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Issue #34: You're the Boss of Your Own List 📝

via @alex_elle

From Gill: 

One silver lining in this very challenging year (or “dumpster fire of a year” – depending on my mood) is that I am learning to practice the pause more easily. Even seemingly simple decisions require careful thought in a pandemic, and I’m getting more adept at pausing before responding to requests or making commitments.

Instead of automatically saying yes to a social gathering, work project, or to-do list item, I’m trying to check in with myself first. A few simple questions usually help me clarify my decision:

- Do you feel comfortable/safe doing this?
- Do you need to? Do you want to?
- Do you have the bandwidth for this?
- How does this fit in with your most important priorities?
- What happens if you say no?
- What could you do instead?

I’m by no means doing this perfectly, but it gets a little easier every time. In our latest episode, Melia and I revisit the 2020 goals we set back in January. We talk about how we’re being intentional with our time, deciding what’s most important to us for the rest of the year and letting go of the rest.

Ultimately, we are the bosses of our own lists. If something doesn’t make us happier and more fulfilled, we can let it go and make room for something that does.

🎙 Latest Episode: Reimagining Our 2020 Goals

We’re back with a new episode after our season break! We reflect on the 20 for 2020 goals we set at the beginning of the year, discussing what we’ve kept up, abandoned, or reimagined, plus tips on how to reimagine your own goals.

👉 Steal This Tip: Let go of guilt and shoulds.

Down with the shoulds, especially now! If you get “nothing” done this year except make it through, that’s enough. This is an exceptionally tough time for all of us, so if you are staying safe and well and trying to look out for others – wearing masks and social distancing, please! – that is a big deal. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself credit for what you are doing.


Minisode: Celebrate a Second New Year 🎙

The beginning of the school year – whether or not you are still in school or have kids in school – can be a “second new year,” an opportunity to step back and reevaluate your priorities.

Listen to the minisode.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

Discussing vigilante justice on the group text with our husbands:

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia: 

  • Big Gretch Threw on Da Buffs
    I often find Darren laughing about something on Twitter that takes him a while to explain because there are so many layers of references. One worth unpacking was the Detroit rap scene stanning Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer because she’s stood up to Trump and urged residents to stay safe at home during the pandemic.

    Rapper Gmac Cash wrote a rap ode to her called “Big Gretch,” then started a successful GoFundMe campaign to buy her Cartier Buffs sunglasses, which are iconic in Detroit. When Governor Whitmer couldn’t accept them, Gmac Cash donated the funds to the community at her request, and in a video message she “threw on da buffs,” a pair that she’d borrowed. I found the whole chain of events so amusing and uplifting. 😎💲

From Gill: 

  • There's No Crying in Baseball
    A League of Their Own is one of our all-time favorite movies. Melia and I watched our dogeared VHS copy so many times growing up that I can still recite most of the film’s dialogue by heart. I can't wait to watch the new Amazon TV series adaptation that Broad City's Abbi Jacobsen is co-creating and starring in (along with a fantastic cast, including The Good Place's D'Arcy Carden!). The series will focus on a new set of characters as they navigate the world of professional women’s baseball in the 1940s – and it promises to take a “deeper look at race and sexuality.”

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

  • On Therapy and Being Human

    If you’re introspective and into personal development (which I imagine you are, if you’re reading this), I think you’ll love the memoir Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. Therapist Lori Gottlieb goes into therapy herself after being blindsided by a breakup, and she weaves her own patients’ stories of healing in with her own. This book made me feel all the feels: I laughed, wept, and grew to love all of the real-life characters. In this Q&A with Gretchen Rubin, Gottlieb offers some sage advice.

From Gill: 

  • Exploring Highway 59  
    I'm hooked on the audiobooks for Attica Locke's Highway 59 series – modern noir thrillers following Darren Mathews, a Black Texas Ranger in rural East Texas, as he investigates crimes and deals with complex intersections of race, justice, law enforcement, family, and identity. I finished the first book, Bluebird, Bluebird and just started the follow-up, Heaven, My Home. The writing is riveting, and I find myself walking a few extra blocks while listening so I can finish a chapter.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
    I was chuckling to myself while writing this section in our last e-news, because Gill was recommending a beautiful summer salad with an assortment of fresh ingredients, and all I could think of was PB&J on fried biscuits from a can. #classylady 🤷‍♀️ Well, today I’m leveling up with this light and tasty salad recipe – which, granted, Darren made. But I found it on the Internet and added the ingredients to our grocery list! We simplified it, omitting the jalapeños, olives, and shallots.

From Gill: 

  • Easy Taco Bowls
    Now it’s my turn to be stumped! I’ve been on vacation, not cooking anything more complicated than frozen pizza. As I get back to normal life, my plan is to throw together some easy taco bowls for weekday dinners: black beans, corn, rice, salsa, and whatever extras I can scrounge up – avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips. Making quick-pickled onions takes a few extra minutes, but it’s totally worth it.

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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