Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK Weekend + A Yearly Theme!

It's been a good weekend, but as always, there doesn't seem to be enough hours to enjoy, even though M and I stayed up late (til after midnight!) last night, watching TV, reading, and knitting. Well, I was knitting.

We started the weekend with a date night, taking in Fury at the cheap, second run movie house, then going to dinner.

During our date I told M that I was feeling the need for some culture, so he suggested we go to Berkeley. We didn't really have a day over the weekend in mind, but Saturday dawned and that seemed like the thing to do. The Berkeley museum was closed, so we modified the plan for the Oakland Museum of California. We drove around town a little to get the feel, had lunch at a pretty good Mexican place, wandered around the edge of Lake Merritt, then hit the museum.

Like the Mexican place, the museum was also pretty good. A very succinct and well-exhibited history floor, plus some natural history exhibits, as well as Art art, focused around history and California artists: Dorthea Lange and the f/64 group, the WPA murals, some Frida Kahlos, and Beat-era works. We particularly enjoyed the California landscapes. It wasn't overly crowded, which was nice. I had seen some Joan Brown paintings on our visit to the di Rosa Preserve last year, and was happy to see several more of her works at the museum.

Sunday was pleasant. M indulged my desire to have a morning in bed - he fetched us coffee and the New York Times (I still haven't gotten beyond the Arts section), then made pancakes. I roused myself at noon and went out to get some yarn to make a hat for Mom's friend who will be starting chemo soon. It was a quick pattern, so I finished it up in one day. Amazing how when you follow directions to use the right yarn and needles, it turns out better! I usually try to make do from my stash, with mixed results. 

We haven't really done much to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, unfortunately. It's become another holiday that is just a day off for many, including me, a sort of desperate holiday bridge to look forward to that first day back at work after New Year's Day. Still, I appreciate the time away from work to reflect on my life in general.

We couldn't let the weekend go by without a little motorcycle ride, so we met Mom, Don, Caitlin, and Sean for a walk on Sears Point, which the Sonoma County Land Trust is working on.

We had lunch in Novato then went our separate ways.

I'm desperately trying not to have the Sunday-on-Monday blues, but am not very successful just now.


One thing I didn't do much of this long weekend other than the hike today, which was really more of a walk, was exercise. However, I did do the elliptical machine at the gym on Friday, and while I was working out, my Yearly Theme came to me! It's "Cultivate Happiness" which I know sounds a little vague and obvious, but I can make my theme actionable by breaking it down into activities and projects that support my happiness in three main ways - learning and trying new things, creating more stuff, and practicing being present. Making happiness a Theme is also a way of giving myself permission to do things I know will nourish me mentally and physically rather than thinking of them as unimportant or things to do when I have more time (like that ever happens!). For instance, blogging right now, and spending most of the day yesterday knitting Arna's cap, even though I probably "should have" been working. I think I can also arrange some of my work duties into the Yearly Theme, so even work can help fulfill my Yearly Theme, at least occasionally - and if I think of work tasks through the Theme filter, who knows, it might become more than occasionally!

M also wants to be very active about trying new things, which is actually why he suggested going to Berkeley this weekend - we don't really think of that city as a destination. Theme activity achieved! And I tried to incorporate my Theme activities while at the museum: Not only did I examine objects and art, I created a little animation, played a keyboard that made the sounds of various objects from the past, and added to my Life Imitates Art Flickr album.

Even just coming up with a Yearly Theme made me happy, as did writing about it. Voila! Sunday blues tamed a bit.


At 9:38 AM, January 23, 2015, Blogger Brenda said...

I think cultivating happiness would be a good theme for me. I know that it should be easy for me since I'm no longer working, but I can still get bogged down with 'shoulds'. I know that the Dalai Lama suggests it as a worthy goal.

I tried on Arna's looks good.


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