If ever there was a year to start a regular gratitude ritual, this one is it. Recommended writing for all of you who need to shrug off the “ugh” and rewire your brain to see the positive. So in addition to one of today’s 5 things, this weekly list of things I’m loving will also serve as a cheery space.
1. An Uncluttered Life.
“The thing most people resist when making a big change [is] the idea that they have to give up some things they may like to get what they love. And they stumble over this.” Since my boyfriend moved in on the 1st, every day has been an exercise in decluttering. I’ve become a better organizer. I’ve learned to let go of things that I like, but that no longer serve me. This applies to my emotional and spiritual self too. I spent a lot of time making due with things that I liked while waiting for what I wanted without realizing that what I wanted couldn’t come until I made the space for it. “it isn’t what you add to your life that makes it great; it’s what you take away.” Toss whatever clutters your heart, your mind, body and your physical space so you have ROOM for the things you want to come into your life.
2. Adopt a Roach for Valentine’s Day. Support the Wildlife Conservation Society and rid yourself of pesky ex (or patriarchy 🙄) energy with this little ritual. This is such a cute and creative little Galentine’s gift for yourself (or a friend who needs to laugh over a former flame). No ill will. All for a good cause and your own levity. And chocolate 🍫. Most importantly chocolate.
3. Shantae: Half Genie Hero. Way back in 2013 I backed this game on Kickstarter because I have a massive crush on Shantae. I just love this little ass kickin’, hair whippin’ heroine and her latest adventures are a WISH GRANTED! I’ve been streaming a little, but mostly I’m playing offline to work on a speedrun later. I will definitely be streaming more. From counterfeit mermaid factories to magic carpet races, intense platforming challenges are woven into a creative storyline that keeps me engaged in every town in Sequin Land. Highly recommend this game. Seriously, get it. Or you’ll feel like this bro.
You guys don’t get to peek inside yet…
4. Bullet Journaling. The basic premise of a bullet journal is that it combines your planner, to-do list and journal into one simplified system for organizing your life and tracking patterns. There are a ton of different ways to set it up. Here are some ideas. Mine doesn’t look NEARLY so pretty, but I’m seeing positive changes related to mood, appetite and creative output among other things.
I also carved out a space each month for daily gratitude. The goal is to write one thing each day, but some days there are tons! Watching the list build is positive reinforcement in the beauty of the universe enough! Other suggestions for sections- book reading tracker, doodle space, poem prompts and scream boxes (for when you really need to let it all out). And if you’re one of those Washi tape people, go crazy! I’m barely a straight lines person.
5. Soulmates. 🧀. When I was 15, I was madly in love with a boy 2 grades ahead of me. He was popular and athletic, but also dark and brooding and mysterious. I was weird and artsy, often spacing out and constantly scribbling in journals. Somehow, we became friends. He convinced me to manage the Boy’s Tennis team and we’d share one pair of headphones on the bus trips to away games or I’d lie in the sun watching practice until he was done and could drive me home in his “super cool” Honda del Sol. While I not-so-subtly pined for him, he strung me along just enough, but remained aloof. We carried on through his senior year talking all night and casually ignoring feelings all day. Then he graduated. I was heartbroken. I was sure he was my soulmate, but life sort of went on…
We’d talk on and off over the years, but he never seemed particularly interested in me as more than a friend and confidant, so I eventually let go of my infatuation. Until a couple months ago when the cadence of our communication picked up again drastically. I’m of course living in New York City and he had just relocated back to our hometown on the Island of Misfit Toys in South Jersey. We hadn’t seen each other in almost 10 years, but started talking every night for 6+ hours. Gradually my feelings came back and I suspected he was catching some as well. On November 29th, I realized I was in love with him. I was not happy about this discovery. There was a lot at stake and I was really loving my solo life.
BUT he was feeling some things too. So he decided he needed to come for a visit to validate them. December 1st, he was waiting in my apartment when I got home from work looking nervous, but otherwise exactly like he did in high school. Then he kissed me. Then we went to get dinner. Then I took him to Barcade because drinks were required and I wanted to win at Joust. There at the bar, he cornered me in that sexy way that makes me crazy, looked into my eyes and asked me point blank if I’m in love with him. I downed the rest of my drink and told him I am. And guess what? He is too! 🎆
We spent December apart trying to figure out what in the fuck we were going to do about all this, arguing about how crazy this is, browsing engagement rings and lamenting that we missed SO MANY YEARS before landing on the only possible solution: He’d have to move into my little 300sqft East Village apartment on January 1st. So that’s what happened. And we’ve been grinning like idiots for the last 27 days, laughing about how all this even happened and enjoying whimsical sleeptalking psychedelic poetry slams.
So sometimes your 15 year-old self/18 year-old self gets it right and you just have to wait until your 32 year-old self/35 year-old self has her/his shit together enough to make it happen and make it last. 😊