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The past few weeks have been hard on me. Between visitors and school breaks and travel and homesickness, my schedule has been entirely unpredictable. Being a “trailing spouse” is so much harder than I ever imagined it might be. Rob and the kids have their life. I don’t. I dealt with this initially by diving into writing a novel. I got 50k words before I fell off the wagon and into our seven weeks of no set schedule. I didn’t write for six weeks. At all. I lost my cat. I lost my mind. It’s hard to start again. The past three days I have anyway. I’m not writing well. But I am writing. Pushing through the pain and blockages. And lo and behold, when I write my 1,000 words by 7 am, no matter what else happens that day, I’m good. #amwriting h/t: @amydresner . . #authorsofinstagram #author #writing #5amwritersclub #yogalife #expatlife #writingyogi #yogawriter #memoir #novelinprogress #firstdraft . #writersofinstagram

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It’s a blue and kinky Christmas here. And I’m not sorry at all. . . . #holiday #christmastree #marriage #love #expatlife #yogalife #yogi #yogisofinstagram #travel #wanderlust #yogalife

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The Festival of Lights felt especially poignant during this time of such (literal) darkness. Family. Love. Meals together. Presents. Laughter. And candles galore, each night one more than the night before. Eight sweet nights of focusing on the lights, both literal and figurative, is all we can ask when the sun is down from 3:45 pm to 7:15 am. Happy Hanukkah. . . . #holidaycheer #hanukkah #expatlife #yogaeverydamnday #yoga #england #travel #wanderlust #yogi #yogalife #candlelight

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I hate the dark. Just ask my husband. If a lightbulb burns out in our house, I’m obsessed until it’s replaced. I hate shadows in corners and low watt bulbs. I hate squinting to see in low light. I love candles and bright bulbs and fires and sunshine. I love heat, the hotter the better. 110 degree yoga class? Yes, please, and thanks. I’m an early riser and an early to bed type. Give me all the sun, all of the time. Living in England is a challenge. I knew it would be. But it’s worse than I thought. Even on Dec 21 in Boston and NYC, we had two more hours of light than we have here. It’s pitch black until 7:30 and pitch black again by 4:30. Some days there is an hour or so of sun. Most days look like this. People are not meant to live this way. Boxed into the shadows, vitamin D deficient, and gloomy. Maybe I’ll get used to it. Until then, I’m looking for sunnier skies in my travel and taking massive quantities of vitamin D and sitting in front of my light box every chance I get. The darkness is real. . . . . #yogaeverydamnday #yogi #england #expatlife #englishlife #sad #yoga #light #seasonaldepression #embracedarkness #nothanks #letthesunshinein #cravingsun #lightseeker #travel #wanderlust

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I knew right away we’d need to get a second cat after we lost Pirate. Cats are more social than they seem and one cat can get lonely. Panda was lonely. I was lonely, too. I didn’t know we’d get a second cat so quickly. Within hours of me telling people we’d lost our cat, we found a family who couldn’t keep their 6-month-old Persian kitten. The perfect age. Not too young (baby kittens are cray) and not too old (the heartbreak of only four years with a loved one is not something I’m jumping to do again). The second we met Sir Leo Gingerbread Worsham, it was over. This cat is such a love munch. Plus he’s knighted! By my children. But still! He doesn’t replace Pirate. He doesn’t fix the grief. But he’s been such a joyful presence and such a beam of light in such a difficult time. It’s always an adjustment when a new family member arrives. But we all (even Panda!) are smitten with our kitten. As anyone would be. Look at that face! . . . #yogaeverydamnday #kittens #catlife #catsofinstagram #kittensofinsta #catmom #catlove #yogi #yoga #catstagram #catlife #meow #family #love

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The last week has been really hard for me. I won’t lie. I’ve been struggling with some serious darkness for two years now off and on. My whole life, really. But especially these last two years. It’s hard because I know on a surface level, my life appears good. It is good. But with depression, it doesn’t matter how good things are. Just ask Kate Spade. Or Anthony Bourdain. Or any number of people we’d say “had it all” but hurt so deeply anyway. It’s been hard to get out of bed. A few things triggered it. My cats death. My husband’s near constant travel since we’ve moved. The insanity of 16 hours of pitch black darkness here. And also: I stopped running. Running has always kept me from the abyss. Three weeks of not running put me back into it. I’ve pulled myself back and committed to running at least two miles every single day in December. I’m also finally using a light box for an hour a day and that’s helped a bit, too. I’ll probably also go back into therapy. It’s a day to day struggle and when I’m low, it’s hard to motivate to self care. But it’s really not optional. The last couple days of running again, feeling the fresh air, being outside, my heart pounding have reminded me that none of this is negotiable. My mental health depends on it. Running is my saviour. I won’t forget that again. . . . #yogirunner #runner #running #depression #darkdays #yogaeverydamnday #yogi #writersofinstagram #grief #loss #life

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So. Much. This. I’ve never been one for group think. Or ideologies. No patriotism. No organised religion. No “blood is thicker than water.” If we share blood and you treat me poorly, I have no problem cutting your cord. It’s lonely. But it’s the only way I know to be true to my core. To my truth. I’ve never had a choice to be anything else. My truth is the only truth I can abide. Because at the end I have to look at myself and know. Truth is more than any single relationship or group. . . . #truth #momlife #life #yoga #yogi #yogini #yogamom #yogaeverydamnday #betruetoyourself #expatlife #writersofinstagram #writing

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I wasn’t looking for a senior cat. Four years ago, our family lost Melvin, our 16-year-old tabby cat. Immediately afterwards, I wanted a tuxedo cat. Specifically. No other cat would do. I don’t know how this got into my head. I probably never will. Our Vet kept strays. Only a few at a time. Rabbit (who we renamed Panda) was a crazy 16-week-old kitten. I was smitten when I saw her in her cage in the vet’s office. But there was another cat, too. A tuxedo. Just like I’d been searching for. “Pirate,” the label on the cage read. Because he only had one eye. Our vet walked in. “Now, HE’S a good cat.” Broken teeth. That gooey, missing eye. A crooked tail and some matted fur. all his black fur was covered in white flakes. Hell. No. I looked back to Rabbit, the kitten we’d already committed to bringing home. Pirate pushed his face toward the cage and stared at me with his one good eye. He purred. I melted. “How old is he?” I asked the vet. They estimated he was 7. I guessed even then that they were lying. He looked 110. I knew we would take the kitten that day. I didn’t know we’d take Pirate, too. It’s been 4 years and one major move across the pond. But every day since then, I have thought of Dr. Stack (our NJ vet) and what he said “Now, HE’S a good cat.” I’ve loved every cat I’ve had. But Pirate was special. He was never far from me. On my lap. Purring. Keeping me warm. Cuddling into me. My constant companion. I’ve never met a more loving cat. He charmed everyone. Last week we lost him. Suddenly. With no warning. He was fine. Then he wasn’t. We are heartbroken. And Now I know he was the cat I was searching for all along. A good cat, indeed. The best. Dear Pirate, you are missed. You were loved. . . . #catsofinstagram #cats #kittylove #grief #loss #momlife #yoga #family #catlove #tuxedocat #yogini #mom #kittymom #catmom

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Four months yesterday. It feels like forever and like nothing at the same time. . . . #expatlife #momsofinstagram #travel #wanderlust #familytravel #englishlife #expat #expatfamily

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Yesterday we stopped in Gloucestershire to see the #purtonhulks These “ghost ships” line the shore where they’ve been taken back by nature, their metal frames now lined with moss and grass and rust. The wooden ones are just skeletal now. It’s all very spooky but also a great reminder of how temporary everything is. This weekend will be our first at home alone as a family in seven weeks. Seven. Weeks. For a person who needs an extraordinary amount of downtime and alone time, the past nearly two months of visitors and travel and insanity have been way too much. Especially given half our home is still in boxes. We’ve been told the first 6 months of #expatlife are the hardest and it’s been true so far. It’s funny how you can wish for something for a decade, plan for it for a year, and still have it feel so much harder than expected. We are adrift and strange, like these ships. Taken by a force much bigger and stronger than we are. I am craving my quiet space and my notebook. Im craving the silence of my own room and my own space and silence. Silence. Silence. . . . . #ghostship #travel #familytravel #traveler #wanderlust #mom #wanderer #wales #yogini #yoga #yogi #writersofinstagram

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We’ve had a magical weekend in Wales. And we were so Lucky to be here for the annual fall feast. the perfect antidote to feeling like we missed thanksgiving. A nine course meal in a candlelit barn with 100 fun people. The kids tried pickled carrots and herring pate and venison meatballs and pesto squash. They tried lobster and celeriac and Irish cream ice cream with steamed plumbs. A 3-hour dinner. Being here on off season means starting the morning at an incredibly cool 12th century castle we had all to ourselves. Ended up at a vintage funfair that had us all laughing until we cried and ended with sunset at “the Stonehenge of Wales” where, again, it was just us and the sheep. One of those trips where you realize you are making the memories that will matter as you make them. We’ll be back for sure. . . . . #magic #wales #family #memories #familytravel #mom #momlife #camping #wanderlust #yoga #yogini #yoga #momsofinstagram #traveler #travelwithkids #expatlife

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We’ve had a rough, rough week. Lost our senior cat unexpectedly and quickly. Got burned out on guests and travel and constant “go, go, go.” Homesickness was high. Our first thanksgiving out of the country. It was also a beautiful week. A new kitten fell into our laps and we adore him. We had a beautiful expat Thanksgiving with wonderful new friends. We laughed a lot. And now we are glamping in Western Wales. Life keeps happening. I guess that’s the way it goes. . . . #travel #travelwithkids #momlife #glamping #familytravel #wanderlust #yoga #yogamom #mama #cozy #hygge

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It’s been 25 years today since my mother died. Time has made some changes it’s true. I no longer dread November and this day like I did as a teen. I don’t cry all day or fall mysteriously ill every November 17. But the grief is still very real. I’ll never know what she was like in an adult way. I’ll never know her like that. She’s missed births and graduations and weddings and phone calls. She wouldn’t even know what a text was, let alone know how to send one. Losing a mother young is a unique grief. You grieve what you had. You also grieve what you didn’t. For a long time the adults in my life tried to tell me who she was. What I should believe to be true about her. They told me why I was wrong and never why I was right. This is the first anniversary I see through different eyes. My book (Namaste the Hard Way) is about me, the child, relating to my mother, in an adult way I never was able to do in life. But I know who she was. Make no mistake. Complicated. Complex. Beautiful. Whole. I’m the grown up now. And I see the truth. In all its ugly beauty. I love you mom. Then. Now. Forever. . . . #motherdaughter #motherlessdaughters #grief #loss #memoir #namastethehardway #marriage #love #mom #momlife #mama #imissmymom #grieving #momsofinstagram #yoga #authorsofinstagram #yogini #motherdaughteryoga

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We seemed to have reached an age where we are seeing a lot of marriages split. Or maybe it was always there and we just didn’t notice as much. Either way it does seem like everywhere I look lately, marriages are ending. The other day someone asked me how to make it last. “What’s your secret formula?” I had no answer. We’ve been married 15+ years. Some days I’d say that’s luck. Some days I’d say hard work. Still others I’d say it’s just not wanting to split at the same time. I do feel lucky. We are best friends. We both have mad lust for each other. But there’s no formula. We take trips alone. We prioritise date nights. We prioritise sex. None of these things is foolproof. These past few months of moving abroad have taught me that even a marriage as strong as ours could be vulnerable without maintenance and care. We’ve had a lot less time alone and spent a lot more time arguing. Our oldest asked for the first time if we were going to split in August. That’s how much we fought. Working as a team is a work in progress. There really is no magic formula. Every day we keep re-choosing each other. That’s it. 18 years of waking up saying “I choose you and this” over and over and over. To infinity. . . . #love #marriage #expat #yoga #momlife #momsofinstagram #expatlife #travel #wanderlust #marriedlife💍 #longtermrelationship

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We’ve officially reached a new stage in parenting. It actually probably happened a year or so ago, but it can take a while to really notice a change until it hits you in the face. My husband wanted a fourth and we went back and forth but ultimately decided no. It was important to me to not be pregnant again after 35. So that’s it. No more babies. No diapers. No cribs. No nursing babies. We usually sleep through the night. I’ve felt some pangs of regret. I do love the baby stage. But I also know I’m ready for Phase 2. Parenting has become more complicated. Less physically taxing, but far more taxing emotionally. Everything feels heavy and weighted and enormous. Every decision feels like the future hinges on it. We are older, too. In good ways: more stability and money and maturity. In bad ways, too: feeling stodgy and less motivated and busier than ever. The parents in this photo are in their 20’s. They are having the best year of their life (the first year of my oldest’s life was, indeed, the happiest time on record). They have no idea what the next 12 years will bring. Two more children. Two huge moves, one international. New jobs. New opportunities. Book deals. Travel. Grief. Losing loved ones and beloved pets. New cars and new schools and kids with their own minds (damn them). It’s been a ride. Sometimes you have to pause and take inventory. I am here. Now. Here. Maybe in another 12 years I’ll check in again. . . . #changes #momlife #expatlife #yoga #yogi #parenting #yogamom #momlife #travel #wanderlust #neverstopgrowing #beherenow

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We lost some high profile races. But they were the ones we expected to lose in many ways and the fight we put up means something. We haven’t seen the last of #betoorourke #2020 In the meantime, let’s relish the fact that this was the Blue Wave we wanted. It was. It’s a fact. Two more years of trump. But we knew that anyway. At least now his power will not be unchecked. Mueller, you’re up. . . . #votefromabroad #expatlife #2018midterms #midterms #america #vote #offthemat #yogavotes #yoga

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It’s go time. Vote. Vote. Vote. Please. Do the right thing, America. Please. . . . #vote #expatlife #traveler #momlife #election2018 #grabthembytheballot #yogi #yogavotes #offthemat #letsdothis #stoptrump #midterms #votefromabroad

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It was 10 years ago I cast my vote for Barack Obama with my newborn Alan in my arms. Back then I believed polls and I believed he’d win. He did. I never imagined that a decade later we’d be looking at a “President” like Trump. I’m a yogi. But I’ve lost my faith in many ways watching people who call themselves yogis so vastly misinterpret the practice. You cannot be a yogi and not vote. You cannot be a yogi and support this abomination in the White House. Tomorrow we have an opportunity to stand for justice and equality and righteousness. We have an opportunity to bring the semblance of dignity back to the USA. Vote like the soul of our country depends on it. Because it does. #grabembythemidterms #midterms #vote

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