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Issue #15  //  Running on Empty ⛽

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via @NicoleNalepa

From Gill: 

When I drive, I am an “OMG I need to fill up” type of person. When I do most everything else, I lean toward the “I got this” approach. You know that Seinfeld episode where Kramer sees how far he can drive on an empty gas tank? Kinda like that. Just keep going! Until you can’t go any further!

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally accepted that “go go go until you break down” is not a sustainable action plan. It usually leads to me: A) stress-crying, B) snapping at loved ones or unlucky strangers, C) getting sick, or D) all of the above. And it doesn’t actually help me reach my goal, whatever it is.

A lot of us struggle with this tendency – and for valid reasons. We are stretched thin because we have real work and family obligations, and we want to show up for others. But if we’re constantly running on empty, it’s hard to be an attentive friend, an effective leader, an engaged parent, or a loving partner.

We recorded our latest episode – and created a free workbook to go with it (more on both below) – because we believe it’s so important to make time for what energizes and fulfills us. Even when (or especially when!) life is bananas.

What small thing could you do for yourself today? How could you spend a few minutes replenishing the fuel in your tank?

🎙 Latest Episode: #23 - How to Make Time for What Fuels You

Our busy schedules at work and home can deplete our energy, leaving us feeling scattered and worn out. We know it’s not always easy to make time for activities that make you feel happy or rejuvenated. But just a few minutes a day, every day, will help renew your energy and sustain you during difficult times, allowing you to make your fullest contribution to your goals and to other people.

👉 Steal This Tip: Prepare your tools in advance.

You don’t want to spend your precious time figuring out what to do or locating the things you need to do it, so decide in advance what you want to do and set out anything you need to do it (your laptop, workout clothes, a musical instrument). Make it as seamless as possible!


Episode #15: Choosing Optimism 🎙

Your genes and your environment are only part of what makes you an optimist or a pessimist. Scientific happiness research shows that you can adopt small daily practices to rewire your brain for a more positive worldview. We talk about our own tendencies and the "happiness hygiene" habits we're trying.

Listen to the episode.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

From Melia: As we might have told you once or twice, we love us some creative sister collaborations. Seeing sisters like Lennon & Maisy and Tegan and Sara have fun working together was a big inspiration for Semi-Together, so I was intrigued by this cover of Entertainment Weekly.

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia:

  • Real Talk on Writing
    I loved this interview with Jacqueline Woodson, a prolific writer and re-writer; she says she’s rewritten her books dozens of times. 😱 She talks about the importance of writing as both a mirror and a window (a nod to a Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop quote), and she captures why I'm not quite happy with the manuscript of my Reschool Yourself memoir: “Writing is visceral. If you write something down and don’t feel some kind of way, then it’s not working. It’s not doing what you wanted to do.” I’m nudging myself to harness the Power of Yet and give it another go.

From Gill:

In Our Ears  🎧

From Melia: 

  • The Happiness Lab
    I consume a lot of content about happiness, and this podcast stands out as a favorite. Host Dr. Laurie Santos distills her teachings from the most popular course in Yale’s history, looking into whether sharing photos on social media makes us happier, and how life-changing events like winning the lottery and being severely injured affect happiness. The research might surprise you! You can even take a free online version of the course on demand.

From Gill: 

  • Dolly Parton's America
    A new nine-part podcast series hosted by Radiolab's Jad Abumrad explores the question: "In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why?" It includes interviews with musicians, historians, writers, and of course, Dolly herself – plus tons of clips of her performances. Only two episodes are out so far, but they've already explored topics like violence, poverty, suicide, feminism, power, forgiveness, and the story behind the bestselling song by a female artist of all time. It’s fascinating and uplifting, and I’m obsessed.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • Polenta Soup with Crispy Pancetta and Kale
    Darren made this hearty soup the other night, and it was perfect for the cool fall weather, with a lovely blend of textures and flavors. He used bacon instead of pancetta and garnished it with parmesan and parsley. (I just remembered that Milk Street requires a subscription to see the full recipe, so you can either sign up for a free trial or take inspo from the concept!).

From Gill: 

  • Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Bites 
    I usually only like bananas in their unhealthiest form (lookin’ at you, banana nut muffins). But my sister-in-law passed this recipe on, and I decided to give it a try (I did substitute the cinnamon for a little bit of melted dark chocolate). With a few minutes of prep time and no baking, you get tasty little bites that are good for an on-the-go breakfast or an afternoon snack.

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 😘😘

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