1. After wondering a couple of weeks ago if I should try eBooks from the Chicago Public Library, I’m happy to announce that it took approximately two minutes for me to go from unfamiliar with how the process worked to FULLY OBSESSED WITH IT.
I downloaded Libby, the companion app to Overdrive (one of the eContent vendors for CPL) and it has changed my life–which I know sounds dramatic, but it’s true. All I want to do now is read. I’ve gone from using my phone as a way of feverishly checking social media to a way of actually doing something useful with my time. I thought I’d have a hard time reading on my phone–too easy to get distracted by all the other apps–but so far, I haven’t found that to be the case at all. If anything, Libby is distracting from my other apps!
Currently, I’m in the midst of feverishly, finally, working my way through The Devil in the White City. The Devil in the White City has been on my reading list for years, but I never wanted to go through the wait of putting it on hold at the library. When I saw on Libby that it would be “available soon,” I thought that meant “eventually in the distant future.” Boy, was I wrong about that. My hold came through much quicker than I anticipated, which meant I had to blow through the book I had checked out initially (I Sailed with Magellan) in order to get around to The Devil in the White City. Whether or not I’ll finish it before it’s due in nine days is definitely up in the air, but if I don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying! It also helps that the book is super engaging, and I have to tear myself away from it every time I need to stop reading.
So, moral of the story: Libby is amazing and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are a CPL cardholder (or if your local public library uses Overdrive/Libby).
2. While we’re on the topic of Bethany’s App Recommendations (the reason you all come here, I’m sure), a month and a half ago I started using Daylio, another app I highly recommend.
Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that when I’m in a mood that I would put under the general umbrella of “bad,” particularly if I’m feeling depressed, anxious, or annoyed, I have a tendency to make the assumption that since I’m feeling bad in that moment, I have always felt bad and will always continue to feel bad. That’s obviously not true, and while logically I knew it wasn’t true, that didn’t keep me from that line of thinking. It occurred to me that perhaps it would help to keep a closer eye on my moods, ideally in a convenient format, so I would have some concrete evidence that life is not always bad.
Enter Daylio. All I have to do is open the app, tap the icon in the center, and rate my current mood on a scale of “rad” to “awful.” (I also created several subcategories for “bad,” because if that’s not on brand, I don’t know what is 😛 But I felt it was important for me to distinguish between the various moods I’d consider bad, because feeling annoyed is very different than feeling anxious, for example). I decided for consistency’s sake, I’d try to log my mood after (or around) every meal. I worried that if I only logged my mood when I remembered, my data would be skewed. I hoped that planning to log it after each meal would give me a more accurate picture of my mood over time.
I will admit I have not been quite as great about remembering to log my mood three times per day as I hoped I’d be, but for the most part I stay on track. And it has been quite helpful! I really like that it averages the three moods I log each day and assigns that average to the day on the whole. It gives me a nice visual that while there might be bad moments in a lot of days, overall, my life isn’t even close to as miserable as I tend to think it is when I’m especially down or anxious.
3. BOY is it nice to have some comfortable weather for a change! I know it’s probably not going to last much beyond tomorrow, but that’s not stopping me from being happy about it while it’s here. We turned the air conditioning off in my apartment on Tuesday for the first time in…I don’t even know. Well over a month, I would imagine. Even when it hasn’t been crushingly hot, it’s been too humid to turn the air off. It feels so nice to get fresh air into the apartment and have some air flow that isn’t generated entirely by fans for a change. Of course, it looks like summer will return with a vengeance over the weekend (just in time for the pre-peak week, naturally *eye roll emoji*), but hey, at least it’s nice right now!