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You know those times when it feels like someone just read your mind, like they saw deep into the recesses of your heart and every emotion living there?

Life is about relationships, and I hold my friendships sacred. Every now and then one of my friends will say something that lets me know they see me, they get me, they understand me.

Like a text I received a few days ago, when I was having a moment. She didn’t have any details. She just instinctively knew I needed some love.

Everyone should have support like this.

 

 

And then, it was all good.

I hope you find yourself supported and carried along in a bubble of love this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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Life will throw you curve balls.

This is an inevitability, no matter how much you try to have control. Control, I have learned, is ultimately just an illusion.

So, you do what you can. You just need to show up and try your best and trust you will be guided to exactly where you need to go.

Some weeks—hopefully the very weeks when the pitcher’s curve ball comes speeding past your ear—you find yourself surrounded by love and support and so, so much grace. Those are the times love builds a foundation underneath you. And you are lifted up, prepared to face whatever comes your way.

This week I learned how so very lucky I am to have people in my life who make me feel deeply loved.

I wish that for you, too.

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xo, with goodness and grace.

It’s Sunday evening, and today is Mother’s Day. I spent the day hanging out with my mom. We ate, we watched TV, we ate some more. I love my mother. I’ve always recognized how fortunate I am to be so close to my family, to have people in my life who would literally do anything for me.

But as I scrolled through all of my friends’ social media posts today, with idealized versions of their mothers and what today means, I kept thinking how complicated life can be. I kept thinking of the things that lie in the shadows, all the things we don’t say. And my heart broke a little thinking about the people who cannot sum up their feelings in 140 characters or in the caption of a photo throwing back to their younger years.

In the last few days, strangers—store cashiers, restaurant servers, bus drivers—have ended interactions with me with three cheery words.

Happy Mother’s Day.

I do not have children.

Now, these well wishes did not bother me. I knew each of the people meant well. But, their words did make me understand how complex our lives are and how varied our experiences.

There are women who are mothers, yet mourn the simpler times before their children were born. There are women who long to have children, yet know from years of medical procedures this will likely not come to pass. There are women who have disdain for their mothers, because their mothers did not know how to mother them in the all the ways people need to be loved. There are women who have lost their mothers, who will never get over the pain of not being able to share another Mother’s Day with them. I have known all of these women.

But the truth is, we all mother something. We care for ourselves, our friends, nieces and nephews, strangers in need. And, we all give birth to something, whether through creativity or creating a home or making a life, we all make something from nothing.  We all bring life and energy and love into the world every single day. That has to matter for something. This, too, should be celebrated.

So, for all of you who don’t have the words to describe today, who feel less than, who feel lonely and not worthy of a day dedicated to you, hear this:  you matter.

You and all of the love bursting in you matters.  You have mothered things into this world.  You have loved things into being.  And you will continue to do this, because it’s the essence of who you are.

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And, you are loved.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I’ve never been to Paris, but I know there is a bridge where lovers from all around the world leave padlocks as a lasting declaration of their love. Such a romantic gesture.

I think many things about my beloved New York City, though romantic wouldn’t be among the first come to mind. It wasn’t until I decided to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge one night after work, when I needed a respite from my everyday routine, that I noticed some unexpected moments of affection.

It started with one, all loved up in its ruby red exterior.

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And then I saw rows of locks, each with some sentiment or initials to commemorate their affection.

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Who knew New Yorkers were so romantic? Somehow, these displays of passion make me feel hopeful.

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Whatever you do this week, remember to spread the love.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I’ve struggled to string the words together with what I wanted to say this week. But, sometimes you just need to keep it simple.

It was a tough week for many people I knew, with a handful losing someone very close to them.  When one person I know loses a loved one, I feel a kind of heartbreaking empathy for them.  When four people in the span of three days do, it shakes me awake.

So what I want to say is this: appreciate the people you love today.  No, don’t just appreciate them—tell them.

Last week I had a discussion with a few coworkers who were dumbfounded that there are people who tell their best friends what they love about them.

I do that, I chimed in.

You DO?

Yes, I said.

Why???  

Because it matters.

Love is not weird.  Love is profound and beautiful and special.  When you love, tell about it.  Spread it like fairy dust and sprinkle it like the magic that it is.  Do it so love doesn’t get left unsaid.

Why, you ask?

Because love is grace.  Because love is everything holy and right in the universe. You love someone? Tell them.

This is what I have to say today.

xo, with goodness and grace.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

— Oprah Winfrey

This year was a tale of my companions Cranky, Weary and Hopeful. These were the wise men; they were my teachers.

2014 began with my intention to stop playing small. For so long I’d dimmed my light, hiding from the world in the shadows of a people-pleasing personality. Everyone else came first. My job came first.

Sometimes even the doorman came first. Did I ask him if he wanted coffee? OMG, I need to go back right now—never mind that it’s 10 degrees and snowy and icy and windy—I’m turning around to ask him! Because maybe he wants some coffee!!!!

People pleasing is exhausting.

If you let it, all of those needs and duties and responsibilities begin to spread like a wildfire through the mountains, beginning as a harmless spark but quickly taking over every inch in the landscape of your life.

Maybe I’m being dramatic. Maybe it isn’t THAT bad. But it feels like it.

Did I stop playing small? Nope. As well intentioned as I began, I tiptoed through the year, feeling my way through the darkness in search of some light.

These are the years where you learn who you are and the tough stock of which you are made. My three wise men each taught me different life lessons.

Cranky:  I have become that person yelling at taxi drivers whose cars roll dangerously close to me as I cross the street—bringing me perilously close to a crazy old lady muttering at passerby on the street. A glimpse of a rage-filled future? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just finally getting in touch with that part of me who can ask for what I want.

To this strange grumpiness which has taken residence alongside my nice girl persona, a very big thank you. I am wildly uncomfortable with you, but you dare to point out everything that doesn’t make sense, every complaint that is unfounded, every ridiculous conversation full of ridiculousness. You keep me honest. You urge me to point out when someone has said something hurtful or to walk away from the situation entirely. You challenge me to do better, to be better, to dare to dream of more than what’s in front of me.

For years I would roll my eyes when I heard actresses talk about how being in your 40s meant you didn’t care about what people thought anymore.  I get it now.  I still care, ever the people pleaser, but I definitely care a whole lot less than I did.

Cranky does have its eccentric benefits. It is teaching me dedication, and there are appointments with myself that are non-negotiable. A twice-weekly 6am “rooster” workout literally saved my sanity. If that meant pushing back a 9am meeting, then that’s what it meant. Thanks to Cranky, I committed and I accomplished.

Weary: I’m tired.

Don’t you hate it when people say that? I certainly hate it when I say it. But, that doesn’t make it any less true.

The only thing worse than that is when people say you look tired.

I tend to say this to my mirror reflection just about every other morning.

It’s not that I do too much (though, admittedly, I definitely do)—it’s that I don’t do enough of what lights me up. That needs to change.

Life can wear you down if you don’t fill yourself up.

Weary wore me down, keeping me occupied on one of those hamster wheels, just going and going and going and going.  He also held the important things at bay.

Romantic love—oh, you want that?  Nah.  A good night’s sleep?  Fugheddaboutit.  (Apparently Weary speaks Brooklyn-ese.)

To all those things and people who made me sad because you didn’t stay or you hesitated or you decided not to come into my life—I say, goodbye to all that. Enough.  I want things and people and situations that want to be with me.

It’s time to make room for the things that belong here.

Hopeful:  I often feel like I’m fumbling my way through the world.  Just dropping the keys, again and again, then not being able to find the lock.

But the keyhole is there, and when I peeked through it, right there in the dark of the night, there was a steady stream of sunlight.  Sometimes it’s dimmer than others, but it’s there.

And you know what?  Magic exists.  Magic and light and beauty are real and they are waiting in every single day. I know this because I have seen them, with regularity.

Here’s the trick: you’ve gotta be open to seeing them.

Love taught me that.  Love is everywhere. No matter how much I resist this idea—and I really, really, really do—the world keeps showing me otherwise.   It’s hard to not cling to hopefulness like a life raft when I’m spent and cranky and weary from this life and am confused about what my purpose is and I sit down and right in front of me is the word LOVE.  I’m not speaking in metaphors, either—the word LOVE often appears out of nowhere, like a beautiful bright beacon of hope.

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As I was talking to one of my dear friends this week, whom I call my West Coast mother, she told me a story about how she was sitting at a traffic light watching a group of birds—seagulls among them, many miles from the ocean—and as they flew away, the birds in flight formed the shape of a heart.

Love is contagious. YOU are contagious.  Sometimes I question the “signs of love” I see around me, but I know there is a purpose. If that is to awaken other people so they see it, too, then I feel hopeful that I’m being lead down the right path.

At the year’s end, I feel a deep hopefulness for what lies ahead of me, despite Cranky and Weary.  Maybe even because of them.  Because finally, I understand I have the power to make my life exactly what I want it to be.  Finally, it’s time to focus on becoming the person I’ve always dreamed of being.

And so, the dawn is the beginning of the year of me.  No more playing small.  I end this year with a fire in my belly and a jetpack to propel me.

2015.  Let’s make a happy year.  Let’s hold hands and walk through that door in the dark of the night and chase the light and go get everything we want.

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You know what, you guys? We got this.

xo, with goodness and grace.

You think life is funny sometimes.

For over a year, you’ve seen what you’ve called signs of love—hearts and words and things representing love.  You see them everywhere.  Sometimes you think of them as little gifts, beacons of hope when you need an emotional boost and validation when you are feeling joyful.  Other times you think you’ve gone slightly mad, giving such meaning to these silly hearts and those simple words, when maybe they don’t really mean anything at all.

One weekend you walk down the street on an overcast day, head foggy from fatigue and a combination of too few hours and too deep a sleep the past evening.  You’d been home all day because you thought you needed to decompress, to rest, but something in you needed to walk on this beautiful, breezy, almost-autumn day.

Because you are in a part of town you almost never visit, you don’t really know where to sit.  You pass by the bench close to the lady who looks like she could be chatty, then past the one next to the man sleeping.  Another bench looks like it’s in the perfect spot, but then you see a left behind pair of fancy flip flops, so you keep moving.

Finally, you choose a bench because it feels right, because you are in front of the river with two bridges on either side of you, because there you can drop into the pocket of stillness for which you came searching.

You settle in and take a deep breath, letting the stillness embrace you.  You absentmindedly look around, feeling everything but not really seeing anything. Then, something catches your eye.  It is a vibrant green, your favorite color.  It takes a moment for you to realize what it is, what it says.  And when you recognize it, finally, you are filled with awe.  And you are so moved, you begin to giggle.

Because, in the way life is unexplainable and mysterious and perfect, you were meant to sit on that very bench. Something was trying to make its way to you.

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May love find you this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

My favorite Sunday mornings are lazy affairs:  sleeping in, having a cup of coffee in bed after making an elaborate breakfast, and watching my favorite TV shows. This morning, I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday where she interviewed Paulo Coehlo, author of The Alchemist.  (It’s a book I’ve oddly never read, but immediately bought after seeing this interview.)  Almost halfway through, he said something that resonated with me in the deepest part of my soul:

God is only going to ask you one question…did you love enough?

These words made me close my eyes and breathe deeply.  I see signs of love everywhere, but I don’t always let it in.  Sometimes I miss it—eye contact not held, a deeply personal thought cut off by another idea of my own, attention not paid when it mattered most.  But in reality, I want to feel it, experience it and be it.

These words have been written on my heart.  My intention for the week is to live through the lens of love.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

Everyone I know has been posting the most beautiful pictures on social media, chronicling their summer vacations, with enviable captions like, “The perfect summer day!” and “Life should always be like this. #poollife” and “I’ve never been so relaxed…ahhhh.”

I, on the other hand, have felt depleted, spent and anxious.

Having spent the better part of a summer Friday working, including waiting for a conference call that never happened, I took advantage of the last few hours of daylight and went for a sanity walk in Central Park.

My favorite spot in the park, The Lake, has been my place of refuge ever since I moved to New York City almost two decades ago. Sometimes it is crowded and noisy, and I just pass through, admiring the beauty as I walk away. This particular evening though, cloudy and uncharacteristically cool, I found it quiet. Happily.

I sat down, closed my eyes and breathed in the cool air. There it was, the pocket of peace that had eluded me all day.

The light was beautiful, illuminating the trees and the reflections of the buildings surrounding the park. Always looking to take the perfect photograph of my favorite place, I began taking pictures with my camera phone.

A gondola came into the frame and looked oddly – and yet, perfectly – romantic against the impending dusky sky. I snapped away, framing the gondola against the backdrop of the Central Park West landscape. As I put my phone down, I noticed a couple in the boat. Then, I saw the man smoothly move from where he was sitting and crouch down on one knee.

I saw the woman gasp, then nod her head as she said yes to his proposal.

This was my perfect summer moment.

Love is everywhere. This love, though not mine, somehow lightened my mood. This couple, so full of joy and romance they promised each other a future, made me feel hopeful in what lies ahead. Love does that. In that way, I suppose it belongs to us all.

I hope you experience it for yourself.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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Ideas can be revolutionary.

I was reminded of this when my friend Sandy emailed me yesterday.  She’d been waiting in a doctor’s office and saw this note on the seat next to her:

Love Note

The note made her think of me, which brings me such joy.  I’ve been seeing signs of love for almost a year now—today my walk through Central Park was basically a parade of love—and have been so moved by it that I’m always giddy to show a sampling of it to you.  The fact that she thought of me affirms the idea that love is contagious.  Love can spread like a wildfire, illuminating everything in its path.

What if all of us committed ourselves to love this week?  What if we affirmed that commitment with random acts of love?  Kindness doesn’t have to be grand—it can be as simple as a smile.

How will you spread love this week?  I’d love for you to share below.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Every now and then there are moments so sweet no words can rightly capture the experience.

But I’ll try to find them.

On Monday, my pregnant friend Judy and I sat on a park bench, two women just hanging out.  We’d planned to meet, in search of food, our usual mission. Hoping to score one of the special burgers created in celebration of the Shake Shack’s 10 year anniversary, we had been disappointed to hear earlier in the day that they were going to sell out long before we would arrive.

After declaring she really just wanted dessert for dinner—even with pregnancy food restrictions, she’s still a fun eating partner—we caught up over Nutella and hazelnut gelato.  (Is there any other perfect dinner?)  Sitting in Madison Square Park, we squealed over squirrels that got a little too close, laughed about silly things, and gossiped about the people we know.

Then, she took my hand in hers and draped it over her belly, swollen with the growing baby.

I’m going to keep your hand here until you feel the baby kick, she said.

I’d never held onto a pregnant belly before.  It’s so personal, so intimate an act. Though we’ve known each other for 10 years and I easily show up for her as my full self—rarer and more challenging than I’d like to admit—this was an unexpected indication of the depth of our friendship.  It was an affirmation that said, You know this life that is growing inside me?  I want you to experience it, too.  

We stayed like that, her hand over mine, for at least 10 minutes.  I felt a fast heartbeat—we didn’t know if that was hers or the baby’s—and a flutter here and tiny movement there.

And then came the kick.  It wasn’t a dramatic force as I’d always imagined, but it filled me with awe.  It startled me.  It made me giddy.  It made me shriek, That was awesome!!  There it was, moving, growing, thriving, this new vibrant being we’ll get to meet in a few months.

And then we went about our evening as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

That is life.

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When I think back on this week, I remember the small, ordinary yet beautiful moments.

If you think about it, isn’t that what makes up a life?  It’s simply a series of small, ordinary moments intertwined with occasional flashes of beauty.  You turn a corner and something memorable happens.

Love showed itself on a red wall in the West Village.  I kept staring at the graffiti, without not knowing why.   It took a full minute for me to realize that it spelled love.

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Signs of love are everywhere.

Walking through Central Park, I saw dandelions had bloomed everywhere.  As I mentioned last week, they were a favorite of mine when I was a child.  These—the lone floral presence in a patch of cool, soft grass—were particularly captivating to me.

Close your eyes and make a wish.

Make a Wish

Because it’s rained so much in the last few weeks, my social media feeds have been full of rainbows my friends see around the city.  I always have a pang of jealousy because nothing is more magical to me than a rainbow.  But, they have been elusive.

When I made another stop to the Conservatory Garden, I wandered around and took in the beauty around me.  (I even witnessed a very sweet wedding!)  As I came upon the fountain, there it was.  A picture does not do its luminescence justice, but I felt those bands of color in the very depth of my soul.

Water Rainbow

Grace may come in an unexpected form, but its goodness is not diminished.

May your week be filled with the spirit of love, wishes and rainbows.

xo, with goodness and grace.

After I wrote my the last post on self care, I realized two things.

One: the time from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday this year is actually not 40 days, but a week longer.  So, we’re really looking at 47 days of self care, y’all.

The second thing I’ll save for next week.  I need time to ponder that lesson first.

But, you know how I see signs of love everywhere?  (And, by the way, I’m convinced so do you…you just may not know it yet.)  Well, they are slowly being mixed in with signs of magic.  Love and magic—isn’t that an awesome thought? That is how life should be.

Around Christmas time, I saw a stencil for sale in ABC Carpet & Home, a magical store with a quirky assortment of furniture, lighting, and other assorted things for the home.  The stencil itself was beautiful, all glittery and gold.  But its message made me smile.  It said, “In Pursuit of Magic”.  The creators’ mission is described on their website this way:

“In Pursuit of Magic: two female street artists on a crusade to elevate consciousness and amplify meaning in the world.”

How cool is that?  Every now and then, I see those words around the city, where someone has decided the spread the message of magic.

My week was kicked off when I saw this on a construction wall on Houston Street.

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Seeing love and magic together, I trusted it was a sign of goodness to come.

Day 34:  Sometimes on your way home from work, you get sidelined at the counter at Murray’s Cheese and suddenly there’s a very urgent need to have cheese and wine for dinner.

Cheese-Wine Dinner

And so you do.  And it is comfort and happiness on a plate.

Day 35: Sunsets never get old for me. The most beautiful ones command attention, so I stopped and gave this one my full self.

Tuesday Sunset

Day 36:  I do my best to take a walk in the middle of every work day.  It gives me clarity and a break from what are often intense days.  On this day, I decided to go to a book signing not too far from the office.  I mean, it was Rob Lowe.  Every girl I knew was in love with him when I was a teenager.  I thought he was yummy.

“Thank you so much for braving this line today,” he said to me as he put pen to the page, signing his autograph.

“Oh, it’s my pleasure.  I mean, I had your poster on my wall.”   He looked up.  Full eye contact.

Momentarily mortified, I couldn’t believe I blurted that out.  Then he smiled and had a humbled expression like he was genuinely happy to hear that, not at all like someone who has heard this over and over again in the last 25 years.

“And I can’t wait to read your book,” I said, trying to clean it up.

Full, intense eye contact again, accompanied by a smile.  Then we said goodbye—and by the way, he still is very pretty!—and I was on my way.

Rob Lowe

Self care is embracing the past and finding that it can be even sweeter than you remembered.

Day 37: There is an outdoor exhibit on a stretch of Park Avenue in midtown, called the Park Avenue Paper Chase, featuring sculptures by the artist Alice Aycock. Made of aluminum and fiberglass, you cannot help but take notice, even if you are hurriedly walking by.  I took my time with each one, wanting to experience them.  I was fascinated by one in particular, all ruffles and lightness, even though it probably weighs a couple of tons.

Up close, it reminded me of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.

Park Avenue Sculpture

Day 38:The Big Egg Hunt has taken New York by storm these past few weeks. Sponsored by Faberge, up to 300 eggs are hidden around the city.  Many are designed by famous artists.  They’ll be auctioned off at the end of the Easter season, with all proceeds benefitting a couple of charities.

My friend Judy let me know that there was one near the Brooklyn Bridge that she thought I’d want to see.  We ventured out one evening—because a pilgrimage of love is definitely self care—and I discovered that she was right.

Love Me Brooklyn

“You are like the heat-seeking missile when it comes to seeing love,” Judy said to me as we walked down the street after seeing the egg.  It was as if a parade of love accompanied us on our way to dinner.

One love-inspired wall of graffiti was so faint that my camera could barely pick it up. But still it revealed itself to me.

Signs of love are everywhere.

Day 39:  One of my favorite things to do is wander through Central Park, especially on a beautiful spring day.  I don’t have time to do it as much as I would like, so it feels like an indulgence when I do.  Now, the grassy side areas are all carpeted with flowers, and the trees are all just about to burst into an abundance of blooms.

No matter how many times I’m in the park, I always have to make my pilgrimage to Bethesda Fountain, topped by this angel of beauty.

Bethesda Fountain

She always gives me a sense of peace, and I leave knowing I can happily make my way through the rest of the day.

Day 40:  And then, magically, the week ended as it began, on a side street in Soho. I has taken myself out for a meal, then decided I needed to walk some of the food off.  Walking briskly, on the edge of my vision I spotted a small spot of white paint on the ground.  Stopping, I saw on closer inspection that some words were spelled out in its midst.

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There it was again.  Magic was pursuing me, and I felt giddy at the unexpectedness of it.

Believe in magic and love and grace.  It’s just waiting to catch you by surprise.  Self care often lies in paying attention.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I always think it’s funny how people forget that spring is, in its volatile essence, basically a few months of unpredictable weather.  The day the calendar finally turns to spring, people start shedding their layers and take off their socks, no matter the temperature is actually still wintry.  It’s like a mass delusion, needing to believe that the season is perfect.

The earth is about blossom, and I like to think, so are we.  The promise of what is to come is enough to get me through the fickle weather.

And that is perfect to foster some self care.

Long walks in the rain continued.  Rain, in the right temperature, is magical.  And, you can still find random, faded signs of love.

Love is Telepathic

Day 27: I’m noticing that walking at this time of year is a big thing for me.  Maybe being indoors during the seemingly-perpetual winter has left me with a need to shake it off in search of what’s about to bloom.

After work, I felt an urge to go window shopping.  Browsing through stores without a purpose has made me happy since I was a child.  It’s a time to allow yourself to dream of who you want to be.

Vince Heels

The dream me would look chic in these shoes from Vince.  There is such joy in footwear.

Like these shoes I found in J Crew.  I instinctively knew I had to have them—falling in love makes you want to possess the object of your desire, now!—so I bought them.  (I later discovered that almost everyone I know has had the same reaction. And bought them.)  And the fancy earrings, I couldn’t resist.  Put them together, and you’ve got a great representation of me.  Fancy casual.

J Crew Vans

The dream me later went back to the store and bought the flat version of those Vince heels, so the practical me can be stylish and comfortable (and fancy casual) at the same time.

Day 28:  I wore my new earrings, made me feel a little glamorous, despite a very bad hair day. And, just resting my gaze on my new shoes brought me an irrational amount of joy.

Day 29:  Needing to have something every day can take the pleasure out of it for me.  That’s why I don’t have coffee every morning.  I have a cup when I want it, but I don’t like needing to have it to feel awake.  Life should be enough to feel awake, shouldn’t it?

Today was a coffee day.  And it was goooood.

Buvette Coffee

Simple pleasures can be self care, too.

Day 30:  Spring weather finally arrived!  I was juggling multiple projects and deadlines, and I didn’t have the time to go outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures.

I did it anyway.  Letting the sun warm your face at lunchtime is serious self care.

Sunshine

Day 31:  The week behind me and the rain falling again, I came home, scooped some homemade dough—because having cookie dough on hand at all times is 100% self care—and baked two chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snack in hand, I crawled in the bed and turned on Shark Tank. Two of my favorite (not-so) guilty pleasures made for the perfect evening.

Day 32: Finally, I’ve started spring cleaning my apartment, which is beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders.  I started by tackling the ridiculously tall stack of magazines accumulated over the last few months, and I brought over a new jar of Vanilla Almond Butter so I could take a couple of spoonfuls as a snack while I worked.

Let’s just say that most of the magazines are still there.  I got distracted by deliciousness.

Vanilla Almond Butter

Just writing that sentence made me go grab a spoonful.

Day 33:  Ah, Sunday mornings.  The act of hanging out, doing nothing but just being is sacred, beautiful and simply awesome.

Sunday Morning

On Sunday mornings, I usually clean out the fridge and concoct a unique meal for breakfast.  This morning, I just made a plate of a vegan, gluten-free (but delicious) biscuit, a handful of pecans and a bit of cheese. Randomness can be tasty.

I also found a heart-shaped package of goat cheese on the back of one of the shelves, which sadly was moldy.  It made me want to venture out and immediately buy a replacement.  I cut into it and revealed that the decaying cheese—decadently studded with chunks of dark chocolate—was still beautiful and full of loveliness.

Heart Goat Cheese

Such a great metaphor for life.  Our hearts may get worn from the harsh elements of life, but if we scrape away the dirt and the mold, the essential beauty of who we are remains.  Remembering this is the epitome of self care.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

Let me just say this: self care can be hard.  There was not one day this week when I didn’t want to stay in bed, all warm and cozy.  But still I got up and I showed up. Because, that too is self care.

Day 13: I left the office at a reasonable hour to see some friends I don’t see that often, including one who lives in another city and was in town for a few days. Getting to see girlfriends always means a fun night out.

The cocktails weren’t bad either.  A Manhattan always makes me feel so grown up.

Skylark Manhattan

And, it was St. Patrick’s Day.  The Empire State Building celebrated along with us. How lucky I am to get to see a view like that.

Empire Statue Bldg on St Patrick's Day

Day 14:  This day was just plain hard.  I wanted to do anything but what I was supposed to be doing.

I wanted to be frolicking on a beach with cute cabana boys bringing me lobster salads.  I wanted to be at the spa, knots untangled and mind de-stressed.  I wanted someone to send me on a private plane to Paris, and when we landed, I would start with a gluten, butter and cream-filled eating binge and end with a shopping spree at every designer store—and someone else would pay for it all.

Instead, I was at my desk needing to get through my massively long to-do list.  So I ate chocolate instead.   At 11:30 in the morning.

And it was good.

Marzipan Chocolate

Day 15:  This was the day that I said, I got nothing.  I felt like I had nothing left to give, even to myself.

And then I felt loved.  (Please see the previous post, Grace: Abundance.)

You are Beautiful

Day 16:  The princess in me wanted to sleep in, but instead I got up before the sun rose and I got on the bike.

I also sweat like I’d never sweated before.  It felt good to work out everything I’d been carrying all week.

SoulCycle

Day 17:  Going home and cleaning out the DVR and catching up on what happened in the world that week may sound like a self care fail.  But sometimes it’s all you need.

Day 18:  This was the day I took a three-hour nap.  Finally, I let myself get some much needed rest.

But, before I put myself down for nap time, I was moved to see a block in my neighborhood covered in inspiration written in sidewalk chalk.

Amazing

Beautiful

It was extraordinary to fall asleep with this inspiration for my dreams.

Day 19:  Sometimes it’s a challenge to make time for the things that interest me, but this day was spent, happily, at a food styling course.  I learned some fascinating tricks that I hope to use on this blog in future posts.

Afterwards, I took myself to ABC Cocina, one of my favorite places in Manhattan. Everything I’ve eaten there has been heavenly, especially this shaved brussels sprouts salad with a flurry of cheese and Marcona almonds.  This would convert anyone who thinks they hate brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprout Salad-ABC Cocina

And these short rib tacos with habanero relish—they were savory, succulent, and scrumptious.

Short Rib Tacos-ABC Cocina

A perfect way to end the week.  Here’s to the next 7 days of caring well for ourselves.

xo, with goodness & grace.

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