With my travel being canceled for the remainder of the year, my days are now filled with conference calls and virtual meetings. And without fail, each of these start with, “How are you?” And I just laugh, because how do we even answer that question right now? Like right this second how am I? Overall how am I? And do you really want the worms that will come from opening that can?
The fact of the matter is that nothing is “normal” right now. Furthermore, we don’t even know what “normal” means anymore. But one thing I have learned over the past few weeks: “normal” wasn’t working. The life and world that had been our everyday “normal” was hurried, and edited, and discriminatory, and a host of other disfunctions.
I am a type A, enneagram type 3, to do list toting, achiever, always looking for those milestones and bright spots. And when I can’t find them, I am determined to create them. So in this forced time of slowing down, of extreme transparency, of learning and reflection, although some days are harder than others, I continue to create and find joy in my days. So here’s what brought me some much-needed happiness last week.
- The Happy Broadcast. I discovered this Instagram account a few days ago, and I am hooked! They describe themselves as “anxiety-free news,” and they share graphics and news stories from around the world that are guaranteed to make you smile. Not to mention that, it’s nice to find a collection of happy news stories that are not being presented my mainstream media. It is the account that I most look forward to checking every day.
- Verdigris Grand Opening. With the city starting to reopen, events are starting to pop up again. Last week, I was able to attend a sneak preview of Johnson County’s newest bar and lounge, Verdigris. This is the newest concept from the owners of Monarch, and it’s certainly overdue for our beloved suburbs. The setting is super swanky with jade walls, gold tiles, and plush furniture. They have inventive cocktails, including my favorite, the Polynesian Punch, which has a poppable bubble floating on top. There are so many hidden features in this space, and I can’t wait to return for date night.
- Neighborhood Pool Opening. And all the neighborhood parents said, “Amen.” One of the reasons we were drawn to our neighborhood was that it has two neighborhood pools available for its residents. Prior to having Jack, Chad and I would spend a few hours on the summer weekends lounging by the pool. And since having Jack, we love taking him, because he has a blast, and it wears him out before nap time. Our pool reopened last week, and we are elated! I went a couple of times last week and worked poolside, and we took Jack on Sunday morning to spend some family time. It’s so nice to get some sun, to play, and to watch all of the families enjoying some sense of normalcy.
- Thai Food. People ask me all the time about my favorite foods and favorite restaurants, and I am the worst at narrowing it down. The thing is, I love food, and I love variety, so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. But one thing I do know is that my favorite Thai food in Kansas City is from Thai Orchid. Hands down the best Pad Thai that I have ever eaten in my life. Lucky for me, Thai Orchid is included in the Give and Partake books, so we used our Takeout book on Saturday night to treat ourselves to our favorite noodz. Chad and I both got the Pad Thai–him the chicken, me the tofu–and we both agree that no one compares. Okay now drooling while thinking about the leftovers in my fridge…
- Vacation Booked. I want to SCREAM this one from deep in my soul! If I could pinpoint one thing that I’m missing right now more than anything, it’s travel. I did it 80% of my time for my job, and we took at least two or three vacations a year. And although I did travel almost every week from the first of January through mid-March, we haven’t taken a single vacation, and I would give anything to be sitting on an airplane right now. Sadly, we had to cancel our anniversary trip to San Diego that was booked for late June, because most of the city was still closed, including our resort. But last week, we were able to rebook, and provided that everything goes well, we’ll be there in September! Currently crossing every digit.
There is still so much uncertainty and heartache going on in our world, but I am more committed than ever to doing the hard work, to creating more positivity for others and for myself, to taking care of others and myself, to showing up, and to moving forward, especially when it’s hard. These past few weeks have taught me that we are stronger together, and I cannot ignore that or move past it. I will continue to support my community and to share the light.
I hope you have a wonderful week and that you create some happiness for yourself and others.