The Gift Of Change Part Six of Six

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The Gift Of Change

It’s no secret that we are in the midst of great change. Change that is affecting our lives, both personally and as a society. As we all isolate, watch the typically depressing news, and worry about the future, it’s easy to be negative. We miss our “normal” lives, and this is not easy. But what if we step away from it all for a minute, and focus on the positive change that we can create for ourselves and others? What if we use this time and opportunity to look within, focus on improving our relationships, take the time to do new things, or finish what we’ve started—to look our fears in the face like never before? Can we, or should we, be using this time to really change for the better?

I’ve been focused on some of my closest relationships—to make them stronger, healthier, and more positive. My husband and I are alone in New York City without our kids and in need of each other’s support more than ever before. With this in mind, we are communicating and maneuvering maybe better than we ever have before. We are respecting each other’s needed alone and work time, while also enjoying our moments of togetherness. If you read my blog post about the Gift of Time, you’ll remember that I gifted him virtual cooking classes for his birthday. We decided to continue with the lessons on a weekly basis. He's the chef and I'm the sous chef, which actually translates to me drinking wine and supervising, which has been quite fun and relaxing for me! The key has been finding this balance together, as well as really listening to and hearing each other’s needs without being defensive or getting upset.

With my friendships, it’s been interesting and reassuring to re-discover who I am really the closest to. I am luckily feeling closer to my best friends than ever before. In part, this is thanks to FaceTime and HouseParty. I’ve never video chatted like this before! Before, I would have been worried about someone catching me at the “wrong time” and the pressure and stress that came with it. But now, I video chat with friends from my bed, with no make-up on, and I simply don’t care what anyone thinks. We’ve reached a new level of “realness” and it is so refreshing! Looking “perfect” is seemingly no longer relevant.

Unexpectedly, new friends have also come into my life during this crisis and I’ve found myself bonding remotely in a way I never thought possible. People I met shortly before this all started, have become close friends and there’s a mentality of, ‘we may have just met, but we know we like each other, and not being physically together doesn’t mean we suddenly lose each other.’ We are bonding over conversations about shared experiences, laughing together, and creating a stronger relationship in spite of the distance.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

I am also spending time looking within. I’ve thought to myself, how can I improve as a human, what can I do to better myself and come out of this with positive self-improvements? One of my own personal hurdles has been speaking French. Admittedly, I never took the time to totally dive into it and embrace it, even after all these years of wanting to. As somewhat of a perfectionist, I have been intimidated, fearful of making mistakes, and insecure about my accent. People call my accent “cute” and although I’m sure it’s meant as a compliment, it makes me feel embarrassed and self-critical. So, I said to myself, “now is your time to make this happen, to look your fear in the face, and get serious!” I’ve started working with my tutor remotely three times a week and incorporate French into more conversations with Kilian. I am now, for the first time, looking forward to speaking more confidently with my extended family this summer (together in France I hope!!!). I want to come out of this feeling proud of myself for making efforts and improvements that will not only benefit me, but those around me.

On the “outside,” it has been a great time to improve the space around me. I’ve worked from home for a few years now so that isn’t different, but my intern, Claudia, can tell you that my home office is much more of an organized chaos now (we meet virtually, of course). And although I still have stacks of papers, I honestly know exactly what is in each one! There are now boxes of things I want to keep that are due to go to storage and a pile of items that simply just need to be thrown away. As I tackle this project (it’s still a work in progress!), I have realized that small improvements have been cheering me up and making things feel “fresh.” The statement, “out with the old and in with the new,” has never felt more relevant, even beyond the traditional notion of spring cleaning.

I’ve also come to realize that “cheering up” is a feeling I want to spread. As we quickly approach Mother’s Day, I am thinking about things to lift my mom’s spirit, knowing we cannot be together. She lives in an apartment with very little outdoor space, so based on this, some touches of nature that can live inside feel like a natural choice (no pun intended!). I’ve rounded up some ideas in my Gift Me Chic Mother’s Day Collection for this vibe specifically. The Lyfe Planter by Flyte mysteriously seems to float your plant above its base, the Dandelight by Studio Drift brings a real dandelion into your home while omitting a soft light at the same time, the Birds of India notecards by Mr.P’s Punctilious Place Card Co. bring hand-written notes back to life, and Indego Africa’s Citron Swirl Plateau made of handwoven sweetgrass adds a springtime touch of color to any décor. Small changes like this can feel like big changes, especially when not much else seems to change around us. Just remember, whatever you give this Mother’s Day, it’s the thoughtfulness and love that goes into it that really counts! While I have a few ideas, some of which are noted here, the gift I’ve decided to give my mom will be revealed on Mother’s Day. Stay tuned!

As I wrap up this blog series, here’s to meaningful and positive change in our livesin any way, shape, or form that works best for you. Stay strong, be positive, and don’t wait any longer!

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1 Response

Paige Novick
Paige Novick

May 04, 2020

Thank you for sharing your gifts, so beautiful and inspiring….❤️❤️❤️

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