queen of sleep

the very first thing i do when i get home from work is take off whatever i wore that day.  part of it is ritualistic and a way for me to separate my work as a therapist from my home environment.  the other part is solely about comfort.  the two things i am always most anxious to take off are my shoes and whatever bra i have on. i tend to lounge in one of two types of clothing – boxers and an oversized tank with a bandeau or a lace bralette or a simple nightie like this one…

 

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i got this one from asos and am in love. it comes in sizes 12 to 28.  if you are not as full figured, here are some other great options from asos:

one.

two.

three.

 

while i may not be the queen of sleep on sunday through thursday, one of the best parts about the weekends is waking up naturally instead of to the sound of a blaring alarm.  i have been trying to make an effort to schedule a bit less on the weekends to get more sleep or at the very least, schedule things later in the day so i can ease into my mornings.  perhaps this nightie will serve as inspo.

 

god bless our principal for giving us tomorrow off in addition to monday.  lord knows i could use a four day weekend.

 

enjoy the extra time off!

 

xoxo,

k. tap

 

 

thought of the week: 29 and fine

before midnight strikes, i have to wish a very happy birthday to myself.  today, i turned 29 and i am really making a conscious effort to embrace the skin i am in.

 

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photo cred: my godsister

 

i am going to be honest – i had some anxiety leading up to my birthday.  i tend to put a lot of weight on birthdays.  the way most people are around the start of the year – analyzing their life choices, evaluating relationships, assessing happiness in the workplace, looking at checklists to see what has been marked off, etc; i do none of this at the start of the year.  i do all of this (plus some) as my birthday approaches.  i think it is even revved up during the week leading up to my birthday.

 

things were feeling a bit off for the last few weeks in multiple facets – for me personally, at work, with family, with friends and in my love life.  while none of those things are perfect now, for every single area i could name that was off, there were at least 3x the amount of things in that area where i was thriving.  internally, i may want my weight loss to be going faster but on the flip side, i am losing inches, killing it in my new barre classes and successfully did 35 push ups.  i may feel misunderstood by a colleague at work but i received a two page letter from a student and her single mom about the impact i make on their lives, a late night email from a nervous college senior about her latest college acceptance letter and successfully helped a student deal with her first ever panic attack today with ease.  i might feel like unappreciated by one member of  my family but woke up this morning to a call from my aunt sheila singing me happy birthday (the stevie wonder version, of course), had a cousin drive 50 miles while sick to attend my birthday dinner and my godsister arrived at my doorstep with beautiful balloons and was determined to get a shot i would love for this very post.  there are a couple friendships that are not feeling reciprocal but that doesn’t mean i should not acknowledge the multiple bouquets, chocolate covered strawberries and impromptu facetime calls to wish me a happy birthday that came from the hearts of each of my friends who do understand reciprocity and how meaningful birthdays are for me.  i might be in a gray area with someone i truly care about romantically but i am no longer in relationships that are unhealthy, ones where i have to be a therapist even after i get home from work as one and i know exactly what i am looking for.

 

today (and probably the bulk of year 29) is about me getting the fuck out of my own way and being grateful for my greatness.

 

cheers to being 29 and fine!

 

xoxo,

k.tap

 

white marble cheeseboards

with valentine’s day coming up, or galentine’s day if you are spending it with your girls, i thought about how i typically like to spend valentine’s day.  even though it is one of the only holidays i love, i actually prefer celebrating at home to avoid the large masses of people at every restaurant under the sun.  i love nothing more than spending time with those i love – that is exponentially improved with good food + wine.  that brings me to one of my favorite things in my home to host with…

 

my white marble cheeseboards!

 

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oddly enough, both were gifts.  the one on the left is from my work wife, reens. it can be found at bed bath & beyond for just under $30.  my favorite thing about it is the little drawer that stores the perfect cheeseboard utensils.  they are nice and sharp and can cut through just about anything.  the one on the right is from williams sonoma and was given to me by my reslife (residence life) boos, liz and gio.  while the square one i have able is no longer available, one that is incredibly similar (white, marble, monogrammed) and rectangular in shape can be found here.  this board is so beautiful and heavy.  i love a dish/platter/board with significant weight to it.  both boards are easy to clean and hold so many of my favorite things.  the awesome scu alumni glasses are from one of my favorite RAs, dallas. people clearly know how to shop for me.

 

as for the contents of the cheeseboards, everything except for the wine and fig spread is from amazon fresh.  after working with people all day, the last thing i want to do is have forced interactions with people at a market.  so more often than not, i get my groceries delivered.  the board on the left has: a garlic and herb goat cheese, a triple cream brie, prosciutto and crackers.  the board on the right has a fig spread (from eataly), a dill havarti, dry coppa, crackers and strawberries.  the red wine was a thoughtful (and necessary) christmas gift from one of my students.

 

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how are you spending your valentine’s (or galentine’s) day?  are you getting dolled up to go out or are you cozying up on your couch with your loved one(s)?  don’t forget, your loved one can also be yourself – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

xoxo,

k. tap

 

the gifts of imperfection

i consider myself to be an ex-perfectionist that is in recovery.  it was sometime during my  grad program in counseling psych that i had this lightbulb moment where it was like, “holy shit – i am going to miss absolutely everything because i am so focused on perfecting each moment that i am missing every moment.”  part of that moment was sparked by this book – the gifts of imperfection by brené brown.

 

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i know what you might be thinking…”her previous post was about brené brown.” this probably won’t be the last post you read about her because i think she is spectacular.  she normalizes so much of the shit we drive ourselves crazy about.  or at the very least, shit i drive myself crazy about.

 

brené’s book is meant to help readers accept their truest selves – flaws and all.  perfection is not something that truly exists; it is something that we (as people and a society) have made up.  and with that, we are driving ourselves crazy.  i wanted to figure out how to feel a little less crazy in addition to finding out how to reframe what i viewed as imperfection.

 

in my most recent post, i discussed a quote of brené’s on courage.  in this book, she talks about how the original definition of courage was linked closely with the concept of vulnerability and how now, there has been a shift and it is linked closely with being heroic.  her thought is that we need to get back to that original definition – courage, even if seemingly ordinary, is something magnificent.  especially because in today’s world, courage that is linked to vulnerability is rare.  the example that immediately came to mind for me happened a few years ago; my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer for a third time.  typically, it would be in my nature to tell hardly anyone or downplay how hard things were for me to anyone who asked.  i decided to take a different approach.  i sent a detailed email to about 20 people who i am close with.  i not only covered the type of cancer she had, but i was vulnerable about my feelings and how i would likely need support (that some may have never previously given me – either because it wasn’t needed or because i did not make it obvious that it was something i needed).  it was incredible to see how many people showed up for me during that time.  while it was wildly uncomfortable for me to send that email, and for a moment, even felt like a sign of weakness, in retrospect, i know just how courageous that was.

 

there is this section dedicated to worthiness that has helped me greatly as a person and as a therapist with each of my clients.  i would say it has been even more helpful in my work with so many teen girls of color, who are being told at every turn that they are not enough as they are.

“the greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute.  worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.  so many of us have knowingly created/unknowingly allowed/been handed down a long list of worthiness prerequisites:

  • i’ll be worthy when i lose 20 pounds
  • i’ll be worthy if i can get pregnant
  • i’ll be worthy if i can get/stay sober
  • i’ll be worthy if everyone thinks i am a good parent
  • i’ll be worthy when i can make a living selling my art
  • i’ll be worthy if i can hold my marriage together
  • i’ll be worthy when i make partner
  • i’ll be worthy when my parents finally approve
  • i’ll be worthy if he calls back and asks me out
  • i’ll be worthy when i can do it all and look like i’m not even trying

here’s what is truly at the heart of wholeheartedness: worthy now. not if. not when. we are worthy of love and belonging now. right this minute. as is.”

now, i think every person reading this can relate to at least one of those bullet points.  and in working with impressionable teen girls, i work with them to hush the voices inside of their heads that sound like those bullet points.  i explain this concept of brené’s to them that i hope they carry long after their work with me – “in a society that says, ‘put yourself last,’ self-love and self-acceptance are almost revolutionary.”

 

something that was confusing to me as child that i carried into adulthood was this concept of perfectionism being synonymous with doing my absolute best.  this was not only inaccurate but a way to set myself up for failure time and time again.  it was this idea that my best was not good enough.  perfectionism also went against something i cared more about as an adult: authenticity.  how could i be authentically me if my primary concern centered around looking and acting perfect?  i wanted to shift from believing that improvement was only occurring if perfection was achieved.  this took an immense amount of practice and breaking down years of trying to be perfect.  the work was well worth it once on the other side.

 

as i have unearthed the true value of imperfection, i have felt more at peace than i knew possible.  it has enabled me to be proud of myself.  it has enabled me to feel joy.

“what is joy? joy seems to be a step beyond happiness.  happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky.  joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.” -adela rogers st. johns

 

so i ask you: how do you practice courage?  does your idea of worthiness have prerequisites?  when is the last time you felt joy?  have you found the beauty in imperfection?

 

xoxo,

k. tap

 

 

 

 

thought of the week: it takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol

i find that i am typically in a joyful mood from the moment february begins because i am obsessed with my birthday, i love valentine’s day and i get to see so many of my favorite people in an incredibly short time span.  because january was a total whirlwind – everything from getting back into town from a wedding i was in, to starting this blog, traveling out of town two additional weekends, seeing almost 160 students for sessions at work, and dealing with some heavy shit personally, by the time february rolled around, i was exhausted.

 

as you know from my post on the 5 love languages, i am a person that believes that quality time is everything.  if i commit to spending time with someone, i keep that commitment unless i am on my deathbed.  and i was going to do that again yesterday with some close friends for dinner, and then i remembered this quote from brené brown:

 

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“it takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” -brené brown

 

my best friend from grad school, christine, posted this a few months ago and i have thought about it several times since.

 

i started this week off by driving through pouring rain almost 30 miles to go to a professional development workshop, i had an 11 hour day on tuesday, and my wednesday was jam packed with meetings followed by a new barre class i was trying out.  with so many sick kids and coworkers, i did not feel great before class started and after an excruciating hour long workout, i wondered momentarily how i was even going to make it home. i knew that today (thursday) would be another 11 hour day.  i asked myself how the hell i was supposed to go home, shower, get glammed up and drive through traffic to sit through a dinner where i actually would want to be present and not be a zombie? especially when i knew how long today was going to be. then i realized something – it simply was not possible. i could go. maybe i could even lyft there.  but here’s the thing – i was not just physically exhausted, i was mentally and emotionally exhausted.  why did i even allow myself to get to this point? there is nothing cool about feeling totally spent.  so i did something i hardly ever do.  i did something courageous.  i sent that text message every planner i know dreads – the text saying i wasn’t going to make it to our dinner reservation (taking place two hours later).

 

i had this moment of panic. i almost never cancel plans, especially the day of.   but it was too late – i had already sent the message.

 

within moments, one of my friends responded both in the group strand and individually to check on me.  it really confirmed i made the right decision and it was refreshing to feel understood in unfamiliar territory.

 

i then wondered how many times i had said “no” to the rest my body needed.  i also wondered how many times i had said “no” to play my spirit deserved.

 

i tend to look at my birthday as the start of the new year.  a vow i am making to myself this year is to say “yes” more frequently to both rest and play.  it is something i am constantly encouraging my clients to do and with that being said, i need to walk the talk.

 

what is something you want to say “yes” to more frequently in 2019?

 

xoxo,

k. tap