Hi, All!

How are you doing? 🌈 ❤️

About three months ago, I moved from denying the reality of the virus into designing a plan to stay sane.

I decided to double down on my good habits and invest heavily in leveling up my coding skills and career.

The doubling down, however, wasn’t supposed to last forever. There was to be a moment of release, the day life would go back to normal, and I’d celebrate with a well-deserved break, sipping piña coladas somewhere sunny and white and blue and dotted with tropical greens.

So much for my expectations, and the trace of denial that I was yet to shake.

As it turns out, there really is no back to normal, and alas, I’m forced to use my least favorite phrase of the year, there’s only the new normal.

“Until this is over” isn’t part of any timeline anymore, and my old tactics of go, go, go are in dire need of reassessment.

After all that doing, producing, and busy making, my being needs replenishing, and the child in me is craving play.

From denial to strategy, into acceptance, here I am, accepting already, and may I add, doing so with a groovy grace.

This week, I placed a big mason jar in the living room, which G and I have been filling with daily notes of gratitude. We’re taking out this week’s lot tonight and kicking off our Friday talkies by reading it together.

I’ve also enforced a silly dance a day (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it works better than an apple to keep you-know-who away).

A silly dance is an improvised dance that one can start at any point during the day. It’s to be joined by whoever is with you, but I’m sure it works just fine on your own too, and in our home, the silly dance is to go on until G or I burst into laughter, which I can tell you, doesn’t take long.

I’m also adding cinnamon sticks and lemon slices to my drinks, scattering more emojis in my messages than ever, and seriously pondering the ways and forms in which I can get more glitter in my life.

I’m doing a slow summer cleaning, patching small holes in my clothing (YouTube is my friend), archiving documents, putting the hospital bills and lab results out of sight, and swapping them with letters, drawings, and photos from friends.

I opened all the samples I had and tried them in the same week, testing different shades of lipstick, and especially the ones I thought would be too much.

I bought napkins with a constellation print, and other ones shaped like clouds.

The drums are coming out of the storage, and 90s smash hits are finding their way onto my playlist.

Face masks, the hydrating ones, are back on my to-do, and so is posting cards.

And if you think I’m being silly, well good, and also, I dare you to a dance.

Birthday Wish

Last year I asked you to write me back for my birthday, and you replied with the most heartfelt messages. Your letters were one of my favorite things of 2019, and so this year, I’m wishing for the same.

Write me back and let me know what you are grateful for, what you fear, what you’ve been putting off, what inspires you, what you are reading, and what quote has been on your mind. I can’t wait to read your replies.

Current Favorites

Cookbook I’m Using

🌮 The Mexican Keto Cookbook by Torie Borrelli
Borrelli’s book made me remember how much I like Mexican food (it might just be my favorite cuisine). When I was still living at home, I loved making tacos for the family. I also have a fond memory of a Mexican themed dinner in elementary school. And a few of my all-time favorite restaurants are Mexican, like Rincón Yucateco and El Pirata.

Pair with: Gabriela Cámara’s Masterclass Gabriela Cámara Teaches Mexican Cooking and her cookbook My Mexico City Kitchen Convictions

Favorite New Drink

🍎 A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with sparkling water and lots of ice
In the learning section of the Zero app, Thomas DeLauer explains that having apple cider vinegar during a fast can help one get through it a little easier, by lowering blood sugar levels and thus helping to control cravings. I don’t know if the vinegar does anything for my blood sugar, but the tip did lead me to a new favorite drink: a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with sparkling water and lots of ice. The mix reminds me of kombucha (with the bonus that it doesn’t contain any sugar). The ice and sparkling water are essential, though. I find that vinegar with plain water tastes terrible. I also like trying out different brands, and my current favorites are CoralTree and Spiral.

Related reading: Other foods and supplements I use

App That Improved My Workflow

🔧 Workspaces (Mac app)
Workspaces lets me open up all the websites and applications I need for a given project with just one click. The app completely changed my workflow, making it super easy to start working on a project and also to switch between projects. I recommend using it with Workona, which is a Chrome extension for organizing your browser tabs.

Articles I’m Internalising

💭 Wait But Why
For the fifth chapter of The Knitting Club, Devon, Silvia, and I read and discussed three posts from the blog Wait But Why: “Why Procrastinators Procrastinate,” “Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think,” and “How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You).” All three articles provided me with awesome insights, and so I’m rereading them to internalize some of the teachings.

The Movie That Put Mushroom Picking Back on My Bucket List

🍄 Fantastic Fungi
Watching Paul Stamets wander through the forest, hunting mushrooms, brought up a very vague, early memory of going mushroom picking with my parents and their friends. There’s a wooden hut. People are sorting and cleaning the shrooms, and there are baskets and glass pots. That’s it. And I know I must’ve been less than five years old. This movie not only made me want to go looking for mushrooms with my parents, but it also made me think of starting a mushroom company ala Smallhold (thanks to Chris for the hat tip). I figured my parent’s basement would be the place to set it up, so I mentioned it to them, but I don’t think they thought I was for real. I am. And I’m looking for a conspirator, so let me know if you’re interested. Thanks to G for discovering this movie.

Pair with: How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Quote I’m Pondering

You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last. –Seneca

With lion love,
And a roar to burst you into the now,