Joining Emily Freeman to share what I learned this month, from the serious to the silly.
1. I like a scratchy pen.
I’ve been saying since I was ten that I’d happily write with fat-tipped markers every day of my life, because my handwriting looks better that way.
But first I taught a bullet journal class at the library and tried out a huge variety of pens in preparation. And then I started taking a penmanship class. (I am not kidding.)
The combination made me realize that some pens are smooth like markers, and some pens are scratchy, and that I can actually control the pen a little better—and have better handwriting—with the scratchy ones.
I’m still experimenting, but right now I’m partial to the Uniball Signo 207 (micro) and the Pigma Micron 005 (.2mm). The microns are my favorite: the point is so exceptionally fine it looks like mechanical pencil. But I have to be careful with them (read: I can’t let my kids use them) because pressing down on the nib ruins the tip.
I’m wondering what this means for my fountain pen use, which is currently nonexistent, but it’s something I’m interested in exploring one day. If you have experience here I’d love to hear about it.
2. When it’s crazy hot out, take to the trails.
We’ve had unseasonably hot and humid weather this month in my town, and it’s been approaching unbearable levels in the sunshine. Asphalt parking lots have me hallucinating about Little House winters. Despite this, I’ve been running a lot (for me) this month, and it’s because I’m hitting the trails.
We hike sometimes, but I’ve never been a trail runner. But Will and I have been on a few runs together lately, and when he picked the route that’s where we went and it was glorious. It’s automatically cooler because it’s not pavement, and it’s shady, and it also happens to be good for the soul (and the musculature).
Not a bad way to keep in shape, especially during the blazing summer.
3. I’m learning how to boss myself.
This spring I fell in love with the Pomodoro technique. It’s a simple time management method: you throw yourself into whatever you’re working on for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and repeat. I’m prone to rabbit trails and Pomodoro helped me stay focused on whatever I was supposed to be working on.
However, those 25 minute intervals felt a little short, and those 5 minute breaks weren’t long enough to take the quick walk I always wanted. I’ve been stretching the work intervals and the breaks.
And then I felt totally vindicated when those old articles started making the rounds again this month, saying the optimal work/break ratio was 52 minutes on, 17 minutes off.
4. Sephora has a program roughly similar to Amazon Prime.
It’s called Sephora Flash, and while it’s not new, it’s new to me.
For $10 a year, you get free two-day shipping for the calendar year. (It’s free for the Rouge level of their Beauty Insider rewards program, but I don’t spend anywhere near enough to qualify!)
Sephora always ships free when your order is over $50, but usually when I need something, I need it right away, and it’s totally worth the $10 a year to me to be able to click “ship now” instead of getting lost in the website, trying to find another item or three that will catapult me over the free shipping limit. Paying $10 to minimize my decision fatigue is worth it to me.
5. Manhattanhenge is a thing.
I’m a month late to the party but my inner urban planning geek could not get over the photos from Manhattanhenge, also known as the Manhattan Solstice, which happened on May 30. This happens when the sun aligns perfectly with the city’s grid, producing incredible sunsets, a la Stonehenge.
This phenomenon happens in other cities that have a tidy street grid and an unobstructed horizon, like Chicago, Toronto, Baltimore, and Montreal. Chicagohenge, Torontohenge, Baltimorehenge, and Montrealhenge are also real things.
6. Jumpsuits are back.
I was at Anthropologie in search of a very particular dress because I need something to wear to an event next month. That dress turned out to be lovely but not fancy enough, so I grabbed a half dozen off the rack.
When I got back to the dressing room, I was flabbergasted to discover that one of the beautiful, black, fancy-looking dresses had legs! I seriously did not realize it until I was halfway into it and realized I couldn’t quite get it on. And then five minutes later I made the same mistake again with a different dress! Er, jumpsuit.
I can’t quite believe that jumpsuits are back and I’m not sure this is a good idea. Although as I type this I’m happily sitting here in capris, which I had similar thoughts about when they came back fifteen or so years ago after a twenty-year hiatus.
What did you learn in June?