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Issue #13  //  Staying Connected From a Distance 🌎

via @happinessspells

From Gill:

Our mom and dad just flew back to California after a lovely weeklong visit in Barcelona, and for the first time in months, I don’t have another trip to the U.S. planned. It’s a strange sensation.

This past year, Brian and I have both gotten to see our families quite a bit, and I’m very grateful for that time. But we’re not going back for the holidays this year. And while I’m looking forward to a relaxed celebration, I’ll be sad to be far away from family.

It’s the price we pay for building a life in a city we love that just happens to be on the other side of the world from where we grew up.

How can we stay connected to the people we love if we don’t get to see them often in person? How can we make a home in a new place, while still keeping ties to our past homes?

These are three small steps I’m taking right now that you might also find helpful: 

1. Find brief moments of connection.

With big time differences and busy agendas, phone calls or FaceTime dates are tricky to schedule. But technology gives us so many other tiny ways to be in touch. Send that 30-second text or Facebook message. Pass along that funny photo, meme, or memory. These little moments give me a boost and make me feel involved in people’s daily lives.

2. Put the next date on the calendar.

This was big for me when Brian and I did long-distance: I always wanted to know the next time we would see each other, so I could have something to look forward to. I strive to keep this same practice with family get-togethers now.

3. Feel all the feels.

I still miss people strongly at unexpected times. But instead of thinking: Come on, aren’t you used to this by now? Suck it up, you’re fine! (my inner monologue is a real softie), I’ve been working on identifying what I’m feeling and then just feeling it with no judgment.

On a related note, Melia shared a post titled, “How to Maintain Long-Distance Friendships” on our Facebook page last week that had some great advice – and we’re planning to do an episode on this topic in the near future. 

We’d love to hear your tips! How do you stay close with family and friends who live far away? Leave us a comment on Facebook or our latest Instagram post, or send us an email at

How You Can Support Semi-Together

Earlier this month, we launched something we’ve been planning for a while: a Semi-Together Patreon page! We love making the podcast, and we hope you love listening to our episodes. It’s our dream to help all of us get it together in order to live more fully, while celebrating the ways we’ve got it together.

Watch the intro video (and blooper reel) on our Patreon page, and consider becoming a patron.

    🎙 Latest Minisode: Practice the Pause

    We often react to the things that happen automatically, with anxiety, stress, or anger. In this minisode, we talk about a way to interrupt that knee-jerk reaction: Practice the pause.

    By putting a bit of space between what happens and how you react to it, you can tap into your wiser self and choose how you respond.

    👉 Steal This Tip: Adopt an anchoring phrase.

    As you practice the pause, take a deep breath – or even better, the three-breath pause we’ve talked about before. In that space, try reflecting on an "anchoring phrase."

    Melia has been using “Soften” and “Empathy first” and looking for gratitudes and silver linings. Gill has been testing “Patience, Kindness, Compassion” during stressful interactions (with varying levels of success). But just having something to fall back on – other than "I hate everyone and everything" and “People are the worst” – is a step in the right direction.

    👋 ICYMI

    Episode #19: The Year So Far🎙

    In January, we each came up with a list of 19 goals – some small, some large, some one-offs, some ongoing – that we wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. In June, halfway through the year, we checked in on our lists and talked about obstacles we were encountering. And we shared strategies that you can apply to any goal you're working on.

    Listen to the episode.

    😄 Things We Text Each Other

    via @emilymcdowell_

    Emiliy McDowell’s cheeky and honest Empathy Cards are perfect for loved ones going through tough times.

    😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

    On the Interwebs  🖥

    From Melia:

    • F*ck, Now There Are Two of You
      From the creator of Go the F*ck to Sleep (which I sometimes recite in my head as a coping tool), for tired parents of more than one child.

    From Gill:

    • How Friends Become Closer
      Interesting insights from a research project about how people organize their lives to prioritize and strengthen friendships.

    On Our Screens  📺

    From Melia: 

    • Amazon Kills It with Great TV
      : I’ve never seen anything else like this new Amazon Prime show, which explores a young woman’s break with reality that may be mental illness or a connection with supernatural forces. Purdy drew on her own experience to write the story, which weaves in philosophy, time travel, and shamanism while managing to be relatable and funny. It's also visually beautiful, using the surreal technique of rotoscoping (a la Richard Linklater's Waking Life.) 

      Modern Love
      : I adore the New York Times column and podcast and cannot wait for this screen adaptation with Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Catherine Keener, and a bunch of other fabulous actors.

    In Our Ears  🎧

    From Melia: 

    • Be Kind, for Everyone You Meet Is Fighting a Hard Battle
      In her most recent episode of her excellent You’re Welcome podcast, I’m Sorry for Judging You, Hilary Rushford apologizes for times when she’s issued judgments of others and reminds us to withhold our own. The mom with the tantrumming child on the airplane, the driver holding up traffic -- you never know what they’re going through, and we’re all just doing our best.

    On Our Plates   🍽 

    From Gill: 

    • Cacio e Pepe 
      This dish is proof that Italians do simple and delicious better than anyone. How can spaghetti, cheese, and black pepper be so incredible together? I rarely find Pecorino cheese here, so I use Parmesan or Grana. Keep this recipe in your back pocket for last-minute hangry emergencies.

    From Melia: 

    • Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes
      Darren’s birthday is this week, and it’s become a tradition for me to bake these cupcakes. They take a while but are surprisingly easy; you make the pretty little raspberry swirls with a toothpick before baking them. I use the same cheesecake batter and make two variations: Reese’s (add peanut butter to the batter, decorate the baked cupcakes with cut up Reese’s peanut butter cups) and a vanilla maple bacon (decorate with candied bacon pieces and vanilla maple glaze).

    If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it?

    Until next time! 


    Melia & Gill 😘😘

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