No. 30: Routine.

There’s a point when routine becomes crippling. If it doesn’t have a point, or if it is clung to with a vice grip: that’s not the type of routine I’m talking about.

I went to my parents’ tonight and I got a text just before I left: “picked up pizza!”

For as long as I can remember, Friday night has meant pizza night in our house. We have a number of stand by places, including one which my dad has been frequenting since high school, but no matter the place, it’s what it symbolizes for me.

Grabbing a slice, sitting down together. Catching up about the week. Easing into the weekend.

And the pizza certainly doesn’t hurt.

No. 29: Safe Commute. 

The awful train crash in Hoboken had be considering today how I take my safe travel into work for granted. 

My friend Ben was there, just a train behind.Countless others I knew were fortunately safely in the city. Others were not so lucky. 

My ride into work may be full of traffic, or inconveniences, or annoyances- but to arrive safely is not promised. And with the powerful reminder of today, I’m grateful for each day I am able to say I have done so.

No. 28: Seraphin.

I had the good fortune of being introduced to Seraphin, a friend of my neighbor who recently started a dogwalking business. I was looking for someone to come once a week to let Daisy out and take her on a walk (if her diva personality would allow it), and I hit the jackpot.

Seraphin came over to meet Daisy and sat on the floor so Daisy could get comfortable with her. She and I hit it off, talking dogs, musicals, and New York City, and I instantly felt comfortable with her. The questions she asked, the way she spoke about her own dogs, her friendly demeanor: all of these things put me at ease and let me know my pup was in good hands.

If that weren’t enough, Seraphin’s business is really cool. Why? She checks in via a QR code magnet on my fridge when we arrives, and a map with paw prints updates me on Daisy’s walk. Seraphin even takes the time to snap some photos and write up a description of how Daisy did that day. If I myself could not be there to take care of my dog, this is the person I would want there instead. She truly loves animals, and her extremely reasonable prices buy me peace of mind and the feeling that Daisy’s getting some extra attention while I’m at work.

For more info on Seraphin’s super awesome set up, visit her website here.

Thank you, Seraphin! Daisy and I are super lucky to have you!

No. 27: Joke Teller.

When a fourth grade kid comes in and announces to you, “do I have a joke for YOU!” And follows that up by, “do you want to hear it?” How can you say no? Her enthusiasm and smile have already caught hold. You’re already laughing at her contagious joy. 

“A cowboy rode into town on Friday, stayed two nights, and left on Friday. How is that?” 

It doesn’t matter that it’s not even technically a joke, but a riddle. You already have committed to playing along. She hugs you when you say you’ll share it with some friends later that day. Worth it. 

(The horse’s name, by the way, is Friday.) 

No. 26: My Parkour Kindergartener.

Parkour, for those of you who may not have heard of it, is defined by wikipedia as the following:

[Parkour] is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

So you can imagine my surprise when a kindergartener of mine announced that she was “getting really good at parkour” before going outside to play. But to see the look on her face: you would need to believe her every word. She learned by watching videos she told me and sometimes you got in dangerous situations and could die. She liked parkour but didn’t want to do “lava parkour.” Jumping on the rocks, though, she’d tackle.

She is fearless. She is brave.

And someday I hope to be as bold as a kindergartener who studies parkour.

No. 25: Linsey Layne.

Colleen and I spent our Saturday night of our Farm Sanctuary trip exploring Ithaca Commons. I had been once or twice before, but it was a first time visit for Colleen. We enjoyed some delicious Vietnamese food and wandered in and out of stores ranging from college-town staples (certified Cornell apparel) to modern, vintage-inspired dresses. But our favorite by far was a little boutique called Linsey Layne.

Besides it looking like a dream board for my own tiny home, it carried a range of items from scarves and clothing to essential oil products, teas, locally made candles, and jewelry. I was so taken by the care in which everything was put together. What made the store even more special, however, was the lovely owner, Linsey herself. Linsey was incredibly friendly and chatted with us about her products, her pregnancy, and her passion for what she does. She truly took the time to get to know us, and the conversation never felt like small talk. It’s clear that Linsey’s store is a reflection of what she finds beautiful, interesting, and charming in life – and for that reason, it was so lovely chatting with her. I took home a stack of crystal bracelets (snow quartz, aventurine, and amazonite), some sage, and a beautiful set of long-stemmed matchsticks in a glass jar for lighting my candles as their wicks dip further down into the jar. Linsey sells her carefully curated items online as well; I’ll be checking in often for their new wares.

Below is a photo of Colleen and I wearing our stacks. As I wear mine in the days to come, I’ll be glad to carry the memory of my girl’s weekend close at hand.

No. 24: The Turkey I Met Today.

I am currently staying in the beautiful cabins on the Farm Sanctuary grounds in Watkins Glen, NY. I have heard so much about it here, so when the chance came go book a weekend away with my best friend, Colleen, we jumped on it. I have been a vegetarian since college- almost 10 years now! – and truly deepened my love of animals when I rescued my dog, Daisy. A weekend in the mountains with my best friend and a bunch of animals? Sign me up.

We arrived last night and took a farm tour this morning after a lovely breakfast. On the tour, I met goats, chickens, cows, and this one very eager turkey. 

I have never met a turkey before. When our today our farm tour guide, Monique, told us that turkeys love being fed blades of grass, I had to try it for myself. 

My turkey pal ate one blade, then slightly clicked for more. She and I went back and forth like this for quite a while, and I realized that we were communicating just like Daisy and I do. She was so sweet, and enjoying the affection and attention I was providing.

What I can’t quite sum up into words is the feeling of peace here. Calm. Harmony is probably the most accurate, though it’s often over used. Most of the animals here have been rescued from slaughterhouses, within an inch of their lives. Here, they are given those lives back. 

Meeting this turkey was one example in how transformative one encounter can be at Farm Sanctuary. It brought me so much joy to know that she was happy here- and grateful she shared that joy with me. Farm Sanctuary’s work is tremendous and so inspiring, and to know that these animals live better lives because of the commitment of a few- well, I’m just fortunate enough to witness it.