2019: WRITE What Happened. (#VOWrecord)

My grandpa used to write things down. Every night. In this daily planner of sorts. It had a faux leather cover. The year was in gold. On the front. Near a corner. He sat in that rust red chair a lot of nights writing in it. I don’t think I ever dared to open one. Though I’ve always been curious. I hope they are in a box somewhere. I should ask my grandma.

My grandma…I keep thinking about her. That I don’t call enough. That when I do, it is always hard to talk like we used to. I know she is tired. She always has one eye on my grandpa, making sure he is okay. I feel guilty too…for not being there. I don’t want her to be reminded that I am not. To be in pain. But I have so many things to tell her. She used to be my best friend. I stopped treating her like that when their life changed. I didn’t want to be a burden. I wonder if I inadvertently was anyway. I have things to ask her too. I’m going to try letters.

I want to pass things on. The things I want to know from her…I want to give those to someone one day. I want to be able to recall when I remember, even if I need some help to do it. I want to have a way to check back in. With myself.

I want to write what happened.

In as many ways and formats as I can.

So, in 2019, I am RECORDing.

Pomodoro Prompt: Reflecting on INFORM, LISTEN, & NARROW in 10 Minutes.

I’m months behind on posts.

I had intentions to post. I even had ideas about what I wanted to post.
But I left things unwritten.

It felt daunting.

I should have set myself a timer and wrote a damn post.
Should have just gotten it done.

I’m doing it this year.
My 30th year.
If something takes less than a minute, do it right then.
If something seems daunting, set a ten-minute timer and make as much progress as you can.

So here is ten minutes.
On INFORM (November 2018).
LISTEN (2018).
NARROW (2018 One-Word).

I started listening to Up First, the NPR podcast. I started it, because one of my yoga teachers mentioned in her Instagram story that it is part of her morning routine. I realized I had been slacking as a citizen, despite my service as a public servant. I wasn’t staying current (with good reason sometimes).

I set a goal to do a sun salutation every day. I didn’t succeed, but I did a lot more than I would have otherwise. I realized that I like sun salutations. That they can seem like a gratitude prayer.

I just strung together that the same yoga teacher mentioned that to me. Worth noting.

I took in information. Some of it just through observing myself. Noting a lot of what makes me not feel so good and when and why I don’t—be it physically, emotionally, or just authentically.

I picked up patterns. What happens. When I don’t exercise. When we don’t touch.

I learned a lot this year that I didn’t know I needed to learn.

Things were taken away. I realize I like less.
That I can still do without more.

I figured out what I don’t want to do with my life—another thing anyway.

I learned who I want by my side.
Who it is okay to let watch from the sidelines.

Here’s to 2019.
To RECORDing what happened.
Because we should write that shit down.

#Incubate2019

My 2018 word was chosen during a tarot reading; I was told my 32nd year would bring for many opportunities for EXPANSION.

This year, INCUBATE similarly revealed itself. Frankly, I was thisclose to selecting Sister’s word (RECORD). I used to be an avid journaler but since moving to Birmingham, I’d fallen out of the habit. This blog, while an activity I love, was often pushed aside while more “pressing” requirements fought for my time. (Rule of Adulthood that always brought me back to posting — make the time and do just a little).

Finals were stressful and I had less time to devote towards reflecting on the past year. It’s my favorite thing to do. When Spotify unveils its Top 100 Songs playlist I feel the buzz of excitement for a new year. The fresh tracks you get to lay. The unknown promise of what is to come. 2019 might be a festering dumpster fire of a year for all I know, but there’s just something about the anticipation of the unknown. The passing of phases. The chance to look back and detect how things have changed since last time.

Goddamn, I love this time of year.

Chani Nicholas is an astrologer I came to about two years ago; her new moon horoscopes and rituals have become an essential expense item in my monthly budget. She, along with Susan Miller, another astro giant, discussed Jupiter’s arrival into my 12th house and the opportunity the benefic planet provides to the deepest layers of my psyche. It’s a time to unravel old knots, to heal ancient wounds, to cocoon before 2020 which is destined to be a great year for me.

It was a passing sentence during Chani’s New Moon in Scorpio session that planted the idea. Jupiter transitioned into Sagittarius in November (then retrograded out, and just re-entered). She said the aspect created an incubation period with the gift of making deep wounds heal and mark a moment of turning inward before big things start to happen.

It all makes sense for the trajectory my life is currently taking. I didn’t get the promotion at work I earned. It was a disappointment and frustration but one I also sort of saw coming. Completing my Master’s creates a sort of purgatory where I need to stay in my job until graduation (pretty much nothing would get in the way of free tuition). With degree in hand, a whole world of opportunity opens up. I hope a path will reveal itself clearly in the coming year (professionally, personally, creatively).

Sister and I are doing VOWs a little differently (again). We both agreed on wanting to focus more on our OneWords for the year. So rather than do random monthly verbs, we each have chosen synonyms for our words. Ergo, in 2019 I will be posting on the following:

January: CULTIVATE

February: ENSHROUD

March: NURTURE

April: PLANT

May: MARINATE

June: PREPARE

July: ENCOURAGE

August: MANIFEST

September: FOSTER

October: NOURISH

November: DEVISE

December: SCHEME

When Sister asked what I hoped to gain from my INCUBATION, I shared my focus was doing behind-the-scenes preparation. Not needing a gold star at work. Not chasing a big dream. Keeping my head down, focusing on the seeds that need to be planted so I can reap the benefits in coming seasons. To poke around the soft spots of my heart and give them proper care so I can make space for more goodness to come my way. To purge what no longer serves.

Bursting the Bubble: Reflecting on EXPAND

This year was a focus on growth, moving up and outward. Perhaps overgrowing in some areas. The year began with a list of things to Expand:

  • I took 20 credit hours of graduate school while working full time… and maintained a 4.0 GPA, which I realize isn’t important to anyone. Except me. Because I was so nervous about starting school. So nervous it would be overwhelming and I would flounder. But I didn’t. I discovered I would be an excellent doctoral candidate, an idea I scoffed at the first time the Chair of my department suggested it. But as it turns out, a PhD may be a path I genuinely consider one day.
  • My career took unexpected turns. While I may have passed by for a major promotion, a high ranking university administrator shared his believe I would make an excellent Dean of Students in a few years time. He also shared my reputation as a hard and considerate worker was recognized throughout the division. I had the opportunity to mentor a couple of colleagues; ones I don’t supervise but who look towards me for leadership all the same. I attended a professional development conference that introduced me to my thesis topic (porn!) which I can use as a grant proposal for future endeavors.
  • My spirituality remained steadfast. I don’t ascribe to a specific deity or belief. A couple friends suggested I enroll in a Paganism 101 course at a local metaphysical shop with them, though it didn’t appeal. I’m no more Pagan than Baptist these days. And I’m okay with that. I have certainty the Universe takes care of those who trust it. And while there may be some Source that is interested in my well-being, it isn’t actively pulling strings on the daily. This belief solidified. I possess a quiet spirituality these days and rarely struggle comparing my journey to others.
  • I probably didn’t seek friendship as doggedly as I should have. I accepted invites, though. I made connections. I showed up for people I only met briefly and came to terms that I don’t need the same size circle I had in Fort Collins — which took over a decade to build. Instead, I capitalized on the relationships I value most and showed up whenever I was called upon. Midnight phone calls, pleading emails, laughter in success.
  • Josh and I are still the eternally obnoxious couple who belly laugh ever night before bed. The ones who drunkenly sit on a balcony overlooking the ocean and discuss how they wouldn’t trade places with anyone under any condition because there is no one more compatible or contented than us. It is as schmaltzy as it sounds. I know this perfect little bubble will burst some day, maybe soon. We’ll yell at each other in anger; some catastrophe will crack our foundation. So each night when I put my head on my love’s shoulder and whisper nonsensical riddles into his ear (as is our habit) I catalog the moment with fierce gratitude.
  • My relationship with myself is progressing slowly. I made efforts to be kinder to myself about the softness of my body and wildness of my hair. I took a food sensitivity test and discovered brewers yeast and dairy caused my chronic stomach aches and aggressive acne. I hoped cutting them from my diet would result in moderate weight loss, though that was not the case. Neither did cutting out alcohol on school nights and exercising for about five hours each week. This may have been one of the tests of my year — doing all the little things that are supposed to add up to major changes and still appreciating the damn thing when it all stays the same.
  • Truth is ever evasive, though this year I found incredible solace in reminding myself It is what it is. Such a basic and seemingly pessimistic phrase that continues to prove relevant into adulthood. Fighting whatever it happens to be is wasted effort. I added another Rule of Adulthood: Make the time to do just a little. I don’t know when I discovered the Pomodoro Technique but it single-handedly enabled all-day study sessions and completing endless reports for work.
  • I didn’t go to a kundalini class. But I still want to try one.
  • I meditated a bit but it is far from routine. I’m still making room for it in the middle of my work day with the personal reminder that taking even 10 minutes for lunch is appropriate.
  • Travel always makes your world larger and smaller at the same time. You realize people are mostly the same wherever you go. You share smiles with a stranger whose language you don’t speak (even if it’s just metaphorically). You drink their booze and eat their delicacies and soak in all that’s unfamiliar. Seattle, Cuba, St Augustine, Tennessee, Orange Beach. Most of our trips were small weekend getaways but they replenished me in a way I can’t fully explain. But it made my heart bigger, experience deeper, and appreciation wider.
  • And our house. Our wonderful, amazing, cozy, beautiful home with a glorious deck and magnolia tree. My astrologer noted three or so years ago that my chart indicated Home was of incredible importance to me. She caught me in the middle of a cycle where I uprooted apartments five times in six years, so I initially dismissed her. But the adoration I feel for our little (huge) mid-century cottage is proof she was right. The only thing that could take me away from that place is opportunity in Savannah.

I’m not the same person I was at the start of the year. Not so drastically different either. As I age I find myself steadfast in accepting the things about me which may not be perfect but aren’t otherwise so bad. I also challenge myself to show up, to put others first, and to stop procrastinating. I maintain room for fun and satisfaction even during the most stressful of weeks.

Finale: Reflecting on INFORM and LISTEN

November – INFORM

November was bookended with house guests. Both our mothers came to visit (my stepdad, too) and it was wonderful to show off the house we’ve really settled into. To sip cocktails under the heat lamp on our deck. To laugh and catch up and exchange stories. To hear how cozy and welcoming we’ve made this place. To show off our little neighborhood and discover the strongest, cheapest drinks on a grey and brisk Black Friday.

Thinking back to November, it’s amazing how long ago it all seems. How distant those familial memories feel. I took a pretty huge bite at the beginning of the semester and enrolled in 12 credit hours; my biggest semester yet. And at first it didn’t feel like much. But let me tell you when the semester came to a close with countless essays and projects due, I felt the shift. 

Weeknights became a sprint to fit in research and chapters before bed, breaking for meals. Weekends employed the highly effective and much beloved Pomodoro technique to manage through eight to ten hour study sessions. 

I learned a hell of a lot.
The product of my work came back with perfect scores.
And I bemoaned the whole experience, loudly, from my perch at our game table. Like a child.

I became very INFORMed throughout November. I have read more academic articles about pornography than I ever thought existed. I immersed myself in classic sociological theory. I channeled my inner Brene by creating a codebook and employing grounded theory which led me to some fascinating research. I feel smarter because of the semester, for sure.

I also learned working a full-time job and taking that many credits is not the best for my mental health, work-school-life balance, and general disposition. 

Unfortunately, I was also recently INFORMed at work that I was not qualified for the promotion I hoped for. In turn, I INFORMed my boss I couldn’t see myself staying in this organization or position for much longer. In a wave of boldness, I asked she be willing to afford me opportunities that would prepare me for whatever came next. It was a respectful conversation. Productive, too. Perhaps the most transparent we’ve been with each other… ever in the two years we’ve worked together. 

So that’s a lesson in and of itself, too.

There was a certain element of receptivity in November. Of going with the flow towards which I’m not naturally inclined. It reiterated in order to obtain information, you need to be willing to take it. And when what you’re told isn’t quite what you like to hear, you have to keep on listening…

December – LISTEN

I’m cheating this month and double-posting before the end of the year. The reason for it is to make room for my intuition and higher self to speak. New Years is my favorite but because I’ve been so overburdened by school, I haven’t made the time to perform all my end of year rituals. 

I haven’t closed the circle.
I haven’t brainstormed goals.
I haven’t started the vision board.
Hell, I haven’t chosen my OneWord yet.

My beloved knew how stressful this semester was and how diligently I worked to stay on top of assignments. So he gifted me with a three-night trip at the beach to ring in 2019. Enough time for me to reflect, plan, and envision the upcoming twelve months.

Josh and I joke often about the difference between hearing someone and listening to them. He has a hard time keeping them apart and remembering which one is better. “I listened you” is our cutesy response when the other person thinks you’re not paying close attention to what they’re saying. It’s a demonstration that despite being two-and-a-half years in, we still care and actively invest in thoughts and ramblings of the other. Even on nights when you’re cranky, or meals when your mind is somewhere else.

I’m grateful for the privilege to reflect inward and be able and willing to listen to myself. To the still quiet voice of revelation that says maybe you should consider that PhD offer and wouldn’t it be fascinating to study the relationship  between pornography use and celibacy? To actively engage with something that could be nothing but might also possibly be everything. And other nuggets I haven’t made room to hear yet.

In 2019…

Our Venture is as ever-evolving as our lives are. 

In 2017 we VOWed weekly.
In 2018, it was monthly.
In 2019, we will continue to post, but with the focus on our singular word for the year (once one of us figures out her verb *ahem*).

Join us?
Happy holidays to you and yours. 

My conundrum: Reflecting on REJECT

Immersing oneself in the study of society and culture has an interesting way of illuminating realities you haven’t really noticed before. Or kinda noticed but failed to acknowledge its weight.

Looking back through all my posts from this Venture, I notice how often I bemoan social media.
How much it exhausts me.
Detracts from my life.

But I live in the world.
During this era.
Social media is a part of the postmodern age.
Like single-use plastics and smog and centuries-old discourse that espouse hate.

People live social media-less lives.
I desperately want to be one of them.

And…

Pretty much none of my Tribe lives in my current city. We’re scattered around the country (and globe) nowadays. So if the alternative is feeling less connected to them, then I haven’t really an interest in severing the few ties that continue to bind us. I’m not the best at keeping up with people, especially when time is sparse, and sometimes keeping an eye on snippets can suffice.

Plus, my job necessitates I participate in a variety of social networks. I have presence on most everything in some capacity so I can peek at someone’s digital footprint when necessary.

And…

This month I’ve taken steps to REJECT Facebook.
To remove it from my life.
To consult Instagram less.
To select my news from the New York Times rather than some automated feed.

Lately, more than ever, I’ve tried to be active about the standards I keep. In my personal life. In my professional role. In the clothing I purchase. In the words I share. Because selecting something means REJECTING another. So I damn sure better be aware of what that choice (or lack thereof) means. Beyond myself and the immediate repercussions of that choice.

REJECTING has been a lot more about curating. About selecting. Which is funny because that was last month’s blog which in turn felt like taking ownership.

Sometimes our VOWS are similes. Sometimes they’re exactly what we need.
Occasionally they show up in ways we expected. Meanwhile others it’s a sort of filter you see through.

Next month we round out our last dichotomous pair with INFORM…


Check out Steph’s #VOWreject post here

We’re all culpable: Reflecting on CHOOSE

Sister’s post inspired me to write a small paragraph on September’s VOW — CHOOSE — which turned into a long ramble. At first I wasn’t particularly sure what to write. Or rather, at the start of October I knew exactly what I wanted to write but was afraid I couldn’t express it well. So tonight, in light of Sister making the time to post, I decided something said was better that something left unsaid. So I CHOOSE to possibly come across incoherent… to likely anger and alienate people with my opinions.

School begins the around the beginning of September but my office onlyonly st to get busy around the time I post this (mid-October). To keep us occupied, we make the rounds presenting to clubs, organizations, departments, and freshman First Year Experience classes. I discuss what Title IX is, why we exist on campuses. I try not to lecture but let’s face it – when a 33-year-old woman discusses sexual violence in a room of teenagers, it is hard to come across anything but. Especially when your boss placed a moratorium on your use of curse words (I still maintain swearing creates an air of approachability).

I talk about policy. About what type of behaviors lead to what type of charges. About why the University cares what happens behind closed doors in the private lives of our community.

The most important slide in my presentation is near the end. After I’m done making their skin crawly by listing examples of non-verbal positive and negative consent or by physically demonstrating themarkers of incapacitation, I tell my students that I know when something traumatic happens to someone — one of those incidents I’ve been talking about for the past 45 minutes — the person impacted isn’t going to immediately seek help from my office. They are going to turn to a friend, roommate, sibling, or partner and say something bad happened to me.

And that’s when I bring up the choice points. I explain to students that they can CHOOSE to support and believe that person, free from judgement. I emphasize what a luxury this is because there is literally less than a handful of people on our campus who have to remain neutral, who have to ask the hard questions, who have to look for holes in the story. When I’m at work, I am one of those chosen few. So I appeal to students to skip taking on such an unnecessary (and very heavy) burden. Instead, they can say I believe you. Thank you for trusting me. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry this happened.

That’s it. Just one little choice to forego but what were you… or but why were you… can be instrumental in the long-term healing of the person who trusted them enough to lean in. The opposite can be catastrophic with the potential to quite literally change the course of a whole life. I’ve heard stories about women who were assaulted when they were 15, 16-years-old, and when they disclosed what happened to their mothers, they response they got was I don’t know what else you could have expected when you run around with someone like that. And *poof*. Those women sat in isolated pain for another 50 years. Five-zero, folks. Fifty years of carrying that trauma. Can you even imagine? Indeed, probably some of you can…

And then came Kavanaugh’s nomination. And that too-painful-to-endure interrogation of Dr. Ford.

It was all too much.

Though not so much in listening to Dr. Ford’s experience, since that is literally what my job entails. I hear about nearly that exact experience every. single. day. And please know that I’m not seeking sympathy for doing my job. No, what killed my heart was the social media and national discourse that accompanied it.

People CHOSE to believe one side or the other based solely on political affiliation.

People CHOSE to dehumanize both the parties involved. Because I’m gonna throw out something controversial — Kavanaugh’s emotional explosion during the hearing? I don’t heavily fault him for it. If it were you having your actions from over 30 years ago being brought up preventing you from attaining the highest honor your field can bestoe, you’d probably be emotional too. Especially if you perhaps couldn’t admit the truth of the matter. Or maybe you were expressing your truth and the whole world had decided you were a monster anyway. I would, at least. And as HRH Brene Brown says, it’s hard to hate people up close. Empathy changes things… for both sides.

So I CHOSE to hold my tongue. To process through the entire ordeal with my Person, who bless his charitable soul, was patient with me every step of the way. Even when I would explode in frustration at the end of long work days for both of us.

This is what I hope we as a country CHOOSE to learn from this. I hope we all CHOOSE to become better. That we can set aside our allegiances and just simply believe the person who tells us something terrible happens. Sexual violence, racial discrimination, ageism, fatphobia, any of it. A victim is a victim is a victim.

And perhaps CHOOSE to simultaneously believe the person who did that horrendous action is still a person. Fallible, imperfect, yet human.

That we espouse our anger at the broken system instead of raging at specific actors caught up in its forces. That we recognize how we each individually CHOOSE to reinforce this broken system.

All of us failed Dr. Ford.

I have failed her and my entire career is a mea culpa for contributing to a society that enabled such harm.

And with that sense of failure, I also CHOOSE something different every day. I CHOOSE to look at myself and my failings as realistically as possible. To identify when I have a racist thought. To self-criticize when I’ve injured another person. And hopefully, to make small steps forward every day knowing that I have the ability and goddamn option to militantly stand up for what is right while conceding that my way isn’t the only way.


Steph had a crazy summer, so you can catch up with her #VOWtreasure, #VOWchoose, and #VOWreject post here

Mildew 1402 & What It Taught Me…

…About Treasures / Treasuring / What We Value (#VOWtreasure):

If you asked me a year ago what I would have taken from my apartment if I had 30 minutes to save what mattered, I think I would have had a very hard time picking. I would have wanted all of the clothes. I would not have left without my books. You would have had to pry the flaming canvases out of my hands.

A month ago, when that scenario actually played out (except that I was told nothing was safe to take and I had as much time as my lungs could breathe toxic air), I took two cast iron skillets, a potato peeler, a mandoline, and our boxes of Spanish sea salt–the supplies Kev and I use at least twice a week to make tortilla. I took the rocks we collected from the black stone beach in Iceland. I took the shells I held while I cried into the ocean two summers ago. I took a literal jar of dirt from my hometown that has been everywhere in the world I have since I graduated from high school in 2007. I took the pair of my grandpa’s socks I stole from his drawer years ago and the bear claw and turquoise necklace he gave me. I took the charms my dad gave my mom the year she graduated from high school. I saved the vintage leather jacket my sister passed down to me.

There was so much I couldn’t take of my grandmother’s. I hate that I did not even attempt to save her sewing basket. But every time my heart starts to ache, I can hear her telling me that I did not need something physical of hers–she’s hemmed right into my soul. She told me (in real life) not to shed tears over the loss of my artwork, because she was crying those for me.

…About Choice / Choosing How to React (#VOWchoose):

Pema Chödrön once told a story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather was telling the little boy about how sometimes it felt like he had two wolves fighting inside him. The grandson asked the old man which wolf wins. “Whichever wolf I choose to feed,” he said.

We can perpetually apologize, or we can choose to say, instead, thank you. We can feel guilty for accepting help, or we can pay it forward. In times of trauma, we can ask the victim, what can I do, or we can just show up with supplies for bolognese and pour them a glass of wine. We can let the anger loop, again and again, or we can choose to invite it to sit down with us and have a glass of red.

We have a lot of say in what happens to us.

…About Rejecting / Responding & Not Reacting (#VOWreject):

I hope some day all this makes me softer. That I look back on this with more laugh lines because of it. I hope that I lean into the sharp points. That I stay on the mat.

…About How All That Remains is Enough (#VOWnarrow):

Because I didn’t lose my entire life; I lost stuff,
and home is not a noun or a place–it’s a verb.


Check out Linds’ #VOWtreasure, #VOWchoose, and #VOWreject posts

 

Not So Special: Reflecting on TREASURE

August came and went. Quickly. Too quickly given how little I accomplished.

Though my birth month wasn’t as full as the rest of the year. In higher ed, it’s typically a time in which we prep for the arrival of students and brace ourselves for the insanity of the first few weeks of classes. In my area, we are responsive to the shit storm that usually follows six weeks of newfound independence that lends itself to chaos and trouble.

August at work is a waiting game through the end of October.

At home, I wrapped up a (very easy) summer semester and refreshed on all the necessary supplies and books necessary for my next (and final) year in my program. Josh and I lay low most weekends, trying to restrict our monetary and caloric budgets.

Simplicity is sometimes unnerving. Especially when it comes during what we perceive should be Big Moments. I’ve struggled to write something eloquent about the past month because nothing feels noteworthy. As a Leo I love celebrating (especially myself TBH) so having no updates feels like somehow the whole month was a dud.

Everything was smooth. Everything was uneventful. Everything was so freaking easy.

In the same way many artists believe they thrive off angst and anxiety to produce worthy work (recommended reading about this: Big Magic), I feel like I need to have something monumental in order to write an interesting or inspirational blog post. And there is probably something to that – I doubt this will be a read that pulls at your heartstrings or inspiration.

A few short years ago, I was the girl who had plans every night of the week. I literally had to deliberately practice Hermit Nights to spend in solitude. They were a beautiful respite among a packed calendar, but if I’m fully honest, I have historically felt better about myself when things are busy. I feel productive, interesting, important.

During this time I created a list of things I wanted in a relationship. It was an aspirational list which I never expected to fully manifest. But manifest it did, in the form of Josh. The first thing on that list that I think of, that I absolutely TREASURE, is achieving the desire to feel cherished. Josh cherishes the shit out of me. And likewise, I cherish the hell out of him.

It is in these quieter moments — this quieter life — that I find myself naturally expressing magnificent  gratitude for simplicity. For the ease. For what I once classified as boring. Understanding that all that is  Instagramable may not necessarily be the most valuable things. That afternoons spent in our underwear, lounging on the pullout sofa in front of the tv, sipping too strong of cocktails too early in the day, cuddling but not necessarily talking… this glitters more vibrantly than what pops and flashes.

Not so special has become pretty fucking amazing.

In September we make some decisions — find out what we CHOOSE.


Check out Steph’s #VOWtreasure post

Contractions: Catching Up on #VOWcross, #VOWwait, & #VOWspend

It’s the last day of July, and I haven’t posted since May.

Since then, #VOWcross, #VOWwait, and #VOWspend have come and gone.

I just caught up on Sister’s posts for the past three months, and I found myself nodding in agreement. Had I posted, as often happens with us, I would have said many of the same things, so I suggest you read hers.

I did reflect on our verbs. I even put them into practice. I thought about posting. I intended to.

But the last three months…well, they were something.

I think the best way to describe them is that they involved a hell of a lot of contracting, as Madisyn Taylor phrased it in her Daily Om newsletter that we reposted on the blog. (Also, you should totally subscribe to those emails, because they are life-changing; you can do so here.)

At the end of this year, I anticipating looking back on my One Word for 2018, Narrow, and remembering these contractions. I anticipate remembering the months spent trying to cross more things off my list than I possibly could get done. The time put in waiting for it to be time. The money spent when I would have rather saved it.

But despite this tightening, I think what I will remember more about narrowing is the way these contractions, ironically, expanded me. They flexed muscles that allowed me to cross lines and boundaries in nearly every aspect of my life, inspiring me to stretch and grow more than I knew I could—physically, sexually, spiritually, mentally, professionally. They reminded me about the goodness that can come from the Universe when I just sit and, therefore, trust that some things are worth investing in, worth waiting for. They taught me that sometimes Emergency Funds should be renamed Life Funds and spent in the moments that make you life rich, even if a bit cash poor.

And speaking of things that can be gold, this month, in August, we

Treasure.