Book Reviews life Reading

5 on a Friday: Feeling Much More Positive Edition

February 9, 2024

Thank goodness.

1- I really do feel better today!! I don’t know how much of that is due to finally having my luteal phase in the rear view mirror OR the gift of rest I gave myself yesterday. But suddenly everything feels easier and seems to have a point again! I want to . . do things! THANK GOODNESS.

2- I am loving all of the Olympic Trials recaps and interviews. Dakotah Lindwurm on Ali on the Run was absolutely effervescent. I loved listening to her.

(Though it cracks me up when someone like her says “anyone can do this!” regarding her 3rd place trials finish and Olympic team placement. I mean – yes, it’s incredibly inspiring that she went from a walk-on D2 athlete to where she is today! AND, it’s true that both consistent hard work AND talent AND resources/support AND probably a bit of luck (ie, not to get injured – look at Emma Bates!) are all necessary to succeed at the highest level! I loved her positivity anyway.)

3- I finished Wellness by Nathan Hill yesterday. It was indulgent to spend the day mostly reading this book, and I have no regrets. I know that critically reviews were mixed (see this one but then also this one) but I absolutely loved it. I would place it in my top 5 favorite books ever (though don’t ask me to name the other 4 right now — I’d have to reflect on that!). I laughed. I cried. I nodded vigorously. This would be a great book club read IF said book club members would be up for reading a 600 page (smallish print) book. It didn’t plod for me, though!!

4- I am SUPER into these lately. I eat them in the car ~3 days/week while driving the kids to school. They are hearty enough to sustain me as most of my breakfast (often I add something like a yogurt or today, a Starbucks oat milk cappuccino . . .) and they have 17g protein. Rise Bars have 20g which is even better, but these are decidedly more delicious. (Though I will still eat those too on occasion!).

non-sponsored + delicious. Also, not my hand.

5- The kids are are triple booked tomorrow morning. I don’t think that’s happened in quite some time — but in the exact same hour, we have one kid at gymnastics and 2 kids at soccer which sounds convenient except these are two entirely separate teams and locations (G’s is very low key and local and C’s game is ~45 minutes away). It worked out (C will get a ride!) but I’m actually surprised this is the first time this kind of 3-way conflict has occurred! I am fairly certain it will not be the last . . .

On the positive side, Josh and I are both off this weekend (our 3rd in a row, if anyone’s counting!) which is exciting. Some fun things (Run Club Dinner!) planned. I am glad I am out of my negative headspace so I can enjoy it.


  • Reply Sarah February 9, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    I also loved that book! For me the hardest thing about for realz perimenopause/late reproductive years has been not being able to know what the heck my cycle is even doing. It is SO MUCH NICER to look at my app and be like oh yes luteal phase. I feel very discombobulated in my body right now. But really, the reason I am commenting is to say a FB friend of mine solved the quadruple booking issue with chatGPT and it is the best way to use AI I have seen yet. He input their schedules and a few constraints and the robot gave him a weekend schedule that was free of passive aggression and emotional labor (scheduling problems in our house for sure).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 9, 2024 at 1:00 pm

      Ooohhhhhh that is super cool!!!!

    • Reply Anandi Raman Creath February 10, 2024 at 3:09 pm

      I’m also in late reproductive and do continuous birth control so I have literally NO IDEA what’s going on and get random minor cramps or moodiness. I wish I could figure out a way to track things so I can get a heads up but it’s not worth it for me to go off the pill which is helping my migraines A LOT.

  • Reply Suzanne February 9, 2024 at 5:57 pm

    Hooray for a mood improvement! I have been so down this week, and today was like a switch flipped. I love when that happens, but it is also kind of frustrating to feel so ruled by hormones.

    So glad to hear you and your husband both have the weekend off! That sounds fun.

    Wellness is definitely on my TBR! It sounds so interesting! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Reply Lori C February 9, 2024 at 10:57 pm

    I’m very glad you are feeling better mentally! And what a treat to have both of you around the whole weekend. Enjoy, I’m sure you have fun planned!

  • Reply Sarah February 9, 2024 at 11:49 pm

    Also loved Wellness! Totally worth the time investment.

  • Reply Kristie February 10, 2024 at 11:53 am

    I eat Perfect bars almost every day. The peanut butter chocolate chip are my favorites. You sacrifice 2 g of protein vs the plain peanut butter variety, but they are soooo good!

    I’ve been listening to lots of podcasts about the Olympic Marathon Trials and also found Dakotah’s episode with Ali on the Run to be refreshing and inspiring. Citius Mag has a good one with Clayton Young and another with Jess McClain.

    I started the day with a hilly 14 mile run and now I’m enjoying a rare spa day with friends—such a treat. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply jennystancampiano February 10, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    I haven’t listened to any of the Olympic trials podcasts and I feel like I’m way behind! I know there are some good ones. And no, Dakotah- NOT anyone can do that! But I appreciate the humble attitude.
    Really, Wellness is in your top 5 books ever? I’m intrigued! I’ll put it on my (alarmingly long) TBR.
    I’m glad you’re ready to enjoy the weekend!

  • Reply Anandi Raman Creath February 10, 2024 at 3:13 pm

    My children are OBSESSED with Perfect Bars and they’re the ONLY protein bar I don’t mind eating. Our grocery store only sells boxes of 4 so they don’t stick around. I should check whether Costco has them or if Trader Joe’s makes a version. We also do the choc chip one though they’ll eat PB if that’s what’s available.

    I’ve been wondering lately for kids whether you can coach them to be at least a D3 player in college if you start them early in a sport, even if it’s not clear they have innate “talent”. It’s something I think about in terms of both academics and sports and wonder how that works. I do believe most of academics is NOT innate talent – it’s actually about being able to stick with it and work hard. But since I didn’t grow up sporty, I always imagined being good at a sport is about this innate talent. I’m not sure that’s true though…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 10, 2024 at 4:30 pm

      Very interesting question! Not sure the answer. I think maybe SOME level of innate talent needed (like I cannot fathom I ever would have been good at ball sports …) but maybe I’m wrong …

      (And, physical stature plays a role. I don’t think I was destined to make any basketball teams! But maybe track or gymnastics if I had the right training/cultivation).

    • Reply Liz February 11, 2024 at 6:21 am

      Re: Perfect Bars: I eat them nearly every day and Costco DOES have them in a 12 pack (6 PB, 6 PB w/ chocolate chips). Also, you can order direct from the Perfect Bar website (i.e., they occasionally have 40% off sales, which is when I stock up on flavors that Costco doesn’t have).

  • Reply San February 10, 2024 at 6:44 pm

    I am very picky when it comes to protein bars… but Perfect Bars are my favorite!! (I also like GoMacro Bars.)

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