Holding Onto Keys.

Holding Onto Keys.

Community Most Popular Posts

Two weeks ago, I finally turned in the keys to our old studio apartment. Keys I should have turned in weeks ago. We had a month’s worth of a lease overlap and so I held on because…well, because.

Because I have a tough time letting go.

Because I struggle moving on from things that are great.

Because I thought maybe if I could hold on a little longer I could preserve all the goodness that was brought to life in those minimal square feet. As if that goodness was fleeting.

For those new here: my husband, pup and I spent all of 2020 in a 470 sq ft box in the Manhattan sky (aka studio apartment). And then two years before that. I was so skeptical this would work and thought it would be a relationship disaster. But Jeremy insisted, and he’s got a great track record (he’d found our last two apartments before this, both of which I adored), so I figured I’d humor him and stick it out a year.

But joke’s on me, because not only did it become my favorite apartment I’ve ever lived in, but it was the place our relationship has grown/thrived the most. And that’s mostly because it’s where WE have grown/thrived the most.

And I think that by holding onto the keys, I’ve been harboring some fear that maybe we’ll go backwards.

This has shown up in other aspects of my life, too. Avoiding anywhere that requires a substantial subway trip, out of fear I’ll get back into a routine of over-scheduling myself. Staying

What I’ve learned I need to learn, over and over and over again, is that stories don’t end just because a chapter’s been read.

Stories don't end just because a chapter's been read. Click To Tweet

Every event I’m going to be doing for quite some time will be centered, in some way, around creating YOUR New Normal. A New Normal that isn’t just soul-filling, but actually sustainable. Moving forward into it fearlessly, with your fear less than your faith. Where you’re not clinging desperately to what was out of fear of what could be.

There is no “back to normal” because there is no “back to” anything.

It’s all about creating what’s next, and next, and next. As the saying goes, “Anything that’s meant to be yours cannot be taken away.” And also, as the saying goes, “Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.”

As for our apartment? We’ve got 1 year in this new home of ours, then onto (hopefully) a more long-term place to nest. I’m beginning to embrace the idea that all the transformation that’s transpired for me over the last year-plus is now a part of me. My surroundings might change, my days might look different, but what’s mine is mine for keeps.

And, there’s so much good ahead.

I don’t want to spend this next year so busy longing for a chapter I’ve already read that I miss the one unfolding in front of me right now.

And so. Onward


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Transitions, Turning Points, Seasons, and Google Cal.

Transitions, Turning Points, Seasons, and Google Cal.

Community Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration

I’ve always loved transitions – especially the ones that happen in September. I’d turn another year older, my favorite TV shows would start back up (no more Summer reruns!), and school would finally, finally be in session again.

New grade!

New teachers!

New books!

New projects!

HOMEWORK!!!!


No? Just me? Wouldn’t be surprised.

Unlike most kids, I always looked forward to the first day of school. Maybe it was my naiveté, maybe it was my upbringing, maybe it was just my Type A- personality pumped for the structure. But there was something about backpack shopping, picking out my outfits, and pouring over the introductory paperwork all the students at my schools were sent pre- Day One that made my heart so very happy.

The impending challenges of a new grade – or in some cases, a new school altogether – never really entered my head. Back To School season was the BEST season of the year.

 

Back To The Grind

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long it’s been since you held a No. 2 pencil in your hand: for most former-kids, September will forever be synonymous with “Back To School.” The seasonal shift from Summer to Pre-Autumn to full-on-FALL signals that something new’s afoot – new friends, new challenges, new tests, and new teachers. We prepare for a new start, hope for positive change, and cross our fingers that we’ll be able to handle what life dishes out in the coming months.

Without Summer vacations and required reading, though, it can be hard as an adult to draw the line between where Summer ends and Fall begins. Because although we’d love to have an endless summer…and although the first day of Autumn isn’t technically until September 22nd…we can all feel a shift happen the moment Labor Day weekend comes to a close. It’s “back to the grind” – even though most of us have been grinding all year long.

And of course, 2020 has been a whole transition and grind of its own. Thank god for the seasons, that know no pandemics or furloughs. Thank goodness for the trees below my apartment window, that layer on the leaves right on cue and shed their layers as we pile on ours. Seasons and Google Cal. My 2020  touchstones. They remind me not only of the actual date but remind me that time goes on…even if I’ve lost all sense of time, days, weeks, and months (the amount of times I’ve woken up not knowing what day it was has been sitcom-worthy, except without any laugh tracks or plot twists tied up in 30 minutes or less).

And so it can just seem like more of the same – like we lost track of time, and the Summer months so associated with taking a breather completely passed us by. Couple this with a built-in programming from childhood to register this time of year as transitional, and it’s easy to feel a little bummed out once September hits.

At this point in 2020, you might be ready to Rip-Van-Winkle it and nap your way into the future. Or at least 2021. But even though there’s been so many struggles, so much sadness, and so many Groundhogs Day-esque weeks and months, I urge you – please do not opt out of the challenge right before the change arrives.

 

The New January

While January usually gets all the attention when it comes to resolutions, I’d like to argue that September holds just as much promise as the 01/01 mark.

Pre-Autumn and Fall is the perfect time to evaluate where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going. It’s a time to bring back that childlike enthusiasm, relentless joy, and maybe even those first-day jitters you had as a kid (because all worthwhile and exciting changes in life bring up first-day jitters, really). And Fall 2020 just might just be the turning point you’ve been waiting for and working toward.
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But you’ll never know if you don’t show up.

At this point in the year, you might be feeling defeated. I get it. Another new start and transition is exactly what I DON’T need right now. Has ‘normalcy’ ever felt like such a valuable commodity? Normal seasonal shifts feels like it would be such a luxury to experience. It’s tough to get excited for Fall or take advantage of the Dog Days Of Summer when you’re still mourning the loss of Spring.

This should feel easier, you might think. This should feel natural. If anything should feel normal, it should be the seasonal shift. A transition I’ve done so many times before.

Except not.

At all.

Starting anything - a new job, a new relationship, a new habit, a new season - is hard. The harder part, though, is to keep going and see what happens next.

 

It’s Not About Easy, It’s About Right

Starting anything – a new job, a new relationship, a new habit, a new season – is hard. It is really really hard. In 2020 or otherwise. No matter how exciting it reads or how major it feels or how much promise it holds or how many time you’ve ever started fresh. Hardness and newness will always be the best of friends.
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The harder part, though, is to keep going and see what happens next. 

Because it doesn’t get easier, it just morphs along the way. And when you keep going, and keep committing yourself to being proactive and not reactive, you learn to let go of what you feel should be. You start to work intimately with what already is toward what can be.

Maybe you learn to like the tough of it – and even if you don’t like it, maybe you even learn to love it with that type of unconditional love that’s more about appreciation than approval – and you let go of what doesn’t serve you and you stick with the rest (which is hard to do, too). Or maybe it all morphs altogether, and you end up starting down a whole new tough path you never even intended on going down.

And the starting doesn’t stop and the hardness doesn’t stop, but you learn you can take it, you can handle it, and the toughest stuff is ultimately what becomes the fabric of who you are and why you’re here.
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And then you maybe realize that all this time, it was never about easy or hard at all. It was just about what’s right. For you.

 

Your Own Personal Season

This month – and this Fall in general – I encourage you to look at what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what’s right for you. Evaluate what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, or what you’ve accomplished in 2020 so far, and how you want to feel by the time the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2021. So much of what we learn, how we grow, what we accomplish, and how we want to feel depends on the decisions we make, not the places we go (or don’t) or things we buy (or don’t) or titles we hold (or don’t).

It’s called “Fall” for a reason: just like the leaves fall away from their branches so the tree can begin its process of renewal, nature encourages us to let our old energy-suckers fall off our backs to make way for this new season of growth.

We’ve got four whole months. A THIRD of the year left. You have so much time. It’s all about what you do with it.

There will be challenges in the coming months, of course, and the newness of Fall and Winter will bring all kinds of highs and lows we could never have predicted. But if we shift our perspective to refocus our minds, refresh our hearts, and renew our commitments, there’s no telling what kind of miracles the rest of this year has in store.

New people.

New books.

New projects.

New homework.

Pick out your outfit and grab your backpack.

Class is in session.

Don’t ditch this one.

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WANTcast 083: Frozen In Time.

WANTcast 083: Frozen In Time.

the WANTcast

On this solo episode of the WANTcast, we dive into the concept of “Emotional DNA,” navigating the moments in life that aren’t quite good but aren’t quite bad (the grey area we talk about so often here on the WANTcast), and, most notably, managing transitional moments when you literally cannot imagine what’s next.

SHOW NOTES:
Website
Instagram
Judy Wilkins-Smith
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THIS EPISODE IS IN SUPPORT OF:
Too Damn Young
Instagram
toodamnyoung.com
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Leave a review on iTunes
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WANTcast 082: Good, But Not Good Enough (Community Q+A Episode) w/ Angela Leigh

WANTcast 082: Good, But Not Good Enough (Community Q+A Episode) w/ Angela Leigh

the WANTcast

In this episode, we answer the question: what happens when you keep applying for jobs and going for opportunities, but you never get them? What happens when you get so close, but don’t land the gig? How can you stop feeling like you’re good, but not good enough?


Helping out with today’s episode of the WANTcast is Angela Leigh, a mentor, coach, and leader in the fitness and wellness industry. Angela Leigh is the ultimate teacher’s teacher and leader’s leader.

Take a listen:


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SHOW NOTES:
Pureleighliving.com
Angela’s Instagram
Subscribe to The (Good) Word, WANT’s bi-monthly email love letter
Have a Q you want us to A? Email Katie at katie@womenagainstnegativetalk.com or DM her on Instagram @katiehorwitch

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Like this episode? Take a screenshot + share on social, leave a review on iTunes, share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast and #womenagainstnegativetalk!
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WANTcast 081: Rethinking Pre-Fall + Maximizing Transitions

WANTcast 081: Rethinking Pre-Fall + Maximizing Transitions

the WANTcast

Without Summer vacations and required reading, it can be hard as an adult to draw the line between where Summer ends and Fall begins. Because although we’d love to have an endless summer…and although the first day of Autumn isn’t technically until September 23rd…we can all feel a shift happen the moment Labor Day weekend comes to a close. It’s “back to the grind” – even though most of us have been grinding all year long.

This timely Season Premiere of the WANTcast is here to help you make the most of this time, right here and now. Because while January usually gets all the attention when it comes to resolutions, I’d like to argue that September holds just as much promise as the 01/01 mark.


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THIS EPISODE IS IN SUPPORT OF:
Too Damn Young
Instagram
toodamnyoung.com
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Leave a review on iTunes
Subscribe to The (Good) Word, delivered to your inbox on or around the 1st and 15th of each month
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Embracing The Pre-Autumn Reset.

Embracing The Pre-Autumn Reset.

Community Most Popular Posts Tips + Tools

Last weekend, I made a rookie mistake of going to HomeGoods on the trifecta of the worst days to go to HomeGoods: the Sunday before school started and September began. As I rode the escalator down the narrow hallway while Michelle Branch softly echoed through the speakers, I was smacked in the face by a combination of assorted pumpkin spice -esque scents and children squealing at delight over Paw Patrol and Peppa The Pig backpacks. As I entered the too-long line with my cart filled with storage boxes, new towels, and various assortments of off-brand kettle corn (have you SEEN THE KETTLE CORN SELECTION), I overheard a mother and son talking in line. I just don’t want summer to be over, he moaned. “I know, sweetie. But school’s going to be so much fun!” his mom reassured him.

Then, picking up a ceramic cornucopia, she said, The sooner school begins, the closer we are to the holidays! Isn’t that great?

There it was: the full-speed-ahead into the end of the year.

~

Unlike most kids, I always looked forward to the first day of school. I might have had a mini panic attack before starting my senior year of high school (first and lasts always get me), but even those years when I switched schools and had to find all new friends, all that ever bubbled up was excitement and enthusiasm.

Maybe it was my naiveté, maybe it was my upbringing, maybe it was just my personality. But there was something about backpack shopping, picking out my outfits, and pouring over the introductory paperwork all the students at my schools were sent pre- Day One that made my heart so very happy.

The impending challenges of a new grade – or in some cases, a new school altogether – never really entered my head. Back To School season was the BEST season of the year.

 

I’ve always loved transitions.

 


It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long it’s been since you held a No. 2 pencil in your hand: for most former-kids, September will forever be synonymous with “Back To School.”
The seasonal shift from Summer to Pre-Autumn to full-on-FALL signals that something new’s afoot – new friends, new challenges, new tests, and new teachers. We prepare for a new start, hope for positive change, and cross our fingers that we’ll be able to handle what life dishes out in the coming months.


Without Summer vacations and required reading, though, it can be hard as an adult to draw the line between where Summer ends and Fall begins.
Because although we’d love to have an endless summer…and although the first day of Autumn isn’t technically until September 23rd…we can all feel a shift happen the moment Labor Day weekend comes to a close. It’s “back to the grind” – even though most of us have been grinding all year long.


And so it can just seem like more of the same – like we lost track of time, and the Summer months so associated with taking a breather completely passed us by.
Couple this with a built-in programming from childhood to register this time of year as transitional, and it’s easy to feel a little bummed out once September hits.

 

While January usually gets all the attention when it comes to resolutions, I’d like to argue that September holds just as much promise as the 01/01 mark.

 
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Pre-Autumn (and then into Fall) is the perfect time to evaluate where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going. It’s a time to bring back that childlike enthusiasm, relentless joy, and maybe even those first-day jitters you had as a kid (because all worthwhile and exciting changes in life bring up first-day jitters, really).

 

It’s called “Fall” for a reason: just like the leaves fall away from their branches so the tree can begin its process of renewal, we too should let our old energy-suckers fall off our backs to make way for this new season of growth.


This month – and this Fall in general – I encourage you to look at what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what your heart truly desires in this moment.
Maybe you’ve been skimping on self care. Getting a 15 minute sweat in before work is just what you need. Maybe you’ve been so wrapped up in work that your social life isn’t what you’d like it to be. Call a friend you haven’t checked in on in a while. Evaluate what you’ve accomplished this year so far, and how you want to feel by the time the clock strikes midnight on January 1st of next year.


Each transitional moment – whether a season or a reason – I like to take a beat and get intentional about what I want to notice in this particular transition. Doesn’t matter if I write them down and completely forget about them two days later. Simply the act of identifying questions I want to ask or thinks I want to think about introduces them into my subconsciousness.

Some thinks I’ll be thinking and questions I’ll be asking myself – feel free to steal them for your own musings:

 

  • Role models who are living their legacy. Who can I look up to who is doing the REAL work, not just what is trendy, popular, or the easy way out?
  • More yesses and nos, less maybes. How can I tap into my intuition right away, and use it to help me make concrete decisions? And if there’s a “maybe” that enters the mix – can I set a time limit for it?
  • Creating, staying in, and fully owning my own lane. This is MY life, no one else’s. What am I doing to honor it? What about it is unique? How can I make sure it stays unique? And, if I get distracted by what others are doing, how can I redirect my focus?
  • Time management. What things are the most important to do each day…and what things are just “routine addiction”? (ex: if I have a podcast interview at 9AM but wake up at 7:30AM, is it more important for me to fit in a workout like I do almost every morning, or take the time to get centered and prepare for a successful conversation?)
  • Family. DNA and chosen. How am I nurturing both, especially those members that live across the country from me?

Just like the leaves fall away from their branches so the tree can begin its process of renewal, we too should let the old fall off our backs to make way for this new season of growth. Click To Tweet

 

The holiday decorations are already springing up (I see you and your Thanksgiving napkins, HomeGoods.) and it’s easy to feed into the mindset of “there’s so little time left!!” But we’ve got four whole months. A THIRD of the year left. Think back to January through April – you did so much during that same time period earlier this year. Less if you take February’s weird dates into account. You have so much time left. It’s all about what you do with it.
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There will be challenges in the coming months, of course, and the newness of Fall and Winter will bring all kinds of highs and lows we could never have predicted. But if we shift our perspective to refocus our minds, refresh our hearts, and renew our commitments, there’s no telling what kind of miracles the rest of this year has in store.

Pick out your outfit, grab your backpack, and let’s get on this bus together.
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