Monday, January 25, 2021

January 2021 is Coming to a Close

How has your month been?

There are just six full days left in January of 2021. Has this month seemed to pass by slowly or quickly for you? 

If you feel like January has flown by, here's an interesting scientific fact that might interest you: 

According to scientists, the earth is spinning faster on its access than it has in decades, leading to shorter days.

A blurry photo of a spinning globe
Scientists claim our planet has been spinning more quickly on its access.

It might be tempting to blame this scientific discovery as the reason for time feeling like it's slipping quickly by. However, the article linked above points out that the increased rate of the earth's spin is less than 1.5 milliseconds per revolution. None of us, except the atomic clocks, could possibly notice this slight time difference.

As the pandemic drags on, I suspect rather than wondering where January has gone, many of us are probably amazed it is not yet finally February.

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions? Have you kept them? 

My past resolutions seemed perpetual and always flowed from year to year. So now, I don't make yearly resolutions any more, but just keep working on ones I've previously made. Here are just a few of them. Do any of them sound similar to things you need to do?

  • get files, recipes and photos organized
  • eat healthy and get fit
  • be better about keeping in touch with friends and family
  • clean up my computer and phone storage
  • get at least one e-book published and work on finishing my other works of fiction and nonfiction. 
I finally decided yearly resolutions of this type are just stress-inducing, because these tasks are ongoing in our lives. Setting a deadline for them doesn't really work. I doubt I will ever actually check any of these items off the to-do list. (The exception on the list above is "getting one e-book published." I do have a goal date set for that one!) The best I can do is just keep chipping away at the rest of them.

Have you picked a word for the year?

Instead of New Year's resolutions, like many other bloggers, what I have done over the past few years is to select a "word for the year."  The first time I did this was in 2015, and I wrote about it in the post "My Word." Keeping a word or phrase in mind is a way of reminding myself what self-improvement habits I really want to work on each year. Just thinking of my chosen word(s) reminds me to find ways to do so.

a photo of a dictionary page with the "word" highlighted
It may help to browse a dictionary, to find your word for the year.

This year, I've actually chosen three words: unity and kindness and equality.

Unity, kindness and equality are words which intertwine, but they are also very separate things. I'd like to think I've lived my life in support of these ideals.  But, as America has unfortunately taught us these past four years, there is always more each of us can do to be more inclusive, open-minded, united, and kind. 

Racism lives in all of us, and it is time to work hard to stamp it out. My first step has been to read the book "Me and White Supremacy." It was an eye-opener to read the book, but reading it is not enough. In the next few months I plan to do the hard work of journaling my responses to the questions in the book and educate myself to become a "better ancestor" as the author recommends.

Have you accomplished all your goals this January?

If you have broken your New Year's resolutions or feel like you have not met all your goals for January, do not despair. There are still six days left in this month during which much can be accomplished -- and of course, there is always February!

Please practice social distancing, wash your hands, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and stay healthy! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A New Day in the USA!

dog, sunset
Our dog, contemplating the promise of a new day... or just looking for deer!


Today, the United States inaugurated Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and swore in Kamala Harris as Vice President. The ceremony went off without a hitch. The speeches, music, and poetry were uplifting and held a promise of hope many of us have not felt for four years; particularly in the last two weeks. Regardless of who we may have voted for, it is time for America to heal and unite. We can celebrate that our constitution held fast and our democracy remains intact.

President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden, Inauguration day

Photo of my tv screen: President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden walk from the motorcade to the White House.

While recent current events have been unfolding, I've been reading a young adult novel called The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani. It is a 2019 Newbery Honor book, told as letters/diary entries written by a young half-Muslim, half-Hindu girl to her deceased mother. She shares her perspective of the events in 1947 when India became independent of British rule and separated into two countries: India and Pakistan. Hindus and Sikhs would occupy the new area designated as India and the Muslims would live in Pakistan. This meant the uprooting of many families, sometimes violently. Many perished in the migration.

When I closed my Kindle last night, I thought about what would happen here if Americans ever split up our country. Can you imagine being uprooted and told you had to move to a different place; just based on the way you voted, your religion, or the color of your skin? It is too awful to even contemplate.