It all started a few years ago when I decided that 2018 was going to be MY YEAR. I Googled “things I should do every day,” compiled a list of everything that was mentioned in the articles that showed up on the first page of the search results, and made a plan to randomly try a different, new activity every week.
The intention was to find out what would stick and help me become a better me. I even started a side project - a blog called Fluff the Cushions - to track and share my progress. It was named for what I believed to be the most inane of all the suggested "shoulds" - I should fluff my couch cushions every day.
I’m a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I dislike the never-ending stream of “have to do’s” – the shopping, the decorating, the way too jampacked social calendar, the gift wrapping, the perpetual feast of baked goods that leave me feeling like a bloated toad by the end of the year, and the pressure to create Instagram-worthy moments of a perfectly coiffed family, smiling in front of a pristinely-decorated Christmas tree, in matching pajamas, while lovingly holding up a gaggle of ever-so-thoughtful DIY gifts crafted from the most perfectly-muted pastel macramé.
Pandemic, elections, working from home while homeschooling kids… worries about your job, your health, whether or not you’ll ever leave the house again… No matter which way you turn, stress rules our lives these days. And as hard as we try, we just can’t fake our way through it anymore - nor should we.
Chronic stress doesn’t just harm our mental health, it takes a toll on our physical health - particularly our immune system. And if there’s one thing none of us need right now, it’s to further compromise our immune system.
Tomorrow I turn 50 and I’m simply floored. Thirty was no no biggie, forty felt mature, but fifty? That feels like something - like a long time. Like half a century. How did that happen?!
But don’t get me wrong - I don’t mind aging one bit. I’ll take my wise brain over my young body any day.
In fact, 25 was the only age that ever gave me pause. I was so full of anxiety - sure I hadn’t accomplished enough. Looking back now - TWENTY FIVE years into the future, it’s laughable. What could I have possibly expected to accomplish at 25? I was a baby who had so much more to experience!
I’ve taken some time this week to reflect on what I would tell that 25 year old today if I could talk to her. Read on for 50 truths for my younger self.
Nice women don’t have honest conversations with each other. Well, they don’t have honest conversations when they are most needed… when they are hurt, when they are angry, or when they disagree. Nice women grin and bare the pain and disappointment. Nice women are taught that it isn’t polite to make waves.
But truth be told, we all know that nice women still usually have the conversations - just not with the women they need to have them with. When we are hurt or angry, us nice women gather our allies and tell them our woes in hopes that they’ll take up the fight on our behalf. Or, at the very least, validate our feelings.