When we first got married, one of the ways that I could reliably frustrate my husband was by being overly optimistic about timing. For example, if I was out to dinner with friends and our food hadn’t arrived yet, I’d tell him I’d be home in about 30 minutes. That estimate totally covered time to eat, pay the bill, get another drink (or two?) and of course the one hour plus commute home from San Francisco.
In other words, I was 100% dishonest. It came from a well-intentioned place of not wanting to let him down in the moment: saying “I’ll be home in 30 minutes” sounds so much better than “at least 3 hours from now, and that’s if the after dinner cocktails aren’t super delicious, and if the train schedule improbably works in my favor.” Of course my lie would come back to bite me in the ass when it was inevitably revealed, but that was a future problem that I could avoid for, well, another 30 minutes.
It’s not a respectful way to treat your partner, consistently and knowingly offering alternative facts about your plans.
My habitual tardiness may be a silly example of how well our culture teaches us to fudge or obscure any news that we fear might be poorly received. (Just look at how many women intensely identified with Cat Person). I know I’m guilty of dissembling to maintain (an imagined?) social good all the time, for matters mundane and trivial.
In recent years, that unwillingness to put others out has manifested more in form of not asking for what I need, because the idea of either inconveniencing someone, or feeling as though I’m asking permission, feels alternately uncomfortable or stifling. And since I’m at a life stage when I need help more than ever—toddler mom, knocked up, full time job—not asking for support means I’m not showing up for myself. I’m putting up walls and limits where they don’t belong. I’m sacrificing my own health and well-being for … what, exactly?
This year, even though all the cool kids agree that resolutions are dumb, I’m using the new year as an opportunity to reflect and reset. This year, I want to reassert myself. To make space for me without guilt or excuses. To ask for the support I need instead of hoping it will be offered.
In 2018, I recognize that the limits I saw on what I could achieve and who I could be were self-inflicted. In 2018 I choose to leave behind those restrictions. I choose to be limitless. The decisions and sacrifices I will make this year will be thoughtful and proactive, not reactionary or fear-driven.
I’m going into this a realist. I know my toddler and my unborn child’s needs will ultimately come first, but from here on out, that’s an approach I choose instead of a condition I submit to.
In 2018 I show up for myself, without reservation. Without apology. Without regret. With honesty. With full presence. With an eye to the big picture.
Also, I’m going to stop reading the news so damn much. Not helpful.
This year, in partnership with Gixo, we choose to leave behind all that doesn’t serve us, and to declare #IAmLimitless. Join us for community support in achieving your goals this year, and doing more than you ever dreamed possible.
I spent over two hours waiting for my doctor at my last prenatal appointment. Most of that time was in the tiny exam room, just one chair and a speculum and a rack of pregnancy magazines. Four paces across, in case you’re wondering. Not that I spent 90% of that wait pacing back and forth, feeling trapped in pregnancy jail, wishing I had saved at least one of my snacks beyond the first 10 minutes of that interminable wait.
I flipped through a few of those magazines but quickly went back to pacing the room like a madwoman. What a load of bullshit they are, with headlines like:
Love your partner the whole 9 months
🙄 Right. That’s totally possible.
Gain just enough weight: 6 little secrets that make it simple
Does puking all day count as one of the secrets?
No more jelly belly: lose the baby fat fast
You are definitely not ready for this jelly.
Anyway. While the hangry ramped up with every round trip across the exam room, I started imagining what an honest pregnancy magazine would cover. And then I decided to make one.
What do you think? What’s on YOUR pregnancy magazine cover?
Guess what, friends? You know how I’ve spent over two years now ranting and occasionally raving about the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood? Well, I guess there were enough rewards to convince me to do it again.
That’s right, there’s a baby boy on the way here. Estimated arrival: June 2018.
Guess that means I’ve got a whole bunch of new material to share with you. 😉
Coming up soon: how this first trimester was radically different from last time (but still somehow fell short of the “fun” category).
Self-care is ALL over the internet these days; seems like every outlet and Instagrammer is finding new ways to meditate and essential oil yourself into serenity.
The movement is getting all sorts of backlash—is it selfish? is it a manifestation of privilege? etc etc—and a lot of those criticisms ring true, but one thing I am appreciating about this renewed focus on chilling the F out is that there are all these new creative ideas coming out about how to chill out … in ways that are more accessible than usual. It’s not just, go on this 3 day luxury wellness retreat and feel restored unto the universe, but also practical stuff like, hey, got 2 minutes? FLOSS. Waiting for the bus? Take some deep breaths already.
Those reminders to take space that already exists in your day and make it into something restorative feel really relevant to me right now. One of my most intense secret fantasies is disappearing for an afternoon to go to the spa. I don’t even want a treatment; I just want to surrender to an infinite loop between hot tub, sauna, and steam room. I imagine coming home and pretending like I had been at work the whole time. What, my skin looks extra buttery and silky? Weird, it must just be my natural glow.
Sounds dreamy, right?
Now that you know my (basic, banal) most secret desire, I feel like I can trust you with my backup plan, my spa treatment that I can implement at home, even while a toddler repeatedly crashes her doll stroller into my ankles.
I recently got to test out one of those super fancy Korean face masks—the kind that cost upward of $100—and see if it gave me the same glow as my annual splurge facial (plus of course the infinity loop of spa facilities).
The Onyx Youth Magnet Mask is magnetic skincare therapy, using the power of magnets to moisturize your skin and reduce signs of aging. (I had no idea magnets could do that, but hey, for those results, sure thing!)
I put this to the test at the exact moment when I’m least likely to feel fabulous: Friday morning, shortly after waking up, after a couple of days of being sick, and going on three days since I last washed my hair. It would take a miracle to make me feel all self-care-refreshed and glowy.
The mask is really easy to use. You spread it over your face with the included spatula and it glides on like butter. I appreciated that I didn’t have to get my hands messy to apply it. Even with a few toddler collisions throwing off my balance, I didn’t make a mess.
You should not post any internet selfies without context. While I let the mask work its magic (5-10 minutes), I got Mac to take some selfies with me. She was a little suspicious of my new look, and kept saying, “Mama take face OFF!” I appreciated that it was a quick process—just a few minutes of marination during which my toddler was extremely wary of my face. I also suspect that if I had posted this look on in the internet, sans explanation, it would have been too easy to misinterpret what I was up to.
Taking it off is really easy, too. The included magnetic wand is kind of magic; it grabs onto the mask with no effort on your part, and even as the mask piles up onto the wand, it still continues working. You look at the collected mask and think sure you’re going to start rubbing it back on your face, but thanks to the power of SCIENCE, it just keeps removing more and more mask.
I did have to touch up a few spots with a washcloth: I found that the wand couldn’t quite maneuver into tiny crevices like around my nose, but that was a minor issue and so easy to just spot-finish.
I got the glow! Here I am, all dewy and super-moisturized, immediately after removing the mask. My bathroom light is pretty substandard, but my skin looked as dewy and glowy as if I’d just had a legit spa treatment.
You get more than I realized for the money. For some (unfounded) reason, I assumed this was a single-use product, which made that $110 price tag even more fancy. But, there was a ton of product left after I finished.
I can (and will) keep using this for a quick, self-care touch up when I’m feeling most bedraggled or dehydrated.
It’s on sale right now! If you want to try it yourself, or, if there’s someone you want to give a super luxe gift to (this would work great as a gift; it’s such a beautiful experience, the packaging and branding make it feel really luxurious and special), you can use the code BEMAGNETIC for 20% off here.
I received the Onyx Youth Magnet Mask for free—thank you Onyx for the opportunity! As always, all opinions are my own. 🙂
p.s. Speaking of beauty—if you’re the kind of person who, like me, has failed spectacularly at replicating makeup tutorials on Youtube, here’s a channel that upends the whole genre. By far my favorite thing on the internet recently. Enjoy!
I participated in a turkey trot on Thanksgiving, like I’ve done for the last eight years, but this year was different. In past years, I’ve gone with family, and our entourage is always replete with strollers and babies and grandparents and a pack of dogs. Our trot is more of a stroll; I usually sip coffee the whole way and we’re habitually at the back of the pack.
This year was different. I ran a 5-mile Turkey Trot with friends. (Well, they actually ran way faster than me, so I did most of it with temporary, pace-matched buddies from among the thousands who participated.
As I was running, I overheard snippets of conversations from the walkers I passed. Words like “I wish I were a runner, but…” or “I just can’t get into running…” or “Running just isn’t something I enjoy …”. I didn’t hear the tail end of any of those sentences but I didn’t need to, because they’re all sentiments I’ve spoken, many a time, during many a 5K stroll or while cheering at many a finish line for friends’ races.
I still don’t consider myself a runner. My ‘running’ happens in fits and starts and is punctuated by momentary highs, rookie mistakes. and lapses of activity. I’m slow. I still take walk breaks and I don’t really see my leisurely pace as something that needs a fix or an upgrade. But I’m beyond proud of myself for running those five miles on Thursday, and beyond grateful that I was able to.
During the moments when I ran alone, I kept thinking about my grandma, who passed away just a year and a half ago, and who had lost her mobility, slowly and begrudgingly, over the course of 30-some years. She was a fighter and resisted her loss of mobility longer than most humans would have endured. She never complained or let herself wallow in self-pity. She was always her witty, sharp self up until the end.
Though she never spoke to me about her feelings about being disabled, I have no doubt that she would have jumped at the chance to be able to walk or run even a few steps. And in her honor I was grateful to join the thousands of runners and walkers and babies in strollers and families in our course around downtown Austin on the most perfect, clear, sunny day, and relish the opportunity I have to move in any way I choose.
Even if I don’t really like running. Even if I’m not a runner. Even if my friend’s dad who power-walked the course finished just 10 minutes after I did. (No joke, he’s a machine). No matter what, I’m so glad that I can choose to run. That walking or running is available to me, and that I’m no longer the person offering the “I would like to be a runner…” excuse.