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March Plant & Record: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Welcome back to my sadly underused blog! If this is your first visit, I've chiefly been using my blog at this point to keep myself accountable to some of my New Years' Goals. One of my main goals this year, as superfluous as it sounds, is to buy a new plant and a new vinyl record every month of the year.

The purpose of this goal has to do with self-care and being present. Plants help me be present in my space and appreciate it; the more beautiful and alive a room is, the more alive I am in that room. Additionally, keeping plants alive means staying aware of how much water, sunlight and fertilizer the plant needs, so there's a kind of structure and grouding in my physical space that caring for plants provides.

The purpose of purchasing vinyl records is threefold - paying for something I consider worth my money (especially important because music is all to easy to access for free), enjoying some "slow time" and "screen free time" in the form of listening to music on vinyl, and treating myself (spending money on myself on something that's better for me than fast food or wine!)

So far I'm pleased to report all plants are still alive. This month I actually bought *TWO* plants. In January and February I skimped out on plant spending and both my January and February plants were last-minute buys from supermarkets, both under $10. In March, I actually went to a plant store, and as a result, I walked out with two plants because I couldn't decide between them. Hey, I designed this challenge for myself, who says I can't have two plants?!

My two new plants are called "stromanthe" (I can't seem to find a more common name for it than that, does anyone know?) and "weeping fig" (Ficus Benjamina). I bought the first because it had tricolored red, white and green leaves that I found amusingly Christmassy, and the second because it had really adorable curlique leaves. So basically I bought them both cause I thought they were cute. And also I feel ready to upgrade to the next level of 'types of plant that require care' (I had been sticking to cheap in case they died but I'm encouraged by everybody's progress!)

Records are another story. I listened to the records I bought in January and February once or twice each and haven't listened to records since. I'm very much stuck in the habit of watching Netflix or scrolling on my phone when I have downtime, and the very purpose of buying the records was to motivate myself to listen to more music. I'll need to put a greater focus on this in April - right now my turntable is very often a resting place for pens, empty cups and other paraphernalia.

The other record fail is that my March record hasn't actually arrived yet, as of April 4th. Like the plants, I went pretty cheap in January and February and only spent enough money to fulfil my obligation to myself. I wanted to step it up in March but as I mentioned last month, I've actually been struggling a bit to find records I want to buy. So this month, I decided to splurge and buy myself a Murder By Death album (don't ask me which one, it's really late at night and I'm exhausted. Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon I think? Murder by Death is one of those bands I always forget that I love. When someone asks me what music I listen to or what bands I like, there are a cohort of musical acts I consistently forget that I passionately love to hear - thanks a lot, ADHD! For this reason, I decided to forego the poor-person programming that gasped aloud at the SIXTEEN U.S. DOLLARS the shipping cost on top of the cost of the actual record. I am very much anticipating this record in the mail and if nothing else, the nearly $50 I spent on it will certainly ensure I keep it in good condition and hopefully, spin it more than a few times in April.

Luckily for me, this month I have a trip to Iceland planned, so a little impromptu record store shopping there should be a fun and adventurous way to meet April's Plant/Record goals. Stay tuned!

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