hey friends! how are you doing today?
we’re halfway through week 4 of sheltering-in-place / social distancing / PAUSE / quarantine (phew!) here in new york and, surprisingly, it feels like time has both moved very quickly and hardly at all.
after two days of beautiful spring sunlight and a warm gentle breeze, it started out rather chilly, gray, and wet out today. and while this may have dampened my mood a few weeks ago, lately I’ve really been trying to embrace a more “come what may!” mindset to, well, everything.
honestly, if there’s one thing that all of this has made very clear to me–besides the fact that I truly am an introvert inside and out–it’s that the only thing we can ever really control in life is ourselves.
(…and there’s my big brene brown moment ya’ll! but seriously…)
over the past few weeks, like many of us, I have spent a lot of time on my own (and this is coming from someone who already likes to spend a decent amount of time alone). and in all the isolation, the quiet, the stillness, I have felt more invited to look inwards, to reflect, and to recognize sides of myself that I may not have otherwise had the time or space to be with. I have buried myself in blankets, snacks, and my own thoughts:
- how much of my work defines who I am as a person and how does that make me feel?
- have I been doing enough for my own well-being outside of my work?
- what do I turn to for happiness and pleasure? how can I create more space for those practices on a daily basis?
- how do I rely on the communities in my life? what needs do I try and fill by turning to community? how can I better serve my communities and communities in need?
I don’t have all the answers yet, but I have felt very fortunate to have the space to explore those questions in a mix of ways. I’ve been learning to set boundaries and learning to sit with the discomfort that often comes with change and self-confrontation. I’ve been connecting with people I love, connecting with new people, connecting with myself. I’ve been making an effort to recognize what energizes me and what only ever draws energy from me. I’ve been doing a lot of crafts, writing, working with my hands, cooking, and processing. and I’ve found gratitude in new places.
I’ve also started to distinguish more of what really matters to me (being seen by people that I truly care about) from what I think I should care about (forming professional networks, being seen by people I’ve never met, being validated by strangers on the internet). and it’s been oddly freeing!
what have you been thinking about lately?
all that said, though, I’m still continuing to fight my own battles every day. here are some things I have been struggling with lately:
- being okay with the fact that as much as I want to and will it, I won’t be able to help everyone
- being honest about and okay with doing my best
- not feeling like I have to constantly prove myself to everyone (it’s a journey!)
- turning to old nervous habits (nail-biting) and new ones (scalp picking)
but, as always, here are some things I have been especially grateful for lately:
- the privilege of having all my physiological and safety needs met
- how easy peanut sauce is to make (I’ve been using this one!) and how it makes everything taste 10x better
- rearranging furniture to feel like you’re in an entirely new space (so valuable right now)
- books you haven’t read in a while and are excited to dive back into (I’m currently easing my way into “maybe you should talk to someone” and “the seven or eight deaths of stella fortuna“– two very different reads haha)
- the 7pm clap for essential workers that’s been happening all over the city (are these happening where you are?)
- people who continue to stand by you during these shaky times
- these hilarious comments on NYT recipes
- the kind of commenters you see on any recipe
- waking up after a really restful sleep
be well out there xx
(feature photo credit: averie woodard)