Earlier this week, I came across a somewhat depressing set of infographics on who we spend our time with over the course of our lives, or rather — how little time we actually have with the people we love. Not one to dwell on the negative, I saw this as a provocation to make more space for my relationships. Sometimes I am flying through my day and feel I barely have time to shoot off a quick text, or take a few minutes for a call. I am determined to correct that oversight and carve out more time for not only the quick catch-ups and “just thinking of you’s” but for lunch dates and travel and “I’m going to get my nails done, want to come?”
One profound and more positive takeaway from the data was that time alone steadily increases as we age. I consider this a positive, because — though we may not be able to control how many hours we have with our loved ones — we can work to build a strong relationship with ourselves. This brings to mind the theme we continue to return to as a Magpie community: the notion of becoming an expert in yourself — befriending yourself. I now see that this is not only an act of grace but also of thriving survival. We have, God willing, a long time to be in a relationship with ourselves. May we make it a loving and kind one — one in which we laugh at ourselves, marvel at ourselves, push ourselves to do better when we fall short, and afford ourselves soft landings when we need them.
Last summer, we visited with Mr. Magpie’s cousin and her husband at Deep Creek Lake. They are adventurous sailors and entrepreneurs who run incredible expeditions on their fleet of vessels out of Ushuaia, the Southern-most jumping off point to Antartica. Over dinner one night, Fede told us about a solo trip he took across the Atlantic Ocean. I was astounded that he’d spent such a sustained period of time entirely alone, without phone or television or internet, entirely responsible for his well-being and that of the vessel he was captaining. When I asked about what it was like, he shrugged: “You get to know yourself really well.” The shrug signaled that earning this self-knowledge — though perhaps challenging to come by — was a good and necessary thing. A rite of passage.
I think about Fede sailing across the globe when I am in moments of self-doubt, or when I am sitting in strain and disappointment with myself. As with any relationship, you will not always be in perfect harmony with yourself — and that’s OK. You will not always do the right thing — and that’s also OK. You will not always like the version of yourself you see reflected in your interactions with others — and that’s OK, too. Because you do have a long string of tomorrows in which you can make a change, and find your better angel, and learn to feel at home in yourself. You are going to be sailing for a very long while: you must take the long view. No feelings are final and no turbulence permanent — but you will still be sitting with yourself when the sun rises tomorrow morning and sets in the evening, and it is worth it to get comfortable with the company.
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+This long wool cardigan is so chic and practical — a great “desk sweater” to throw on over anything and everything. Would also be great for a mama with a bump — love the length!
+Speaking of expecting mamas: buy this for your sister who’s expecting a baby.
+Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite hair clip.
+Obsessed with this skirt.
+I love this charging tray. I have it in my studio and just put one in the guest bedroom upstairs.
+A perfect layering hoodie. This material is SO dreamy! I have a few pieces in this fabric and it’s heavenly soft but polished-looking.
+Thanks to all of you for your book recommendations for my daughter (an advanced reader / first grader). I ordered a ton of books on your suggestion, and am especially excited about Ramona Quimby, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Sideways Stories from Wayside School — all books I loved as a child!
+I was just reading about this “perfecting fluid” from YonKa — has a blurring effect on skin. Want to try as a primer this holiday season…
+These bow leggings for girls are adorable.
+Bling20 makes not only swimming goggles but fun ski goggles for kids!