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You Know What I Did Last Summer
And if you don't, you will very shortly!
Happy New Year! We hope you simply had a wonderful Christmastime, and are thrilled to bring you a lovely gift for our first issue of 2023: a most blessed reunion! Gather round, Dames Nation, for some hugs!
To paraphrase the bard of Michigan, Mr. Marshall Mathers, guess who’s back? Back again! Our darling Dame Margaret’s back, tell a friend!!!
Yep, our resolution for 2023 is to keep bringing you Two Bossy Dames each week. But wait? How will that work with three of us? Well! We are nothing if not creative problem solvers and valuers of time off, so we’ll be keeping everything mathematically correct by implementing a rota where two of us write each issue, giving the third a week off every three weeks. Huzzah!
We are also celebrating Dame Margaret’s return to these pixel pages by running a sale: now you can support this newsletter and enjoy subscriber-only content at 20% off for the next year.
(If you upgraded to a monthly or annual paid subscription since December 1, watch your inbox for a separate note from us!)
Dame Margaret is rarin’ to share the tale of her hiatus and return, so we’ll sign off & let you dive into it. Just know that we are once more:
Dame Sophie & Dame Karen
Dame Margaret’s Return: A True and Correct Partial History
Hello, my most beloved Dames Nationals!
I have missed you so much. Have I missed writing? Not as often as I would wish. Have I missed having written, and not just that, having written for you? Absolutely. Constantly. “Having written” is one of my preferred states of being, particularly when I know it is for an audience as uniformly delightful as you. I am still figuring out how to fit this practice back into my life, which is part of trying to figure out how to fit… my life into my life, so to speak.
Let me elaborate. More and more, I’ve been realizing that I approach so much of my life the way I approach the hill upon which I live: I walk up it at the same speed I would use on a flat sidewalk only to arrive at my house winded and, somehow, surprised, even though the same thing has happened every other time I’ve walked up this hill in four and a half years I’ve lived in this apartment. How this tendency plays out in life is that I do not know how to moderate the intensity I bring to each thing I undertake, or do things a little at a time– I am always proceeding at a sprint and never wondering whether that’s a pace I can sustain for the whole marathon of a task, or my life. So I end up vacillating between periods of frenzied engagement and periods of unforeseen collapse.
I’m constantly just SHOCKED to find that after running myself ragged in one way or another, I am only capable of lying on my bed and doing what I call “grey scrolling”-- flipping through my various social media apps in senseless succession waiting for any of them to present anything that really ENGAGES me, seemingly incapable of choosing to do anything. If I pick something more genuinely restful, I’ve admitted that all I am going to do in that moment is rest, which I feel I cannot do because I have so much I need to get done. But I also cannot bring myself to pick work, because I don’t want to, you’re not my mom– or, to be more generous to myself, because I truly do not have the energy or wherewithal to UNDERTAKE work.
If my soul could physically express itself in these moments, I think it would look exactly like my Mac’s “rainbow wheel of death,” the little rotating beach ball into which your cursor transforms when you’ve finally asked your overloaded laptop to open one tab too many and it responds “JE REFUSE.”
“WATCH THIS BALL AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE,” it seems to scream at me while refusing to do anything I ask of it, up to and including closing the programs that have left it so maxed out. That is, so much more often than I would like, my mental-emotional state these days, only it is my own self at whom I am screaming “THINK ABOUT YOUR CHOICES” and my own self to whom I reply “ABSOLUTELY NOT.”
So: I had meant this to be a space where I told you about all the big changes that have happened while I’ve been on hiatus from Damesdom, including my truly glorious new job with Not Sorry Productions. I had wanted to tell you about the wonderful productivity coach with whom I am trying to address my bust-boom approach to life and maybe share some of the strategies we’ve come up with. But: I followed my fingers and this is where they took me.
I am so glad to be back and SO glad Karen has agreed to stay on as a permanent member of our now inaptly named community. Here’s hoping I figure out how to walk up this hill at the appropriate pace, finally, at some point. These are few things that I feel speak to the frame of mind I just described:
This episode from my favorite of the three (ALL excellent) podcasts my new company produces REALLY spoke to my predicament, in addition to being VERY charming.
This article on how to stop being a Late Person felt like a personal attack. It’s full of very reasonable suggestions that feel absolutely impossible to implement.
But luckily, the New York Times’ 7-day happiness challenge restored my optimism because it turns out I’m already straight CRUSHING a lot of habits practiced by the happiest people!
See you all next week!