The one word that changes everything


Is it just me, or is this the first week that things have felt semi-normal? This weekend, I’m going to a yoga class, a comedy show (at a bar!), and a dinner with friends. All outdoors, but STILL. Then some family friends are visiting. Once-tiny things that feel downright exhilarating after more than a year of fear and isolation.

Despite my renewed social calendar, I’m still hoping to retain some elements of pandemic life. I’d like to keep noticing birds, to keep taking tech-free walks, to keep cooking a new recipe each week. As we move forward, I’m interested to see what pandemic habits (not hobbies because tbh surviving was enough of a hobby) we all carry with us. Any thoughts on what you’ll keep or discard?

That said, I know this rounding-the-bend feeling is an incredible privilege that doesn’t apply to most of the world. So though I want to share my gratitude and joy, I also want to acknowledge that the pandemic is very much not over for most people. (If you can, consider donating to this oxygen fundraiser as one way to help those in India.)

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I deal with such competing feelings. Coming out of a very weird year, mixed emotions are something we’ll all be carrying with us. For me, it’s been helpful to follow the advice of a former therapist and employ the word “and” while sorting through them. After all, not everything has to be an “or.”

I am grateful to be vaccinated AND I am heartbroken for those still suffering.

I am delighted to be reunited with my loved ones AND I already miss my alone time.

I am thankful to have made it through AND I am sad for those we have lost.

It’s a simple reframe, but it makes all the difference.

  1. The Race to Transform a Wisconsin Farm Into a Justice-Focused Agrihood: my first story for Civil Eats, and my first story based in Wisconsin!

  2. Roxane Gay on family

  3. This vegan chickpea coconut curry if you’re looking for something that kind of tastes like Chef Boyardee that’s not Chef Boyardee

  4. Powerful essay by Emily Ratajkowski (yes the really hot one) on the fight to own her own image

  5. Fabric’s easy free will maker, which took me under 10 minutes and allowed me to make a mirror copy for Tyler

  6. After years of letting it sit on the shelf, I finally read Salt Fat Acid Heat — and let’s just say it has already transformed my cooking

  7. Reasons to Be Cheerful, an antidote to negative news started by none other than David Byrne (here’s a story about tree-free paper to get you started)

  8. A heartbreakingly beautiful poem on pregnancy loss by my friend Kristin Wong

  9. Should you still have kids if you’re worried about climate change? This excellent podcast addresses that and more (and this article might help if you’re still deciding if you even want kids)

  10. This magnetic As-Seen-On-TV miracle lets you turn any doorjamb into a screen door for just $15

  11. Shaker Box Cocktail Club, a company started by my friend and mixologist Aisha Ali to help you spice up your next virtual happy hour (tell your friends! tell your bosses!)

  12. The Secret Life of Groceries — though the author sometimes came off as condescending, this was an interesting read



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