As Thanksgiving approaches and everyone on Facebook gives daily #gratitude I’ve been thinking lots about what I’m grateful for. And I’d have to say, lately, it’s been the little things. Fleeting and temporary moments of beauty that can easily be overlooked or taken for granted. Like a good hair day. Or fresh nail polish – before it’s had a chance to chip. Coming home with my favorite flowers from the grocery store. Kanye West and tie-dye. Long breakfasts and slow tea. Late night conversations with old friends that you never want to end. An extra minute of morning cuddles and hard kicks to the stomach (ribs & hips) from a sweet tiny human.
I’m grateful for the little things – the perfectly imperfect, impermanent, and ever-changing little things.
What little things are you thankful for?
My weekends are sacred. Every Saturday I spend time with my parents, Jeremy, my sister, and nephews at my mom and dad’s house on a little lake. The lake house is reliable. It is guaranteed that there will always be home cooked goodies on the counter and opportunities are abundant. You can kayak, read in the hammock, fish off the dock with my dad, decorate the tree house, put together a puzzle, recreate a TV show challenge, or take a nap wrapped in fresh cold sheets. It’s magical. But not like a vacation or weekend retreat is magical, so much. The magic is in the safe space our parents have spent decades creating for us to be whatever we want – from artistic to competitive to grumpy to creative to entrepreneurs to sideshow freaks. I take it for granted – but in a way that you’re supposed to when it comes to family. The love is unconditional that way.
So if you invite me out on a Saturday afternoon I’ll most likely decline. I’d rather be fishing.
Have a great weekend, friends!
Have you ever found yourself secretly wishing for something huge or even catastrophic to happen to you just so you would have an excuse for change?
The most shameful secret wish I’ve ever had was when I started fantasizing about my ex-husband’s death while we were still married – the vow “’til death do us part” made it seem like the only feasible option out. That lasted for about a year until I realized that I could get out of a stagnant marriage without anybody having to die for it. It turns out a breaking a promise is far more responsible than wishing death on someone.
On a smaller scale, I’ve secretly wished that I would come down with a flu – just so I could have some time to rest.
A secret wish I commonly hear from other creatives is that they’ll get laid off or fired from their 9-to-5 day job so they can finally do their own thing.
The thing about secret wishes is they start out quiet. Over time get louder and louder. They become not so secret. That’s when you can be sure that your secret wish is a true desire. And it just so happens that true desires don’t have to manifest out of catastrophe. It usually just takes a bold decision followed by a first step.
I’d love to hear your secret wish – though, it won’t be so secret anymore if you share it with me here. But maybe that’s a good thing.
When I start to daydream about what I really want to do these three little words rise to the surface: Travel and Write.
I give myself all sorts of excuses to not travel and to not write. I think “oh, well… it’s not what I ‘do'” or “there are people who travel far more often than I do” and “there are people who actually write for a living and I’m not one of them” or “who do you think you are?” Welcome to the inner critic.
So a couple years ago at Alt Summit I was sharing this dream to travel and write with my roomie and dear friend Danielle (aka The Jealous Curator). She gave me some tough love, paired with Canadian kindness, and said “Well, then… you need to travel. And write.” I have the platform for it right here – there’s no reason to not be living the dream. But instead I launched my own business and gave myself more excuses (see above) to not travel and write.
Then in a moment of kismet and the Universe answering my dreams I had the opportunity to write about travel – and not just here on the blog – but to actually be published and paid for it. Elisabeth and Miya of The Equals Record invited me to write on the topic of Exploration and uncharted territory. So of course I wrote about Nepal – I condensed my story to less than 2,000 words and reflected on what the trip really meant. How it changed me to my core. (It’s funny because the writing the story itself became a dreaded chore that kept getting bumped on my to-do list – the day before the final deadline I reminded myself that this is exactly what I wanted! To travel and write. And to get published no less!)
For the last year The Equals Record has been publishing essays and photography by talented women. They were inspired to create a space for women to write and read about substantive issues such as travel, politics, online culture, and work/life balance after giving ourselves some creative space. Now, a year later, they’re taking it offline.
The Equals Record is committed to remaining ad-free. Which means they need to raise some money to make this project happen. They’re raising $15,000 (or more, hopefully) to launch a publishing platform committed to promoting substantive content from up-and-coming writers, photographers, and illustrators. The inaugural print edition of Equals will include over 30 essays around the theme of “exploration”, with four major sections devoted to cartography, uncharted territory, nostalgia, and souvenirs. Equals contributors’ words are enhanced by outstanding photography and custom illustrations.
With just 18 days left they still need to raise almost $6,000. You can buy the book at a reduced rate or purchase a limited edition gift package here. Please support this project.
It was 2:13PM on a sunny Monday afternoon (yesterday) when I suggested it was time to bust out the work bikini and work from the backyard. Tara is reading a book on shedworking and the alternative workplace revolution so she was all about it – what’s the point of working for yourself if you don’t allow yourself the flexibility to take advantage of sunny Spring afternoon? Our designer Kristin ran out to get us some iced green teas and a pair of shorts. I busted out my bikini, Raybans and a few blankets to lay out on.
By 2:45PM we were all soaking up the sun. This is the dream. I repeated it over and over again in my mind – a mantra to be forever grateful for the moment. And then I said it a few times out loud too.
It’s a cold and rainy Tuesday morning. I’m in my Uggs, answering emails, and trying to squeeze just one more appointment into an already packed week. But the ever so slight sunburn on my stomach will serve as a reminder that I’m truly living the dream.