Welcome to the close of 2021!
It wasn't an easy year, but amidst the poop storm there were moments to treasure. Seeing family and friends, getting vaccinated and having the kids in physical school again, simple things that took on a whole new level of meaning.
More than anything this year reminded me of how important it is to lean into joy. Here's some things that have brought me considerable joy and I'm proud of them too.
1. My Partnership with Cody
I don't talk about it that much because, yes, it's private, sure, but it's more that I feel this pressure not to be defined by my relationship. And yet, I love him, we've built a life together and our relationship has changed my damn life.
2. My family (pictured here climbing a mountain)
Being together 24/7 for months, not easy, but possible because they happen to be my favorite people.
I love listening to people’s stories (and reading them too). One of the blessings of 2021 was taking part in the Project for Advancing Health Stewardship through the University of Minnesota, led by Jeannine Ouelettte. In the workshop we each completed our own Where I’m From Poem inspired by George Ella Lyon. I enjoyed the process of creating my own poem, but even more I loved listening to the poems of the other participants. Taking that kernel and running with it, for the past few months I’ve been hosting a weekly IG Live (you can follow me on Instagram HERE) where a participant shares their Where I’m From poem and we’ll chat for about 15 minutes or so. I’ve done 9 so far and the 10th is on Monday @9AM/NOON EST with Elizabeth Heise.
PLEASE join me! SHARE your poem!
You do not need to consider yourself a writer to participate. I firmly believe each of us has a story to tell and that sharing it is powerful. Plus its frikkin’ awesome! If you’re interested in participating - email (or DM) me and let me know. I can send you the prompts. You can join me on IG Live or we can record on Zoom (and I’ll post to IG Live) or you can just write it and let it be. Up to you.
Thank you for your support of the Kickstarters from Issues #1 and #2. We are incredibly proud of the work and we so look forward to sharing Issues #3 and #4 with you in 2022! I am deeply grateful to my business partner, Jessica Petelle for her determination, vision and friendship.
One more in under the wire for 2021, The Boys in this month’s issue of Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, the sibling issue. As anyone who knows me would attest, I have a few things to say about siblings and I love this essay.
I read a lot. It's an escape. It's an education.
I just finished reading The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, Seek You: A Journey through American Loneliness by Kristen Radtke and Textbook Amy Krause Rosenthal by Amy Krause Rosenthal (AKR). It was a serendipitous trio of books to read together. The experience braided many of the things that have been on my mind of late and brought clarity to those very same thoughts.
I can (and will!) do little things and, yes, all those little things may add up to something larger, which is cool, but not the point. All those small steps forward, the small gestures, connections or actions, they give my life meaning, every day.
I can (and will!) pursue joy, even if what I'm doing makes sense to no one but me.
Delight is contagious, yes, and loneliness is contagious too.
And the longing to connect is real, for all of us.
AKR connected with her audience in a myriad of ways and I’d like to do every single social experiment AKR did (and I'm definitely doing some) from Textbook by AKR but I’ll begin here...
I’m planning/hoping to write a daily delight, inspired by Ross Gay, every day in 2022. Strangely I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution person but I do LOVE a good habit, so I’ll give this a try. I’ll post it on social media, if it doesn’t feel too utterly vulnerable but I have a feeling that being publicly vulnerable in delight is a worthwhile endeavor.
I’d LOVE ( LOVE, LOVE) it if you'd share a delight with me either through email or DM. Daily, Weekly, one time, whatever.
And the 50th DELIGHT I receive, I’ll send that person a copy of The Book of Delights. If it takes 50 days of the same delightful person, I will be thrilled to send them a book in February. If it's sooner (or later), that’s lovely too.
7. All of you
Reading Raptke’s book I thought of the last time I was truly lonely. It's been awhile and I am grateful for all the relationships in my life that make me feel seen, appreciated and loved.
Thank you for taking this journey with me.
See you in 2022!
P.S. And don't forget to send me your DELIGHTS!!
And it would be especially delightful if you forwarded this email to a friend, thanks!
Writer, reader, lover and fighter. Read a far more detailed bio on my About Page.