What do you do when one chapter ends terribly and the next opens equally as heartbreakingly?

Welcome to my world at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024.

Wait, hold on,” you say, “surely when one door closes, another opens?”

While that is true, life is never such a so smooth and orderly. Sometimes, right after that next door opens, it slams shut in your face.

I planned a social media break for December last year. Partly because we would be on vacation and partly because the holidays are a time I hold sacred for family and friends.

Which means I missed the “in and out” lists trend.  I’ve slowly been scrolling my feeds again over the past week and have loved the wide variety of subjects these lists cover. Some are cliche, and some are raw and genuine. Let’s hope you consider mine to be in the latter!

IN AND OUT LIST #1: DOGS DYING.

What do you do when one chapter ends terribly and the next opens equally as heartbreakingly?

My 2023 ended heavy, and 2024 started heavy with a brief moment of one of creating some of the best memories of our marriage. It went like this:

  • 12/21/23: We found out our 14-year-old Yorkie, Bus, was in Stage 4 kidney failure and had to put him down. It was sudden, and my heart broke as I lost my little constant shadow.
  • 12/22/23: Less than 15 hours after letting him go, we left for an all-inclusive vacation in Jamaica. We took all five photos and spent the time completely disconnected and offline. It was a time we will always treasure, and it brought us so much closer.
  • 1/3/24: We adopted Bizmo, our nine-year-old Yorkie, in May 2023. We did so knowing he had prostate cancer, which is untreatable in dogs besides anti-inflammatories. After we returned from our trip on 12/30, he declined rapidly, and we had to let him go 12 days after we lost Bus.

I have no regrets about adopting senior pups or ones with terminal illnesses. We find comfort in knowing we give them the happiest, most spoiled time, no matter how long they are with our pack. That being said, my heart is broken, and it f***ing sucks.

OUT #2: OVERTHINKING

I overthink everything. Whether it’s a work assignment, a home chore, a chat with a friend, or a look from my husband, I replay the possibilities before, during, and after. My brain never ever stops overthinking, overanalyzing, and overcritical-ing every moment, interaction, and task in my life. I realize I will never be able to let this go fully. My OCD/ADHD chemical imbalances make it impossible.

What I CAN do is ensure I am making a strong effort to be cognizant of when I am overthinking. Also, allowing myself to rely on my co-workers, friends, and family, who encourage and build me up more rather than hiding when I’m struggling.

(Dress: 2021 Sister Jane, Pants: 2018 ASOS,  Blouse: 2016 Courtney Love x Nasty Gal, Puffer Coat: 2021? Free People)

OUT LIST #3: DIGITAL SCREENS

Between two jobs and this blog, maintaining long-distance friendships, and just general media consumption, I feel I always have a glowing screen in front of me. Whether it’s board games, piecing together a puzzle, or touching grass, I’m going to be sure to take time screenless each day.

What ish are you dropping in 2024? 

IN AND OUT LIST #1: TAKING MEDS DAILY

When I was diagnosed as bipolar in 2018, my psych warned me that bipolar people are more likely to go off their meds than other diagnoses. Meds make me feel stable, which I then take as I’m good: Why am I taking these? I don’t need them! So I stop. And then I fall apart. This is the year I STOP this cycle and consistently take the damn things.

IN LIST #2:  GIVING AND ACCEPTING COMPLIMENTS

Women are so quick to discount the compliments we receive and to brush off praise for our successes. This is the year to DROP that ish. Let’s own our successes. Let’s take the kind words of loved ones and strangers alike for what they are: a positive! On the flip side, I’m going to intentionally give compliments to everyone I meet in my daily life, as well as those I encounter online.

If I like something that someone is wearing or if I hear of a friend’s success, I am going to SPEAK up. I’m going to let them know and ensure they feel seen and appreciated.

IN LIST #3: BEING OFFLINE

Is it cheating to have my OUT and my IN so similar? Obviously, this is something I feel passionate about. I’m not just going to be offline; I’m going to be purposefully offline.

My favorite part of the in and out list trend is how it can be very individual or very general! I’ve been inspired by so many (as well as equally amused by others. I would LOVE to know what’s made your in and out list this year.

Stay tuned for my in and out style list!

I’m going to be breaking down what I’m adding to my wardrobe and what I’m dropping in 2024.

cursive signature for kait elizabeth shop drop the ish

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