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Because for every chaotic, chilly, cloudy day, there is something soft and comforting and welcoming.

Today managed to encompass all of these.

Snow in New York City.  Soft and pillowy, like a blanket of goodness rolled out in front of me, far away from the hysteria of the storm.  I don’t love winter, but something about this just felt right.

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Maybe it was just for this moment.  But the moments are all we have.

May joy blanket you this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

 

I’ve been contemplating all the ways a person can make a life.  And, how so many of those scenarios can seem so right to an outsider, but feel so wrong to the person living the life.

I have been feeling off center the last few weeks—months even, if I’m being really honest—and it’s clear I need to make some changes.  For a person used to change and changing, this feels uncharacteristically unsettling.  Perhaps because this time around, I’m not just going with the flow and changing with circumstances, but looking at a life of my dreams.  For the first time, I’m looking at what I want—what I really, really, really want, deep in the core of my soul—which is not as easy as it sounds.

Following your heart isn’t easy when you can’t hear what it really wants.

Someone recently said to me that you get to choose the people and things and circumstances that are in your life.  This is a simple concept, but it made me think.  How much of what’s currently in my life chose me, rather than the other way around?  Do I really get to design my life?

Maybe it’s time to try.

This week a friend of mine invited me, along with a group of mutual friends, to an event at an ice skating rink in Central Park.  Though I grew up roller skating, I’d never been ice skating before.  (Cold weather and icy conditions are not my thing.)  But, I’m doing my best to say yes to new experiences these days.

Once I arrived at the rink, I was trepidatious about actually skating.  I’m saying yes to new experiences, but that doesn’t mean I jump in head first.  Cautious by nature, I usually have to study something before I try it, suss it out to get my bearings.

My friend wasn’t having it.  She went into coach mode, reassuring me that she’d taught others how to skate, and they flourished.

So I said, okay.

As I took my first (very tentative) strokes, she held my hand.  As I held on for dear life to the wall while I crawled along the rink, she held my hand.  When I needed a break and stopped at the rink’s edge, she held my hand.  And when I felt confident enough to try it again, she held my hand.  As I got better and started taking more assertive strides, she pulled me farther away from the wall, telling me it was okay to leave behind its safety—all the while, holding my hand.

As I set about redesigning my life, this reminds me of all the times I embarked on a new journey—and felt completely on my own.

Maybe throughout the difficult times in our lives, all we really need is someone to hold our hand and be with us throughout the scary parts.  To say, no matter what happens, even if you fall, I got you.  I got you.  Those words are like magic. Maybe they are the salvation through the jungle of uncertainty.

When you feel unsure, unsettled and unsteady this week, I hope you find support and an open hand to hold.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

 

The driver picked me up first, so for a few minutes there was that awkward thing in the air.  You know, that thing when two people have met before, but don’t really know each other or what to say.  So there’s an uneasiness in the conversation.

We were on our way to pick up my friend, then off to a fun event on a freezing Saturday night.  He drives her to and from events in her very busy NYC life, so occasionally when I’m tagging along I’ll get a ride home.

He and I made some small talk.  I filled the intermittent silences by checking messages on my phone.  Then I decided to be present and forget the diversions and have a conversation like a normal person.

“So, are you married?”

I don’t like small talk.  I’d rather you tell me how you feel about things.  And, I’d much rather get right into your business.

“No,” he said in his Russian accent.  “Not anymore.”

We talked a little about how that marriage wasn’t for him, and about his current long-term girlfriend and how that relationship was good.

I asked him if she wanted to get married.

He laughed.  Then he said, almost wearily, “everyone wants to get married.”

This made him giggle.

“Well, I don’t know if I do,” I said.  “It’s never been my thing.  Though I suppose if I met someone amazing, I’d be open to it.”

The conversation turned to our crazy New York lives and, though making money was important, love and family are really what’s important in life.  I lamented how difficult cultivating a rich personal life has been, particularly when it comes to romantic love.

“Have you heard of the law of attraction?”

“Yes.”  Not exactly what I expected to hear from this seemingly macho guy from the other side of the world.

“Well,” he shrugged.  “Then bring it into your life.”

I hadn’t expected to be given the secret to life in the back seat of an SUV.  Unexpected wisdom in unexpected places.

Later, as he drove me home, he said something that has stayed with me.

“You really know how to handle yourself.”

Thinking back now, I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but I do know that as he said those words, it felt like the highest compliment possible.

And just like that, I had my favorite conversations of the week.

I hope you find unexpected connections and surprising wisdom in the days ahead.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

In this first week of the new year—better known in my world as the “year of me”—I’ve decided how important it is to spend more time on the things that light me up.

As many of you know, I’m a girl who loves food. Over the last year and a half, I’ve written about it far less that I’d originally intended when I started Goodness, Grace and Grub, and I want to focus a bit more on the Grub.  I thought that subject would be better served if I played with my food in a different space.

So today, I’ve given birth to The Goodness of Grub, an offshoot of this blog.  It’s definitely a work in progress, but I hope you’ll follow along on my food experiences.  You can find the first post here.  It’s all about Lenny Kravitz, not being perfect and deviled eggs.

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While I’ll still write about Grub here occasionally (and, of course, continue to share thoughts on Goodness and Grace every week), the new blog will allow me to expand on ideas in food, including sharing recipes I love as well and taking you along with me as I try out new cookbooks and products.

I hope you’ll join me!

xo, with goodness and grace.

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