On what felt like the 99th day of January 2023, I sat down to review my journal entries from the month. I haven’t kept up a journaling habit like this in over a decade. This time, I set the bar low—write a sentence about the day and you can consider it “done”—and I think that’s what made the habit stick this time. On some days I wrote only a few words and on others, sentences poured out of me.
On the first of January, I decide 2023 is the year I want to document my day-to-day in a more detailed way. I want to be a better historian of my own life. I start keeping a digital journal (using the Day One app) that allows me to both write and upload photos.
On January 2, I write in my journal that today feels like a test. I’m being pulled back into old patterns of overthinking and avoiding. I notice this because everything feels really heavy and difficult. My mind is loud, but I decide to keep moving forward anyway (which happens to be my mantra for 2023).
On the third, I have a microneedling appointment. My face is red for the remainder of the day.
On the fourth, we get a massive amount of snow. I try to embrace the magic.
This is the month I announce that I’m moving further into the interior design space with content on Wit & Delight. I start offering consulting appointments. There’s so much support from our audience, which feels amazing, although a sense of impostor syndrome creeps up anyway.
This month, we move Bennett into her own room. She claims the guest room for herself and is so pleased with the change.
We have family meals together at the dining table more often. I make tacos one night and the kids love them. They haven’t really liked anything I’ve cooked in a while and it makes me so happy.
In the middle of the month, I start having really weird dreams. I deal with several panic attacks. I begin reading the book Flow, and it completely blows my mind.
Spending time with friends is a priority all month long. For one such occasion, I make a really great pearl onion tart that only requires five ingredients (the recipe is from French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson). I immediately know it’s something I’ll make again and again. I also learn one of the best life hacks: to make your salad dressing in an almost empty jar of Dijon mustard.
This month I realize one of the colors that looks great on me is bright green. I never expected this, but I wholeheartedly embrace it.
On January 20, Joe and I drive up north for a cabin weekend with friends. We eat brined and braised pork shoulder with couscous, apricots, and fennel slaw. For dessert, we eat Basque cheesecake and drink fernet. We go antiquing and marvel at the severe nature of Lake Superior in the winter.
On the 23rd, I can barely get out of bed. Once I finally do, I decide to bike for fifteen minutes. It turns into a forty-five-minute ride that changes the trajectory of my day.
I drink a lot less this month—only when at dinners with others. I work out almost every single day in some capacity. For me, this isn’t about working out to change my body; it’s about working out to feel better emotionally. It feels really good.
On the 24th, I get my period and realize my irritable nature of late doesn’t mean I’m an asshole—just hormonal. The next day, I apologize for what I said when I was dealing with PMS.
I’m writing this post at the end of the last full week of January. This weekend, I’m having friends over for a raclette party. It seems like the perfect activity in the midst of a polar vortex! The sun is supposedly going to emerge again in the coming days, which always feels like new beginnings to me. Here’s to a fresh start in February.
BY Kate Arends - January 30, 2023
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.