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Issue #36: Try Again Tomorrow 🕕

via @thecut

From Gill:

^ I feel this so much.

I procrastinated all day writing this intro because I was out of words. I used them up limping through paid work, cursing in text threads, and yelling at the New York Times app. This is what I have left running through my head on loop:


I wanted to scrounge up some constructive or meaningful reflections for you, but well... that’s too much pressure.

So in the spirit of being honest and feeling all the feelings without judgment (more on that below), I’ll share how I’m really doing right now: not so great. Or rather: very semi-together.

The waves of emotions have been pretty rough lately; at times, I feel like I’m being sucked under by all of the rage and worry and sadness and frustration. At others, I feel calm, content, hopeful, motivated. It’s all a big mix, and that’s OK. I’m actively trying not to beat myself up over what I “should” be feeling or doing.

Today, I cried twice over the news. I mailed my absentee ballot. I sent and received silly memes. I got distracted by social media. I took a long walk in almost-fall weather. And now I’m going to go to bed and try again tomorrow.

If you’ve been riding these waves too, hang in there. You’re doing the best you can today, and you can always try again tomorrow 💕

🎙 Latest Episodes: 

Good for Her, Not for Me

“Good for her! Not for me.” This quote from Amy Poehler’s wonderful memoir, Yes, Please, has helped us both be less judgmental of others and more confident in our own choices.

We share examples of where this mantra has been most helpful – including in relation to parenting, body image and appearance, and big life decisions – plus four tips on how to say it yourself (and mean it sincerely!).

Dodging the Second Arrow

We talk about the Buddhist parable of the second arrow – the additional pain we cause ourselves when unwelcome things happen – and tips for dodging it.

We feel the first arrow when we experience something painful. But often we shoot a second arrow into ourselves by resisting the pain and turning it into anger, shame, criticism, rumination, etc.

👉 Steal This Tip: Practice radical self-compassion.

To dodge the second arrow, accept what is happening and validate all feelings about it – yours and other people’s. A lot of people don’t like the phrase “it is what it is” – but for Melia, it sums up radical acceptance. It doesn’t mean you have to like it or approve of reality, but it’s in your interest to accept it.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

We’ve both adopted the “feel it all” approach to life, learning to be okay with the full range of human emotions. It’s much healthier and less exhausting than pushing away the challenging ones or pretending we don’t feel them at all.

Image is by Shannon Downey, a.k.a. Badass Cross Stitch, an awesome artist and activist worth following. One of our absolute favorite patterns is this one. (Note below that at 11:26 AM we typed nearly the same message at the same time , which often happens with our sister brains. 🧠🧠)

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia: 

  • Behind the Music of All Mah Friends 
    Though I haven’t listened in a while, I love Song Exploder, “a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” Some of my favorite eps feature Wilco (“Magnetized”), The Lumineers (“Ophelia”), and The Long Winters (the beautifully heartbreaking “The Commander Thinks Aloud”).

    When Gill sent me the trailer for a new Netflix series bringing the podcast to the screen, I could hardly handle the wait. Musicians like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alicia Keys “dig deep into the creative process of songwriting and reveal their intimate thoughts”? October 2nd, please come soon! 

From Gill: 

  • Another Awesome Holmes
    I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new Netflix movie, Enola Holmes, since our mom shared the trailer with us a few weeks ago. It comes out today and stars Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown as Enola, the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, who discovers her mother has disappeared and sets out to find her on her own.

    It’s based on a young adult fiction series by Nancy Springer, so I’m also reading the first book right now. I love how clever, curious, and independent Enola is – especially during a time when women were meant to be merely decorative.

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

  • Pep Talks to Get You Moving

    I love author and speaker Mel Robbins’ compassionate but no-nonsense approach to making positive changes in your life. This week I’ve been bingeing her new Audible series of 30-minute pep talks, Start Here. It feels like she’s talking directly to me on topics like Anxiety, Stress, and Self-Love, designed to inspire the hardest part of change: just starting. If you’re an Audible member, the series is included, and if not, there’s a free 30-day trial of Audible Plus.

From Gill: 

  • Nina & the Notorious RBG   
    The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week hit me hard. Like many of us, I'm reeling from it all – mourning such a huge loss while also worrying about the serious implications of a Supreme Court vacancy right now. NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg’s stories about RBG have been a bright spot amid the sad news, both her obituary and this wonderful account of their close decades-long friendship.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • Chicken Stroganoff 
    Beef stroganoff was a dish that our mom would make while we were little, and I found its savory, mushroom-rich creaminess so comforting. Darren and I had chicken in the freezer this week, so he used this recipe for chicken stroganoff as inspo, subbing soy sauce for Worcestershire. The delightful sprinkle of red paprika on top feels like an invitation to dig in.

From Gill: 

  • Homemade Pesto
    Basil has been cheap and plentiful lately, and I’ve been ordering it in big bunches every week in our CSA delivery. It has such a short shelf life that I make pesto the day it arrives, and it stretches throughout the week, on pasta, sandwiches, salads, and pizza. I use this recipe as a guide, often subbing in walnuts for the pine nuts.

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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