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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, February 28, 2022

It’s only the end of February, and already the end of February. When it comes to time, two opposing things are true simultaneously: it goes much too fast and much too slow, all in the same day.

Two months into the year and this word project, I thought I’d take a minute to recap, see where things are, and where they aren’t. A bit of a pause before racing ahead. So that makes today’s word recap. Let’s do it.

January 1st, the project commences

With its share of doubters, the project kicked off. I didn’t doubt that I could fill 365 days with words, and I still don’t. If I want to do it, I will. Thinking back, knowing what I know now, would I still do it? It’s been trying and challenging at times, but… yes.

January 11th, things get blue

The color, that is. Eleven days in and I was already looking for a way to phone in the wording. I opted to treat this less like a homework assignment and more as the fun thing it was supposed to be. Finding blue things was fun. I tucked away the color-finding game for a future topic.

January 15th, baking goes very badly

One of the things I love as much as cooking and eating is talking about cooking and eating. It occurred to me that if I indulged that particular obsession I would never need to think of a word again. But I want balance, I want to stretch my imagination a bit, so cooking goes on the list of occasional but probably more often than not things to talk about.

January 21, quiche goes very badly

I decide that really, why CAN’T I talk about food all the time? It’s got stories, anyway. In this particular stage play, my costume was made of almond milk. It was probably at this point that I stopped feeling guilty for talking about food so much.

January 27th, in which I reflect on feeling old

Some things I don’t typically say out loud, like, “I feel old.” It sounds kind of silly and self-indulgent. But I’m all in on this project and I’m going to talk about stuff even if it feels dumb and awkward, even if it’s a little cringey and makes me occasionally want to unsay things. I’ve been really struggling with this idea of age, and while writing about it didn’t change it, I find that there is something freeing in verbalizing things that would otherwise just stew in my brain.

February 3rd, Alice is trimmed and rooted once more

I’m happy to say that she flourished just fine in a water tumbler on the counter for several weeks, and has since been successfully replanted in her own pot. Alice IV joined Alice, Alice Clone 1 and Alice Clone 2 in the living room. She glows each evening with a string of white lights that I decorated her shelves with. This makes me very happy. I’ve been more diligent about watering the various Alices instead of waiting for her to get parched. After all, she is a minor celebrity now.

February 10th, had a rant

It’s an on-again-off-again thing with me. Some days I’m the chillest of zen, and some days I’m enraged by a dust mote landing sideways on my keyboard. Sounds like a medical problem. But really it’s just me. The thing is, sometimes you need to have a good rant. Saying all the words about annoying things helps in ways that a quiet nature walk or even an entire suitcase full of cookies can’t. The rest of the world may think I’m bi-polar but I’m perfectly at peace knowing that some days are going to be ranty and some are going to be poetry. When I started this project I was a bit worried about the ranty parts, worried about what people would think. But this is my house and I can rant if I want to. Win for losing all self-consciousness about ranting.

February 18th, various things are rebooted

The reboot has been going marginally well. I’ve been behaving in a healthier way, dessert this past weekend notwithstanding. I’ve been taking more time to live my life, which includes (mostly) quitting work at 5pm instead of sitting at my desk indefinitely. It occurred to me this past Sunday, as I battled weekend shopping crowds, that there’s no sane reason for me to go grocery shopping on a weekend. I might as well take SOME advantage of the whole “running my own business” thing. So I’ve made a calculated decision to never step foot in a grocery store on a weekend again, unless I’m in the middle of baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies only to find out I have no chocolate chips.

February 20th, in which many words are used for arbitrary ends

The word was random, and it was probably the most fun thing I’ve written to date. Except maybe the one about the quiche and wearing the almond milk. Journaling for me has always been a practice in free association. I tell bad stories, but I can compose the heck out of a sentence. Part of the reason I stopped writing before was that I never felt like I had a whole story to tell. This project was born of a desire to get over that. Writing in a way that I really enjoyed reminded me that I can write in a way that I really enjoy.

February 21st, finding a groove with the randomness

In a free association of a few of my favorite things, I decided that I really need to do more writing like this. Next to the prior day’s post, this was absolutely one of my favorite things to write.

February 22nd, my keyboard starts doubling up letters

It was Twosday, and finding things related to the number two was entertaining and educational. Much like the color game, I decided that this was pretty fun and there are enough numbers to keep the words coming for a long time. My keyboard doubling up turned out to be a bigger problem, though. It’s not a setting after all, but my laptop’s way of saying that not only are we past the honeymoon phase, but it’s tired of looking at my warty face every day. Since then, other things have gone wrong, all of which bode poorly for my bank account. I priced out a new laptop today only to find out that if I order it right now, it will get to me at the end of April. April! I don’t know if my current laptop can make it that long, and if it can’t there will be a lot more rants coming.

February 25th, identity crisis

In addition to wanting to dig out my old hoop earrings and run down a grassy hill, I decided I needed to wear something green. I actually went onto Amazon that night and ordered a green shirt. It will be here Wednesday. I love where this word project is going.

If I had to recap the past two months in far fewer words, I’d say that this project has been fun.

I’d say that while I still spend too much time proofreading (and still miss too many mistakes), I have loosened up about what I will allow myself to say and how I allow myself to say it.

And finally, I will say that even after two months of using many, many words, there are still so many more to be used.

Tomorrow, I am going to start a new month with permission to be whatever I happen to be on any given day, whether that’s silly, boring, random, profound, or ranty. And outside of this project I am going to give myself permission to do less. I’ve already rewritten my habit journal for March, and there are a lot less line items, a lot fewer requirements, and more things that serve me.

I love new months. I love a chance to feel renewed and to start again. But more importantly, I love that we’re just that much closer to strawberry season.

Photo: February’s successfully executed habit list. At the time of this writing, every one of those boxes has been checked.