>> Primroses. Every January I buy primroses, and they perk up my mood every time I see them. Give them plenty of water and sunlight and pinch off the dead buds, and they’ll keep blooming till March—just make sure you repot them after bringing them home.
>> Victoria on PBS. Well, I am in love with this show, and I’ve only seen the first two episodes. I’m really hoping the love affair continues since I need a Downton Abbey replacement in a bad way. This show is about the real-life Queen Victoria, and I knew practically zero about her before the first episode, but she is fascinating. The sets are gorgeous, the music is beautiful, and the actress playing Victoria is so lovely to look at. Visit PBS to watch episode one through three.
>> Slippers. I haven’t had a pair since college, but I am loving the ones Santa left in my stocking. I feel so much warmer wearing them.
>> Sperry boots. My mom says if we’re going to live in this climate, we deserve to treat ourselves to nice boots and a week’s worth of beautiful coats, and I’ll second that. I love wearing my Sperrys (mine are like the ones above but black with red laces); they look so much nicer than my old duck boots that have been around since high school.
>> The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. This book has been around since 2010, but I just recently bought it based on a friend’s recommendation. It’s not a long book, and there’s a lot to “unpack,” as academics like to say. Here are a few good quotes:
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
“It’s hard for us to understand that we can be compassionate and accepting while we hold people accountable for their behaviors. We can, and, in fact, it’s the best way to do it. We can confront someone about their behavior, or fire someone, or fail a student, or discipline a child without berating them or putting them down. The key is to separate people from their behaviors—to address what they’re doing, not who they are.”
I’m already recognizing practical ways to apply the principles to my life. If you get a copy, let me know what you think. And good luck with the second half of winter! I hope you have your own list of things you’re enjoying right now. •