Author Dani Shapiro talks about riding the wave. She says when you’re writing and you get to the really good stuff—the real stuff—and then suddenly you feel the urge to check social media, that’s how you know the wave is coming. Instinctively, and perhaps subconsciously, you try to avoid it. But if you want to create something meaningful, you have to stay where you are and ride that wave all the way to the other side.

The same is true for life. The past few months I’ve been riding a wave:

a personal health concern that finally, just recently, checked out to be 100% okay

family issues that continue to resurface despite efforts to heal and repair

trying to get my book published (I hope to have an update soon)

running a busy household with active kids and a traveling husband

raising teenagers and loving and guiding them through their newfound world of fun and freedom and burdens.

I’m sure you have your own list of things that run in the background of your life, while trying to do the basic things that come with being an adult. You might not realize all that you carry until your knees buckle under the weight of it. Or it spits you out onto the shore.

I used to listen to the critical voice in my head. The one that scolds me for being too busy, for being too quick to say yes. The one who gets tired, and then feels bad about it.

But then I realized that this is life. When the wave comes, I can dodge it, or ride it. Most of the time, I ride it.

The holiday season is like a wave within the wave. Today, finally, just as I feel sure that I’m going to wipe out, the wave is settling. I’m sitting on the calm, quiet edge of the shoreline, drinking my morning coffee, sitting by the tree.

Today is the last day of school until January. Most of the presents are wrapped. It’s time to see the lights, watch the cheesy movies, and make gingerbread houses. I’m not sure that the scene will play out like the vision in my mind, but I do know that I’ve made time and space for these things. Time and space within my calendar, and time and space within myself.

Do future you a favor. If there’s anything you want to make time and space for in 2023, put it on your calendar now. Make the “notes to self” now when the ideas and the awareness are still fresh in your mind, before one year rolls into another.

The waves will come; we don’t have to plan for those. But the rest, the space, and the time for you? You have to claim it.

This will be my last Hello Friday email of 2022. I’ve loved writing notes to you each week and look forward to continuing in 2023. I’ll still be posting on Instagram and Facebook, and I invite you to hang out with me there. This week, I shared a glimpse of our holiday photo card. I really should have included thought bubbles!


PS  Some housekeeping: If you have a moment, will you check your spam and junk folders? If any of my emails have landed there, please move it to your inbox and mark it as not spam. This happens sometimes, and this is the best way to make sure that you continue to get my emails.

Block 13th

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