Taking Stock: August

August 29, 2017

As winter (technically) draws to a close here in Melbourne town, it’s time to take stock:

Making: fingerless gloves
Cooking: nothing. Steve is doing all the cooking around here. Thank you Steve x
Drinking: Hot water with lemon and honey. I don’t know if it really does much, but it tastes nice
Reading: Saturday by Ian McEwan
Trawling: through reviews of Still Writing by Dani Shapiro on Goodreads. I read it first in 2015, then again these past few days. If anyone asks me at age 90 (wishful thinking!) what ten books changed my life, this will be one of them. If you’re a writer, or interested in the process of writing in any way, you really must read it.
Wanting: a copy of Shapiro’s latest book, Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage
Looking: at the weather forecast for Saturday. I’m having a birthday picnic. Chance of showers currently at 40%. Hmmm.
Deciding: whether I’m up for driving across town to see Heather Rose speak this evening. Not sure.
Wishing: I could go to this. Can you imagine? Amazing. Obviously I can’t, but a girl can dream.
Enjoying: the latest season of Catastrophe. Such a good show – hard to be genuinely funny and touch on all the problems of modern life, sibling rivalry, ageing parents, pregnancy, affairs, getting fat, job worries. But Catastrophe does.
Waiting: for this sickness to be out of my system. It’s been nice knowing you, strep throat, but I think we’re starting to tire of one another
Liking: the fact that Thursday, which is my birthday, is going to be sunny and 18 degrees. Hooray!
Wondering: how I feel about turning 33. I mean, what’s the alternative? Death. So I guess I’m OK with it.
Loving: that I finally know what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I feel relieved.
Pondering: the future, of course
Listening: to this Dear Sugar podcast, The Power of No with Oprah Winfey. Man, Oprah is so freaking awesome. I love the bit where she describes the ‘Dinner of a Lifetime’ that she held for her family, setting them up with school fees/houses/cars etc, so they would stop bothering her for cash every time she saw them. Can you imagine being in that kind of financial position?
Considering: the fact that, when the elderly people’s home next door gets sold, developers will probably buy it and build an apartment block, and the morning light that filters through the leaves and blinds, that Neo seeks out to sit in, will disappear. And feeling sad about something that may not come to pass.


Buying: shares. I’m quite into the share market. I bet that isn’t something you would have predicted about me?
Watching: the tiny bright green leaves and buds opening up all around. Spring!
Hoping: I don’t bump into my ex-students in the city. They seem to be everywhere these past few weeks. Not that I didn’t love most of them, but it’s just a bit awkward. Feel like I ghosted them.
Marvelling: at the passing of time. Seriously, I thought I was about 22, and I’m 33?
Cringing: at our (my) obsession with age. Who really cares?
Needing: to plug in my computer. Low battery.
Questioning: the value of this blog when only a handful of people read it. But a handful is still a handful, and I like it, so THERE critical voice, I’m keeping it up.
Smelling: Not much. Neo’s fishy breath when he gets too close.
Wearing: trackies, grey turtle-neck.
Noticing: the constant buzz of the air conditioner coming from next door. Maybe elderly people’s homes have to be kept at a constant temperature?
Knowing: that all things pass
Thinking: about books, friends old and new, school reunions, presents, rain, babies, feminism, antibiotics. Y’know, the usual.
Admiring: all of you out there who are ‘writing in the darkness’. Keep going! Keep going! Keep going!
Getting: advice about the share market from Intelligent Investor and also the Barefoot Investor.
Bookmarking: all the books on Goodreads. A Writer’s Diary by Virgina Woolf is top of the list.
Opening: various new doors and taking an excited and trepidatious look inside
Closing: the door on Chinese study, for now. Funny how these things ebb and flow. I will always have it, whether or not I use it regularly. Maybe 2015 was more about freedom and creative expression than it was about Chinese study, in retrospect. Interesting.
Feeling: bad that Erin and I haven’t recorded an episode of our Iz and Ez podcast during August. We have set a date, so hopefully my voice will return by then!
Dreaming: of summer days
Hearing: a car going past. Chirping sounds. The air conditioner buzz.
Celebrating: all the things I’ve achieved this last year. I mean, I’m not actually doing that, but I should. I’m way too inclined to turn a critical mirror on myself, but there’s a time for celebration and maybe that time is now, my last few days of being 32. I must write another ‘Reverse Bucket List’ soon
Pretending: I’m not scared, when I really am. But hey. If I can fly into the PNG mountains in tiny planes with broken windscreens, I think I can write a book. I hope so.
Embracing: this crazy life. Cliched but true! Nothing is ever perfect, and if you’re waiting for it to be, you’ll be waiting forever. You will never have all your ducks in a line. The sooner you give up on that idea, the happier you’ll be.

That’s it from me! Have a cracking day

x Iz

PS I’ve decided to buy those books as a birthday-gift-to-myself. You’ve inspired me to do so. Woot! Here’s to getting older and wiser, to improving our minds by extensive reading 🙂

More about isabelrobinson

Isabel is a writer from Melbourne. She loves long train journeys, Vegemite toast and cryptic crosswords, preferably all at once.