I have been thinking a lot about a partridge pair of thoughts —
“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light,”
“Making everything black and white is easier — but lazier — than looking at the world in multiple ways.”
I am trying to situate my thinking between these two aspirational tent poles when I am approaching relationships and especially when considering the decisions and burdens of others. Both mindsets require exertion and, well, mindfulness. I do not always (in fact, rarely) live these out instinctually, and so I am learning to tell myself, when I am in the throes of a knee-jerk reaction, whether my feelings are hurt or I find myself shouldering a burden that is not mine to carry — “Hey, let me think on this for a minute and give myself and others the grace to process this.” Sometimes when I am fretting over something specific — an interaction with someone else, a failing on my end, some issue that is not mine to worry about or beyond my ken — Mr. Magpie encourages me to listen to a mindfulness podcast. (He uses the Calm app and I have Headspace.) The chief benefit of this exercise is creating some blank space between my immediate, meteoric-speed emotions and a more rational perch. In this headspace, I am able to visualize my thoughts and anxieties as discrete bubbles that I can either slick away or pause to consider with more care. Some of those bubbles are damned determined to stick around, and so I need to bat them away or put them in their place or just accept their condition of semi-permanence for the time being.
I think sometimes I rush to solve things too quickly. No one likes to live in a state of disequilibrium, with emotions or thoughts ill-sorted and half-worked-through, and I think this is why it is easy (though unfair) to paint things in black and white. Complexities resolve into turgid and unforgiving categories. So-and-so was wrong; I was right. It is better to be this way than that way. Etc. But I think I am learning that one key to living with more light than heaviness, and more color than the severity of a black-and-white, is recognizing that neither mindset is automatic and that I must move with measure and careful thought. It sounds contradictory: slow down and work through the things in order to be lighter? But yes. It’s one of those up-front investments, long-term pay-offs. If I’m sweeping things out of my way or steeling myself to not think about certain things or unthinkingly absorbing heavinesses, I will just end up in a leaden knot.
I realize this post is vague on details, and intentionally so. The prompt for me today, which may be provocative to you, too, is: How can I slow down and work to release any negative energies I am carrying around?
+Related: what energy are you putting out there on a daily basis?
+The first quote above came from a wise Magpie reader in response to this prompt. So many great quotes in the comments!
+On “doing English.”
+On New York City as “a matter of mood.” (What isn’t a matter of mood?!)
+On seeing my parents the first time after being separated from them for over a year during COVID.
+It’s weird to get excited about children’s bowls and spoons, but this set has been incredible. I bought them on something of a lark two years ago and we use them almost daily. The bowls are the perfect size for a child’s portion (cereal, pasta, etc) or a little snack (grapes, popcorn, etc), and they can be microwaved. I also find them great for crafts/activities/sensory play (like when they are playing with water or soap foam), and the spoons are perfect for both science experiments (stirring things, dumping things) and eating yogurt, soup, etc.
+I got a bunch of questions about the materials I used for a winter sensory play setup on shared on Instastory and linked exact items we used here!
+Oo this coat, YES. Reminds me of the styles from Shrimps and Saks Potts but maybe a tiny bit more wearable/less over the top? Target has a lookalike style, too! I would go for the brown – sophisticated-looking in that color. And Ted Baker has a similar style that is sort of in the middle, price-wise.
+Hard to see in the pictures, but this cute $102 mini dress has black bows down the front and j’adore!!! Would look so great with opaque tights or maybe these trending semi-sheer ones and some fun shoes.
+A great price on some classic French enamel cutlery.
+There must have been a bunch of returns processed recently because I found tartan nap dresses in stock in some sizes!
+If you are new here, or missed my 230 references to these last year (haven’t mentioned them in a minute), these $23 leggings are the best sub for Lululemon Aligns. I love love them. They don’t hold up as well as Aligns but are very comfortable and flattering, and for $23…!
+Do I have any Princetonians out there? This sweatshirt set in the orange tiger/navy combo would be a cute subtle way to get your little ones on board with a future there :). Also cute for those of us non-Princetonians!
+These earrings are in my cart. SO GOOD. Like the pricepoint.
+Adorable shawl collar sweater for a little man — currently only $20!
+Ooo OOO I really love this pale pink coatigan to throw on over any old thing.
+!!! This Tonies set with a bundle of Disney stories is on sale for only $89 right now (usually $159). I already bought this for mini’s birthday. A lot of positive reviews on this screen-free storytelling tool that children can use on their own. If you’re still hoping to find a big statement gift for a little one, this is a great option.
+Speaking of toys, discovered this toy leaf blower via Emily Hertz and I think micro needs this! He loves imitating his Dad. He’s set for Christmas but I think I will buy and hold onto this for his birthday in May.
+You know how I feel about turtlenecks…this is a good one.
+Fab chunky turtleneck to throw on over leggings or jeans.
+Chic toy storage option if you want to keep toys accessible in a family room/living space — love that it has a lid!
+For those of you lucky snowbirds getting away somewhere warm this winter: I can’t stop thinking about this gingham swimsuit! So, so cute!
+Adorable toile dress. Love the long sleeves – so unexpected. Could work for a spring affair.