WWBD?

What would Bandit do?

We’re rapidly approaching the official one-year anniversary of when our pandemic life started (3/13). At that time, we thought it would be for 2-4 weeks.

Fortunately, we were also gifted a Disney+ subscription at that time, which has now since become a literal day-saver on many occasions.

Of the many movies and shows that we’ve watched and re-watched with the kids, one has stood out to me as an instant all-time favorite: Bluey.

Every single episode is a wonderful little look inside the life of an Australian blue heeler family. Each one is filled with one small lesson in gratitude amongst the chaos, letting the kids live with less rules, and overall just having an amazing time with the ones you love most.

For me, it’s really struck a chord as I’ve adapted to our lockdown life. Every time I watch the show, I unashamedly shift my focus to be more like Bluey’s dad Bandit, and how he approaches life & parenting.

We got our kids a bunch of the Bluey toys for Christmas and I’ve since “borrowed” a Bandit figure for my desk. It serves as a little reminder to slow down, be present, and appreciate this amazing time I have with my goofy littles and amazing partner.

Smoothies + snowfall

Trying out a new format for this week, inspired (as always) by Austin Kleon’s fantastic newsletter where he writes about 10 things he thinks are worth sharing.

  1. This wonderful animated short, narrated by Patton Oswalt. I had not heard of “52” the whale before but now I’m fascinated by the story. Big fan of how the whale’s isolation turns into a super power for slowing down and being present.
  2. I can’t remember a time where we’ve had as much snow as we’ve gotten over the last few weeks. If it weren’t for the below zero temperatures, we would have been out on Calvin & Hobbes expeditions every day.
  3. Another D&D session this week. We returned to Barovia and played around with this new-to-us tool: Owlbear Rodeo. Despite a hiccup due to their servers being overwhelmed, it was an awesome virtual table-top and really enhanced the game for all of us. Highly recommended!
  4. Signed up for a chess.com free trial (with their app). We’re almost done with the Queen’s Gambit and now I’m super interested in learning more about the game. I haven’t played in years but noodling around on the app (instead of doom-scrolling) has been pretty fun.
  5. I set a goal to workout every day this month. So far, that’s held true. The Peloton app + bike has been one of the best things we’ve done during the pandemic.

Looking forward to the longer weekend. The last of the three Jimmy Eat World concert events is tonight, and they’re playing Clarity front-to-back. I was lucky enough to catch them at the Metro when they did that live a few years ago. Excited to check out the stream!

Phoenix Sessions

Jimmy Eat World played their second-of-three virtual live album events last night. They played “Futures” in it’s entirety, front to back. One of my all time favorite records.

The band has been filling the void created by the pandemic by churning out tons of interesting and creative content. Jim has done deep dives into their own recordings in his “Mini Dives” and has been joined by tons of great artists to dig into recording and all things music. I’ve enjoyed all of it.

That brings us to Phoenix Sessions. They’re playing three albums live. You can get tickets/access to watch them all (check!) and so far, they have not disappointed.

Something about this band, these songs, the age I was when they call came out. It just unlocks so much emotion and positive memories. I love it.

D&D

A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me to join his in-progress D&D campaign. I had always wanted to play but was always afraid it was too steep a learning curve so I never got into it.

After that first night of playing, I have joined his crew every other Thursday night for a few hours of role playing adventure.

It’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

My Oath of Vengeance Paladin – Kallan Ironwill

I’m playing a Tiefling Paladin in our Curse of Strahd adventure. I’m still learning how to play but every week gets better and better. My goal is to loop another group of friends into a game sometime soon.

My excitement about D&D has boiled over into all aspects of my life. I feel renewed energy about reading, about fantasy, about writing, and being creative. I look forward to those few hours every two weeks more than I ever thought I would before.

This year is going to be about finding more things like D&D. Finding time to do things that make me and my family happy. That’s all that matters in the long run.

Looking ahead

I love this post from Brad Stulberg over on Outside.com. He writes about transitioning to the new year and what sort of mental shift a new year signals for a lot of people.

In the article, he refers to another article with an aggregated list of habits that readers want to carry with them into the new year. This is right in line with the kinds of loose goals/resolutions I’m trying to keep in 2021.

Buying less stuff.
Slowing down and putting less pressure on ourselves.
Prioritizing family and friends.
More ethical action and consumption.
Exercising daily.
Baking and gardening regularly,
Spending more time in nature.
Working from home, if possible. 

Sigal Samuel