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In an increasing paint-splattered world.

Morning, friends! ☀️

Before diving into this week's note, a fun announcement: I'm leading my first retreat! I'm very excited to join up with brilliant friend and newsletter extraordinaire, Catherine Andrews to host a retreat in Shenandoah, Virginia September 27-29 that's all about getting in touch with your deepest intuition. You'll be among like-minded humans uncovering their own emotions, goals and inner selves in a beautiful cabin surrounded by lakes and mountains. You should join us, and mention OMWEEKLY when you sign up to knock 15% off 💖Email me if you aren't on Facebook and I can send the deets to you.
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Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. 📺

Last weekend I was doing a lot of thinking about content consumption and what it demands of our attention. According to recent stats, Netflix subscribers spend 71 minutes per day watching content and within that, I'd call myself about average. (Recent favorites include Mr. Robot, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Ozark, The Good Place of which all the gifs in this letter originated...I'll stop there). Streaming sites do not seem to be concerned about us turning away, in fact, Netflix is so confident with their grip on our attention that they consider sleep their most pressing competition. Do not even get me started.
But for as much as I feel like I watch content at a level that borders on guilt-inducing and certainly sleep-interruptive, I still end up in conversations with people who make me feel like I'm missing all the good stuff: The Office, The Wire, Seinfeld, West Wing, Law & Order: SVU... *shakes head, solemnly* Nope, never watched any of them.

The same thing goes for travel, and this one is even more of a buzzkill. Here in D.C., telling someone there are multiple continents that I've never visited before sounds like a dirty confession—or at best, a circumstance that will need to be corrected as soon as possible. (This is a topic I could unpack at great length and probably will sometime.)
Even books, so pure in their form, holding so much promise for growth and meaning—can become a source of FOMO. There's just not enough hours in the day to get through everything you may want to read.

And that's actually true! Lately, I've been trying to embrace a gentle sense of release about it, that can best be summarized in this reflection from Linda Holmes. She posits that one option for this uneasiness of, "I must see and read and watch and do it all," is to surrender to the fact that you never will. It's simple math. You'll never read all the books, or see all the movies or appreciate all the works of art and culture, or visit all the places—including many you would really love. She writes:

"[Surrender] is the recognition that well-read is not a destination; there is nowhere to get to, and if you assume there is somewhere to get to, you'd have to live a thousand years to even think about getting there, and by the time you got there, there would be a thousand years to catch up on."

Isn't there something to be said about appreciating the negative space between the consumption, in all of its forms? It's a concept I often remind myself of that Cheryl Strayed immortalized in her column, Too Much Paint in the book, Tiny Beautiful Things. She was talking about dating and sex in that piece, but I think the same rule applies:

"The negative space allows us to see the nonnegative space in all its glory and gloom, its color and mystery and light. What isn't there gives what's there meaning."
So, if you ever feel like you're missing out on some cultural "moment" or experience, whether it's because tickets to Hamilton are priced at your monthly rent, or you didn't snag tickets to that concert in time, or everyone's telling you to watch Chernobyl—surrender! It's a sign you need a little negative space. You have complete permission to miss out, even on The Good Place.

And the next time you find yourself relaxing and craving a little streaming self-care, maybe you can try what I did this past gray, rainy Sunday afternoon: slid my computer out of sight, and fell into a glorious two-hour nap.

(Take that, Netflix.) (JK, still love you)

Forever a lover of content,
🙏Kelly

Try this at home ✍

Here's what I want you to try. The next time someone is like, did you [see that meme, read that story, watch that show, see that movie] and you have not — don't lie. Don't pretend. Don't ingratiate yourself to their content choices if their content choices are not of interest. Here is your script: "No I haven't, and I don't plan to—but it sounds great!" And just leave it at that. Now you have an hour left in your schedule to nap.

Quote of the Week

"Attention is the beginning of devotion. The idea exhilarates, but it also saddens. If the attention of humans can be so easily filched by a machine—or, more precisely, the companies that operate those machines—then it follows that the capacity for devotion is damaged along the way. Any parent who has felt the twinge of shame that comes with the belated realization that a social-media feed has taken them away from a conversation with their child knows this to be true."

- ‘Attention Is the Beginning of Devotion’ // Frankin Foer, The Atlantic

Each of these articles can be read in 7 minutes or less:

Because it felt weird to praise the negative space and then serve up a bunch of links, but oh well. So last week my weirdo, lovely friends coerced me into watching John Wick with them, and wow did I regret it, but I did not regret reading this strange, funny and uncomfortably charming piece about Keanu Reeves. // I can very much relate to this one about ambiguous grief and the pain of being single when you'd really rather not be single, and actually LOL'd while nodding my head at this line, "Imagine how I feel when you complain that your husband, who adores and desires you, wants to have sex with you at an inopportune time—while my choices are sex with strangers or no sex at all." // I've heard much about this Pomodoro Technique. Maybe it's time to buy a kitchen timer? 🍏

Tunes 🎶

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