February | Ritual And Reconnection
This January truly has felt so much longer than a usual month. We had to say goodbye to another family member yesterday, the second one in six months: Chase, the doberman pinscher our family has adored for the past 7 years. He has been through thick and thin with us, and he always knew how to keep us on our toes. He was smart as a whip and the biggest blankie-sucking love bug you could imagine. We’re heartbroken and we miss him so much already, but we know he’s keeping our Dad in good company. So please give your pets an extra hug today for Chase!
I’m turning 30 tomorrow and I can honestly say that this year, I’m really feeling old. The hits just haven’t stopped these past six months. I could use a year-long vacation and that still wouldn’t feel like enough time. Anyway, lately I’ve been trying to ride the wave and just keep busy. I’m almost finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I’d definitely recommend the book to anyone. It’s a great read about strength, resilience and overcoming personal obstacles - just the thing I’m currently needing.
We recently took a trip to visit family in Sudbury and Fonthill. Sudbury was just as wintry as it is here in North Bay, but driving into Fonthill was like slipping into Spring. They had no snow on the ground and the temperature was hovering around 8 degrees Celsius! The contrast really sent home the notion of just how cold and dreary it gets in my neck of the woods in wintertime. And it had me pretty excited for the onset of spring.
This is a sad truth, though not insurmountable: despair and fear do not disappear overnight when the conditions that wrought them have changed.
Speaking of which, my houseplants are thriving lately, and I got to thinking that maybe the reason I’ve been so invested in keeping them alive and well is a subconscious effort to ward off death. It’s almost as if the more life I can make grow around me, the more comfortable I feel that death isn’t at my door, waiting.
If you read my last blog post, you’ll remember that I mentioned wanting to save more money each month. As of the first week of January, I’ve started my first ever yearly saving project: I set my account up to automatically withdraw $30 each week and put it into a savings account. It’s my version of the 52-week money challenge that perfectly fits within my starting budget (this site makes it easy to set up for yourself if you’re interested).
While it’s going to take some time for my life to feel normal again, by setting up positive habits and hobbies, I’m hoping it’ll at least feel pleasant. I know you can’t rush grief, and that nothing will take away the suffering. The only salve I’ve found is to let the wound hurt and then let it heal, over and over again. Which means taking the grief as it comes, letting myself feel the pain, and letting it in once again when it shows back up again.
Here’s the part where I remind you that I’m only doing one monthly post now (where I share a little bit of everything I was doing before, but more condensed). More quality, less quantity. And I’m keeping the wallpaper downloads, but will save those for subscribers only. I won’t be sending a newsletter the same way that I was before, but I’ll be sending the monthly wallpapers as a link in email.
So make sure you sign up right here or subscribe below to continue getting yours for free every month! (Check your junk mail folder if you don’t get your freebie within a few minutes or send me an email.)
this beautiful literary account of living in sylvia plath’s old building
intellectual humility - the importance of knowing you might be wrong
the minimialists discuss living with less and the change it evokes
this article about the economics of tidying up
how to build a marriage that truly meets your needs
this new yorker article nora ephron’s apartment - a love story
why we need to hone our olfactory abilities
these meditations on sucking at relationships
the mark groves podcast focusing on connection and relationships
this article on how to help an anxious loved one
this impressive rendition of tlc’s “waterfalls”
john mayer breaks down his personal style
how millennials are changing the way they define their relationships
WINTER MAKEUP ROUTINE:
doing my own taxes
My most recent articles: first, a list of lessons I’ve learned about what real love is (and isn’t); second, why we should all stop enabling people and what that looks like. I hope you enjoy!
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