Grab a Cup of Tea…

And settle in, because we have a lot of catching up to do! Here are some life updates and thoughts and random things in no particular order…

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First up, I’m on what I’m calling an Instagram Diet. It was born out of the desire to cut down some of my compulsive phone behavior, which was getting out of hand. After downloading the Moment App and realizing I was spending the majority of my time scrolling through photos of bundt cakes and skinny butts in levi’s jeans, I deleted the app from my phone, with the exception that I could go on it anytime, but it would have to be through Safari or on my computer. After about four days of withdrawal, I suddenly lost complete interest. Instagram sucks on a safari window; it’s glitchy and out of date. My original plan was to give myself a 30 day break from the app — but I’m over 40 days in and have no desire to end my diet. Even weirder: when I do scroll through Instagram now, I think: THIS IS SO STUPID. No offense to anyone (for real), but it has made me realize how Instagram was designed with compulsion in mind. When you aren’t able to get swept up in the mindless, thumb-scrolling, habitual clicking and liking and stalking of it all, it completely loses its power. One downfall? I missed out on an awesome event in New York City because I didn’t see the posting on Instagram. All in all though, it’s been pretty life changing. Anyone else have a change of heart about social media?

Fellow true crime fanatics: I just started the book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark written by Michelle McNamara, who passed away in 2016 after obsessing for years over the Golden State Killer. The man, whose identity is still unknown, broke into homes in California suburbs in the 70’s and 80’s and perpetrated sadistic murders. The book is really well done — compelling, thoughtful, and humane, and I feel myself getting swept away in the case in the same way Michelle must have. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s in the mood for a dark page turner with substance.

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A little self-care trick I’ve been trying recently: every time I do something that makes me feel happy, I write it down. I think it’s important to remember the ways in which we take care ourselves, especially since we’re so good at being our own critics. I’ve been thinking about this recently: we have all been born with a knack for knowing what makes us the absolute happiest. We have the key — no one else. Isn’t that nice? So I have a running list, which includes moments when I took myself out for a cup of coffee and giant slice of cake (see above); when I wandered around Cobble Hill without an agenda, and when my sister-in-law and I settled in for an afternoon of dog cuddles and snacks. From the book, Self-Care for the Real World:

Think of [self-care] as survival of the most resilient: right now you may be deep in the waves of life, being tossed around. Learning self-care is like building your own lifeboat. plank by plank; once you’ve got your boat, you’ll still be rocked by the the same waves but you’ll have a feeling of safety, and a stability that means you can pick up other people on your way. 

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A few weekends ago, during a little weekend getaway in which I brought two giant bags of Trader Joe’s groceries, I heated up some of the Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup and popped mozzarella sticks in the oven. It was the best throw-back little kid snack and really hit the spot. The key is to bake the mozarrella sticks until they’re nicely browned, and then to let them sit for a minute or two to cool down and crisp up. Yummo.

Lastly, I applied to grad school! It took a few pep talks and “I can do it” mantras, but I finally put my head down, cranked out applications, and told myself over and over, “You don’t get what you want in life by wondering when it’s going to happen.” Are people interested in hearing about more the grad school process? Let me know!

I’ve missed you all and can’t wait to catch up more! lots of love always. XO.

17 thoughts on “Grab a Cup of Tea…

  1. I did the same thing with Instagram! It’s been deleted from my phone for MONTHS and I don’t miss it at all—I go on once every few weeks on my computer and I get bored almost instantly. And congrats on grad school! I’m just finishing up my master’s degree and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. (Though I feel like I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in years, oops.)

  2. I have been thinking a lot about how I’d like to delete Facebook, especially with all the stories about how they basically sell our personal information. (I’m not to the point where I could delete Instagram yet, I like looking at pretty photos…) But! Facebook IS helpful for knowing what’s going on. I just signed up for meeting Nigella Lawson (yeah! personal hero!) at Food52, which I found out via Facebook. I would have missed that otherwise. Also, a lot of my family/friends live elsewhere, so at least it gives me the semblance of knowing what people are up to… Hence, I haven’t yet made any moves. But I’m thinking.

    p.s. That cake looks delicious! Where did you get it?

    • I agree about Facebook, Christina! It’s my number one way to keep track of everyone’s birthdays :). Cake was from Kitchenette, right around the corner from me. Sweet little place!

  3. Some really great tips in here, thanks!

    And yes, I’d be interested in learning about the grad school process. Sometimes I think about applying myself, but it can be sooo expensive (and financial aid can be hard to get if you’re not going full-time) and I worry about getting a degree and then ending up working in a different field based on the job market. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

    • I feel you, Am! There’s so much to consider when applying. The money piece is NO JOKE. For me, I realized it would be a good “career” move when I connected the dots of social work (what I’m getting my degree in) and writing (the two are closely intertwined). It’s hard when you feel like you’re closing doors to other unrelated opportunities by getting a degree, but I don’t think that’s the case! Will definitely be posting about this experience along the way!! XO

  4. I just commented this on an older post of your’s (apologies, I’m getting caught up today!) that I also deleted the Instagram app, and man, what a game changer. It’s not even fun anymore, and besides checking in with a few of my reality TV starts (guilty), I don’t find any of it interesting. I’ve been following more blogs, which is so much more interesting to me!

  5. excited to see and read your update, i look forward to your posts. i have tried to do the same with facebook but still check it even though its boring. i still enjoy instagram, although yeah, i check it too much too! congrats on your grad school application: finishing my master’s was one of my hardest but favorite things I did because I truly earned it myself.

  6. Funnily enough, just today I had uninstalled Instagram in an effort to have it work faster once I reinstalled it. When I tried to log back in, I forgot my password and don’t even have the email account it was linked to in order to retrieve it. It’s basically gone for good and I feel it’s a blessing in disguise. This post sealed the deal.

  7. Welcome back! 🙂

    YES re: Instagram. Same re: other commenters on FB. It doesn’t help in the whole “mining our data for nefarious purposes” aspect, but I do mute almost everyone except for the organizations/events/groups I want to follow for news/purposes that are meaningful to me.

    Also, I love you take on self-care and how it’s not based on doing expensive luxurious things.

  8. Joy, I missed you! Your blog is one of the few I read that I feel like you’re really talking to me and where I’m at right now. I also downloaded the moment app and it’s definitely eye-opening. I loved your description of writing down what makes you happy and will start doing the same. Have you read that self care book? I’ve been wondering about it. Finally, congrats on applying to grad school!

  9. Great update, I am over social media too but am torn about what to do about it. My husband and I run a photography company and the majority of our bookings are done so via social media. I’d love to be off both FB and Instagram altogether but I need to log on to post content and before I know it, I’m mindlessly scrolling. Argh! Think I just need to be tougher on myself, post and then log off to read a good book 🙂

    • Ohhh, that’s tough, Liz! I know what you mean….I do social media on fB for a company as a little freelance side gig, and for that reason, I have to be on it myself. The mindlessly scrolling thing is inevitable. Could you try to budget time for social media throughout the day, and keep it under 10 min??

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