I typically do link round-ups and life updates for the Let’s Discuss post, but after over a year (!) of newslettering, I’m doing some thinking about what sort of publication schedule and output makes the most sense not only for me, but for the In Pursuit community. So today, a thread! (This is usually a paid subscriber perk, but I’ve opened it up for the whole list this week).
Momfluenced has been out for exactly one week, and I’m absolutely incapable of assessing how I am when people ask. (Proud? Numb? Happy? Exhausted? Grateful? Anxious?) I feel much less frenzied than I did a week prior to the book coming out, but I’m also coming down from the adrenaline and busyness of pub week, still navigating media stuff, and still VERY MUCH engaged in heavy self-promotion, so yeah, I have no clue how I’m doing! And because I’m becoming very bored by my own feelings and own STUFF, I’m not particularly invested in getting to the bottom of it. I want out of my head.
The two parts of my day that can reliably get me out of my hamster wheel brain are my morning run and my evening TV time. With the run, of course, there’s the immersion in nature plus physical movement. But there’s also my parasocial besties delighting and educating me via their podcasts. And at night, sandwiched between kid bedtime and my bedtime, is the bliss and release of TV. I recently watched Beef, which I found wholly engrossing and generally excellent. There’s also something infinitely comforting about seeing fictional characters struggling to free themselves from their own narratives. Like, it’s not just me! And at least I’m not embroiled in a year-long road rage feud!
Leave a comment
Honestly, my gym membership is worth its weight in gold for this. I go in, there are no clocks visible anywhere, and I give myself over to the instructor for an hour or two. I lose track of time, focused only on performing well, feeling good in my body, the music pumping, and encouraging my classmates. I'm doing nothing but following instructions and feeling good, not thinking of anything else. Bliss.
I’m learning to paint with watercolors. I’m generally sucky at it, but when I finish something I love, it’s very cool. While I paint I listen to Inner Lotus Music on YouTube. Supposedly, the music hits the brain at different wavelengths for different things (anxiety, abundance, healing). Does it work? Is it real? I don’t know but I love it.
Instead of laying in bed looking at my stupid phone, I wake up before everyone and listen to First This, a lovely 10 minute meditation/mindfulness podcast and then do stretching or yoga. This little quiet start has helped calm my anxious brain and helps me stay present and focus on one thing at a time instead of all of the things frantically at once.
The night sky. Just before bed I get in our hot tube outside and look at the stars, or watch the silvery clouds, or notice how full the moon is. This is where I quiet down, meditate on the vastness of life, offer thanks, and let go of my endless to-do list.
I LOVE this question! Hula and Tahitian dance classes are my step-away from it all, including myself. There’s something magical and calming about synchronized movement. Kelly McGonigal wrote about this in The Joy of Movement — “a feeling of boundaries dissolving.”
If I was near Portland, OR I’d go in-person. But Zoom is better than nothing.
After having my bike for almost two years, I'm still really obsessed with Peloton. I really enjoy the coaching from the instructors and the good music and, after being in charge of All The Things all day, it feels nice to be in the position where I just follow what they are telling me to do.
My daughter and I are also into listening to cozy murder audiobooks while we do diamond art painting kits. The combo of having to focus on the where to put the tiny beads while also listening to a story totally occupies my brain in a very soothing way.
Video games. They occupy the active part of me so the “other stuff” can work itself out in the background. Like Dragon Quest Builders 2.
Visiting thrift stores and used book stores. Finding quirky stuff. A book from the early 90s showing the apartments of *normal* Tokyo residents. A corkboard made with bigger pieces of cork.
And, of course, LEGOs.
Starting my morning off with a good meditative stretch(I’ve been neglecting this) and being outside gardening or simply digging in some dirt. I also like making a nice glass of wine and making a flower arrangement with my grocery store or local finds. Seems like this changes for me, hopefully I’ll find my flow with more movement.
Hot Yoga done mostly in a dark studio with no clocks and an instructor telling me what to do so much I have no time for thoughts. Naps. Hot bath in the quiet with a book.
Anything where the body is moving and I’m feeling it move. Or a chat with a friend. Also journaling and meditation help me…but for the times I need to avoid my feelings, I love a good show.
Such great ideas in this. I run. And if I can do yoga I do.
Time working out at the beginning of the day after my kids go to school while I am thinking about what I will write that day!
Beef was great!!
I’ve recently started playing cello again after 15 years away from it and it has been the best thing. There is too much to focus on for my brain to spiral about anything. Plus there’s the subversive joy of doing something ONLY bc I love it with absolutely no practical “gain” in mind.
My dog can take me out of myself- she has a funny little trot when she walks that I can't help smiling at even when I am in the worst mood. I will also just lay down next to her when I am anxious and pet her soft ears or play with her a little bit and watch her do ridiculous things like rub her face across the entire length of the living room carpet. A pet can make everything seem less serious somehow.
Aren’t most of us mostly living outside ourselves? When I hear that phrasing I think of being detached or disembodied or escaping, so things like tv and social media fit that bill. But when I think of things like water coloring or the or yoga or watching the night sky, that feels very much like coming home to ourselves, or coming into embodiment. They serve different ends: one is more of a numbing escape, which I’d argue a lot of us are in a lot of the time these days, and the other is reconnecting to ourselves.
Reading at night before bed. Doesn't matter the content - it gets my brain to stop thinking.
Going on walks and listening to audiobooks and I also like to zone out and play candy crush sometimes 😂.