Letters to Summer

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Letter 59

Letters to Summer is a newsletter written by two best friends living on opposite sides of the country. Every other Thursday, we share the things we're reading, watching, listening to, and enjoying. We hope you like it.


On breakfast

I’m not good at eating breakfast, most days. Like, I love eggs and bagels and bacon and toast and all that—I do! But I also love to sleep in late and then rush to start my day, and there is usually not enough time for breakfast in that routine. When I was still working on an office every day, I got into the habit of eating a Clif bar from the office snack stash every day while I made my tea in the morning. Once I started working from home because of the pandemic, I was on my own. Eventually I started buying Clif bars for myself, because even though I am bad at breakfast, I still need to eat something in the morning if I want to make it through the day. Yes, I could wake up earlier and learn how to slow down and enjoy some scrambled eggs first thing in the morning if I really tried. That sounds like it would be nice. For now, though, the best I can do most days is a protein bar with chocolate chips in it.

Jillian

I’m not hungry when I wake up. I work better if I’m fed. These are two truths that often conflicted back in the days of going to a physical place that is not my bedroom to complete my job. I used to wake up, drink coffee, make more coffee, run to work, and crash very soon after, running only on caffeine and the anxiety of going from one place to the next before my hunger kicked in. Although breakfast is, allegedly, “the most important meal of the day” (this feels like some sort of American capitalist propaganda, idk man), it really always felt like something special rather than necessary. When I think of breakfast, I think of plans with friends—the effort and care put into waking up, giving ourselves time and space between this act and doing anything else, and then coming together to eat incredibly heavy, ridiculous amounts of food. I think of my family; Palestinian breakfasts are large, spanning many different plates—I do not like eggs but I will eat them on my mother’s breakfast table, alongside pickled turnips and labneh and fresh bread and olives and all of the other things people will make fun of me for writing poems about. Having breakfast means I am giving myself time and care and space.

Summer



✉️ Reading Sucks

Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s newsletter is one of my favorite things. I “love reading” and based on this newsletter it can seem like I am an “avid” or “consistent” reader. While I can meet my pseudo-goals, I still carry a lot of guilt with reading, especially against the other ways I spend my time. Sometimes, I think, what could I have accomplished if instead of banking 50 hours on Ace Attorney in two weeks, I did 50 hours of reading? But this line of thinking simply is not productive. I worry about reading many books at once, or the time it takes me to finish something—this keeps me from reading long books—but reading Melissa’s newsletter has been really comforting for feeling kinship with someone who also is always trying, but actively acknowledging sometimes we do other things, sometimes our brains get in the way, and sometimes the world simply does not give us the space and attention for reading. You can subscribe here, and check out the most recent one with an interview with one of my faves, Hannah Rego.

Summer

🔗 Stickers

I’ve talked about using a planner in this newsletter before, but I just recently started putting stickers in my planner every day to pretend I am one of those cute studygram accounts with adorable bullet journal spreads and it has brought me a lot of joy. I got a bunch of stickers from Kawaii Pen Shop recently, and I also get some from Punimelt’s Patreon every month, which I love and endorse very much. Get some stickers! Actually use them! Put them all over your stuff! It will make you happy!

Jillian

🎮 Ergonomic Grip for Switch

Unfortunately, I have pain literally everywhere, but I won’t let it stop me from gaming for six hours. There are games I like playing handheld more than docked, and so this ergonomic grip for my Switch has been really helpful; there are a lot of different options, though, so shop around for what suits you. Just know it exists and your hands will love you for it!

Summer

🍽️ Magic Spoon cereal

I actually kind of hate myself for recommending trendy, DTC cereal, but since we’re on the topic of breakfast I gotta say that I have been eating and enjoying this lately. I really like the cookies and cream flavor, and I really like that it has a lot of protein in it because I need that if I want to get through the day without feeling like death. This is pretty good stuff to have around for breakfast—or days when you really truly do not have the energy to make an actual meal for yourself.

Jillian