friends” demonized smoking, but not pornography or promiscuous sex.

Hallie Lord replied to my tweet

Hallie is a sweetheart, and I couldn’t resist jumping in, even though I don’t drink coffee!

— 3 —

In the month of April, I got new brake pads, bought a new computer, paid my taxes, and bought a plane ticket. I haven’t seen a credit card balance this high in a long time. Thanks to YNAB, though, I know I can afford all of that! The new version of YNAB (a.k.a. nYNAB for older users, or just “YNAB” to new users the way Chinese food is just “food” if you’re in China) is not without its problems, but I’m slowly adapting. As I always say, make the machines work for you.

— 4 —

I have not yet read Amoris Laetitia, although I did read Karee Santos’s series on it. I trusted her writing about marriage long before Synod14 was even announced, so I trust her now. I also believe she actually read the thing before she started talking about it; most commentators clearly did not read it first.

All of that is to say that I don’t know what references the document actually makes to the annulment process, and I am still waiting for any news about how the “abbreviated process” has actually worked out in actual tribunals and actual people’s lives. Nevertheless, I found a post from Aleteia by way of CERC that offered a perspective I don’t usually hear. It’s written by a man who was previously married, whose marriage was annulled, and who has not yet remarried. I have been privileged to hear personal testimonies of several people who remarried after annulments, but none who are in between, so to speak.

I didn’t read the comments, but I heard from a friend who did that they are awful. On most sites, I treat comments the same I do on YouTube: just pretend they don’t exist. Nothing good there. If you’re interested in commentary, check out my series on Synod14.

— 5 —

I found another intriguing comment about my ongoing struggle to understand mercy versus justice. This one was from our buddy Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

Mercy is what moves us toward God, while justice makes us tremble in his sight.

I’m still working on understanding mercy versus forgiveness, but I think I’m starting to get a better grip on the justice part.

— 6 —

As a single woman with a long-distance boyfriend, I find myself alone a lot in a world where (a) spiritually, I was never meant to be alone, and (b) there aren’t many structures for people flying solo. I mentioned in my review of Eve Tushnet’s book, Gay & Catholic, that one novel point she makes is that there are no protections for people who are unmarried and plan to never marry (such as herself, since she doesn’t support same-sex marriage). If she gets sick, no one can legally take time away from work (even unpaid) to care for her. I experienced that myself. There’s no single-person version of FMLA.

In Verily this week, I became unhappily aware of a similar angle on maternity leave. A fiction writer argues that women who are not pregnant should be able to take leave, too. Don’t get me wrong: I think that’s stupid, too, and I agree with Regina Bethencourt at Verily that “MEternity leave” fails to recognize the reality of maternity leave and damages the fight for improvements in existing parental leave policies across the U.S. Totally on board there.

It’s points 3 and 4 in the article that give me pause. I’ve been there. We don’t have a workplace culture that accepts “I need to go pick up my friend from the airport” the way they do “I need to pick up my wife from the airport.” We don’t consider non-marital/familial communities to be as worthy of sacrifice and understanding as we do marriages and families. It just doesn’t seem right that we can redefine “family” and “marriage” but not offer any material, practical help to people who don’t have either.

— 7 —

I had a fairly quiet week otherwise, so let’s just make it six takes and call it a day, shall we?


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Time Tracking, Spam, and Some Fun Stuff

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I had another event-filled weekend. I am grateful to have friends that invite me to do things with them, but it makes my inner introvert very tired. (I dance back and forth over the center line on the introvert–extrovert spectrum, and yes, that is a thing.) I did my laundry, went grocery shopping, played cards with friends, went to trivia, attended Mass at a different parish and time than usual, went to a baby shower, and Skyped with Mr. Man. That was a lot for one weekend. I was very tired this week.

— 2 —

It’s long, but this prayer disposition advice from Origen is pretty sweet:

It seems to me that the person who is about to pray should withdraw for a little and prepare himself, and so become more attentive and active for the whole of his prayer. He should cast away all temptation and troubling thoughts and remind himself, so far as he is able, of the Majesty whom he approaches, and that it is impious to approach Him carelessly, sluggishly, and disdainfully; and he should put away all extraneous things.

This is how he should come to prayer: stretching out his soul, as it were, instead of his hands; straining his mind toward God instead of his eyes; raising his governing reason from the ground and standing it before the Lord of all instead of standing. All malice toward any one of those who seem to have wronged him he should put away as far as anyone would wish God to put away His malice toward him, if he had wronged and sinned against many of his neighbours or had done anything whatever he was conscious of being against right reason.

— 3 —

Time tracking went very well. As I learned when I got on a budget, awareness is key. Laura Vanderkam compares it to dieting. Everyone knows that the first step to changing your diet (I don’t think of diets as short-term, temporary things) is to write down everything you eat. The first step to getting on a budget is to write down every penny you spend. Similarly, the first step to using your time better is to write down what you actually do every hour. Knowing that I would have to write down “spent 15 minutes scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter before I got around to making dinner” made me very conscious of limiting that time to 15 minutes. I’ve never thought of 15 minutes as a useful chunk of time to conceptualize, but it totally is!

I also had to face the black-and-white proof that my sleep schedule is ridiculous. I knew that before, but I didn’t have empirical evidence of it. I’m looking forward to doing a complete analysis.

— 4 —

Occasionally, I get overloaded by missed spam comments here on the blog. Thursday, I had about ten in one day! I’m grateful for the tools that allow me to mark them as spam immediately, but man, is that annoying.

A further note on spam: Don’t mark email as spam if you just don’t want it. Someone might actually want to receive that newsletter, and when you mark it as spam, the system learns from that, and it affects everyone. Every email newsletter is required by law to have a way you can unsubscribe from it. It’s usually a link towards the bottom. Use that. For a fast way to remove yourself from email newsletters en masse, search your email archive for the word “unsubscribe.”

— 5 —

I was exhausted after finishing my review of Dawn Eden’s new book for ATX Catholic, to point where I got that tired, caffeine-stretched feeling behind my eyes. It was a serious struggle, but I managed to get in a tiny bit of extra sleep in the days since. It helped. It helped a lot, and I hate that it helped so much. I wanted to get more stuff done in that time, not just sleep through it!

It was probably the influence of tiny amounts of extra sleep combined with the awareness of time tracking that gave me a burst of mid-week productivity. I got a long-deferred item checked off my list (finishing my notes from last fall’s hip-hop WCS workshop and my workshops at Free Day of Dance), and I looked into the new YNAB. I also got some reading done from Pocket. I was really glad I have the systems in place that let me use that time on things I’d already decided I wanted to do.

— 6 —

Oh, and which account favorited that is NBD:

The official Jeopardy! account favorited my tweet!

Just kidding; it’s a BD.

— 7 —

I don’t have a lot to say this week, so go look at this corgi. Bonus points if you find my comment.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Clothing Storage, Cord-Cutting, and Talking to Men

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I had a modest conversion in college—that is to say, I started dressing modestly, not that I had a small conversion instead of a big one. (I had a big one, too.) My style habits weren’t particularly awful, but I didn’t do much to express my faith through my wardrobe. I remember, though, the way boys used to look at me when I wore clothes that were cut too low or too high. I didn’t want that kind of attention anymore. So I stopped dressing like that.

I didn’t get rid of all my clothes, though, and even now, I don’t necessarily refuse to buy immodest clothes. I just figure out a way to make them work. If you flip through my What I Wore Sunday posts, you will notice the abundance of undershirts, tank tops, and sweaters. I don’t just wear them for dimension and color.

Because of this, I especially appreciated a recent post from The Chastity Project about how to hack your wardrobe for modesty. I have a solid foot of closet rod space dedicated to cardigans and bolero jackets, plus a row of undershirts and camisoles in my t-shirt drawer, as evidence of my commitment. It’s not an easy way to live, but I believe it helps me grow in holiness.

— 2 —

Yes, that was a row of shirts. I fold my t-shirts like this guy does:

And then I file them vertically in a drawer. I can see everything I have at once, and I can fit much more into a single drawer. I might not have kids, but I do have organizing tips galore. #notamomblog #stillawesome #thanksPinterest

— 3 —

I have been a cord-cutter for several years now. I watch everything on Hulu, but the episodes aren’t available forever. (That would be a terrible business model.) Hulu helpfully emails me when episodes are set to expire in a week so I can watch while they’re still free.

I took a break from Hulu while most of my shows were on winter hiatus. When they came back, though, the fall episodes started to expire. That was when I realized a side effect of cord-cutting: I have no idea when episodes actually air.

I had to unfollow everything on Facebook so I would stop seeing spoilers, although I am not sure they still count as spoilers after the original air date. I only know when a hiatus starts because episodes stop popping up in my Hulu queue. And I only see a preview of the next episode when I intentionally seek it out. It’s a far cry from the days of split-screen credits showing clips from an “all-new” episode “in two weeks!” I can’t decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It sure makes cliffhangers more dramatic.

Also, is there such a thing as a partially-new TV episode? Would that be a clip show?

— 4 —

I’m still working on this whole Year of Mercy thing. If nothing else, the word “mercy” jumps out at me way more than it used to. I was listening to an episode of the Caritas podcast when I heard a particularly apt differentiation between mercy and justice. “I had to throw myself on the mercy of God,” said Heather Renshaw, “because if I threw myself on the justice of God, I’d be gone.”

— 5 —

It was a pretty quiet week life-wise. I attended the baptism of the first child of some good friends, so my Sunday church outfit did double-duty. It rained a lot. I didn’t hear about any flood deaths this time, but there was flooding, as usual. It’s strange to live in a town that was in a drought for years yet floods severely when it rains. Another pair of friends got engaged.

Mr. Man has asked why I don’t write day-in-the-life posts. I assume he means the kind you’d find on mom blogs. The thing is, when you don’t have kids, there is a lot less going on in your day-to-day. I do plenty; I have a life. I just don’t have Constant Kid Hijinks to report on.

— 6 —

Having a boyfriend, especially a long-distance one, has introduced a challenge I forgot about. An article in Verily this week about how not to lead men on reminded me of that challenge.

I like meeting new people in general. Having friends makes singleness sting less, and you never know who’ll introduce you to the love of your life. (As my friend Malarie says, one man leads to more.) Part of the reason I got a life in the first place was that I wanted to get married. I distinctly remember reading The Thrill of the Chaste (the original edition; my review is here) sitting alone in my apartment. Dawn Eden literally called out her readers for doing that exact thing and said, “Go to a coffee shop and read there. There are no single men in your apartment.” I don’t think that’s a direct quotation, but that’s the gist of it. So I started going out to where single men are, and where single women are, and married people, and really any other humans.

Since I’ve been taken, but at a distance, I still meet new people quite often, and some of them are single men who do not know I have a boyfriend. But I’m no less friendly than I was before. So now, I have to figure out how to balance my natural friendliness, my desire to build community, and my faithfulness to my boyfriend. When you’ve been flirting for a long time, it can be hard to find the line between flirting and friendliness again. A girl can only name-drop her boyfriend so much.

— 7 —

I’m trying time tracking this week. I first heard Laura Vanderkam describe her work on a podcast; I think it was an episode of The Productivity Show. She studied time journals and found that people generally have more time than they think and spend it in different ways than they think they do. She’s written two books about it, and she has a regular column for Verily.

Thanks to GTD, I’ve got a handle on what I’m getting done and what I need to do. It still feels like I don’t have enough time to do it all, though. The solution is to figure out where my time is actually going. I downloaded her template for a time tracking log, put it into Google Drive, and started filling it in. It is sobering to account for every fifteen minutes. (It’s also a little tedious, but I am persnickety anyway.) I will let you know how it goes.


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