A Wildly Gentle New Year

If there is a way to make 2020 gentle, please take it. Start the project, abandon the project, clean out the closet, forgo cleaning out the closet, do the hard thing, do the easy thing, take care of yourself, find joy in yourself and others. Make things gentler if you can.

You don’t have to keep punishing yourself. You don’t get extra points for that. If there is an afternoon, an hour, a moment in which you can be kind and loving of yourself, hold it close and bask. Lie on the floor and stare out the window if that’s your particular desire. Reorganize your pantry if that gets you joyful. Decide to hack up a cheap sweater you got at Target to see if you can make a turtleneck into a v-neck. Just to see.

Experiment, is what I’m saying. Or watch The Great British Baking Show¬†from the beginning while crocheting one massive granny square because that’s what feels safe and warm. I’ll be right here, in the book fort.

Build a book fort. Build a blanket fort. Ignore the martial implications of the word “fort.” Find yourself unable to let the martial implications of the word “fort” go. Look up “fort” on Etymonline and learn that “it is an Old French word from the Latin fortis, meaning ‘strong, mighty; firm, steadfast; brave, spirited,’ from Old Latin forctus, which is of unknown etymology.”

A place to be strong, mighty, steadfast; brave, spirited. Maybe that place has to be made of books and blankets. It’s a place to be brave from. It’s a place to have spirit. A fort is a place to be safe when you need to be safe, and it’s a place to be brave when you need to be brave. It can be all those things. You can be all those things. You can be wild and gentle.

Be wild and be gentle, especially with yourself. And join me in the fort if you need to. It’s a big fort.