And just like that, it was December, and the end of another year.
I’m not gonna sugar coat it, the past two months have been a bit chaotic and emotional for me. November came in like a wrecking ball…or maybe I did…either way it felt like a crash landing coming back from Europe. When we got back from Paris, I more or less had to reckon with everything that I left when we went to Europe for a month. As semi-chaotic as it was coming back, I do appreciate the physical time and space that I had. It gave me the break and perspective that I need to reconnect with myself and my desires which allowed me to address everything from a more grounded and embodied state. Sometimes the best way to the find the answers or direction that we need is to simply become aware of them by tuning out the noise in our lives and tuning into ourselves.
A lot of the above “stuff” had to do with our belongings, moving homes, and furnishing the condo. Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating and creating a new space, but it’s also overwhelming at times when you’re going through belongings and have to decide what to keep, sell, donate and store. The other part of November’s chaos had to do with jumping back into work and running a retail business during the holidays (it’s a marathon), as well as addressing some “work stuff” that had/has been weighing on me both emotionally and energetically over much of this year. More to come on that, but for now, still processing.
And then there was Thanksgiving! Chris and I finally got to host our family after not getting to last year, which was tons of fun, but also a little stressful! I blame my dinner party skills being rusty after a year and a half of very little to no entertaining. It ended up being a wonderful time though with lots of delicious food and wine, lots of wine. We even got to check out the Van Gogh installation at the Convention Center which I highly recommend if you ever get a chance to go.
December has flown by. Almost as fast as November did if not faster. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we hopped on a plane to Mexico to spend a week with my brother and his fiancé to celebrate their birthdays, charge our vitamin D batteries and do absolutely nothing. I think it’s the first vacation that I’ve ever taken with absolutely no agenda other than to eat, sleep 9+ hours a night and lay on the beach. Let’s just say – I totally get it now. To be honest, I didn’t think that I would need a vacation, and I felt kind of guilty doing so when so many are not able to, but/and/also I am so grateful that we did. I did not realize how sleep deprived I was!
Then came Christmas…oh Christmas. Like so many others, we had grand plans to celebrate Christmas with our entire family, but alas, COVID had other plans. Chris and I tried to make the most of it though with lots of Christmas movies, FaceTime celebrations, Christmas morning pancakes (more on those further down) and bacon, and a cozy dinner with his Mom. It wasn’t what we had planned, but it was special in its own little way.
That brings us to today, a few days before New Years. I’m currently sitting in bed as I write, still wrapping my head around the fact that another year has come and gone. I’ve spent most of this week journalling and doing a fair bit of reflecting on this year and all that I’ve experienced. One thing that really stuck out to me as I was writing was how my relationship with work and productivity (and simultaneously my correlated beliefs around success and self-worth) has evolved over the past year.
Over the past two months it’s become crystal clear to me just how full I keep my plate. Perhaps it’s to maintain control, or prove something, or maybe it comes from a fear of what would happen if I said “no”. Perhaps it’s what I saw as a child and came to understand as what a woman needed to do to become successful, worthy, respected, appreciated and/or loved. Regardless, I did not realize how ragged I was running myself.
When I first noticed this, I simply felt like I “couldn’t hang” – like I couldn’t cut it in the real world because I was exhausted from trying to “do it all”. Sure I can do it, but if I’m being really honest with myself, I don’t think I actually like to do it on a consistent basis, especially if it comes at the expense of my well-being and happiness. I’m not built for the 50+ hour work week grind (then again are any of us?), do-it-all, busy-as-a-badge-of-honor life that our society props up as the status quo for women these days.
And that is totally ok.
It’s taken me a while to accept that (still very much so an ongoing process) and not see it as a disadvantage or failure, or feel shame about. Last year made me realize that my value and worth are not directly correlated to my productivity, time put in and accomplishments in a big (and at times hard) way. Going into next year I’m looking forward to redefining what work, fulfillment and success look like for me.
I’m hoping to do a more robust reflection on this year and share some thoughts around 2022 in January, but until then, I hope the last few days of 2021 and next year bring you a wealth of health, happiness, laughter and joy. And maybe a little sparkle.
On The Calendar
Between sick family members and not much planned, we’ve been laying pretty low this week between Christmas and New Years. We do have plans for a little New Years Eve dinner at Tusk, but may cancel and celebrate in the comfort of our own home just to be safe.
Oh my gluten-free vegan pancakes. This is hands down the best recipe I’ve tried and will be making for the foreseeable future. It reminds me of the full gluten and dairy pancakes that my Dad used to make when I was a kid. Absolutely delicious
When we went to Mexico I decided that I was going to finish A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. While I didn’t finish it, I did make good progress on it and do see why everyone recommends it. If anything, I think it forces people to look at their own behaviors through a different lens.
Top of Mind
I don’t share this much, but I am a deal hunter, so I’ve been loving perusing all of the end of year sales. Some of my favorites are MatchesFashion, Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, SSENSE and MyTheresa – they always have great deals on brands I love like Lisa Yang, LouLou, AGOLDE, Joseph, Toteme, House of Dagmar, Khaite (if you’re lucky), and AEYDE. A few brands like Toteme, Joseph and House of Dagmar also have their own sales that have a ton of gems! Sales can be super fun to shop, but also very seductive. Stick to your list (to avoid over-consuming) and focus on quality pieces and timeless designs that will last a lifetime.