I’ve fallen out of my routines.
It’s happened before. It’ll happen again. But this is one of the first times where I’m not beating myself about it, and letting myself drift to help build new ones.
And while I don’t think the sheer amount of reality TV is something that will become a part of the new routine (though it has helped soothe my spiraling mind these past few weeks), I’ve very much enjoyed every single second. If you want to talk all things Vanderpump Rules, just hit reply or come to the comments.
I’ve been thinking about my friend‘s latest newsletter, where she unpacks the seductive nature of productivity porn and how failing to adhere to detailed, lengthy routines is somehow a moral failing.
I was feeling a lot of guilt about not being able to stick with my routines or get as much done as I previously had - but Pooja’s words were forgiving, compassionate, and a reminder to do what serves us and ditch what doesn’t.
I’ve drifted back to old tools that do serve me, like returning to my Silk+Sonder planner and using their app to rebuild my mindfulness practice. I’m still workout dating right now (trying different Peloton instructors, new-to-me obé workouts, and might resume my Forward Space membership because these workouts are just fun). Superhuman Meditations feel really great for me, and I’ve been practicing with longer meditations.
It’s like dating. And it’s been a really nice way to reframe this period as I prepare for a slower summer (surgery in June, travel in August). I recognize this is a huge privilege that I am immensely grateful for, and I’m soaking in every second of it.
If you’re feeling stuck, ditch the old routines and date different rituals or activities. If they don’t work for you, let them go. And if you need specific recommendations, just hit reply and I’d be happy to share what I love!
Our Evening Routine (sponsored by SmartDreams.ai)
The first routine that’s gotten a revamp in the past few months is the evening routine with the kids. It began when our caregiver was taking some well-deserved time off, and it’s one we’ve stuck with because it really works for us.
Dinner’s on the table by 4:45 pm (if I do pickup, our caregiver cooks and vice versa). We keep it simple - a carb-cheese combo that the kids will definitely eat, a small bowl of veggies that they might eat, and some Greek yogurt. We try to wrap things up by 5:45, and the kids help clean up before we head up to baths.
Bathtime is 15 minutes, 20 maximum. The kids get to watch an episode of a mutually agreed show (after a solid 10 minutes of debate on what to watch), and then I’ll take Rhaki up while Rho reads in his room.
The routine for each kid is the same - talk about the pit and peak of our day, read a book (or chapter) together, and then we finish with the kids creating their own bedtime story in the SmartDreams app.
This is the only app I let my kids use on my phone. They love creating these sweet stories with themselves as the main character, and it’s a safe and smart way to share the latest technology with them. If they still need more time with me, we’ll revisit our older stories and read them again (I also do this if we’re waiting for the subway/bus/in line).
The app has some new features since I last mentioned it - the addition of animal sounds to the stories, an option to shuffle for new options for animal sidekick and location and food, and to upload your kids’ pictures to personalize the experience even further (your privacy is a huge priority for this company, and this information will be used only for these stories).
If you’re looking for something that entertains and educates your kids (and gives you a second of peace), download the SmartDreams app and try it out yourself!
What We Read This Week
Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez - Life’s Too Short was far and away my favorite book in The Friend Zone trilogy.
Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose - If you like domestic mysteries like Big Little Lies, this is a must-read. Ciara Dunphy lives in small-town Ireland, and is the perfect mommy influencer with a great house and well-behaved, picture-perfect children. Lauren Doyle is the social outcast Earth Mama next door with the messy kids and do-nothing husband. Mishti is the transplant from Calcutta, in an unloving arranged marriage. And then Ciara is found dead in her own home - who killed her and why? I absolutely loved this book and gave it 5 stars - compelling storytelling, I flew through it!
How To Be Alone: An 800-Mile Hike On The Arizona Trail by Nicole Antoinette - Now that Nicole Antoinette's first paperback book is officially out, I have to hype it up. Her voice is something else. I have absolutely zero desire to ever hike, much less hike over 800 miles the way she did. (It's so weird to just listen to yourself gasp for breath! I can't!) But this text puts you in the moment alongside Nicole, and she highlights experiences and emotions that are absolutely universal. I can't recommend it enough!
Know My Name by Chanel Miller - I first read this book as a part of my master’s dissertation research in Summer 2020. I was building an academic case for all of the ways that the taught behaviors of formally militarized people (police, soldiers) are also passed intergenerationally (and without formal training) by women in order to protect themselves from gendered violence in public spaces. Due to the pandemic, Belfast’s lockdown, and the nature of my research, I hardly remember reading the book. I returned to the text last week, and my admiration for Chanel Miller as a human and as a writer has only continued to grow. This is truly a text for the ages.
The Captain's Daughter by Meg Mitchell Moore - I've been a huge fan of Moore's books forever, and The Captain's Daughter is no exception. Set in Little Harbor, Maine, this novel takes you down the path of intertwining stories, and the inflection point of each character's pivotal moment in life. It's a story about who we were, who we pretend to be, and who we truly are inside. Her novels are full of life, page turners, and often make me both laugh and cry.
Simple Scripts To Support Your People: What To Say When You Don’t Know What To Say by Jenny Dreizen and Olivia Dreizen Howell - I am very proud and excited about the book my sister and I wrote together. It serves as a guide to help people love their people trying and tremendous moments, what to say when you don't know what to say. The funny think about writing a book is you forget what you wrote and I still find so much direction in the scripts.
How To Fake It In Hollywood by Ava Wilder - I loved this celebrity fake dating romance that went a lot deeper than others in the category. It felt realistic to how Hollywood works and also captures the different levels of fame and how grief and addiction affect careers (and personal lives).
The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger and Marc Shultz - Summarizing 85 years of data from the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the authors make a compelling and engaging case for the power of relationships.
Top #5SmartReads Of The Past Two Weeks
Is Therapy-Speak Making Us Selfish (Bustle)
‘No Love Is Ever Wasted’ (New York Times)
All Hail The "Single Girl Supper" (Bustle)
The Most Obnoxious- And Enviable- Mom In Your Facebook Group Pay Be Fake (Glamour)
How To Make Friends As An Adult, According To Experts (Women’s Health)
We Need To Abolish The “Exonerative Tense” Of Headlines (BuzzFeed News)
Creating And Holding Space For Ourselves And Each Other After Student Death (School Crisis Recovery and Renewal)
Smells Like Middle-Aged Spirit (A Cup of Ambition)
The rest of the reads (and conversations!) are below:
Monday May 8, 2023
Tuesday May 9, 2023
Wednesday May 10, 2023
Thursday May 11, 2023
Friday May 12, 2023
Monday May 15, 2023
Tuesday May 16, 2023
Wednesday May 17, 2023
Thursday May 18, 2023
Friday May 19, 2023
Your Questions, Answered
Best Broadway show to see solo?
Any happy one! Here are some of my favorites/ the ones I want to see:
Your go to Wawa Order?
Aaaaaaaaah Wawa the love of my food life. This is my lunch order: Meatball Shorti with mozz Utz Snacks rippled sour cream and onion chips. A Tastykake butterscotch krumpet. A large half iced tea/half lemonade. This has been my order for 30 years and I still stand by it.
Tips for a winning SXSW conference panel application?
Your title should answer a very specific problem, and your panel should have different perspectives on solving said problem. You all need a solid network to show up for you and vote!
Use social media to split test panel topics and let them suggest panelists. Upasna Gautam was truly the captain of our panel and the most incredible leader. Check out this post and this post with more of her panel wisdom!
Will you always be Rhoshan CEO?
For as long as my father thinks I’m the right person for the role AND I feel aligned to it- and I recognize what a gift this privilege of choice is.
What’s your favorite compliment to give and or recieve?
”I value you because…”
(I add what I value about that person, with a very specific detail or experience- or a few!)
Favorite thing you’ve watched lately?
Garbage - Vanderpump Rules and Below Deck: Sailing Yacht. And I know the new season of Selling Sunset will join this list.
Quality - The Diplomat, Citadel, Star Trek Picard (truly wonderful), and Zarna Garg’s forthcoming special on Prime!
Broke my foot last week and I’m going to be laid up for ages. So bored already. Help!
Favorite shows were shared in the earlier answer, but here are some other recommendations:
Take up needlepoint! Unwind Studio has some amazing beginner kits with great instructions, and YouTube tutorials can help fill in the blanks. Crafting brings me so much peace and I think it would be a great outlet for you. If needle crafts aren’t your thing, maybe a coloring book and paint pens?
This is also the time to binge a series like Psy-Changeling (and the continuing Psy-Changeling Trinity) series by Nalini Singh. Anything by Sarah J. Maas, Deb Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, or anything by Ruby Dixon.
To be smart can you suggest me some books please! Thank you :)
Shamelessly plugging my own books - We’re Speaking and How to Pack!
Some of my other favorite personal development books are:
Real Self-Care by Pooja Lakshmin
Both of Tara Schuster’s books
Breaking Through by Sally Susman
Agent You by Nicole Lynn
It’s About Damn Time by Arlan Hamilton
Fair Play and Find Your Unicorn Space by Eve Rodsky
All of Minda Harts’ books
The Likeability Trap by Alicia Menendez
Silk pillowcase recommendations?
NIGHT makes the BEST ones! I love that this particular one has some stretch and fits your pillow perfectly.
Single mom traveling for biz from UK with 3yo. Any drop in daycare services recs?
Bright Horizons is an amazing resource- I’m not sure if they have drop-in, but they were a sponsor at Mom 2.0 Summit and I’m so impressed with the childcare AND elder care services they provide!
Curated Care and Urban Sitter are two great babysitting options I’ve had a good experience with in the past, should she want to check that out as well.
Have a wonderful weekend!
I can't wait to read your post! I'm pretty new to S+S; I just started mid February. I'm always looking for ideas on how to customize it for my purposes.
How are you liking Silk+Sonder? I, too, have fallen away from it, but hope to get back on track this week:)