Reframing the narrative + Nuclear submarines + Rom-Coms
May I recommend
Reframing the narrative.
I have taken this turn of phrase from Forever 35, a podcast I sometimes listen to. The idea is that we think we know “truths” about our lives and about ourselves: We’re stuck in a dead end job; we don’t have enough time; we are terrible dancers, etc.
Except, none of those stories are actually true. They are just things we tell ourselves. If we told ourselves a different story (reframed the narrative) then a different reality would be true… “My undemanding job allows me to pursue my passion for ceramics!” “My life is busy and fulfilled and I’m squeezing every ounce of joy from it!” “I’m moving to the beat of my soul, rather than the socially sanctioned “rhythms” of “music”!”
Of course, I’m not talking about going into denial about a bad situation… there are sometimes situations where your job really is terrible and you should quit; where you really are too busy and you need to drop some things; where… well, there’s no universe where you’re actually a bad dancer - you get to decide that, always, so screw the haters and just move OR sit quietly in the corner, you don’t HAVE to dance if you don’t want to and don’t let enthusiastic assholes like me make you feel bad.
When you open your mind to the possibility of reframing the narrative, it puts you back in control and you get to decide what your life is and what it means. Here are some examples of tiny narrative reframes I’ve had, that actually made my life better.
Years ago I was walking with my friend Christa and we approached a big hill and I was filled with dread and a tiny amount of panic: the sweat! the sore feet! the heavy breathing! Unprompted, Christa remarked how much she loved facing a big hill on a walk because it felt so good to get your heart pumping and your arms swinging and you felt so accomplished at the top. Narrative: reframed.
Our kitchen floors
We have an oldish house and our kitchen floors are hardwood (I think? I don’t know how houses work). They are some kind of wood that is original to the house and that we had refinished 13 years ago. The floor is now worn out in three spots - in front of the stove, in front of the sink and in front of the fridge. I’ve been thinking we should get it re-refinished. I mentioned this to my husband who told me that he loved the worn out spots because it showed that the house was lived in and loved (and that we spend a lot of time staring into the fridge).
I was at my friend Johanna’s house and she had some old tulips that were losing their petals. Usually she is ON TOP of an adorable sprig of posies so I was surprised to see her allowing this sign of decay. She told me how beautiful she thought dying tulips were. She is right. Narrative: reframed.
So, obviously those are super minor examples of reframing the narrative, but it works for the big stuff, too - I promise.
Tell me about your reframings in the comments below!
No thank you
Holy cow, this is so interesting, and also? I do NOT want to work on a submarine…
A new crewmember is a Non-Useful Body, or NUB. He or she uses our limited supply of space, water, food, and oxygen. They are not welcome, but BUPERS (Bureau of Personnel) keeps sending them. The NUB is easily identifiable as he will be the only crewman wearing a command ball cap with the ship's name and no Dolphins symbol on the front. They have their qualification card in their rear pocket at all times and had better have a small notebook in their hand for studying.
What is the best Rom-Com?
Do you remember which movie this ONE is?
Is it completely ridiculous that this movie hinges on a man’s years-long refusal to sign divorce papers? Or that the not-quite-ex-husband (Josh Lucas) is a “lightning glass” mogul? Or that Reese Witherspoon’s Melanie allegedly blew up a cat as a teenager and definitely outed one of her friends as an adult? Or that Patrick Dempsey’s character is being groomed by his mom (Candice Bergen), the mayor of New York City, to be the president of the United States?
Do you agree with the ranking? What’s missing? Tell me in the comments below!
Some legit good news from one of the remotest spots on the planet.
Now that hunting is history and the invasive mammals have been eradicated, Ms. Poncet and her colleagues are witnessing a remarkable ecological recovery. The scientific literature delivers a muted version of it, but in listening to the scientists — who are driven by data and not prone to hyperbole — their joy and wonder comes tumbling out. Among the terms they used to describe the island’s revival: “miraculous,” “spectacular,” “really emotional,” and “a beacon of hope.”
I had the supreme fun of attending an in-person book club this week. It was great - there was lots of talk about The Honeybee Emeralds, the publishing industry and a very delicious piece of cake… Let me know if you want me to come to your book club - either in person or via Zoom.
In other news, the event at Brome Lake Books is only one week away - yay. If you’re in the area, toddle over to BLB in Knowlton, QC on Saturday, April 30 at 2pm. I’d love to say “hi”!
The importance of keeping your footing when out in nature
Tiktok this week
Another kid one
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Amy Tector, The Honeybee Emeralds (March 2022)