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one day hh instagram

A couple of weeks ago, Laura Tremaine hosted her annual #OneDayHH Instagram event – an invitation to document and share the everyday details and rhythms of our lives.

Although I use Instagram for that anyway (sometimes), it’s always fun to play along, both to share my own daily routine and to see what others are posting. I’m a believer in the loveliness and power of sharing field notes from our lives, and this day always helps bring that back into focus.

This year was my third time participating, and the way it went felt completely fitting: I shared a few photos, mostly of my morning routine, then got totally caught up in the madness of meetings, email and other life tasks/craziness. (This was six days before the election, so my workday included a lot of that particular madness.)

In this full and demanding season, that is often how it’s going around here, and I’m letting myself off the hook for not sharing a “complete” record of the day. I wanted to share what I did post, though, since these details are vital and lovely, and I want to remember them. (Especially when I’m clinging to daily rhythms to save my sanity, right now.)

green coat red pants subway flats

I was up before dawn, moving around our still-new apartment in the dark: showering, brewing tea in a purple travel mug, packing my work bags. Most mornings, I catch the bus, but my husband drops me off at the T station in our old neighborhood on Wednesdays. I carry my black purse and this polka-dot bag (mostly filled with books) on my commute. It was a mild day, so I switched from black leggings and ankle boots back to my happy red pants (but still wore my favorite, magic jade-green coat).

boston skyline sunrise view

Halfway through my commute, I get this view as the train rumbles across the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge. I always take a second to soak it in – I love the sight of the skyline and the river at any time of the year.

golden leaves bikes harvard yard

After a little writing time in the library and Morning Prayers, I walk back through Harvard Yard to my office a few blocks away. Lately, this golden tree in the Yard is taking my breath away every morning. I love the autumn light in Cambridge.

hks desk view

My desk is command central for most of my workdays at the Harvard Kennedy School, and this is a typical view: a little cluttered, but I know where everything is. I spent most of the morning here, catching up on emails and writing projects (with a trip to Darwin’s for chai, mid-morning). My colleagues are out of frame here, but they are a vital part of my workdays, and a big reason I love my job.

soup red pants leaves

Back to Darwin’s at lunchtime for a bowl of spinach-potato-leek soup, and chitchat with the good folks behind the counter. I sat on a bench outside for a while, listening to the ’80s music blasting from the cafe’s open doors, dipping a hunk of baguette into the soup, and watching the sky.

This was the last photo I posted of the day: my afternoon contained three solid hours of work meetings, one of which meant I stayed at the office a little late. I dug into Rae Carson’s wonderful YA novel Like a River Glorious on my train ride home, then spent the evening catching up on home details: laundry, dishes, making huevos rancheros for dinner. Later, I picked my husband up from work and we debriefed our days while he ate. I collapsed into bed around 10:30, rooting for the Cubs to win Game 7 (woohoo!), but not able to stay awake long enough to watch it happen. I scribbled a few notes from the day in my journal, then turned out the light.

Messy, full, busy, mundane, often lovely: this was a completely ordinary Wednesday. Both its broad outlines and its particular details are typical of my life right now. I may not have posted all the details, but I’m glad I captured a few. Every year, this project reminds me to “say a holy yes” to my life as it is, at this moment, and I am grateful.

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tulips candle dog table

If you know me in real life, you might know that I have a thing for dachshunds. (I could not resist that dachshund creamer, above, at Fish’s Eddy in NYC last fall.) My family had two dachshunds when I was growing up: Molly, a black-and-gray dapple with a fondness for long naps, and later Peanut, a black mini dachshund who wanted to play all day long.

Both of those sweet dogs are long gone now, and we can’t have a dog in our current apartment. But lately I’m getting my dachshund cuteness fix through Instagram.

It started with Mary Todd Lincoln, a tiny dappled dachshund (with amazingly fuzzy ears) who is one of the resident shop dogs at Parnassus Books (Ann Patchett’s bookstore) in Nashville.

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Sunday funday. #marytoddlincoln #FLOTUS #dachshundappreciation

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I mean. Is she not completely adorable? She also likes to accessorize – or tolerates her humans’ tendency to accessorize her.

 

 

The second account I’m obsessed with is Harlow and Sage – which these days actually means Harlow, a Weimaraner with the funniest facial expressions, and Indiana and Reese, her dachshund pals.

 

 

They are seriously silly, and seriously cute.

 

 

The third account I love is Riley the Dachshund. Riley is a tiny black mini dachshund (I swear he looks just like Peanut) who was adopted via the Puppy Bowl.

 

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Hi! Play with me?

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My husband rolls his eyes sometimes when I have to show him all the cute dachshund photos at the end of the day. But they make me so happy.

Any animals you’re obsessed with on Instagram or other social media? (What a strange world we live in.)

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one day hh 2015 graphic

Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children.

We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.”

—Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

On Tuesday, Laura hosted her annual #OneDayHH challenge– a simple call to document the details of our everyday lives. I participated last year, and enjoyed playing along again this year. I thought I’d share my photos, because I like having a record of it here on the blog.

quilt morning light

My morning began with the snooze button, and the muted grey light coming through the window. I always make the bed. Since the nights have gotten chilly, we are sleeping under this quilt my husband’s grandmother made him, years ago.

yoga mat leggings

I’m still starting a lot of my mornings with the yoga app. Often that means I go straight to the mat, in my pajamas.

dish rack kitchen

After a hot shower, I put the kettle on and tackled a pile of dishes from Monday night. (We had burritos, hence the rice cooker, cheese grater and guacamole bowl.)

anne of the island scone mug

Breakfast was a scone (one of Molly’s) and tea, with a few pages of Anne of the Island. I love Anne and her college adventures so much.

laptop kitchen table

The hubs had a mid-morning break and came home to drop off some groceries. We sat at the kitchen table, talking, for an hour. So rare these days, and so good. Then I spent a while longer at the table, writing and editing and answering emails. (With more tea.)

weird sisters novel flowers

I’m participating in #NaNoReadMo this month, so I took a break to share my glowing recommendation of Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters.

soup crackers notepad book

Lunch was leftover butternut squash soup, with cheese and crackers and The Art of Travel.

train platform book

I headed into Cambridge after lunch, waiting for the T in a chilly wind (with Alain de Botton for company).

leaves boots bricks

The leaves are falling in great piles, and I couldn’t resist snapping a photo on the way to Darwin’s.

laptop darwins chai

I spent the afternoon here: chai, emails, writing, more emails. A little noveling.

rainy beacon st boston

I put my phone away for the evening, which included an overdue catch-up with a friend. We took a long walk, ate our favorite pizza, talked for hours. Later, I walked through the rain to catch the subway home.

jer apple cider

The hubs got home from rehearsal right after I did, and we drank apple cider at the kitchen table and debriefed on the day. (And then we collapsed into bed.)

I love Goldberg’s words about saying “a holy yes” to the details of our lives. And I love this project – capturing my own details and seeing those of others.

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one day hh balloons

On Wednesday I posted a total of 21 photos to Instagram.

That’s way more than I’d usually post in a single day, lest I alienate every one of the folks who see my photos – except perhaps my mother. (Though even she would probably tell me to give it a rest.) But I was participating in Laura’s annual #OneDayHH project.

Laura’s point is that we often share the pretty details of our days on Instagram – the new haircut, the fabulous shoes, the fun night out with friends. But we don’t often snap and share the mundane stuff: the commute, the sinkful of dirty dishes, the to-do list. These details are just as much a part of our lives as the exciting or lovely things. So #OneDayHH is a chance to share all of it – the good, the frustrating, the quotidian.

I confess I didn’t snap every detail of my day – the search for a missing FedEx package, the moment when my umbrella turned inside out (impossible to photograph, for several reasons), the mad dash to bring my patio plants inside as the wind and rain kicked up. But I did manage a fair number of shots, and I thought I’d share them here, as a snapshot (ha) of a fairly typical day.

The morning began, as nearly all my mornings do, with the snooze button, a hot shower and my red teakettle.

red teakettle stove

It whistled and I poured a cup of David’s pumpkin chai, to drink with a blueberry muffin and a little light breakfast reading. (The grey morning prompted me to turn on the twinkle lights, which you can see reflected in my old mug from the Ground Floor.)

muffins mug real simple magazine breakfast

My commute includes a two-block walk to the subway station, then waiting on the outdoor platform with a book. (Current read: Her Brilliant Career.)

book subway platform

Once I got off the T, in Harvard Square, this was the view on my (rainy, chilly) walk to work.

leaves fall cambridge ma

This is my desk view most mornings: a photo of my nephew, a postcard from PEI, cards from my sister and mom and a co-worker, assorted mugs and papers – some work-related, some not.

desk view work morning

As an antidote to the gray day, I wore a pink dress, a cozy striped scarf (a birthday present from my sister), and the black, slightly trapezoidal knit jacket that makes me feel like Mary Tyler Moore.

outfit selfie pink dress

I ate my lunch (butternut squash soup) at my desk, enjoying a few chapters of Jennifer Robson’s wonderful new novel, After the War is Over (out in January).

soup book lunch

After eating, I headed out to stretch my legs and try on a few sale items at Anthropologie. (I struck out, but it was fun to play dress-up.)

anthro clothes rack

Later, I visited Tealuxe for a hot, spicy cup of chaider (my first this season) and the first entry in a new journal.

chaider journal tea tealuxe

I snapped a photo of my red wellies to serve as a weather report.

red wellies leaf sidewalk

The afternoon called for lots of data entry, but I munched on a crisp Empire apple and listened to my favorite podcast.

desk podcast apple

I caught the Red Line home, as usual. Not glamorous, but convenient.

red line subway car boston mbta

Earlier that day, the hubs had tossed the ingredients for chicken tikka masala into the slow cooker. It was ready when I got home (soaked and miserable), and it was delicious.

jeremiah dinner curry

After dinner, J left for an evening meeting and I curled up on the sofa and talked to my parents for a while. (They live in Texas. I saw them in July, but I miss them.)

living room view twinkle lights

It was a raw, chilly night, which called for some baking.

mixing bowl cookies chocolate chips

And later, some serious dishwashing.

dishes sink kitchen

We ate the last of the cookie dough with spoons…

cookie dough milk bowl spoons

…while catching up on the New York Times crossword. (The hubs: “What’s this Instagram thing you’re doing?”)

jer crosswords computer

It was blowing a gale outside, so the TV reception was spotty, but we found Game 2 of the World Series online. The hubs dug out the Royals hat he bought while working in Kansas City in the summer of 2005.

jer kc royals hat

The day ended with a little bedtime reading. (Oh, Anne. How I love you.)

anne of windy poplars bedside table

Besides sharing my own posts, it was fun to peek at the hashtag stream during the day and see everyone else’s photos. There’s something both entertaining and life-giving about sharing the details of our ordinary days. It reminded me of Natalie Goldberg’s “holy yes” – the work of a writer, and of a human being.

Laura’s making this an annual tradition, and I can’t wait to do it again. It reminds me of what blogging used to be – a simple sharing of the dailiness of our lives. No matter where we live, we are all in this together. And it’s messy and rough-edged and beautiful.

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