Things I've Learned In 2017


1. Vote. It matters. Desperately.

2. Parenthood means forcing yourself to be the better version of yourself when it would be easier to be lazy. Because someone really important is watching — and learning from what you do.

3. Be like a pineapple: prickly when taking down fascists; sweet on the inside.

4. You never know where you’ll be in a year. Exactly one year ago this week, Robb was interviewing for his new job. Here we are.

5. You can start over and be happy anywhere. It's really true. Keeping a beginner's mind contributes to that immensely.

6. Sugar isn’t your friend.

7. Boston knows how to do winter. This'll be my first winter on the East Coast since 2001. That’s 16 years sans serious ice and snow. Thus far, I've been delighted to watch New Englanders roll out the snow patrol. Plows and salt = pristine roads the day after a big snow. Magic!

8. You can consciously create a tribe. It takes some work, but you can do it. Find like-minded folks at school, at church, at the library, at the yoga studio. They're out there.

9. Grey hair is for real, yo. Silver falcon territory is just around the corner.

10. Make soup on Sunday and you’ll have lunch for the week. (THIS.)

11. Lentil noodles are life-changing. We live on them. Protein disguised as delicious pasta. Brilliant.

12. Put nutritional yeast on everything. Popcorn, broccoli, vegan nachos, roasted potatoes. B-12 for the win.

13. If you slow down and speak softly, you can arrest frustrating moments with your preschooler and regain control of his big feelings (and your breath) before they run off the rails. Props to Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg for planting that one in my mind.

14. Teaching feels great. GREAT. So glad to be back in the studio twice a week again. (Soon to be four days a week — stay tuned for January news.)

15. East Coast yoga is different from West Coast yoga. I’ll get back to you on that one. (Two different people have mentioned my "California-style" yoga.) Still just watching and learning and noticing the nuances.

16. It feels wonderful to celebrate others' sacred labor. Really enjoying curating the radical art/work series we've been crafting this fall. Gives me a lift when I see the powerful soul-work being done in our midst. (PS — we know some cool-ass folks.)

17. Politics is yoga is life. There is no such thing as being neutral. Not saying anything is taking a stand. Moral clarity > vagueness in the attempt of protecting peoples' feelings. We are all grown-ups and can have grown-up ethical conversations and still care for one another deeply.

18. Don’t take your kid’s health for granted. I've witnessed too many folks losing children to childhood cancer or dealing with unexpected surgeries or moving through bone marrow transplants this year. My f****ng heart breaks over and over for these dear friends. So I'll say it again: don't ever take your kid's health for granted.

19. Old friendships never die. So good to revisit several in the flesh this year. You know who you are. Love yous.

20. Frost your gingerbread house the night before so it doesn’t fall apart five seconds after you’ve decorated it. #fail

21. See as much live theater as possible. Children’s theater. College musicals. Broadway. It’s heart-food. Your kid learns empathy and music and the power of play, and the ability to sit quietly in a dark theater and just pay attention. And the ticket prices are an investment in the local arts. WIN.

22. Go to as many live parades as possible. Even in the rain. We accidentally wound up living in the heart of Davis Square, where the radical activist street band Honk! Festival takes over and rocks out every October. And it was goddamned epic. A shot-in-the-activist arm. I cried tears of joy. So go to the street fairs; go to the parades — even if you're 87. Cheer! And don't forget to bring your tambourine along.

23. Live simply. I’ve known and believed this for 20 years, inspired in part by my dad, who was all about living simply (shout out to the frugal Meyers, yo!). But in our cross-country move this year we got rid of so much unnecessary "stuff." Now we live in a bright, radiant teeny-tiny not-even-800 sq foot little zen home. And it's perfect. Plenty. You don’t need much space. Get rid of the extra. Follow The Minimalists for more daily inspiration to pare down.

24. Tell your story. It matters. The #MeToo movement has made this clear. Folks like story coach Cara Jones can help you find words for yours.

25. Keep pitching. Keep writing. Keep making art. The perfect spot for it is just around the corner.

26. Working part-time as a parent of a small kid is pretty perfect. Now that little man is in school five mornings a week, I’m back to writing 25 hours a week again and will also be teaching four classes a week in the new year. And it feels so damn good. The work-life balance thing is slippery and ever-challenging (ask any parent), but this right here feels like a real sweet spot.

27. Trust your kid. He knows what’s up. There's so much wisdom shining in those big deep eyes. He doesn't have to be "trained." He's already so damn tuned-in. Reminding myself daily to close my mouth and just listen.

28. You know more than you know.  You, too. Trust that.

29. Get your holiday cards out early. Especially if you have a new address.

30. Hold close to your roots. Returning to Nebraska for my 20th high school reunion in July was lovely. I'm stoked for new Husker football coach Scott Frost and the 2018 season to come. (Nebraskans, there is reason to hope again!!)

31. Keep your fist in the air. Especially when it's in defense of social justice and civil rights. This is a yoga pose, too.

32. Show up. From the women’s march to yoga class to the voting booth to the gym: just show up. That's so often the hardest part.

33. Social media can lend richness and relationships to your life if you use it mindfully. I've been enjoying turning it off after about 5pm, and not logging in again til 9am the next day. That lends a little more mental spaciousness. Twitter is great for news and hot takes. Instagram is wonderful for connecting with new folks who are passionate about the same things you are. Facebook is less useful than ever thanks to algorithms and ads and sponsored posts. But it’s one more way to stay in touch with old friends from all over the country. And for that I’m grateful.

34. Know your librarian.

35. Pull carrots. What a joy of a day we had digging in the dirt at Siena Farms this fall. Can't wait to do it again next year.

36. If you live in New England, buy a house with a covered garage. (We did this in spite of paying way too much and IT IS AMAZING. Come at it, snow. You can't scare us.)

37. Santas here have Bahhhhston accents. This is hilarious.

38. Add some quinoa to the soup for extra protein and fiber.

39. Add hemp seeds to everything. Salads, pancakes, baked goods.

40. Podcasts are priceless free education not just for adults, but for children, too. Watching my kid curled up quietly listening to stories on the couch fills my damn heart. Wow in the World, Sparkle Stories, Barefoot Books, and Circle Round are great places to start.

41. Hold your people close.

Love to you all. Wishing you painless travels and tangle-free Christmas lights and lemony hot toddies in the days to come.

(Don't forget the cloves.)

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