Friday Five – May 15, 2020

This week’s Friday Five – a list of things that moved me this week.

What I’m listening to:

Everything is Alive podcast

My friend April in Hawaii sent me this podcast this week and it is brilliant! The host interviews inanimate objects and it is hilarious, absurd, informative, thought-provoking, and oddly poetic. I found myself laughing out loud repeatedly. Episode 2 featuring Maeve the Lamppost is my favorite so far.  I think I’m enjoying it because it speaks to the little girl in me that believed my dolls and stuffed animals came alive when I left the room.

What I’m reading:

This week I finished I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott, which is a memoir written as a collection of essays. I loved this book! For one, I liked the format.  I appreciated how the essays are all wonderful standalone pieces that work together to tell a greater story. I took my time reading it, picking it up to read a chapter here and there when I was in the mood for something short and light(er).  Philpott is a writer, a mother, and a self-proclaimed perfectionist. She writes about life’s mundane and complex twists and turns in a funny, moving, relatable way. She has the ability to bring just the right amount of levity to life’s darker subjects, as well as say the things that many of us think, but don’t necessarily want to say.

What I’m watching:

I’ve been re-watching seasons 3 and 4 of Sex and the City because I needed something light and funny after watching Waco, Contagion and a few too many murder mystery episodes of Dateline 🙂

Quote I’m pondering:

“It feels like life is on hold, but it isn’t, this IS still your life.” – Dan Harris

Dan said this at the beginning of this 10% Happier podcast with meditation teacher Jeff Warren a couple weeks ago and I keep thinking about it. While I understand that these times are challenging and things aren’t feeling “normal” lately, I can’t help but feel like this is one giant lesson in tending to the present moment. We’re quick to want to return to what was or get through this part – essentially be anywhere but in this chapter. I keep reminding myself of Ajahn Sumedho’s words: “Right now it’s like this.”

What I’m geeking out over:

In December, I read a news article about the dimming of Betelgeuse, the red supergiant star located in the constellation Orion (the hunter’s shoulder).  At roughly 1,000 times the size of the sun, Betelgeuse is one of the brightest objects in the sky visible from earth. In October 2019, it appeared that the star was dimming at an alarming rate and scientists suggested that it was preparing to go supernova (explode). This week NASA featured the below image of Betelgeuse as their “Astronomy Picture of the Day” and it got me wondering about the status of the dimming. Turns out, in February, Betelgeuse started brightening again and scientists concluded that the star was simply dusty. Apparently, it “sloughed off some material from its outer layers,” which is a normal part of the cycle of red supergiants. The material condenses as dust around the star, absorbing some of its light, thus appearing dim to us here on earth. For the record, Betelgeuse will still eventually go supernova, which experts predict will be in the next 100,000 years.

So, stars have bright and dim periods in their lives too. Relatable. 😉

And that’s your star gossip for this week!

Image by  Adam BlockSteward Observatory, University of Arizona

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