Two separate prompts today, possibly working against one another.
The first: a self-growth exercise I encountered online that invited me to list the ten relationships I value most. This was the easy bit. The thornier half: realizing that I do not nurture all of these relationships with the time and energy they deserve. It has led to a difficult accounting regimen. I find myself auditing invitations and opportunities with more ruthlessness, yet I prickle at the idea that I am foreclosing upon new or deepened friendships. (But a gal can’t have twenty-two best friends, can she?). Maybe, though, now is a time to divest some of the extracurriculars I mentioned here in favor of time with friends old and new?
The second: “Do not whine. Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone.” — Joan Didion. This resonates with the characteristic Didion chill: her words not only (to quote her elsewhere) “illustrate something deep in the grain, something unadmitted” but do so with the kind of wrenching, metallic clank of a scalpel returning to its tray. I read those words and thought to myself: “How many of my pretty frustrations are actually manifestations of an unmet need to explore my feelings more thoroughly?”
And yet how to find time for myself and also for the relationships that nurture me, to say nothing of incipient friendships? An impossible calculus problem!
The interior designer Mark D. Sikes shared on Instagram this past week that he had been working on designing a dress for a special woman, and that there was still some hemming and sewing to be done before it was complete. He added: “Life is a fitting. Think about that.” So, yes, in the spirit of art-in-formation and the intermittent, occasionally recursive, snips and stitches that a life of self-reflection requires, all I can say today is that I am doubling down on my intentionality with my time. If I agree to do something, I want to agree to it fully, and after, measure my day in terms of my degree of presence in those commitments rather than my degree of productiveness. And if I say no — and I must say no more often! — I will reallocate that time to something higher priority.
+On releasing people from expectations.
+On balancing old and new friendships.
+On surviving a failed friendship.
+On being truly happy for friends.
+When was the last time you felt happy?
+How do you start and conclude your emails?
+There is a fantastic Shopbop sale raging at the moment — some can’t miss steals:
THE SEQUIN DRESS I WORE OVER THE HOLIDAYS (!)
CHEERFUL RHODE DRESS AT A JCREW PRICE
THESE STAUD SHEARLING MULES ARE A FUN WAY TO POWER THROUGH THE FINAL STRETCH OF WINTER…
THIS GORGEOUS GOWN FROM J. SIMKHAI YOU ALL HAVE BEEN LOVING — FURTHER REDUCED!
STUNNING BORGO DE NOR, 50% OFF
+La Ligne vibes for under $100.
+More great swim for littles here!
+This adorable TB Lee bag is on sale for 30% off — hard to find these bags on sale!
+Speaking on gingham, I’m head over heels for this gingham raincoat! Such an unexpected color.
+Love these cheerful dish towels.
+WOW this chandelier.
+These wide-leg wool blend pants are calling my name.
+Love a ruffle neck sweater, especially this one in the ivory.