Notes on eating the whole gummy, the resulting anxiety, and my surprising antidote

“Check my pulse,” I turned to my partner, Alex, who was lying in bed beside me. We had eaten weed gummy bears hours earlier. He was doing fine and I… well, I was asking him to check my pulse.

“It’s really fast, isn’t it?” I asked, wrist held out in front of me. He nodded.

“Can people die if their pulse is too high for too long?” I pressed. Alex seemed to pause and consider this before shaking his head ‘no.’ He also began growing jagged teeth and his skin was turning green. Neither were good signs.

Our German shepherd…

How to resist fast-paced consumerism by making shopping decisions that bring you happiness in the long run

Clothing and accessories organized in a closet

Some jobs only exist to enable you to shop from your couch — and they pay quite well. A whirlwind of targeted advertisements, strategically timed sales, and enhanced shipping logistics can overpower your good sense if you don’t take a step back. Being so, it’s best to have some tools in your tool belt to resist such fast-paced consumerism.

In the past few years, I’ve prioritized making intentional purchases by slowing down and giving each order more consideration. Along the way, I’ve adopted several “mantras” that address the ways I’m pulled to shop irrationally.

1. I’ll never “arrive,” so take my time

When we bought a new house…

For when you need guilt-free rejuvenation

Oftentimes we shop in order to surprise ourselves; we want to walk away feeling renewed by what we’ve discovered and acquired.

One study on product-evoked emotions found that a driving force behind our purchases is that we think they’ll have a transformative effect on our lives. But not only is the “transformative effect” from shopping temporary, it also it has an everlasting consequence: clutter.

Our closets or storage spaces can be filled with remnants of who we tried to be, and that chaos alone can negatively effect our well-being. …

Escape (or return) to the real world.

In her book, Wild, Cheryl Strayed recounts her experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after the loss of her mother and the breakup of her marriage. Originally, she set out on the trail with the daily intention to “weep tears of cathartic sorrow and restorative joy” and imagined “endless meditations on sunsets or while staring out across pristine mountain lakes.”

And yet, as Strayed goes on to tell, that didn’t really happen. You think hiking is going to be one thing, but then it surprises you. Her solo hike of 1,000 miles over three months was a far deeper experience…

A guide for minimal and sustainable wardrobe shopping

Clothing hanging neatly in a closet.

The most sustainable clothes you can buy are ones that you’ll wear at least 100 times. Their eco-consciousness is second only to hand-me-downs, vintage, or thrift. Even “sustainable” brands become resource drains if you buy a different sweatshirt for every day of the month.

We collectively have a shopping problem. According to internal research at Rent the Runway, the average American buys 68 pieces of clothing a year, and 80% of that is seldom worn.

Even donating those clothes isn’t a fix. I’ve seen many thrift stores that are jam-packed with rows and rows of clothing like giant warehouses. The…

Think of this task as a foundational habit for well-being

The click-and-fizz noise of a Diet Coke can opening was the soundtrack of my childhood. My mom used to drink around 6–8 cans a day even while she was a high school health teacher (and knew the adverse health effects).

Oftentimes, our making unhealthy decisions isn’t for a lack of knowledge. We know what we should do to stay healthy and energized, but it’s a far cry from what we actually do.

As for me, I knew I felt sluggish because I was skipping meals and eating nothing remotely green. That wasn’t a revelation.

But what kept me from doing…

And why you should give up on it.

Following the 2016 US election, I started paying more attention to what my mom’s cousins had to say on Facebook. Before then, I had scanned over their (often sexist or racist) ramblings, but suddenly it became more relevant.

I started sincerely engaging with them. I wanted to learn. I thought they had real grievances that I was unaware of. One cousin told me Obama had ruined her business, and I asked her how so, and if she could point to a federal policy. Honest to God, I believed I had something to learn from her.

Instead, her response was a…

The first step to creating a cozy living environment is reducing chaos.

The coffee table in my home was built in 1990. It’s a solid oak rectangular storage box. My grandparents bought it for my parents from Amish furniture makers in Indiana, and it has traveled from their home, to Chicago, and now all the way to Boulder, Colorado.

Like many people in their 20s, my home is filled with furniture from the previous generation. “Borrowed” and passed down from parents, aunts, and other relatives, or bought secondhand.

Since I’m neither settled nor have a large budget, buying new and modern furniture never seemed like a good financial choice. …

The slow initial growth experienced by start ups can mirror your personal growth, too.

For a start up, innovation can take years of low or no revenue before it hits a crucial inflection point. When charted against time, this growth line has been called a hockey stick growth curve.

For the first few years, growth seems dismal over the flat hockey stick blade. It’s not until an inflection point does the payoff become tangible. After the inflection point, growth surges over the rising incline of the hockey stick shaft. After this point, it’s finally a feeling of, wow, this is really happening.

In sum, the basic principle of a hockey stick growth curve is…

This is why my political perspective has shifted dramatically in the past several years.

On her website, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sells a $58 sweatshirt that says “Tax the Rich.” A friend of mine recently reposted a video of billionaire Kevin O’Leary wearing this sweatshirt and joking, “inside of every socialist there is a capitalist screaming to get out!”

I sent her a question about it, and my friend replied that it was just ironic that someone who wants to tax the rich is selling an expensive sweatshirt. To be clear, this friend is not a fan of AOC and also called her “irrelevant.” …

Katie Martin

slow living + observations | find me @

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