SPRING FORWARD

February 24, 2015

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I almost feel a little guilty sharing images of golden skies and bare legs when I know I can go on instagram at any given moment to see the snowy streets and yards experienced by friends from around the world. Two of those friends arrived a week ago and are currently crashing with me; both are chefs from New York and they can do more things with celery root and one whole duck than I ever thought possible. The other day the younger of the two chefs asked me — in all seriousness — “so, are there any downsides to living in California?” This was posed to me on an 80-degree February day, while we sat outdoors in the sun, drinking wine and eating locally caught clams boiled in spiced broth with wilted kale from my back yard, but even so the question caught me off guard. My brain seized up while attempting to distill 30 years of criticism into one bite-sized response. Fortunately there was a Michigander at the table who had no such difficulty. “There’s no seasons here.” She replied without a beat. “I can’t keep track of time anymore.”

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I might have said something about superficiality and skin-deep mentalities, an inward looking culture, suburban sprawl, the wanton demolition of history (mostly outside of SF), and the crazy high cost of living (particularly in SF), but I’m glad I kept that negativity to myself. I found K’s response absolutely fascinating because — and she’s going to laugh when she reads this — I feel like California does have seasons. The longer I live in SF the more I look forward to them each year; the cherry blossoms or fall leaves; the foggy months; our Indian summers; the rainy weeks and the windy days; the way the sun is low in the sky and directly in my face when I cook over the stove in the winter mornings, and the way it and the shadows it casts in my house slowly transform throughout the year.

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Dress: Anthropologie/Coat: Free People (worn here)/Socks: Free People (worn here)/Boots: Thrifted (worn here)

I found the conversation a great exercise in focusing on the positive. In getting out of my own head for a while. This is something I’ve been working on for a while (so much so I started a lifestyle blog that weeds out the garbage and highlights the sunny, bare-legged days in new dresses) but it’s so easy to slip back into your usual ways of thinking and viewing things. Much easier than loving where I live lately. I work from home and this year has been crippling. Add to the mix 9 people sharing my home over a 1.5 month period — which culminated last weekend when 6 people shared 1 bathroom in a 900 sq. ft. apartment for 3 days. I’ll let you do the math on that one. Instead of feeling overwhelmed I want to be more grateful; first of all that I have such amazing people in my life, and then that they’re able to come to me and make my home brighter for a few days or weeks. Soon I’ll have the house to myself again and be missing all these souls, so before they all go their separate ways through planes, trains and busses across down, I’m determined to make the most of this final week with them. We have a new moon in the sky, a new year of sheep ahead of us, and daylight savings just around the corner. I feel a change in the air; that I’ve been gifted a second chance to consciously chose how I’ll live and think in 2015.

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Happy belated Chinese Year New! I can’t wait to catch the parade in Chinatown in a few weeks. Are you going to ours, to the one in your town, or celebrating the new new year in any way? I’m curious — what is your secret to positivity? What reminds you of the things you love about where you live? Is it the lack of seasons, or revelry in them; the culture, community, history, coffee shops or quiet streets at sunsets? What is your favorite time of day or year where you live? Please share your thoughts in the comments, or touch base with me over at instagram, pinteresttwitter, or facebook — I’d love to hear what you think!

Thanks for reading — see you in March!

7 Comments
    • jm

      Awe thanks darling ^_^ but I believe in you — your style is effortless cool! Cherry blossom counts in my book — enjoy the blooms while they last :-*

  1. What keeps me positive is the same as what keeps me sane. Writing, yoga, good food, laughter, hanging out with my man and remembering to be grateful. Lovely post. Happy Chinese New Year from Thailand!

  2. Talk about no seasons, I live in Tucson, AZ! Summer lasts from like May to November. December is as close to “fall” as we get (and it isn’t that close), and then we are lucky if we have a good solid month of clod weather in January. Pretty much every year I go stir crazy in August and September and decide that I am DEFINITELY going to move back to Oregon, but then when spring comes and it is 80 degrees in February while most of the rest of the country is snowed in….well I am not so sure I want to leave. There are pros and cons to every place, and you are right, it is much better to focus on the pros!

    • jm

      So true Alia — thanks for the reality check! I thought LA was out of control with their 85 degree Christmas’s, but at least there’s about 2 months or so out of the year that feel chilly. I was really looking forward to experiencing more “seasons” in NorCal, but it’s still nowhere close to what my Midwestern friends left behind. It is all about keeping perspective… and sometimes going away for a weekend the PNW when you can’t =)

  3. We TOTALLY have seasons! They’re all just… good seasons. :)

    My positivity trick: I try to remember that it’s not going to be like this forever. If something is wonderful and fantastic, it’s an excellent reminder to stay in the moment and appreciate all the greatness. And if things are not so hot? Don’t worry, it’s about to change.

7 Comments

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