I’ve been choosing three words to anchor my outlook for each year since 2007 (no resolutions, only words), but this is the first year in a while that I haven’t had the constraints of a pandemic or a pregnancy weighing on me. This year, on this day, I share the following: Rehabilitate. Reprioritize. Play.
And to honor you, my dear friend who inspired this post, I’ll write as if we’re sitting on a cozy leather couch enjoying a sauternes, maybe by a fireplace in the West Village. Or maybe it’s daytime and we’re sitting on a sidewalk in Soho sipping matcha. Or perhaps we’re at a Michelin-starred restaurant abroad with a divine amuse bouche to kick off a 2-hour sensory rollercoaster (do you recognize this cover photo?). You pick. Here goes.
Where to start? My body feels shot. I’ve had two abdominal surgeries in consecutive years and while I’m no longer in pain, my muscles are neither strong nor supple. I suffered from tremendous post partum anxiety this past summer and my mind, while active and able, operates with shades of gray that weren’t there in years past. I’d like to feel less like a stranger in my own skin. I need to move. I need to regulate, moderate, hydrate (side note: I understand how difficult it is to consumer enough water daily, but the Hydroflast/Stanley water bottle craze baffles me!). I’m going to start in simple ways and just try to sleep more (easier said than done). I’m starting to take more “walk and talk” meetings at work to up my stepcount. Eventually, I’d like to pick my yoga practice back up and maybe get into some kind of jogging routine when the weather warms up. The overall goal is health and just feeling good about all dimensions of it, both physical and mental.
I feel the urge to do this massive spring cleaning and audit every facet of my life from what I wear, who I spend time with, how things are organized, and everything in between. My operating system feels stale and I want a hard reboot. I’m going to start with physical things and clear out closets, purge bookshelves, and donate the stockpile of baby things that the kids have outgrown. This isn’t me going full-on Marie Kondo. I’d like to think of it more as a major curation exercise and an examination of what’s really important to me and how I can bring those things (or people) into greater focus.
I think I need to play more. I feel like a walking cliche of a middle-aged millennial woman, someone who moved to the suburbs, has two kids, and spends the majority of her time contemplating work-life balance. Once upon a time, I’d like to think you could call me to hang out – San Franciso, Peru, Houston, Mexico, wherever – and I’d be there. You could ask me the latest greatest cocktail bar or restaurant opening in the city and I’d rattle off an Eater-worthy list off the top of my head. You could ask me about a recent book I’ve read, a concert or museum exhibit I felt inspired by, and I’d be able to tell you. I went to ONE concert last year – John Mayer’s acoustic tour. I went to ONE sporting event – Duke vs. Baylor at MSG. I went to ONE museum – the Met on the last day of their Van Gogh Cypresses exhibit. I read a dozen books, but they were all on parenting and women’s health. I have not done karaoke since before the pandemic! How crazy is that! 2024 is when I reignite my joie de vivre and make more me time without feeling guilty about it. Oh, I’m reading this book called “For the Culture” by Marcus Collins. We’re doing some work together at TikTok and I love the way he sees the world.
Thank you for giving me a good excuse to sit quietly with myself and structure some thoughts that have been swirling in my head. I do hope you take me up on my offer to host something for you when you’re in town because you know no matter how I reprioritize my time, I’ll always make time for you. And when I think about my friends who have been tremendous play mates, you’re someone who has gifted me with countless memories full of unique, rich, joyful experiences.
I hope that as you usher in this next year and decade, your sense of optimism about the world never dissipates. I’m grateful for what you’ve given me, the community, and the world at large – a place to express whoever we are at whatever stage of life we’re at. Cheers to forty, friendship, and the fortitude to write and hit publish even when it feels hard to 🙂