i do love the holidays.
i mean it.
decorating, the smell of pine everywhere and the ease of saying HAPPY HOLIDAYS or something bright and cheerful to everyone i want (and for a few short weeks not being seen as crazy for trying to talk to strangers)
then there are the gifts.
some years the gift ideas and the budget are just flowing, the kids' lists and my creative ideas are straight forward and the elves and i get it done NO problem.
and other years everything feels stale - been there done that.
this was beginning to feel like one of those years .
MWOS is wholly opposed to stuff for the sake of having stuff - so you need to know that giving stuff just to give stuff positively breaks my heart.
so this year i am going to give you some SHOPTIONS - like that? Shop Options...#clever #admitit
this post is going to be for my local peeps - i have two special places i want to showcase - of course there are many shopping treasures on the Northshore but these two, well #MWOS is feeling great feels about them! they are definitely off the radar boutiques, as their retail options are second to their amazing missions - as establishments their goals are to benefit our great community first - having small retail options just makes it that much more fun and in the spirit of the holidays #magical
#1 the BACK YARD GROWERS HOLIDAY POP UP SHOP
269 Main St. Gloucester, MA
No no you didn't miss my birthday, I will remind you (FYI: it is on December 7th, errr Pearl Harbor Day, go add it to your calendar; I will wait!)
It was a friend's "unbirthday", as in she wanted to keep things understated and unassuming. She wanted to gather the girls and just enjoy. A good recipe for sure. It was laughter and conversation, food and drinks and when the traditional "Happy Birthday" sing thing might happen...one of our friends shared a brilliant and I do mean brilliant suggestion - everyone should share what the birthday girl means to them or how she has impacted their life. She exclaimed "we need to EULOGIZE THE LIVING" -- I most definitely heard it in ALL CAPS. It was exactly right. What the fuck are we waiting for?
"EULOGIZE THE LIVING"
We remind ourselves to say I love you all the time: luv ya, xxoo, love you, etc.
And if you're reading this and saying - wait I never say I love you,
STOP right now and say it.
Say it to someone (only if you mean it),
yourself (because even if you don't all the time YOU SHOULD),
say it to your pet, your plant, your car, I don't care just say it. A lot.
I love you before bed, before hanging up the phone, I love you in a text.
And all that "I love you" stuff is good, so good for you and the world.
BUT... what if we dig deeper and start to shine a little light on why we love and what we love about our people.
I love the way you _____ I'm inspired by your _____.
If you're a parent you may have read the philosophy that it is best to "praise the process" of your child's success not the success itself. Kinda like, I love how happy you were while you were painting, instead of that painting is so beautiful!
Or "I'm proud because you tried" vs. "I'm so psyched you won!"
Well, this living eulogy thing is that but way way better. If you say that nice thing when you think it, two things happen.
1. You've made someone feel good, really good. You have filled their bucket.
2. You do not "have to remember" to say it to them later. Admit it remembering is not our strong suit, and regret is too easy to come by (I wish I had told them....) Just say it. NOW.
My brilliant friend does this eulogizing as a birthday tradition.
This. Is. Great. Wouldn't it be radical to do this every chance you got?
#radicalselfcare in being insanely kind and supportive to others today, while they are alive. That's the thing with eulogies, they are most often reserved for the dead - can this be another rule that we rewrite? Let's honor our friends and our memories in real time.
This is your power - our power. That thing you want to say might be exactly what they need to hear in that exact moment.
(And here is a bit more truth: today is Memorial Day -
a day to say thank you and honor the service men and women who died in service to our country. I have said many goodbyes in my life - and most were filled with those regrets of things left unsaid. However, once, just once I reached out just in the nick of time. It does not make missing my friend any less painful - but man am I glad I sent that email when I did. Deep breath, sad sigh, acceptance.)
okay friends, thanks for listening.
be you, be kind.
Way back in January I went to a yoga class at my beloved retreat Treetop Yoga.
An inspired yogi told us we all needed "radical self care ".
What the whaaat?
Basic breakdown: take the time, as much as you can spare to take care of yourself. I made it my New Year's Resolution (and typically I skip those all together #pressure). Now it is May and I will share my progress...I have taken the time to write in a journal (almost) every morning and night for (less than) five minutes - I basically bought "The Dummies Guide to Journaling" - but they cleverly titled it The Five Minute Journal.
I go to yoga, run, cook meals (note the plural there), read during daylight hours and try to take the 4 letter word (B.U.S.Y) out of my vernacular.
(Would have been really radical if I stopped saying S.H.I.T. or any of her close friends! NEVA!) That is not to say I am not busy, overwhelmed and often over the handle bars in life. BUT the biggest thing I am working on is believing that all the effort into this self care is not SELF-ISH- that is the hard part - and claiming I'm too busy is just not a spectacular excuse.
Today - on my wedding anniversary (lucky lucky me), I cashed in a gift certificate from early December (from my birthday!) for a massage at Saltwater Massage Studio in Gloucester, MA.
It was sublime, surreal and downright medicinal. I took care of myself today via Saltwater Massage. Our bodies and minds require support both tender and strong. We have to make time for that maintenance.
MWOS works to help people be more efficient in their homes, feel more beautiful in their clothes and in their own skin. I want us all to take care of our bodies and minds to operate efficiently. Stress/fatigue those two are BFF's - time to break 'em up. Radical thought, it is 2017 after all, join me on an unapologetic journey (even if you only hit Destination Self occasionally). You are worth it and so am I.
It was better than TV.
That was the lame ass review I gave after seeing an incredible show* at The Gloucester Stage Company in Gloucester, Massachusetts. (*more on that later)
This is what has happened to my once cultured mind that craved things like theater, museums and adult conversation. I have turned to my television. But come on Netflix, HBO - they really have upped the game...and in less time than a movie (read: earlier to bed).
Let's back up a bit. I still crave things like adult time and an occasional trip to a museum (not solely centered around my kids interests). What I really want is time to not feel selfish when I focus on me, my husband (who is pretty fab). A dear friend invited us to come (literally) down the hill to see a show called "Ex-Lovers"...date night material? TBD.
Well here is the review*:
IT WAS BETTER THAN TV. I laughed, was on the edge of my seat at times, held Tad (fab husband)'s hand, was stunned at the talent on this tiny stage in front of me. The show was eight small plays by a variety of GREAT talent curated by Israel Horovitz. The plays each touched on past relationships/ex-lovers but in wholly different ways, because really every time we fall in love it is so very different. Sitting with the one you have loved for seventeen years watching the breakdown of love is a little like watching a car accident - hoping to learn enough, so the same thing does not happen to you. It was a one night sold out show.
Now I feel a little like I am bragging - because I was there and likely you were not BUT there are plays there just about every weekend. Tickets are very reasonable, the tiny theater means every seat is great, wine and treats at the bar and incredibly friendly guests (if you are into that - and I so am!)
So it is this simple - put down the remote and join me at a show - we cannot wait to go back and see more! www.gloucesterstage.com