I came across these words the other day:
Useful words in a moment of transition, and a Mary Oliver-like nudge to attend to the patterns of nature when in doubt. Whether you are starting a new job, ending a relationship, moving, retiring, putting your out-of-home career on hold to look after children (or vice versa), many of us are stepping through a lintel, from one room to the next. Writing that sentence makes me realize that though I think a lot about transitions (like, a lot a lot) and how I can design my life to ease my way through them, I don’t often think of them in terms of endings and beginnings anymore. Bearing witness to the unyielding chain of firsts and lasts in my two young children has made me more attentive to change as a continuous condition rather than a staccato string of doors opening and closing. Life is more fluid than that. Even abrupt changes, understood a couple of months out, seem more like legato symphonic gestures than sharp drum beats. Besides, my children leave me prone to optimism for the unexpected future. As an example: I miss the newborn days, but how deliciously and unexpectedly satisfying to sustain a full 24 minutes of conversation with my curious and creative four-year-old on the way to school every other morning? How curious to think that I made that tiny human, that she is forever a part of me, but that she is also a force unto herself, with sharp observations and a passion for the color blue and an earnest sweetness I have never witnessed — never, not ever! — in a fellow human before. On Saturday, she plucked one prized M&M from a sweaty palmful of five to give to her whimpering, pilfering younger brother. I know myself well enough to realize I would not have shared an M&M with any of my siblings at that age, when treats are sparing and esteemed. All to say: my children remind me that the future can be a beautifully bright surprise. The apparition of each new stage is not so much a door closing as a movement between rooms.
Mid-writing this little musing, I came across a quote from an entrepreneur with several young children who was asked how and when she decided to have children in the context of her straining career. She replied: “I have found that every new day is more complicated than the last. Today is the least complicated day. Don’t put your life on hold for easier times — they likely won’t come.” On the one hand, I agree profoundly with the premise that there is no “perfect” time to have children, and that it is a risky and often losing proposition to “put your life on hold” for some imagined future state. (Let it be noted, however, that I am so firmly in the camp of “a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush” that Mr. Magpie teases me about my overuse of the phrase. I am, in other words, a cautious tearaway and will often jump on an opportunity for fear that no future one will materialize.) On the other hand, I don’t agree that life must be an inexorable sink into complication. I feel as though the last two years have represented an ironing-out in many ways for me — professionally, creatively, and certainly as a family unit. I feel much more oriented and stable than I did in my 20s and early 30s and especially as a brand new mom. Learning to own my parenting style and relax into my experience with motherhood has simplified — decluttered — things tremendously for me.
A few years ago, a Magpie advised me to make a decision, and then go boldly into it. These words have proven a north star when I am feeling queasy about change. I let myself linger for a minute on the past, I permit myself to fret for a minute about the unknowns of the future, and then I remind myself to go boldly and remain receptive to the possibility of great surprise.
+ICYMI: we are moving to D.C.
+But I will miss New York. I have nothing but gratitude for our time here.
+I learned the intense way back in my mid-20s that moves can be highly stressful. Taking care of myself this go around.
+Similar vibe: this dress sold out during the Shopbop sale but is back in a few sizes!
+Love this Matouk print.
+I think I mentioned in my post on Hill’s imminent second birthday that we would like to buy him a piggy bank — mini has one that she has loved depositing coins into forever. I’m torn between these Scandi-cute styles in elephant and pig and this silver-plated race-car shaped one.
+I need this pearl clutch.
+I’m imagining a cheerful lawn party with these.
+My backyard furniture post was prescient — fingers crossed, will soon be in the market for my own sets!
+The happiest little date night top (under $100).
+I’ve mentioned these a few times, but I feel like these linen pants would be so easy to wear with espadrilles, sneakers, or Hermes Oran sandals and a white tank for a no-brainer, comfortable, weekend look.
+This platter is just calling out for a whole-roasted fish to present!
+These tortoise shades are not for the faint of heart but VERY on-trend.
+I literally cannot stop wanting to buy every blue-and-white shirtdress I lay eyes on. This one is SO good!