Happy Weekend, 3.31.17

Happy weekend, friends.

My family has a rarity this weekend: a day with no obligations. No sports, no appointments, no places we have to be or things we have to do. This day—Saturday—is increasing hard to find in our lives, and I have no idea what we’re going to do. Sleep in? Ditch the smartphones and iPads and go tech-free? Bake? Go for a hike? Catch a movie? Host a family game night? I’m up for something fun and spontaneous; we’re too scheduled these days.

happy weekend

What would you do with a wide-open day? Plan an adventure? Stay home and binge watch your favorite TV show? Give yourself a break from the onslaught of news (that never seems to be good)? Snuggle under the covers with a great book? Gather friends together for brunch? Volunteer in your community? So many possibilities!

I’m way behind in my reading these days—the stack of unread magazines in my house is embarrassing—but I have found some things for you from my trips around the Internet this week. I hope these readings send you off into the weekend feeling inspired and aware.

– Facebook’s new Town Hall feature connects you directly to your elected officials.

– These 8 ways to keep yourself safe online are now on my to do list.

– “Forty-five is the eye of life’s storm. The emotional drama of growing up is behind you, the physical perils of aging are still to come. In these years of quiet, it is easier to be grateful… and fearful. You are an expert on more things than you care to be, and you realize that most of your life has been of your own making. Yes, you are dealt cards that are both good and bad, but you are the one who plays them. With that realization comes a feeling of late great responsibility. You come to terms with how many moments, days, months have been squandered. You vow to do better; you know that you won’t.”

– We’re expecting snow this weekend in Massachusetts (yes, it’s supposed to snow in April), so I’m holding onto these photos of tulips blooming in Europe to help me remember that spring is (really, really) coming soon.

– “We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does.”

– “A question women often ask one another is: ‘What do you do?’ It may refer to a skincare or exercise regimen, or a set of dietary restrictions, or how you manage to get out of the office with zero emails in your in‑box, but I think the question — which basically boils down to ‘How do you live your life?”’— is rarely posed out of nosiness.”

– “The new political climate is also spurring new alliances, with churches, synagogues and mosques speaking out against the recent spike in bias incidents, including threats against mosques and Jewish community centers.”

– Meet Astronaut Jeannette Epps; she’s going into space in 2018.

Do you pack valuables in your checked luggage? If you do, here’s why you shouldn’t.

– “And now it was done, that time in his life. I knew it would come, of course, and now it had. It was an ending. It was also a loss, a tiny little loss. The kind that happens a thousand times in a life. The only difference, of course, was that I was aware of it this time.”

– Have you seen these photos of girls going to school around the world? Beautiful.

– “Relational aggression is about power and exclusion and it can be very destructive. It has nothing to do with friendship, yet many people see it as a normal aspect of young girls’ relationships. It has become normalised and it shouldn’t be.”

And, for laughs:

– “My mindful subway commute is spent listening to affirmation recordings, which I rotate based on the moon phase.”

– “Around noon the kids all came back from wherever they were and I made them fried baloney sandwiches on Wonder Bread with some Tastykakes for dessert. After that we had to go grocery shopping so I put the three older ones in the back of the station wagon and set the baby on the front seat and off we went.”

Wishing you a weekend of good news and free time,