Things I Love: December 16

Things I Love: December 16 | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome to another Things I Love (aka TiL)! I did these throughout October/Blogtober and really enjoyed them. They're not great for evergreen content, but they are really, really fun to write. 

Originally, I had another gift guide on my editorial calendar. Every single December, I plan these gift guides and, I'm going to be absolutely honest here, I know I'm not great that them. And, again, absolute honesty, I really hate writing them. I like thinking about them; I like once they're posted; but they are such a bugbear for me to write. I really, really dislike it. 

As the week leading up to this post wore on and I just hadn't written anything, I thought, you know, Michelle, you don't have to write gift guides if you hate it. So I scratched it off my calendar and added in another Things I Love. Because, why not? It's Christmas after all and I can do what I want. 

Now, let's talk about the fun stuff: things I'm loving this week. 

Ulta Beauty 12 Days Advent Calendar | Writing Between Pauses

1. My Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

When Danny asked me what I wanted in my stocking, I really didn't know what to tell him. I thought about it for a while and when I spotted this 12 day Advent calendar in the Ulta Beauty catalogue I get in the mail... I kind of knew that's what I wanted. Advent Calendars aren't really a thing in the U.S. (although they're getting more popular), so it is a new concept for me. It was only $13.50 so Danny bought it for me (er, I bought it for myself and he was there). I have been loving opening each day. I've been sharing on my Instagram here

2. My new homepage

So you may have noticed something odd (if you visit my website via the main link): I created a home page to make the blog page secondary. I'd been wanting to mix up the look of my blog for a while, except that right now, it just kind of "works" for lack of a better word! However, I got the idea to create a new page and add a carousel to display my most recent blog posts. Easy peasy and I have the look I want for my homepage now! 

3. Salma Hayek's Op-Ed about Harvey Weinstein

I love reading powerful pieces of writing by women, but I wish this wasn't one of them. It's an important one though. Salma Hayek deserved a better career and the things that were done to her were catastrophic to her achievement. But most importantly, Hayek touches on something I have been thinking about a lot: is it possible to separate the art from the artist? And at the end of the day, when an artist is accused of doing something awful, you have to consider the reality that behind that person, there are other people who were capable of creating beautiful, meaningful pieces of art. What about the art all the women Weinstein hurt would have created? What have we missed out on from not seeing their work? And not just Weinstein, but everyone accused of hurting and silencing women for their own gain? So, next time someone suggests we can separate art from the artist, remember that: there is better art out there from people who were silenced. How about we look at that instead? 

4. Cat Person

Another piece of brilliant writing from a woman? Is it Christmas? (Yes.) This short story went viral on Twitter and for good reason. While the takeaway for many is that this is an individually bad person depicted, I think it goes deeper. To me, this short story is about emotional labor: the dance that women undertake to prevent men from experiencing uncomfortable feelings (either out of fear or just not wanting to "hurt" another person). We are socially conditioned into these roles and I certainly find myself doing it with everyone, not just my husband. It is magnificently written and filled with a kind of slow, undertone of dread that feels very, very familiar. Highly recommend. I've been obsessed with it the last week!