Holiday Hues

Is it possible to bring the feelings from vacation into your other ‘every day’ life?

Where I am in my life, vacations represent rest. And calm. And ease. And unstructured, unplanned, unscheduled days, blending into more similar days.
There is no alarm, no choreography of lunch-making, outfit -picking-out the night before, of hurriedly shovelling in toast, of shuffling to a make an already late drop-off, to elbowing through a commute… All before 9am…
There’s a wake-up to the body’s alarm, there’s a lazy sipping of too many cups of coffee, to turning off the surveying, the thinking ahead, the planning… And just letting the days happen.
There was a time when vacations represented an opportunity to fill my creative buckets, to be inspired by new senses, taking in new foods, and smells, and sights until I’d collapse in a happy exhaustion at the end of each holiday day, the exciting experiences of the day replaying in my mind as I drifted off.
Maybe it’s living in New York, maybe it’s having two young kids- maybe it’s a combination of both, but I’m at peace with my new ‘unplugged’ version of holidays.

So to carry any of that calm, that rest, that suntanned glow forward to ‘real-life’ … Is that even possible? Isn’t the point of a holiday to feel something so different from the rest of your days? That’s kinda sad from that lense. We slog along for 346 days, to then get 7 days in the sun, and then return to the grind and survive until the next 7 day rescue period…?
Maybe there is a way that you can, without it feeling too calculated and too over-processed, to still reflect on what it is about a holiday that can make you feel so good, and weave elements of it even into the rest of your days…maybe it allows us to evaluate how busy and stressed and tired we are feeling and either take steps to cut some of that out of our lives, or find ways to embrace the positive elements that it brings…
Maybe there’s a way to talk to others in a more relaxed, less frantic, and less demanding manner. Maybe there’s a way to build little boosts of holiday highlights into our days, even if that’s as small as stepping away from the busy to feel some sun on our skin for 5 quiet minutes.

I’m taking 5 extra minutes this morning to get a treat coffee as a mini spring break…;)

Wackjob Week

So it’s been a week of some pretty classically ‘New York Moments.’

Relocating home base has forced us to evaluate a whole lot of things. We are not unique in the juggling game- if anything, we are so fortunate to have as many opportunities and gifts that we do need shift and shuffle and rearrange and prioritize and capture in words, in pictures, in feelings, in memories.

This week was especially….poignant. In many ways, it had moments that so intensely reflected why we made the decision to move here. At a point where we were feeling uncomfortable, uncertain, unmotivated, and unhappy with our safety and our stability ( so ironic), we jumped into this, with no credit to us for any planning or seeking or coordinating or searching in any way. It was really just presented to us. Us assholes, as stated so humbly before. We ‘deserve’ this is in no way, but we are damn-well committed to making the most of whatever this means.

After attending the second of wack-job of wack-job New York events this week ( this one much smaller in scale, but still coloured with an off-Broadway performance (no joke- legit actors singing about the injustices of the princess stories we were raised with) and a room full of incredibly bright, motivated, f$&€ing smart and authentic women ), I came home to ask Brett ‘what he believed in.’ It being Good Friday and all he asked ‘ like, in terms of faith, or…’. No. What do you believe in? What do I believe in? What do you want to stand for?

I might have earlier responded awkwardly with a cute and comical ‘f*#k if I know !’.

But that’s no longer enough.

We are here. We are all counting. We are all mattering. As small as a speck as we are.

I suppose that helps me to articulate that I believe in that. I believe that in as small a way as there is, we can impact each other. And we need to be gentle, and kind, and generous, and respectful and aware.

Brett’s response- life happens and you make the most of it.  We do our best, we try our hardest, we do our kindest, smartest, most sincere acts… And the rest happens….

I’m somewhere in between buying that, and feeling still both a bit cynical and a bit like I’m not doing enough, not pushing enough, not setting the bar high enough.

Prior to the event above, our ‘gang’ here participated in varying (as in VERY varrying) degrees of activities at the goddamn United Nations.  It’s funny- there’s a very fine line between humility (holy shit- we’re at the effing United Nations) and naivety ( holy shit-  we’re at the effing United Nations). See that whole fine line? Being respectful and appreciate and in awe, and also being strong, and informed, and aware, and involved and affected.

Tonight we went for a larger family dinner to a place that we collectively agreed could just become our new Sunday dinner place. A little trattoria, 3 blocks from our place in tribeca, friendly, loud, great food…. The server tonight actually shared my name. First and middle names. No joke.

We’re feeling happy, reflecting on the wackiness of the week, enjoying the comfort the kids are feeling here, and already settling into this place as ‘ours’… And then a cockroach falls on the table. The table. And one person smashes it. And then another. And then the group of adult realizes that the first 2 smashes are useless and we need to ensure that said fu&$er is dead. And we all smash our fists in the vicinity. And there’s a crunch. He’s gone.

We tell Sarah ( she had an ‘h’) and she rolls her eyes, ‘well, it IS an old New York building.’

So – United Nations, Google, and cockroaches in one week.

Shuffling work and kids and home.

One day, one hour, one hippy moment at a time.

Whatever works.

Leaving this panel this week that I watched, the speakers shares their their advice in closing:

-do something. Make it small and easy. And do it tonight.

– listen. That’s how you put the right questions out there

– imagine intensities for yourself. Don’t compromise on your values. Don’t waste time; start now.

– follow a few new people that you can listen to; greatest gift is finding new ideas and new inspirations. Think about something that you really care about and share it with your friends. Ask for feedback from friends

So. Ya.

I’ve also heard people say that it’s all about you managing and controlling your own time, and that’s true and valid and important, I realize. But it’s just hard also keeping others’ time in mind. No shit. But really. Saying ‘make your time count. Do what matters to you. Do what counts.’ It’s all so valid. But sometimes that makes your kids mad. And your husband tired. And they’ll deal; they’ll get over it. But it still counts.

And this is why we breathe and yoga. And try again tomorrow.