View in browser

Issue #20  // Experiment Like a Scientist 🔬

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” 
- Tina Fey

After being out of routine for a couple of weeks during the holidays, our family has had a rough re-entry this January. Avery hasn’t been sleeping well, which means Darren and I aren’t sleeping well, which throws everything else off-kilter. Whenever I hear people cite research about the importance of sleep to good health and well-being, I want to punch them in the kidneys. I KNOW THIS. Tell it to my headstrong three-year-old, and while you’re at it, explain why it’s important that she eat her vegetables. (I’m serious. Maybe she’ll listen to you.)

Sometimes Darren and I can feel so depleted that we sink into despair. We don’t know how and when things will get better. On Saturday mornings, the weekend ahead can feel like a daunting slog with not much to look forward to.

Darren’s good about not tolerating situations like this, He’ll say, “This isn’t acceptable to me. What can we do to fix it?” It reminds me that we’re empowered to change our circumstances, even the ones without obvious solutions -- like strong-willed children who refuse to stay in their beds.

Here’s the process we use once we realize we’re unhappy with something:

1. Identify the problem.

Sometimes the problem isn’t as obvious as a child stealing your sleep. If your weekends are feeling blah, for example, do you need to shake yourself out of your routine? Schedule more outings, look ahead for upcoming events, or take a day trip to a new destination?

2. Center on the problem with the attitude that everything is figureoutable.

You’ll need to clear out some quiet, dedicated space to do this; Darren and I use our lunch break. Then you can start approaching the problem like a research scientist, experimenting with new variables every day. We're asking, “What’s waking Avery at night? Is she too hot or cold? What morning reward can we bribe her with for sleeping through?” (We’ve had to keep upping the far, candy + a stuffed animal isn’t sufficient. 😩)

3. Create moments of gratitude and joy to keep your spirits up.

Throughout the problem-solving process, keep up your morale by pausing to ask, “What’s NOT wrong? What am I grateful for right now?” When I’m stressed, I’ve been asking the Amazon Echo to play Kidz Bop and dancing it out in my kitchen. I feel better every time. Schedule something you can look forward to, whether it’s a get-together with friends, watching a show you love, or reading a great book before bed.

Whatever is on your mind right now, try these three steps, with the unflagging belief that you can crack this problem -- no matter how much trial and error it takes. And as always, I’ll be right there with you, reminding myself to take my own advice. ❤️

🎙 Latest Episode: #29 - 20 for 2020 Goals

In our first episode of the new year, we’re excited to reveal our 20 for 2020 lists of goals. We’ve been doing this alternative to New Year's resolutions since 2018, inspired by the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast.

We share our goals and the reason behind each one, plus 5 tips to help you stay on track with your own goals.

👉 Steal This Tip: Change your goals if you want.

They’re not set in stone! Tweak them, swap them for something else, or abandon them if they’re not serving you. Priorities will shift or circumstances will change, and that’s ok. It’s liberating to remember that you’re the boss of your list, and it’s just there to serve you.


Minisode: Change the Plan🎙

In this minisode, we share a Steal This Tip that helps both of us regularly: Change the plan. When Plan A is not working, pause and think, “What if we did this another way – or not at all?” Those three words, “What if we…” open up a whole new range of possibilities than what you might have considered.

Listen to the episode.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

Our new editing tool took some creative license in the transcript it generated:

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia:

  • Where You’ll Find Gill & Me When We’re 80
    It’s not your grandma’s tea party...unless your grandma loves dancing and champagne as much as we do. To combat loneliness among seniors, the Posh Club in South London hosts weekly afternoon parties that are more like raves than high tea. The adorable people interviewed in the video say the outings, with the chance to dress up and socialize, have been a ray of sunshine in their lives.

From Gill:

  • JVN for the Win
    Queer Eye
    's Jonathan Van Ness wrote a children’s book, Peanut Goes for the Gold, about a nonbinary guinea pig who is a rhythmic gymnastics prodigy, and I must have it. The Harper Collins description: "This upbeat and hilarious picture book, inspired by Jonathan's own childhood guinea pig, encourages children to not just be themselves ― but to boldly and unapologetically love being themselves."

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

  • Funny Cuz It's True
    You know when you see something dramatized onscreen and feel suddenly and completely understood? That’s how I felt watching this trailer for Breeders, a new FX comedy about the chaos of life with young kids. It debuts in March, but I need it now.

  • Undoing Our Perfect-Girl Training
    If you hesitate to take risks for fear of making mistakes, and struggle with self-confidence and a harsh inner critic, Brave, Not Perfect is the antidote. Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, reads the audio version of her book about how girls (including herself) are trained from a young age to be people-pleasers and perfectionists – and how we can choose to be brave instead.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • One Pan Roasted Squash, Apple, & Sausage Dinner 
    In the winter months, there’s not much better than a hearty one-pan dinner of roasted, caramelized veggies. Add chicken-apple sausage, crispy kale, and warming spices for a balance of sweet and salty, and I’m in heaven.

From Gill: 

  • Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho
    I’m convinced this pho recipe cures everything, and I crave it when I’m sick. Also, it’s oddly satisfying to cook an entire chicken in a pressure cooker in no time at all. (Try it; it’s amazing!)

If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it? You can also become a patron here.  

Until next time! 


Melia & Gill 😘😘

Enjoyed this newsletter? Forward it to a friend!

If you are that lucky friend, subscribe here.


3000 Old Canton Rd. Ste. 455, Jackson, MS 39216
United States

You received this email because you're a subscriber. We're glad you're here!