When you have something or someone that you love, you want to dote on them. Spoil them. Treat them right.
Like if you have kids, you want to make them happy. If you have a partner, you want to make him/her happy. Even if you have a dog, you want to make him/her happy.
So, you feed them. You buy them nice things. You spend time with them.
But you end up overfeeding them. Buying them too many things so you’re out of money. Spending too much time with them.
If you really loved them, you would want them to be healthy. And do what’s best for them.
And what’s best for them is not always what they want all the time. Sometimes, it’s more about what they need.
It can be tricky. It can hurt. And it can feel like you’re not loving them as much as you should.
But if you’re doing what’s best, you’re doing it right.
I think we can all say that we’re having a hard time out here in quarantine.
Everybody has their bad days, but we seem to have a string of them in a row. People are cranky, they’re tired, they’re whiny.
Oh, and that’s just the adults. Don’t get me started on the kids.
But on days like these, there is one clear message: the harder the day, the harder you have to love them.
So, if you’re angry, upset, anxious, you are in need of love. From yourself, from a friend, or from family. Remind people around you that instead of getting mad at you for your anger, your mood, or your anxiety, that you need love. Now more than ever.
Keep extending love to those who need it, and those who need it the most.
So, I’m a little down today so I put on make-up to make me feel like I was going somewhere, even when the only place I am going is down to the office to write this.
But as I was putting on my winged eyeliner, which I love so much, I started to think about what I was doing.
Everyone does their winged eyeliner differently. I’ve seen Amy Winehouse wings and I’ve seen eensy teensy wings. I’ve seen thick black and I’ve seen thin lines. I’ve seen it done with eyeshadow and I’ve seen it done with a pencil and I’ve seen it done with liquid.
And it made me really happy: the fact that all these women (and yes, men) can put on their winged eyeliner in different ways. And still feel beautiful at the end of it. Including me.
If you’re not feeling pretty, try your own winged eyeliner, but try it your way.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my heartbeat lately. Noticing the way my heart races when I run up the stairs and thumps loudly, and the way it slows way down when I fall asleep. How I can hear my partner’s heartbeat when I lay on his chest, steadying me.
And even metaphorically, our hearts are a guiding force, a navigating compass in a wide, dark sea. When you follow your heart’s desires, when you do anything out of love. That is when we use our “heart.”
But it serves as a good reminder that our heart is a muscle, both literally and figuratively speaking. And without use, it grows atrophied and into disrepair.
Don’t forget to exercise and help your heart pump blood. But also don’t forget to be compassionate, and use your heart that way, to help others and yourself.
The heart is a muscle. It beats and beats away the darkness.
Every night, when I write my blog, my husband, my partner, sits next to me on the couch and asks me what I’m writing. Inevitably, when I don’t answer, he says in a falsetto, “are you writing about how much you love your husband?” And I inevitably laugh and tell him no.
Well, tonight, my husband is not next to me on the couch. He is down in the basement snaking a drain so that we don’t have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to stop our basement from flooding.
And I couldn’t appreciate him more. I couldn’t be prouder of his can-do attitude. And even though he is cursing a blue streak at the moment, I am glad to call him my partner.
And friendly reminder, we all have partners in this life. It doesn’t have to be a romantic partner; it could be a best friend, or your mom and dad, or your roommate. It’s just someone who knows you and can be there for you when you get down, or for when you need to make a really big decision, or when your pipe gets clogged and you need to snake it.
So, Tim, here’s your post. I’m finally writing about how much I love you. And how much is that you might ask? Well, at the risk of losing followers over this mushy stuff, I can tell you that it’s quite a lot. Much more than the 75 feet that snake has.
Like anyone who has lived enough years, I’ve lost a loved one. And on the day of their death, I try to reminisce and think about when they were alive. Reflect on their life. Remember who they were.
Which is a very sad event indeed, and it usually leaves me crying by the end. I miss them, and it’s so hard to be here without them.
But what we should always remember is that you are a reflection of the people you love. You are just a mirror image of the people that you call friends because your likeness recognizes likeness in them. And so, if you’re missing a loved one, simply be the mirror to their life. Live as if you lived for them. Reflect and be reflected. And you will live and walk in their light.
-dedicated to Neil Venitsky. Thank you for believing in your dream so that I could believe in mine.
I grew up with two fiercely independent, smart, and kind role models: my mother and my sister. And being the youngest, I was obviously impressionable. So I ate up every word of advice on life that my mother and sister could give. And for you tonight, I’ve collected my favorite memories of each of them. To celebrate just two of the women I hold most dear. (I’m laughing even as I write this.)
- The day we set out to hike and accidentally kept walking for 10 miles.
- That time you didn’t know how to open a champagne bottle, so you did the best with what you could.
- Every day you drove me to high school and let me listen to your fall out boy cd.
- When I kissed you on the head before you went into surgery, and you were thoroughly disgusted.
- When you would do my hair and make up before a big school dance but make me sit on the toilet, and you would exasperatingly say, “IM DOING YOUR MASCARA. LOOK UP.”
- When you helped me decide to go to Ireland by talking to me for 45 minutes about the pros and cons.
- Every time we go shopping and encourage each other to buy whatever we want.
- That time you came into my room with the vacuum cleaner to suck up a particularly nasty spider.
- When you tear up because something is so unbelievably happy.
- That time you changed your name to “Betty boop” on your phone and then called the pizza place, who then obviously referred to you as Ms. boop.
Thanks, mom and Jul, for being who you both are. And allowing me to be who I am. Love you both.
I know it’s hard to see the good in the world right now. I know that I have to acknowledge that fact before anything else. But I also know that people are looking for ways to remind themselves of all the love we’re capable of.
And tonight, I’d like to remind you of that. By writing the 20 ways to love. Some may be obvious, but all will be loving:
- Ask someone how their day was.
- Tell someone to be safe on their drive home.
- Make dinner for someone, without being asked.
- Buy them anything, but especially a chocolate bar, just because.
5. Text them a random thought you had about them.
6. Ask them to dinner/lunch/coffee.
7. Knit them a scarf.
8. Call them out of the blue.
9. Create art for them.
10. Hug them tightly.
11. Let them pick the movie to watch.
12. Do a chore for them.
13. Ask them for their favorite things.
14. Kiss them goodnight.
15. Let them wear your clothing.
16. Plan an entire day with them.
17. Be there for them emotionally.
18. Hold their hand.
19. Laugh at their jokes.
20. But most importantly, tell them that you love them. You may not get another chance.
Have you ever tried to start a new habit or routine? To get healthier? Did it sound like this?
Okay, Debra, this is your last donut for awhile. You’re getting mighty pudgy and you could go for a walk every night instead of eating donuts in the middle of the afternoon. So, this is it. This is where we draw the line.
And how’d it go? Did you stick with that habit? Did you stop eating donuts? Did you go for more walks?
Probably not. Do you know why?
Because when you do something out of hate, it doesn’t work as well. If you’re trying to punish yourself by not eating donuts, you’re going to eventually rebel and give yourself a “treat.” (Which, folks, you won’t be surprised to know, is another donut.)
So, what should you do? You should start doing something out of a place of love. Like this:
Okay, Debra, you feel so much better when you don’t eat donuts in the afternoon. You’ve been looking great too so let’s keep it up. I just want you to feel good.
And I bet you won’t eat as many donuts, Debra. Because you’ll feel like you’re being kind to yourself. I promise – you’ll be so much more successful when what you do is out of love for yourself, not hate.
Treating yourself is really tempting.
After all, you do a lot of stuff during the day that needs rewarding.
I had a phone call today and my voice didn't crack!
I ordered salad instead of a donut!
I made it through the day without yelling at anyone!
And it's really nice to take yourself out to eat. Or buy yourself something. Or just run a bubble bath. Treat yourself.
But this can turn into a vicious cycle. You have to go out to eat to make up for the day you had. You have to treat yourself, because you've been good all week.
The problem stems from not taking care of yourself well. If you just took the time in small moments to take care of yourself, you wouldn't have to treat yourself in such a big way.
So treat yourself well, and you won't have to treat yourself as often.
Sometimes being kind to yourself isn't all that kind.