RE-COMMITTING TO NOURISHMENT
I feel the energy of spring and the parched, drying days of summer at the same time. I'm returning to ritual to balance me.
I have been running for the past few weeks and it feels like every time I tell myself I can catch my breath the pavement beneath me boils and I have to keep putting one bare foot in front of another, blisters throbbing.
I see an end in sight to this fevered sprint, and I’m also noticing how little water I’m drinking. (Literally and figuratively.) My morning routine has slipped through the cracks as my sleep schedule has shifted, and I haven’t taken the time to center myself, to engage in the practices that energize me.
I feel like spring, because there is so much in motion, so many sluggish pieces gaining momentum after a long hibernation. And I also feel like summer, parched and uncomfortable as the long daylight hours urge me to drive ever onward.1
I see the causal link between increased self-care practices and lower stress, yet struggle to pinpoint the exact mechanism of action. When I don’t deeply understand the why, I find myself forgetting how impactful my rituals and routines can be.
My aim this week is to accept where I am, and to provide nourishment for the days ahead. I’m recognizing the chaotic time I’m in, and will be in, for the next several months. I’m embracing care practices and not allowing myself to examine the mechanics. I am reminding myself that my state of mind emerges from technical actions into something greater that the sum of its parts.2
To re-center myself during this busy time, I’m making the following commitments this week:
Do one thing in the morning to make life easier for my future self.
Do one household task in the evening to make the next day easier.
Pull my tarot cards in the morning and write down reflections.
Make myself tea and drink it before bed each night.
Read every day.
I chose these as things I know bring me joy. I love doing tarot spread to start the day feeling magical and in touch with my inner world. I love reading and am in the middle of several interesting books. I feel satisfied doing tasks that make my home a more pleasant place for me and my partner. Challenging myself to think about how I will feel in the future forces me to get clear on what I need, and what small improvements I can make to feel more comfortable.
I’d love to hear one or two sentences about the practices you lean on when you are unable to take an extended rest. What can you do today to take care of your future self who will exist in one hour, one day, or one week? What can you re-commit to this week? Hit reply or comment to share your thoughts.
I have a newsletter about Roe I have been tweaking for a few weeks and it’s still not done. I had to remind myself that I can send it out when it is ready, and in the meantime I can share something else. As I wrote about in a previous newsletter, sometimes ideas need rest.
Reflecting on how I saw more of my non-journalism network sharing information and outrage about the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh than my colleagues in the American news industry. I feel like we constantly have conversations about power disparities in reporting — e.g. critically evaluating the motivations of interviewees, considering whether it is in a source’s interest to lie to the press, reviewing the accuracy of past public statements — and I am disappointed when our industry makes the same mistakes over and over.
The professional data visualization community has a culture of public critique that I’m not always a fan of (despite participating in it). I thought this thread by Will Chase diving into design choices made by the NYT Graphics team was thoughtful, detailed, and kind while touching on larger questions our industry has struggled with since the dawn of COVID-19.
Blizzard’s announcement of a new tool to improve diversity in its titles has me thinking about the danger of conflating continuous and categorical variables. (Likely fodder for a future newsletter — if you’re interested in this, please comment or reply so I can move it up in the drafting queue.)
I’m looking forward to reading your responses! Take care of yourself this week.