Taking Emily Freeman’s lead to share a handful of things I learned this month, from the (occasionally) significant to the (mostly) shallow.
1. What Scott Foley’s been up to.
Clearly we’re starting with the shallow, eh? Will and I started watching Scandal this winter because fictional politics sounded more palatable than actual politics these days. Now that we’re in it, I’m not sure it’s less stressful, but so far it’s definitely watchable (and occasionally horrifying). And then in season 2… Scott Foley shows up!
Felicity was one of my favorite shows of the pre-binge watching era; in college my girlfriends and I planned our week around watching new episodes on actual live tv. It’s nice to see Noel again. (When we’re done with Scandal, maybe I’ll convince Will to binge on Felicity.)
2. How to take care of green things, kind of.
Readers, I can’t explain it (even to myself) but this year I’ve developed an obsession with growing things. Specifically, house plants. My track record with not killing things is, er, not great, so moving beyond the bounds of the plant shop’s “hard to kill” tags into more challenging realms (hello, fiddle leaf fig) is a big deal for me.
I haven’t killed anything—yet. But that still seems like a strong possibility.
Here’s what I’m learning: too much water is as bad as not enough (and often yields the same sad results). Visiting the plant shop can feel a lot like visiting the pediatrician. (Can you diagnose my leaf?) And my library has an impressive collection of indoor gardening books. (If you have a favorite book on house plants, would you tell me in comments?)
3. It’s easier to get into some Olympic events than others.
People have wildly differing opinions on Elizabeth Swaney’s Olympic appearance in the women’s skiing halfpipe competition: some say she scammed her way in (CBS’s word, not mine!), some say her story is about the value of persistence. I don’t have big feelings on this, but her experience definitely taught me more about how athletes qualify for the Olympics.
Here’s the thing: Swaney is a good skier, especially considering she started skiing not long ago, at age 25. But her Olympics performance was much more “basic” than one typically sees on the slopes at an event of this caliber, leaving many to wonder how she even qualified.
To do it, she competed in every World Cup, where the fields aren’t deep. Under the qualification requirements, finishing in the top 30 at these events is important—and easy to do if only twenty-something women are competing. Swaney consistently showed up, and earned her spot on Hungary’s team (through her maternal grandparents). (This piece goes into a little more detail on how she qualified.)
4. So much about being an Enneagram 9.
I wrote a book about personality (that’s Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything), which—surprise?—doesn’t remotely mean I know everything there is to know about personality. But it does mean that I think about it all the time.
This month—thanks to seeing the world through the lens of personality—I’ve learned a ton, especially about the Enneagram. I am continually making discoveries about what that means in my life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (In order: I’m great at understanding all sides of an issue, I hate telling people what to do, this drives them bananas.)
Hopping on the Typology podcast with Ian Cron to discuss 9-ness didn’t hurt this process a bit.
5. People are using Amazon accounts to do what?
To launder money, that’s what. Who knew, right? Have you ever seen an item on Amazon and thought, Why is that soooo expensive? Well, it just might be on purpose. This story is very weird, and explains why.
6. What books you all want to know more about.
Last week I shared my list of 50 contemporary books every woman’s gotta read, and it was so interesting—based on clicks alone—to see which titles you all want to know more about. The most-clicked title, by a mile? This one. (I can’t say I’m surprised. I hadn’t heard of it myself until you told me!)
I talked more about this on Instagram stories this week: follow me over there for future updates.
What did YOU learn in February?