A skill a month…

…keeps the creativity flowing! This is one of the premises in my new life guide du jour, The Crossroads of Should & Must by Elle Luna.

I found it in one of my favorite local bookshops in my neighborhood, the Brookline Booksmith. The book’s striking visuals and paired down language challenge the reader to consider a duality in one’s own life. Simply – what must you do and what should you do? From there, the book helps the reader tease out the question and the roadblocks many of us encounter on the road to our own “must.” 

The strength in Luna’s piece is its ability to be both inspirational and practical at the same time. Unlike so many Instagrammed and pinned quotes overlaid on beautiful scenery usually touting nonsensical generalities, Luna digs into the meat of action in a limited space. 

My favorite of Luna’s action steps to discovering your must include, but are not limited too: asking your parent what you were like as a child, writing a set of two obituaries, one as if you were to die today and one as if you led the life you imagine, and acquiring a new skill a month.

I’ve spoken to my mother, father, and a few of my 7 siblings, I haven’t yet written my obituaries, and I’m working on my monthly skills. The hope is to find connections and patterns, even if they seem tenuous at first. Do you prefer working alone? Do you need a lot of feedback? When do you find your creativity sparked? In the short weeks since I read this book, I am already discovering some of my own patterns already (read: I like my independence).

I’ll share with you some of my new skills as I aquire them, or at least attempt to. June’s was – Grow Basil. Why you may ask? Well, when I was little,my mom loved to garden and could answer just about any question I had about flowers, planets, or their specific care. I remember with a nostalgic fondness putting on my too big gardening gloves and plopping down in the soil next to her. Her gardens are always beautiful and breathtaking. 

Living in an apartment outside a major city and working a demanding job in finance doesn’t afford me the luxury of really rediscovering this love of gardening right now, but I figured I could connect with that feeling on a smaller scale. See my basil plant below! 

I’m no expert, though someday I’d love to at least be a knowledgeable gardener. For now, I’ll stick with my basil, which looks like it could use a bigger pot! 

Stay tuned for July’s new skill. If you are able, pick up Luna’s book and let yourself be surprised as I was. Cheers to working towards our “musts” everyday! What is your “must”? What do you do simply for yourself? 


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