[Full disclosure: I started this post three years ago and recently found it in my Medium drafts. I thought there was a decent idea here so I decided to finish it. Some of the specifics are… from December 2014.]
In a former life, I was the board liaison for a major performing arts nonprofit. I realized recently that one of things I miss most about that job is the feeling of closing out a year. Each summer, as the fiscal year came to an end, I’d wrap up every task related to that year and start the new fiscal year with a clean slate. In my current career as a content marketer, I’m unlikely to experience such a clear break between one year and the next. Projects, plans, and deals often span years, without the possibility of being able to tie everything up neatly at one time. At times, this has left me feeling burnt out and like there’s no end in sight.
As such, I started thinking about ways I could recreate the clean-slate feeling despite murkier circumstances. Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading “Starting 2018 with a clean slate”
I’m a recovering control freak. I’ve long been prone to getting ideas in my head about what “should” happen, and then ignoring all evidence to the contrary. I habitually refuse to let go of my vision for the role a person or thing should play in my life, which makes it hard to get over situations where that vision is never realized. Continue reading “Finding a backup purpose for someone”
I’ve written before about how I basically used my own off-brand version of The Secret to manifest my last two serious, long-term relationships. This post went live four months before I started the nearly-three-year relationship that ended in April.
I’ve been trying to write the 2017 version of that post — what I’ve been calling “my most reliable form of sorcery” — since this summer, and I just can’t get there. Continue reading “On trying to manifest something you’re not ready for”
I woke up on the morning of April 9 with the thought, “I am never going to feel depressed again.”
I’d spent the first quarter of 2017 doing a lot of work on myself, much of it a survival mechanism forced by a professional situation I needed to get out of immediately. January was the fourth and final month of the most toxic job I’ve ever had, and to get through weeks of waiting to be fired, I needed to get a handle on what was going on with me internally. Continue reading “On success, failure, and the intersection of the two”
Note: I wrote this three years ago, but after rereading I wouldn’t edit much, though I think I probably value simple companionship a bit more these days. (Originally published on Medium.)
When I was in college, I attended a Take Back the Night Rally where an adult survivor of child sexual abuse spoke about writing a list of everything she wanted in a partner, down to his height and eye color, and then finding that person. It was a story about healing from trauma and the recognition that she was deserving of the things she desired, so I hate that it sticks with me most as an example of a successful visualization exercise. But a few years later, I sat down and wrote my own list of what I was looking for, and a month later I found him. Continue reading “On not settling”
To cope with dry winter skin, stare pensively into the mountains. Or, check out the list below.
As I’ve mentioned, I have what my mom calls “lousy Irish skin like [my] father’s.” During warmer months, this works out OK, but I live in the Northeast, where we have this thing called winter (the occasional warm spell notwithstanding). No matter what I do, my winter skin is bright red, extremely dry, and susceptible to becoming more of the prior two descriptors at the slightest provocation. Sound familiar? Below, a few pieces of advice on how to look vaguely normal (the best I can hope for) in even the harshest weather: Continue reading “How to look vaguely normal when you have the driest winter skin on the planet”
Sometimes, as Rose tells Sue Ellen in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, “I really need to get away.” Unfortunately, that need doesn’t always coincide with periods of my life in which I can actually skip town — or the country. Work, volunteering, and social obligations may keep me tied to NYC, or my bank account may not be in the ideal condition for an impromptu jaunt around Eastern Europe.
What I love most about traveling is the feeling of being taken out of my daily routine. The good news is that even when I can’t get away, this feeling is something I can replicate — often without even leaving my neighborhood. Below, a few ideas for how you can do the same: Continue reading “5 ways to fake a vacation (when you can’t take one)”
The New Year is a standard if cliched time for reflection, and I found myself thinking yesterday about how much I’ve changed over the past few years. Most of the changes I’ve made have been unquestionably positive: I get more sleep, I drink considerably less, and I’m more discerning about who’s allowed in my life. Here are three other ways I’ve changed since my late twenties. Continue reading “I believe people can change because of how much I’ve changed”
Since shortly after the election, my friend Arielle has been sending out a daily TinyLetter in which she offers small, actionable things one can do to make the world a little bit better during dark and uncertain times.
As it turns out, Arielle is a much better person than I am. My near-term approach for dealing with this brave new world that not only has such people in it but also elects such people to the highest office in the land is to do as much as possible to make *myself* feel better. Sure, I joined the ACLU on November 9 just like everyone else, but for the most part my coping strategy is less “I volunteer as tribute!” and more “listening to that Fleetwood Mac tribute album from 2012 while mainlining Fromager d’Affinois.” Either I am, as Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan would say, all out of teaspoons, or I’m simply using what few spoons I have left to expedite the delivery of Nutella directly from the jar into my mouth.
Other than bingeing on Nutella, here are some things I’m doing in attempt to deal: Continue reading “4 Shallow, Self-Serving Ways I’m Coping with the Impending Apocalypse”