1. I am kind of a shitty person. I am also pretty great. 2020 is a mirror, and it is revealing the good, the bad and the ugly. At 38 years old, I’ve never been more aware of the work I need to do AND this is also the most self-settled I’ve ever been. Listen, I get tripped up on my ego and my need for approval. I can be moody and dramatic. Sometimes I catch myself performing rather than sharing. I am impatient and I raise my voice at the wrong times. I often look outward for answers or reassurance instead of trusting my own gut. This can be problematic. And also? I’m a pretty fun hang! I like me! My first instinct with people is to be warm and open. I can find the humor in any situation. I am committed to self awareness and growth. I have a deep capacity for empathy and can sit with people in their hard moments and messy feelings. I genuinely want to connect and I probably like you already.
2. Humor is our family’s currency. It is how we show affection, how we challenge, how we break tension, and how we connect. It also occasionally rescues the kids from getting in trouble or Nate and I from having an argument.
3. Getting present in my body is the best gift I can give my anxious mind. When my thoughts race or spiral (which is often these days) the quickest way to recalibrate is by getting out of my head and into my body. The more senses involved, the better. Light a candle, play soft (or loud) music, cook slowly while sipping a glass of wine, swing in a hammock, have sex, sit outside, snuggle a pet, go for a walk… you get the idea. Just wake up your body and then notice every sensation. Stay with it. Follow it. Your body is brilliant. It is telling the subplot of your story and sometimes that story makes the most sense of all.
4. Nourishment > Indulgence. Apply to most areas of life.
5. Aesthetics at home have never mattered more. I’m not sure our physical houses were meant to be lived in this… intensely? This season of constant messes and shared spaces can be challenging, but even a small pivot towards coziness can offer big rewards. A new black and white tablecloth. A spicy candle. Extra soft hand towels. Fresh flowers in the kitchen. Glowing lamps during dinner. Crisp clean sheets. A bottle of red on the counter. Bathrobes on every hook. When the outside world feels upside down, these tiny details remind me that we are going about the business of living our lives and it is quite beautiful, actually.
6. Listening to an entire album from a single artist, in order, from start to finish is a lost art. As someone with a penchant for mix tapes and a strong sense of nostalgia, I get weirdly excited when my kids will listen to an album all the way through with me. It reminds me of being 15 and laying on my bedroom floor listening to Nirvana because cell phones didn’t exist yet and time felt slower and more luxurious and listening to an album as a single-task was still a thing.
7. A 20 second hug or a 6 second kiss are both good for anxiety. It’s science. Try it.
8. Intimacy happens when we trust each other with our true selves. Sometimes it’s a kiss that doesn’t pull away first. Sometimes it’s detecting a tone and silently agreeing to “let that one slide.” It can be sharing a helpless laugh, sharing food in silence, or even sharing grief. It can be giving your desire a seat at the table or it can be giving your anger a voice in the conversation. It is all sacred.
9. I used to worry that my kids were too precious. 2020 is helping with that. The silver lining to hard times is character building and I am looking for all the silver linings I can get right now, okay. Does that make me sound like a Karen? Am I even using Karen right?
10. My capacity is considerably lower than usual right now. Like, if this were a game of limbo, the bar would be about 3 inches off the ground. I get tired quicker, frazzled faster, and after so many months of quarantine, pretty much anything on the calendar gives me anxiety and/or wipes me out. Because of this, I’m deeply grateful that I acted on my gut feeling back in December when I felt compelled to simplify and clear the decks in my work life. Scratch that- in my whole life. I didn’t know why, I just knew I needed to get still. To get low and quiet enough to hear God and my own self again. I’d been feeling brittle, confused, and disconnected from myself. So I started clearing the decks and a surprising thing happened. Each decision to simplify or eliminate something toppled right over like a domino, making the next decision even easier. Choices I’d agonized over in confusion for months (I am not the most decisive person you will ever meet, okay?) suddenly became crystal clear. Rest offers us so much more than we give it credit for, amiright?
What’s one thing you’ve learned this summer?