Trusting Myself to the Water & #VOWholding

It’s been one of those weeks.
And I mean that in the best way.
It was one for the books.

Composed of a hundred moments that are insignificant in the grand scheme of our lives yet exactly the thing that makes the days they are made of great—

A handful or two of belly laughs.
Another of nights without enough sleep.
But more than that, it was dinner made and dishes done.
Beds and space easily shared.
Kisses and moments that never had to be stolen, because they were freely given.

And that’s both the bitch and beauty of living;
Nothing is forever.

So I’ve made up my mind to trust myself to the water (Alan Watts),
Because that’s what this whole thing is (David Foster Wallace).

And if I need to hold my heart outside my body for days (Nayyirah Waheed) in the aftermath I will.

But I’ll


My chances, because

keep putting your hands
on my mind.
It is the same thing as my body.’

—heal, Nayyirah Waheed

Steph’s HOLD mantra:
Help me to accept what it is that you need to give me.
Help me to release what it is that I need to let go of.

-a Quaker prayer

Steph’s Song of the Week: Unsteady by X Ambassadors

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWhold post.


30 Seconds to Intimacy: Reflecting on HOLD

I don’t remember exactly when Josh first mentioned it. Maybe it was something his therapist said. Perhaps it was a random article that caught his eye during a mental work break. All I know is that since he mentioned there was a “right way” to do them, all our subsequent hugs have piqued my interest.

Hugging, it seems, is good for our neurobiology. And 30 seconds of it increases intimacy-cementing hormones (namely, oxytocin). This is the chemical released during childbirth and, interestingly, intercourse. As much of a 30 second EMBRACE (recall that this is my #oneword2017) can enhance, solidify, and tenderize your relationship with your partner. Not that Josh and I need it — we’re that obnoxious couple that has never fought, despite dating for over a year and living together for nearly six months. Part of that is because we’re naturally so fucking compatible that it bewilders us on a daily basis. The other is because we actively work to preclude conflicts before they originate.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re going to have a huge blow out at some point. We’ve even placed a bet on what it will be about and who will start the fight (my bed: probably about his ex and it’ll probably be me saying something feisty).

But in the meantime, we are diligent to take care of the other person. To be on their side. To support and forgive and clarify. And this week, I wanted to give those long, restorative hugs a try.

So every day, we would HOLD one another for a long embrace. Sometimes it was in the bathroom, naked post-shower. Sometimes it was in the doorway, holding my purse post-work. Sometimes it was in the kitchen, wet hands from doing dishes post-dinner.

You don’t just wrap your arms around each other, either. Josh gave me instructions during our first run — you must also put your weight into the other one. Really lean in there. Rest your body against the other person. Hold tight-ish. Maybe place your face in the crook of their neck and breathe in their pheromones.

And for reals, y’all, it works. It’s an instant rejuvenater. At first we hugged for the designated 30 seconds. Oftentimes it lasted far longer, the two of us slowly revolving in our own little world. The hugs infiltrated our sleep, TV watching, and meal times. Josh thrives on physical touch so this week’s verb benefited him even more than me.

This week was a good reminder that our VOWs needn’t be major in order to be impactful.

Next week we shift gears and begin to TAKE

Lin’s VOW mantra:

Lin’s Song of the Week: Hold On by Rivvrs

Be sure to read Steph’s #VOWhold post (coming soon!)

#VOWinvest: ROI & Relationships

Lin and I have both said it before: we think the Universe really digs this little game we are playing, because, somehow, these words and our weeks seem to consistently work together to teach us more than we ever imagined.

I anticipated being very intentional about where I spent my time last week. I spent last Sunday planning the days ahead. I also decided as part of my week focused on investing, I would finally schedule a consultation with a financial adviser to talk about retirement.

I did indeed do the latter (and learned that financial planning is a serious investment), but I have to be honest; my follow-through with the former didn’t go so well. Things came up. I didn’t sleep as much as I should have. I lost focus. And, I had a little too much fun a couple nights.

When it came time to write my #VOWinvest post, I realized as I sat down that the thing that derailed my well-made proposal was not the way I invested my time but with whom.

Derailed is actually the wrong word, because it sounds negative, and the fact is, this past week was not negative at all. Yes, I didn’t do everything I planned, but I did spend more time than I budgeted with people who fill me up. And doing that instead of crossing the things off my list I could have was a good ROI.

I mentioned it last week, and after a week of #VOWinvest-ing, I think I’m onto something:

The second half of 2017 will in large part be about tribe. About who I am okay losing sleep with. Who isn’t worth staying up for. In some cases, who I just need to let go of, because the return isn’t worth it, and who I need to…


…onto with everything I have.

Steph’s INVEST mantra: Pack light and love heavy. (Give the song below a listen.)

Steph’s Song of the Week: Bluebonnets (Julia’s Song) by Aaron Watson

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWinvest post (coming soon!).