Best Laid Plans life Reading

This month was a lot

November 30, 2023


It’s November 30!!!! What a month. SERIOUSLY, a very packed and emotionally charged month. A mini-recap of things that happened in November:

  • BLP Live
  • Trip to Denver with my college friends!
  • A call week AND a big holiday (simultaneous . . .)
  • Dual soccer team experiences
  • 2 days of school closure due to a flood
  • Lots of injury aftermath stuff (including uncertainty about whether I could do my much-anticipated marathon with a final “hard no” as the verdict and eventual journey to peace with said verdict)
  • . . . and even a couple of things that go beyond what is blog-worthy

Truly, after all that — I am hoping for a really peaceful December.

My goal is to rest, reflect, read, experience, and generally slow down to recover that madness. I am so so glad we chose a very low-key relaxing trip (just a few days in Amelia Island) and won’t be flying anywhere this month.

We will be celebrating some birthdays, giving gifts, and watching the Nutcracker but truthfully compared to the above that sounds just lovely. ALSO school soccer ends 12/14 and club soccer takes a break starting at 12/15! I really truly AM glad C is getting to experience this level of sports engagement BUT I am also soooooooo psyched for a break!

Monthly Ideas

Things that would be fun to do monthly:

(Please note, I am not planning to execute on all of these ideas! I am just brainstorming and playing with the idea of a monthly project!!)

  • Date night with a kid (not with each kid, but A kid – ie, each kid gets 4 dates/year. I feel like this could be doable?)
  • Mani/pedi monthly (book the last one as you leave each one so it’s set)
  • Massage (as noted yesterday)
  • Choose a room to focus on to declutter (#aspirational)
  • Pick a challenging book (I just got The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese from the library and DAMMNNNNN is that a TOME) and read 1/30 of it daily
  • Choose a podcast or TV show to binge (ie new one each month)
  • Pick a color to use in my planner and generally stick to that scheme all month ( <– this I am kind of doing!)
  • Choose a cookbook each month to make Sunday dinners from. Could get book at library even!
  • Experiment with a scent – candle / lotion / etc – and use it every day for a month
  • Do a 3-day split from Peloton (strength program) and repeat it all month to trend progress (switch to new one each month)
  • ???

Podcast Rec:

I guess I should save this for Friday but here we are!

I’m a relatively new listener to this show and do not listen to every episode, but I’ve found it pretty nuanced and well-done so far

LOVED this ep featuring Maryanne Wolf: This is Your Brain on Deep Reading. It’s a re-air, but I didn’t listen to it the first time so it was new to me.

Her premise is that many of us don’t take the time we used to when we read, in part due to different reading habits (devices, scrolling) and in part due to injured attention spans (in part due to device exposure/hyperstimulation). There is not a ton of evidence presented in the episode but I suspect many could relate to what she and Ezra are discussing (and personally recounting).

I actually wonder if trying to read XYZ # of books might contribute to shallower reading of certain texts, though with some volumes it may not matter (LOVE the word of authors like TJR and Elin Hilderbrand — I really do! — but I don’t necessarily need to spend 10 minutes on each page, you know?).

It strengthened my resolve to cultivate better family reading practices. Interested in what others do in their homes to promote reading (Kae also wrote about this recently with respect to her teens!).


  • Reply Angela November 30, 2023 at 11:01 am

    I like the cookbook idea! We actually use our library to get new cookbooks and try to make the recipes from the ones we like. Once we find the ones we like we actually copy them down into our own little cookbook recipe book.

  • Reply Kristen November 30, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Wow that does sound like quite a month! Sorry to hear about your injury and having to pull out of a race. I tripped and twisted my knee the day before a race last year and had to pull out. It’s disappointing news to digest. I am also looking forward to a two week December break from kid activities. I love cheering them on but like a break from the coordinating and driving! Hoping turning to a new month in your planner brings some space and peace!

  • Reply Chelsea November 30, 2023 at 11:13 am

    I just finished The Covenant of Water, and I liked it, but man it was long. 35ish hours on audio. It comes together well at the end, there were some very long passages that were kind of interesting but ultimately didn’t have anything to do with the story.

    Here’s to a much more chill December!

  • Reply Jen November 30, 2023 at 11:17 am

    I am curious about this focus idea – i notice it more with work. I am having such a hard time with focusing on reading and researching for work – we’ve come through a busy time and have to do more quiet, focused work. I find it so much easier to do ‘tasky’ things. I do feel like our focus gets split with so many notifications, pings, etc that it’s hard for me to stay with something a bit deeper.

  • Reply Anne November 30, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Covenant of Water is a masterpiece and meant to be savored slowly. I wonder if you will appreciate it more as a practicing physician!

    I spend time reading at home so I can model it as a hobby for my kiddo to see. Of course, it helps when they find books that keep their interest!

  • Reply Vanessa November 30, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    Long-time reader, first time commenter. I loved the Covenant of Water. During med school I actually did a rotation in Kerela – so perhaps that is why the book really resonated.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2023 at 8:18 pm

      Wow! What a cool experience to have during training.

  • Reply ETB November 30, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    RE: family reading habits. We are doing cozy reading time in December (actually started on Monday). After dinner is cleaned up, we are all going to sit in the living rook and read. I put on some classical music, and we each read our own books for about 30 min. At least that is the goal- so far the 6 yr old wants me to read to her. It’s relaxing and slows us down after our hectic days. Everyone, including me, is much calmer at bedtime. Sports ended for us in November. I did not sign the kids up for winter sports, so we will have less busy weeknights through February.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 1, 2023 at 11:30 am

      LOVE the idea of cozy reading time ! For us the natural break in sports is summer. Now is when you WANT to be outside . . .

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