It is with some pride that I can think of some “big” things I have passed on doing.
Tickets to the Super Bowl.
A trip to Necker Island.
More than a few different book deals.
I’m not proud because I think I am better than those things, it was just that I had better things to do with that time, at that time. Sometimes it was family, sometimes it was cooler work opportunities, sometimes it was just because I was exhausted and I needed to rest.
I’ve been thinking about how our position in relationships can affect our ability to think clearly.
A triangle is a three-person relationship system. At any given moment in a triangle, two people are on the inside, and one person is on the outside. When things are tense between two people, you want to be in the outside position, away from the drama. But when things are calm and content between two people, it’s hard to be on the outside looking in.
You might be in the outside position of a triangle if:
I think things are fairly equal in my marriage. I make most of the money. My husband does almost all of the cooking and more of the daily child care than I do. I run admin. He deals with lawn and car things. The rest we tag-team in a haphazard way that mostly works out. Still, we argue over division of labor, and we both spend some time feeling put upon.
But lately, I’ve come to believe that feeling resentful about the work I do at home is distracting me from my real source of stress: capitalism.
🍿 Today’s tip: Make a normal TV veg-out session into a movie night.
“In our busy, goal-driven society, it’s easy to overlook the delight found in the little moments,” Itxy Lopez writes in Mind Cafe. “We try to achieve so much in so little time that the beauty of life itself gets lost.” Lopez writes about how she and her family make a practice of making mundane moments feel really special, from spontaneous dance parties to no-reason game nights.
She recalls a time when she and her family were watching a television show, and set up a bunch of blankets…
🧽 Talk to your partner every day about who’s doing what tasks.
The division of household chores can be a sore spot for even the happiest couples. One simple solution comes via Don and Carrie Cole, therapists and master trainers with the Gottman Institute, a relationship-focused research organization: Have daily check-ins to ensure that each of you feels okay about who’s doing what household tasks.
🍕Today’s tip: Pick up fresh dough to make a restaurant-quality pizza.
When you’re totally burnt out from pandemic life, it’s hard to get creative about mundane things like meals, and even ordering in gets boring (and expensive). Here’s a neat thing we learned about recently: Most pizzerias will sell you, off-menu, a giant blob of fresh pizza dough for about $5. Let everyone in your household add their own toppings (some ideas here!) for foolproof crowd-pleasing dinner. (As a bonus, there’s something really therapeutic about stretching out the elastic, sproingy stuff.)
There, now you’ve taken care of dinner — and…
Despite all the happy-season propaganda (sparkly movies about Christmas spirit! Ads populated with families grinning in matching pajamas!), the holidays can be rough on our psyches—especially when you’ve been in the same space with your immediate family for 10,000 months, and/or are negotiating fraught pandemic-era celebrations. ’Tis the season for snapping at your loved ones.
That’s where Epictetus comes in. As Darius Foroux notes in his weekly Stoic Letter, the philosopher had some advice for how we can remember to treat everyone well: “Always conduct yourself as though you are at a formal dinner. If the dish has not reached…
🎙️ Today’s Tip: Your holiday Zoom needs hosts.
At this point, we’ve Zoomed enough to know that not all video chats are created equal. And if you don’t want your family virtual get-together to devolve into a dumpster fire of confusion and/or resentment, you’re going to want to lay down some ground rules.
As Forge editor (and virtual event veteran) Amy Shearn writes, it’s important to have at least one host — ideally two, for the banter — to keep things moving along like emcees at a live event. With any luck, they’ll have an agenda full of fun activities…
🛏 ️Today’s tip: It’s fine — even healthy — to go to bed angry.
The holidays can be merry and intense — especially this year, when you might be having some tough conversations with your partner or family around canceling plans. If the stress of conflict is sapping your energy, the best thing to do, Indi Samarajiva writes, is go to sleep.
Samarajiva rejects the common relationship advice to never go to bed angry: “You shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while drowsy, including the delicate machine that is your relationship.” What he’s found is that a fight is a feeling —…
A publication from Medium on personal development.