A painful message from the universe 😭
Did a friend forward this to you?
Each week after I send this newsletter, I open a new draft, give it a tentative title, and add to it as the days tick by, shaping it into something resembling a cohesive narrative right before hitting send the following Sunday.
This week, I stared at a blank document titled "New Routines" and could not bring myself to write a single sentence. The problem, of course, was me: I had assumed by now, two weeks after moving into our new house, we'd be completed settled in. Art on the walls, cardboard boxes banished, a new novel on the tips of my fingers, or at least a new short story. I'd be waking up at 5:30 every morning again, or hell - maybe I'd be waking up at five! I'd write for a solid hour without taking a single break to scroll through Instagram, and then I'd run a brisk four miles through the neighborhood as the sun rose. This would be my new routine, made possible by my new house, all of it perfectly calibrated for optimal creativity and health.
In reality, I've had one too many drinks each night and watched episodes of High Maintenance (so good!) and the Democratic debates (so necessary!) rather than reading an actual book. I've slept hard and late in my very comfortable bed instead of waking early and being productive. Most of the walls are still bare, one room remains a catch-all for homeless items, the chickens still (still!) live at our old house, and I spend a large part of each day looking for wayward belongings. As it turns out, moving into a new house and establishing new routines is not an overnight miracle! It requires an awkward transition, a space of time that feels both useless and useful, a messy middle ground meant for stumbling.
I wrote that first section on Saturday morning, stopping at the word "stumbling." Then, later that day, I literally stumbled off the deck of our new house and badly sprained my ankle. The productive weekend I had planned, in which I would finally get my life in order? The chicken coop we'd finish building, the rental house we'd finish cleaning, the miles I planned to run? Those things will have to wait yet another week while I sit on the couch, ankle elevated and iced.
I guess this is a lesson, the universe telling me to slow down and revel in the messy middle, though I can't help but think there was a less painful way to relay that message. As soon as I send this newsletter, I'll start a draft for next week, but I won't title it or make any assumptions. It's just not worth the risk.
✨ Snack of the Week ✨
My challenge for this next month is Plastic Free July, which is a whole movement! I've been pretty good at reducing my use of plastic over the last year or so, but I could do much better and I'm excited to see how little plastic I can use this month. I'll be sure to report back and will track my progress on Instagram, if you want to follow along. Step one was buying bulk almonds for snacking, which is a delicious way to kick things off.
Americans' Plastic Recycling is Dumped in Landfills, The Guardian. "Analysis of US export records shows that the equivalent of 19,000 shipping containers of plastic recycling per month, once exported abroad, is now stranded at home. This is enough plastic to fill 250 Olympic swimming pools each month." 😭
Five Things I Learned from Zero Waste Living, Nylon. A fluffy little article, but a good place to start if you want to be less trashy! 🌎
I'm an Environmental Journalist, But I Never Write About Overpopulation. Here's Why, Vox. "Female empowerment is the most effective carbon mitigation strategy." Intersectionality FTW! 💁♀️
A Tiny Challenge
During those four hours of Democratic debates, we heard a lot about climate change, which was awesome (in a terrifying way). This week, let's do our tiny part and focus on my favorite mantra - refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle - by paying special attention to that first R. Just say no to plastic!
See you next Sunday! 💌