10 things that are working for me right now
A list of things that are making life better, easier, and more fun.
Greetings, friends. I’m writing this one from San Diego, where I’m spending the week with my boyfriend, Alma (my daughter), and some family. The family—my mom and her husband, my boyfriend’s mom, and my brother and his family—are all flying in today and tomorrow. I haven’t spent Thanksgiving around family for a very long time because I swore off traveling for the holidays many years ago, so this is a totally different kind of year, and I’m here for it.
I hope that whatever you’re doing this week, whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, with family or not, you’re able to find some rest and pockets of peace. I’ve had some great holiday seasons and some brutal ones, even in sobriety, so know that whatever you’re going through right now is just that: a season.
My friend Nic Antoinette does these “What’s Working” posts every so often on her Substack, and I love them, so I’m straight up copying her with this newsletter. It’s a list of things (big or small) that are working in my life right now and why they’re working/what they’re creating in my life. Please tell me what’s working for you, too, in the comments.
10 things that are working for me right now.
Reading fiction, and lots of it. I have been on a reading tear since I finished my book back in August. It’s delicious and fun and mind-expanding, and I’m letting myself read WHATEVER I WANT TO READ instead of forcing myself to read what I “should” because it’s on some list, or it’s what some smart person is reading, or because I feel like I need to be on this perpetual hamster wheel of learning or any number of other reasons we push ourselves to read certain books. I also quit something without a second thought if I’m not into it after the first 50 pages or so (but I’ve always done that; I’m just giving you permission to do the same). The highlight reads of this season are Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (will be out in the spring), Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro, and This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel.
LMNT electrolyte mix. I am someone who drinks an absurd amount of water. It’s a joke in my house because I need to have water with me at all times (in the car, watching a soccer game, in bed, watching TV), or I get very angry and anxious as if someone is trying to hurt me. Despite drinking all that water, I still felt dehydrated much of the time. I discovered LMNT earlier this spring, and holy Moses (!), now I actually feel hydrated, like the water is doing something. I have one a day unless I’m doing something like a big hike or playing volleyball for hours, and then I’ll do two. My favorite flavors are citrus salt, orange salt, and watermelon salt. This stuff also helped tremendously when I had a month of brain fog from Covid. This isn’t a sponsored thing; I just love the stuff.
Hiking. I don’t know how I grew up in Colorado and lived most of my life in New England without really hiking, but alas. I mean, I’d done the occasional casual hike here and there, but I’d never really considered it something I’d want to be into, even though it suits my personality perfectly (outdoors, alone, quiet, physically challenging). It all started when I went on a solo retreat in the Berkshires this summer after finishing my book. I went on three legit hikes over the three days I was there and fell in love. I’ve since hiked in Vermont, Colorado, and Maine (while visiting these places for various trips). Heaven.
Getting sun in my eyeballs first thing in the morning and at the end of the day before sunset. My boyfriend and I call it “getting our luxes” based on this Huberman podcast, where he learned about how this helps set your wake and sleep cycles. I love it, and it’s helping stave off SAD right now.
Maintenance Phase podcast. I am a little late to their game, but man, do I love these two. I don’t like very many podcasts (suggestions welcome), but I have binge-listened to every episode of this show and joined their Patreon to listen to their bonus episodes. They’re hilarious, whip-smart, the production and sound are tight, and they’re doing God’s work in calling out the BS in the “wellness” industry. My favorite so far is the two-part series on Rachel Hollis. (Michael Hobbes also recently started a new show called If Books Could Kill, and I’m loving it as well.)
Lifting heavy shit. I’ve always been an exerciser-type person. I need it for my brain. But aside from a couple of small attempts at weights over the years, I’ve never really gone all in on strength training. It’s always been cardio this or cardio that. Over the summer, based on maybe getting older and knowing it’s important for my bones or because my routines have become stale, I decided to really commit. Got some more free weights and kettlebells and hired a trainer to teach me what to do (hi, Anne!), and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. LOVE. IT. I feel stronger, I love the challenge of learning the different exercises, and there’s something completely different about lifting heavy stuff that makes me feel like rawrrrrrr.
Repeating Erin Lane’s phrase, “I am a low-capacity woman,” in my head and smiling. I love her for saying it; it gives me permission daily.
Going to sobriety support meetings. Since November 1, I’ve been teaching a new program we’re running in The Luckiest Club called The Sober 90. We created it for folks who are new to sobriety (or less new but need support and structure). Since it started, I’ve been attending tons of TLC meetings myself, which I don’t usually do because I’ve always found it hard to attend and not have my “founder/owner” hat on. But since this program started, I’ve found myself wanting to attend and listen in, just as another person in recovery (which I’ve been all along, but it becomes different when you run the thing). It’s re-connected me to early sobriety, which has been helpful and humbling.
Not writing. Except for this newsletter, I haven’t been writing at all. I got an email from my agent the other day saying my next book is slated to publish in Spring 2024 and was that too soon? Did I want to push it back? My heart started pounding. Publishing a book in the Spring of 2024 meant I’d need to have the manuscript done in about four months. I am still coming down from finishing Push Off from Here. My body is still carrying the perpetual stress and sense of urgency around a looming deadline, and I cannot fathom starting again right now (I would already be behind, it is impossible for me to write a book in four months, as far as I know). My ambition monster wanted me to commit to Spring 2024, but I quickly told her to knock it off and instead said YES, THAT IS WAY TOO SOON, and so it’s now slated for Spring 2025. I have been breathing enormous sighs of relief since.
This song. On repeat. Forever.
That’s it! What’s working for you? How are you? Share.
Love, and until next time,
Pre-Order Push Off from Here
Push Off from Here: 9 Essential Truths to Get You Through Life (and Everything Else) comes out on March 7, 2023. You can pre-order it now.
Join me at The Art of Living Center in Boone, NC - July 21-23, 2023
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Podcast recommendation: Tig and Cheryl: True story. My favorite podcast, it’s Tig notaro and Cheryl Hines and they review a different documentary each week. Truly hilarious.
I am the same with water, can not leave the house without it. Like what happens if thirst strikes on my way to school pick up?! I don’t care that I pass 9 gas stations on the way I can easily run in to. Just..What. If. I do love LMNT!
On another note, my in-laws are heading into town tomorrow(we are hosting thanksgiving) I asked her if there was anything I could pick up for them at the grocery store. She said wine. And preceded to describe the types they like. WHOA, hold up. We don’t do that here. And she knows this, we’ve been sober for 3yrs. I don’t mind her bringing her own wine but for the love of goddess, I will not be buying/picking it out 🤦🏻♀️ she said, “oh that makes sense” And then said they are staying 2 more days. Send me strength..and Advil.