Bethday 2020

October is my favorite month for a variety of reasons – my birthday (of course), pumpkins, flannel, apples, all the typical things. The sun shines a little bit differently and the weather starts to cool. The whole month feels a little more golden.

#18 Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow
This was our first book club book (hello, I started a book club and all my dreams are coming true). While I felt like this could have been shorter, I really enjoyed it. The writing itself is magical and I loved all the Anna Karenina references. Tolstoy forever! It was a bit of a Russian history lesson, which I really enjoyed. I love a book that makes me do a little research and look up definitions.

Notes on Fall
This month was full. I went to a drive-in movie, baked a lot of bread, explored new parks ITP and voted (early). I’m such a fan of exploring this little neighborhood of mine and watching the squirrels hoard all the pecans in my backyard. I’m also really not upset about how close my people are and how easy it is for a midweek dinner. Not to be skipped: Mountain day celebrations were quiet at the beginning of the month, but full of dear friends and mini bffs at my house. I loved it.

#19 Joyce Wagner’s A Promise Kept
I ordered this over the summer from Bookshop after a series of tweets about the author who had shown up at a BLM march. It was inspiring. The memoir was equally inspiring. I think this is the first Polish account I’ve read from World War II. Others have included memoirs from France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Lithuania, but never Poland, though Poland was one of the most ravaged countries during the Nazi regime. I don’t know how people had such strength to make it through. Joyce wrote this book because she made a promise to several others during her time at Auschwitz that she would tell their stories if she survived. A promise to bear witness to what had happened. Telling the stories was hard for her, she said several times, but necessary. Unparalleled courage and bravery.

Notes on Bethday
I had every intention of welcoming 31 quietly, but 2020 had other plans. Hurrican Zeta came in like, well, a hurricane, knocking out power and keeping me up half the night wondering if the trees would fall on my house. 10/10 do not recommend. But, again with the friends being so close, I was able to see a few nearby folk for coffee and champagne (the best c’s) and quietly, but deliberately, celebrate Bethday. With COVID, the very idea of a “large” or planned gathering felt inappropriate, but a few spread out gatherings here and there have been delightful.
30 definitely felt like a year of answers. I felt more grounded, less flighty; more determined, less wilty. I know my priorities. I know what I’m willing to risk or sacrifice and what isn’t worth all that. I moved this year, but somehow still feel more settled. And, honestly, bring it on 31. Let’s see what you have to offer. I’m ready.

What’s saving my life right now:
1. Schitt’s Creek – My second attempt at this went way better than the first. I also recommend watching Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell after finishing the show for best processing of all the emotions
2. Pantsuit Politics – I promise I’ll lay off this podcast and community at some point, but the insight from Sarah and Beth and the overall community have made me feel a little less isolated in my political views.
3. 5lb bags of coffee

Notes on where we go from here:
October is sure to be busy – from virtual Mountain Day celebrations to pumpkin patches and apple picking and backyard bonfires and some level of Halloween celebrating later. This is still, by far, my favorite month of the year.

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