Welcome to my blog. Here you will find anecdotes about my day-to-day life. In writing this, I hope to inspire, but more than that, I hope to ignite a passion in you to live your life authentically. We all have our own paths to follow, but sometimes our path is covered in brambles, making it difficult to see. This blog is about slicing through the brambles, making a clearing and forging forward into the wide, open space.
I live with my husband and five-year old daughter Violet in a small New England town. We moved back to New England last year, after having lived in New York for twelve years. NY was a trip… a way of life I am grateful to have experienced, but one that made me even more appreciative of my Boston roots. NY is likely to come up a lot in this blog, because it is such a part of me. If you’ve ever spent a chunk of time in NY, I imagine you’ll be able to relate, and if not, well… it just might kindle a little NY spark under your seat and get you packing your bags.
A few months after moving back, I read a collection of essays called Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York by Sari Botton. It rang true on many levels, particularly just how crowded a city NY is and how you find yourself fighting for every little thing, right down to that space of oxygen around your head that you need to inhale in order to survive.
In this venture, I will mention books I’m reading, conversations I’ve had with Violet or my husband Jonathan, possibly things I’m eating, interactions with friends, family and strangers, odd situations that come up in life, lists (yes, if Lena Dunham can make a list of the 20 grossest things in her book Not That Kind of Girl I can make a list of 10 things that I find beautiful, or 2 things I miss about NY, or 5 things that will help alleviate that morning overwhelm slump.
Why don’t I do that last one right now, actually.
5 Ways to Move Beyond a Morning Depression/ Anxiety Slump:
1) Get up.
My grandfather was told this by one of his favorite people, and he was kind enough to pass it on to me. It’s as simple as that. If you want to shake that heaviness of Oh man, I have so much to do today, I don’t want to do any of it, I’m so tired, I never do anything fun anymore…etc etc. the best way to get past that is to GET UP. Lying there ruminating and wallowing and basically giving credence to those negative thoughts is only fueling the unwanted, unwelcome fire.
2) Pray for strength.
I’m a spiritual person so I find that praying for courage helps enlist the power of something bigger than myself.
3) Have a hot cup of something.
There is something comforting about slowly sipping something that warms your insides. I prefer tea, plain old Lipton decaf with honey and cream, but if you like hot water with lemon, coffee, boiled green smoothies… all will achieve the same effect. This is especially therapeutic on cold, winter mornings.
4) Put on clothes that make you feel attractive.
One of the worst things you can do on a day you feel like wearing sweats, is to wear sweats. I like comfortable clothes most of all—loose, cottony, pretty things—but there are days I need to fight that initial temptation to shower and then basically put on my pajamas (sweats) all over again.
5) Get out of the house.
Even if you’re a homebody, even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, even if it takes you until noon to get out the door like it did for my daughter and me during the first year of her life, getting a change of scenery from the four walls that are your everyday is paramount to feeling like you’ve accomplished something. You don’t have to drive somewhere. Walking can be tremendously liberating. You might see a squirrel busy gnawing on acorns and that might make you smile, or might motivate you to want to be working hard gnawing on something too.
Something that is counterproductive to the above 5 things:
Going back to sleep.
When you’ve had to drag yourself out of bed early and get off to work, or school, or your screaming infant, you may have wondered what it would have felt like to go back to bed. I’ll tell you exactly what it feels like: awful. You don’t feel more rested, in fact you make yourself feel more sluggish. Other emotions you might experience after sleeping into the daytime include: guilt, worthlessness, anxiety over having missed out or needing to catch up… You get the idea.
Exceptions to this are if you’re really sleep-deprived, just got back from a trip in another time zone, just ended a job/ semester/ childbirth/ or otherwise emotionally or physically taxing venture, or if you’re on reverse time which happens more often than one might think.
Note: I’m also not averse to turning on a morning talk show for a few minutes to jump-start my day. I am particularly partial to Live with Kelly and Michael because a) my grandparents used to have it on (rather Live with Regis and Kathy Lee) in the background during breakfast when I visited them so it invokes memories of leisure, summer, relaxation and imminent fun things. And b) Thinking about Kelly Ripa waking up every morning at 4am to work a high-pressure, high octane, high-heeled LIVE talk show inspires me to kick myself into gear while, at the same time, making me feel grateful that I got to sleep until 7am.
I have not thought of a name for my blog yet, but I hope it will come to me in the next few weeks. Where I sit in the library writing, there are two life-size owl sculptures, wings raised, looking at each other on bookshelves above me. Maybe their motionless wisdom will transfer.