13 In 2013

December 30, 2013

My suggested recipe for a really good year:

1) Read some Sugar: After finding this amazing piece of writing, I read Wild, and Tiny Little Things in rapid succession. Few people write about being a human so eloquently, carefully articulating the gunk of life.

2) Listen to Anonymous Choir: Yes, you might be accurate in calling them hipsters, but this Minneapolis-based group singing Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is damn gorgeous.

3) Have a therapy party: For the amount that I write about therapy, it would seem that I've had a lot. It's a lie. This year I did dedicate a lot of time to my mental + emotional health. Two things worth noting: #1-- Many therapists offer sliding scale rates; #2-- I have a lot of loved ones who have hugely benefitted from antidepressants. Let's kick away any shame surrounding mental illness, please.

4) And on that note, let's kick away shame surrounding addiction: This is the best thing I've ever read about having a loved one struggling with addiction. Read it; talk about it; bring someone dinner.

5) Since we're talking about shame, read some Brené Brown: This year I read a lot about boundaries, vulnerability, and resilience. First I read The Gifts of Imperfection, then Daring Greatly. Both are particularly relevant to artists and self-employed folks, because oh, the vulnerability...

6) Eat some food in Seattle: I took a trip to Seattle, but didn't write nearly enough about the food, which is some of the best money we spent this year. Ben and I voted all of these the best Seattle eats + drinks we stuck in our mouths:

--Pizza at Delancey (and shrubs at Essex).
--Oysters and Cod Spread at The Walrus and the Carpenter.
--Chowder at Pike Place Chowder.
--Brunch at Lola.
--Rachel's Ginger Beer.

7) Stay at an Air BnB: People across the country rent out their spare rooms and apartments and guest houses, and you can stay in them! We stayed in a great place in Seattle-- perfect location, great price, and none of the stuffiness of a hotel.

8) Wear a Tattly: Maybe you are like me, and 5 years old in your heart-- or at least a bit noncommittal. I spent this year with fake tattoos of balloons, hearts, and carrots on my arms and chest, and the joy was huge.

9) Make Something: I am grateful I took the 20 minute approach to creating, because without it I'd probably still be overwhelmed and procrastinating. Also: I was reminded that I like my life more when I'm making things.

10) Celebrate Love: Regardless of your feelings about marriage as an institution, I think we can all agree that love is awesome. This year I watched a lot of friends publicly declare their commitment to one another-- especially because marriage became legal for ALL last summer! It was an honor to witness all of that goodness.

11) Do some accounting: Adulthood, people! It's so glamorous. I have to give a shout-out to FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting system that has made my job doing the number-keeping for our business so much easier.

12) Cook something: Many thanks to my awesome sister and brother-in-law, who bought us this immersion blender-- our new favorite kitchen appliance. Maybe you want to make my favorite salad dressing, or chop nuts, or garlic, or purée soup. The immersion blender is a lot less mess than a food processor, and useful for many things.

13) See some humans: People are awesome. One of the best things I did this year was host a brunch, and invite a lot of people who didn't know other invited people over to our house. Also: Small Art. Ben and I are constantly reminded that we (staunch introverts) are happier when we make a point to connect to other people, see their art, eat food, and (often) discuss the weather. It turns out that hosting can be as simple as making some eggs and coffee, and asking people to bring something.

Happy end of 2013. I hope several of your dreams came true.

[I made a similar list in 2011, which you can read over here.]


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