Seven years of Articles Club

28 October 2022

Friends, I feel like I left you hanging! Though I knew it would take me a bit to get part two ready for you (here’s part one – don’t miss the comments, they’re so wonderful!), I didn’t expect it to take quite this long – but alas, the flu struck our house last week and took me down with it. I tested positive on Monday and was completely down for the count as I haven’t been for YEARS for two days, and have been struggling back since then. Please take it from this gal who gets a flu shot every year but just hadn’t found time to make an appointment yet – get yours this weekend!! It’s nasty out there, friends. (June’s class had ELEVEN kids home sick one day this week! Out of 17!!)

So though I haven’t had the upright hours and presence of mind to finish the next part of our conversation on working part-time, I do have a round-up of the past year of Articles Club to share with you today! If you’re newer here, Articles Club is a great love of my life. A dear friend and I started it seven years ago (think: a book club, but with three themed articles, discussed over a potluck dinner each month) and it has been meeting and snowballing in delight ever since. Here is a bit more about how the group has grown closer over time, and here is a bit more about why it’s so special.

I know you are all kindred spirits who also enjoy reading interesting thoughts and having thoughtful discussions, so each year I post several of our monthly article groupings so you can enjoy them yourselves or take them back to your people! I’ve done that below.

The Cost of Beauty
The Art of Botox (NYT)
The Best Skincare Trick is Being Rich

Memory
The Memories We Keep
Your Memories Make You Who You Are
The First Baby Blogs, Over 100 Years Ago

Poetry
How Instagram Saved Poetry
Does Poetry Matter?
Understanding Trauma: the Healing Process of Poetry
Kate Baer is Speaking Truth. From her Minivan. (NYT)

Going Green
What is the Difference Between Going Green and Sustainability?
How I Deal with the Unbearable Hypocrisy of Being an Environmentalist
Is Recycling Really Worth It?
You’ll Never Truly Get Organized Until You Buy Less Stuff

Hormones and Things
The Female Problem: How Male Bias in Medical Trials Ruined Women’s Health
Get to Know Your Infradian Rhythm to Optimize Your Body’s Cycles
Changing the Concept of “Woman” Will Cause Unintended Harms
Favorite Products and Tips for Hormone Health

Duty and Happiness in Light of the Queen’s Jubilee
Meghan and Harry Overplayed Their Hand
There are Two Kinds of Happy People

Travel
What Travel Can, and Cannot, Teach Us
Air Travel is a Disaster Right Now. Here’s Why.
Every Day is a Saturday for the Bucket List Family

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is the Original Influencer
The Promises Martha Stewart Made, and Why We Wanted to Believe Them (by Joan Didion!)
Martha Stewart, Blissed Out on CBD, is Doing Just Fine (NYT)
Also highly recommend this You’re Wrong About episode!

Quiet Quitting
Quiet Quitting Isn’t Really About Quitting. Here Are the Signs.
The Backlash Against Quiet Quitting is Getting Loud
Arianna Huffington’s Joyfully Joining response

In honor of our anniversary and in lieu of articles, this month we each prepared “pro tips” to share around the table a la this Cup of Jo post with a truly epic comment section. What’s a pro tip, you ask? It’s a fuzzy combination of life hack, life motto, insider knowledge, and received wisdom. The ones shared by our group ranged from the mundane and practical to the emotional and hard-won, and I thought it might be fun to share a few of mine to finish out this post:

— Organize your grocery list by the layout of the store. This might save you years over a lifetime of shopping.
— Lower your expectations, all the time, in all things (okay, most things). It leaves more room to be delighted.
— Reflect, celebrate, and look ahead at the end of each year with someone you love.
— If you’re going to take one sip of water, take five.
— Use the Oxford comma. Weirdly controversial, but it shouldn’t be.
— Everything seems worse at night. Do not try to solve problems at 11pm, just go to bed. Also, walks solve most problems.
— A common trade-off is time for money. If you want to be a parent, as far as possible, save the money and spend the time before you have your children so you have the money to use after they arrive and time is more precious.
— Chick-fil-a cookies are always handed over warm and are absolute magic. Chocolatey, oaty, chewy, crispy, soft, how do they do it?! Related: if someone you love is having a bad day and needs a cookie, you can send them money in the app to facilitate a purchase.

Of course I would love to hear: what are a few of your pro tips? Silly, serious, prosaic, or inspired, please share below!

Articles Club through the years:
Year One
Year Two
Year Three
Year Four
Year Five

Year Six

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October 28, 2022 12:02 pm

I hope you are back 100% soon! It’s no fun being sick. My daughter’s preschool closed an extra day for fall break because of sickness :o. I love this articles club idea so much and have admired how your group has grown over the years.
Chick-fil-a chocolate chip cookies are the BEST. Pure delight and the perfect consistency, flavors, warmth – all of it. Great idea to share with a friend through the app :).

Pressley
October 28, 2022 3:53 pm

In the last few years, I’ve started keeping a list on my phone of my favorite moments/memories from that year — and Articles Club makes the list every single year. As always, so very grateful to you and Steph for starting this so many years ago and welcoming us in!

Sarah
October 28, 2022 7:33 pm

I hope you all fully are on the mend soon! I always appreciate that you share the articles you read each year. I save many of them and always end up sending a few articles to friends so we can discuss them. My ‘pro tip’ is to always send thank you cards as soon as you get home from an event or receive a gift. Having fun stationery, an address embosser, and stamps on hand makes it easy! Otherwise those notes can fall by the wayside or quickly pile up.

Brooke
October 29, 2022 6:21 am

Hope you feel better soon! I love the pro tips – especially the one about the Oxford comma, completely agree. ; ) To your sixth tip, my mom always said, “Everything looks better in the morning,” and it is so true. And along a Powersheets theme, my grandmother used to say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” Aka taking one step is better than no step, even it’s not the *single best* step. Can’t wait to read part 2 of working part-time! Have a great weekend!

Kelly Strawberry
October 29, 2022 8:07 am

One of my favorites that you/your mom/Bethany said was “make a decision and then make it the right one.” I’m sure I’ve heard that before but it really has stuck with me and I’ve thought about it almost daily. :)

Ashleigh
October 30, 2022 9:50 am

I love it when you share the articles! I am binge reading each and every one. Wish I lived nearby and could join your sweet club :). Maybe one day I’ll start my own.

Jewel
October 31, 2022 10:32 am

Congrats on 7 years of this club. Wow, this makes me long for the days when I hosted a book club. As a journalist by training, I’m not for or against the Oxford comma. I do think people overuse commas/don’t 100% understand how to use a comma…but that’s a post for another day LOL

Ashley
November 2, 2022 9:43 am

I love reading through all the articles when you share them. They’re so well chosen!
My “pro” tip is a silly one: Drink everyday drinks (chocolate milk, iced tea, etc.) from pretty glasses. I’ve started doing this recently, and it makes the mundane feel like an occasion.