I grew up not trusting my mirror. I remember worrying, “I think I look ok, but how do other people see me?” Even as a ten-year-old, I had somehow internalized the idea that image is a currency, and how other people see you matters.
I am a first-time mother of a one-year-old. Over the past year, I’ve had to temper my fears a million times. From the first night home from the hospital when I held my breath as she slept, to letting her eat grapes, to watching her climb precariously on every piece of furniture we own – it’s been a daily practice of managing my own discomfort so that she can live her own “risk-filled life.” It can be hard to remember in these moments, but I do truly value risk-taking. As a counsellor and coach, my career is built around helping others take meaningful risks, and in my own life, I can easily connect the dots from “risks I took” to “most meaningful experiences I’ve had.” Now as a new parent, I have been reflecting on how I have come to appreciate taking meaningful risks.
I read 16 books this year, which is exactly half as many as last year. Considering we have a recently-turned one-year-old baby, I’m ok with it! (That said, if you count how many times I’ve read “But Not The Hippopotamus” and “Here George,” I’ve probably read more this year than I have in the past decade!)
I taught beginner piano lessons for several years. Sometimes parents would attend their child’s lesson, and I would see their distressed faces, the thought bubbles above their heads asking…
“What is even happening in this lesson? It just sounds like banging! It’s moving so slowly… Why aren’t they playing real songs yet? Why are they squirming so much? Is this normal?”
The “results” of beginner piano lessons may not always be obvious, but trust me, your child is getting so much more from their piano lessons than you can see (or hear!). Continue reading
I’ve been feeling the creative bug lately, so I wanted to share some writing in the hopes it will motivate me to ‘keep on keepin’ on.’ To kick things off, here’s a piece I wrote after the 10-day (silent!) Vipassana meditation retreat I attended a couple of years ago.
I almost deleted this post because it’s hard to make a list that isn’t completely generic, or way too specific to OUR baby. I decided to post it because figuring out what to get (without getting too much) was confusing, and the lists other people gave me were enormously helpful. Obviously every baby is different, so there will be stuff you swear by that other people find useless, but here’s what worked for us…
Greg and I welcomed the sweetest little baby into our lives on December 21 – her name is Phoenix Lea Switzer Alsop and we are completely smitten with her. My goal throughout pregnancy was to create a cute and minimalist maternity wardrobe. That said, I didn’t wear maternity clothes until the end of my 2nd trimester so I didn’t want to go overboard with shopping. For the most part, I stuck to affordable maternity brands that offer massive sales regularly (like Old Navy) paired with other non-maternity clothes that I already had and/or could wear beyond pregnancy. Below are the contents of my Maternity Wardrobe as well as my Hospital Bag Packing List – I hope you find it helpful!