The Bearable Work of Love

It’s Valentine’s Day today, and I’m rocking a feverish baby, date night plans cancelled. I didn’t help my preschooler address cards to her classmates—she was too sick to go to school. There were no baskets of heart candies and stuffed animals for the kids today when they woke up—I didn’t have the energy. But my house is full of love today. Today’s love is heavy, and I’m tired. It’s keeping me awake all night and sabotaging my work week. But this, I’ve discovered, is the bearable weight of love.

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January Coffee Date: Runway Month

Every year, I do one of two things with January: I either lean too hard into the New Year hype and am worn out by the time the middle of the month rolls around or I ignore the resolutions and goals and let the first thirty-one days of the year pass without much comment. This year, I did the latter, and it was just about right. I let January be the long runway my 2018 takeoff, and didn't write down a single resolution, goal, or intention (I know, gasp!). 

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I Live in the Tension, Too

This morning, I said the Nicene Creed, sang the Doxology and recited the Lord’s Prayer with my small Anglican parish. Like every Sunday, I envisioned the global church praying and singing along with me, saying the same words in every language on every continent. The liturgy offers me something I long for—connection to humanity and divinity at once. 

From our church's second-story location above downtown, I could see them walking, and my heart swelled every time: another group of women with signs and iconic hats, gathering at the Capitol steps.

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End of Year Reflect, Reset, Refresh Exercise

I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the year. I love how slow it feels; I love the ritual of packing up beloved Christmas ornaments and clearing space for new trinkets and toys. I love the anticipation of a new year about to begin and the quiet moments of reflection. I love buying a bouquet of flowers just because it's time for something new and alive.

On the other hand, I hate how high-pressure beginning a new year can feel. It's this time of year that the siren of perfectionism and sky-high goals can come calling, leaving me feeling defeated before the ball drops. 

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What My Yoga Instructor Taught Me About Writing

The mirror tells me what I already know: my standing half split looks completely different from everyone else’s. I look a little like I dropped my keys and am franticly searching for them while my left leg awkwardly juts out behind me. The woman to my left in a black Lululemon bra and impossibly tiny shorts looks like—well, like a yogi doing a standing half split: graceful, balanced, lithe. Somehow the sweat from the 105-degree room makes her look even more athletic and graceful. It’s making me look like a drowned rat. 

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Writing, YogaEmily Fiskwriting, yoga
Raising Readers: Practical Ways to Encourage Your Young Kids to Read

I don’t know how to write this post without sounding like an enormous nerd, so I’ve decided to embrace the nerdiness and say it: 

I love reading

When I was a kid, I spent hours every day reading. I toted books along on every errand, usually with a backup book in case I finished the first while away from home. Books taught me things I didn’t know I wanted to learn; they were entertainment and escape, expansion of my horizons and familiar friends. I read aloud to my sisters in the evenings and scoured the library for new titles every week. 

Nerdy. I know. 

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My Runner's Smile to You

My list is up to three reasons: side ache, big toenail on the right side is too long, and I didn't sleep well last night. 

They're the reasons I'm collecting as the miles tick by too slowly on my morning run—reasons I should call it a day. The double stroller feels heavier with every footfall, and my ambitions are looking less enticing. If I stop I can sit down, just there under that tree or by that bench, let my heart rate come down, drink some water. 

Reason number four: I'm thirsty. 

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One Year Later, I Had a Normal Morning

This morning, I made oatmeal and stirred in just the right amount of honey. I pulled curly blonde hair back into a braid and tucked in the requested sparkly bow. I nursed Ada, I slipped on some pants, I kissed Jason. I changed a diaper, I sipped scaldingly hot coffee, I dropped Charlie off at preschool and gave Jason a ride to work. It was a normal morning. 

The date on my phone reminded me what today is: today marks a year. One year since that first morning back in our house after the addition. That morning, all I wanted was normal. 

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Home AdditionEmily Fisk