Did I mention that we moved, earlier this month? And that I started a new job, not long ago? And that, perhaps, all these transitions at once (along with the usual responsibilities of daily life) might have been a wee bit stressful?
Well. In case I didn’t, I’m mentioning it now.
August has been a month for hanging on by our fingernails: unpacking the new apartment one box at a time, calling all the utility companies and the washing machine repairman, scraping together dinner from whatever’s in the fridge (which often hasn’t been much). I am looking forward to September, always one of my favorite months, and simultaneously not sure how it’s upon us already.
As I wade through transition (aided by a bit of fortune cookie wisdom, above), I decided it was time for another list of what’s saving my life now. Amid the chaos, there is still a lot of good stuff – “lots of joy,” a friend reminded me the other day. “But you have to seek it.” She was right, as she usually is.
So, as we soak up these last hot days of summer (and hope for some rain), here’s what is saving my life now:
- My daily trips to Darwin’s, for sustenance of several kinds. Chai in the morning, lunch at midday, snacks and/or fresh produce in the afternoon. And always, chitchat with the folks behind the counter. This is my place and I am grateful for it every single day.
- A simple summer salad, which has been dinner several times recently: tomatoes, mozzarella, peaches, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar.
- Good books: gorgeous fiction (Alice Hoffman’s Faithful), smart nonfiction (David Hajdu’s Love for Sale and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures), entertaining light fiction (Meg Cabot’s The Boy is Back and Rhys Bowen’s Crowned and Dangerous).
- A scone and a cup of tea for breakfast, nearly every day. (See also: not overthinking it.)
- The silver ring set with malachite I bought in NYC, which makes me so happy every time I wear it.
- An ongoing text conversation with a friend about All The Things, which is a daily lifeline.
- A standing Thursday meeting with other writers from around Harvard, a font of both useful information and witty, sarcastic one-liners.
- Red roses from my local florist, and a clear surface to put them on.
- Having (most of) my books shelved and arranged so I can find them.
- Our washing machine works again – and doing laundry always makes me feel more in control of my life.
- Pictures of my nephew, headed back to preschool, and so many of my friends’ kids who are also going back to school. I love those brand-new backpacks and gap-toothed grins.
- Ice cream dates, with J and with friends, at the place down the street from our new apartment.
- Photos of a colleague’s new puppy, and interactions with other friendly dogs in Harvard Square.
- Julia Cameron’s wise words on writing and life in The Sound of Paper, to which I return every summer.
- A couple of long heart-to-hearts with good friends. There’s nothing like being together.
What’s saving your life these days? I’d really like to know.