#62: Christmas lights, lots of snow, the process of writing my book, setting goals for the year, what we do for Christmas, gifts, heat tape, & my 5th grade poem

Episode description:

A big life update! In this episode I talk about what we are doing for Christmastime, all the snow that came here to our little island, how Jordan and I relate to gifts and gift giving, what has changed in our house and how different this winter is than last winter.

I also talk quite a bit about how I am writing a book and what that process has been like for me, when I write, what it feels like, and how I have almost 14,000 words already. And I talk about my relationship to writing and share the story of my 5th grade award winning poem.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Full episode transcript:

Demetra (00:00:08):

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of the Detra Gray Show. This is a bonus episode. I’ve been recording a lot of the episodes ahead of time now, but this one I wanted to be able to record one real time and put it out real time because somehow I have become the type of person I know none of us ever expected it. But I have become the type of person who can be on a schedule and plans things and has good habits. My habits are getting better and better. If you missed all the habit talk, you can go back a number of episodes. A few months ago was when I was getting super into habits and it is still something I am really excited about and something that is majorly transforming my life. Like so much has come together and maybe I was thinking perhaps I’ll do an episode just sharing everything I’ve learned about Habits, <laugh>, maybe for the new year.


Maybe that will be like the first one of the new year or something. But I have been missing, I wanted to do an episode where I just chat and so that’s what this is gonna be. So, because I like to catch you up on all the things, <laugh>. And so the first thing is that we have our Christmas tree <laugh> and we got our tree and it’s still not decorated. So this whole thing happened with the lights, the, oh man, this is such a whole thing. <laugh>, I, we got our Christmas tree and then it sat bare for a while and I have never had a real tree besides last year. I think last year was my first time in my life ever having a real tree because when I was little my mom refused to get a real tree because she, she said it made her sad to have to put the tree out on the curb at the end of the year.


And so <laugh>, we, in order to avoid that whole process, she just bought a fake tree and we had two trees and she would put up, uh, fake trees every Christmas. And she always went all out like, my mom is really, really great at decorating. But for me, I was really excited. Like I really wanted to have a real tree. And so we went and we got our, our tree, we didn’t get to cut it down. My dad asked me if, if I had gotten to <laugh>, he was like, he was like, I have to know, did you go out in the field and saw it down yourself? Because I can just picture that happening <laugh>. And I was like, no, they didn’t give us that option. We just went and we, they were already all cut from the farm and we chose our tree and we chose the perfect one.


I think it was like the per the first one I picked up. I was like, this is the tree. And Jordan was like, great, let’s leave <laugh>. And I was like, but we haven’t looked at all of the trees, <laugh>. And he was like, but you know that you like this tree. And I was like, yes, and this is our key difference <laugh>. And I was like, I just feel like I need to look at some others still, even though I know it’s that one. And he was like, okay. And so that’s what we did. I went and I looked at like, I don’t know, maybe like eight other trees. I just kind of picked them up and was like, no, not this one. And then I was like, okay, I wanna get the first one that we, that I picked up. Cause what are the chances, right?


It’s the first one that you see. It’s just like, wait, I’m not certain about this. I don’t know if I’ve made the best choice. So we got our tree and it sat bare and I felt like the tree was really sad that it was bare, but I couldn’t do anything about it because we stopped to get these lights, and I don’t know if you’ve seen, but they make these, like all of the lights that they sell nowadays are l e d lights. And I didn’t really know what that meant. L e d, like I just, I didn’t really understand. I was just like, okay, l e d lights. And when I googled, um, Christmas lights, like everyone’s talking about l e d lights, when I went to the store, all they had were these l e D lights. And I kept looking for warm white.


I was like, where like, I want, I don’t want lights to have this bluish tinge or that are even just white. I want it to have this yellow glow that I remember having at Christmas time when I was little. And I came to discover that apparently you, I didn’t know that incandescent lights were even a thing, but incandescent lights are the lights that are real lights that they had when I was little. And now they don’t, no one seems to use incandescent lights anymore because they don’t last as long and they’re whatever, like all these reasons <laugh>, but you, it’s a huge sacrifice because the incandescent lights are real little light bulbs. And so when you move around, they like naturally seem like they’re twinkling and they have this warmth to them that is just gorgeous. And when, um, with the l e D lights, like they don’t have any of that and it’s impossible to make them warm.


Like they just don’t, even the warm white LEDs are not warm in my opinion. So I, at first I looked online and I found the, um, the warmest, I like searched for the best Christmas lights and there was this whole article by the New York Times and it was like reviewing all of the Christmas lights and it had, um, this certain pair of l e d lights at the top of the list. And I searched for them everywhere and I could not find them. And then I found them only in the store at Lowe’s in Pennsylvania where I grew up. And I now live in Canada on an island on the west coast, <laugh> and Lowe’s doesn’t ship. It was a whole thing I like it was I couldn’t get them to ship to Canada. So I ended up ordering these l e d lights in the store and having my mom go pick them up and mail them to me.


But I knew that they wouldn’t get here by Christmas. And then in that article I saw it said like something about the be it was like, and by the way, like if you want incandescent lights, like these are the best ones that we found. And I was like, wait, what are incandescent lights? And then I started looking at that. But the way that they wrote about them was as if incandescent lights were just the stupidest thing ever to purchase. So I was like, okay, those won’t last. Like I shouldn’t get incandescence. But then when I knew that my other lights were gonna take forever, I ordered the incandescence and they came in and I got both white and colored. Even though when I was young, we only had white, but I just felt like I should take, like I should have, I wanna have the things that are familiar to me from Christmas time when I was little, but I also want to have a spin on them to make them mine and ours for our future family.


And when I plug these lights in, I’m not kidding you, I burst into tears because I, it just immediately reminded me of being little and staring up at the tree. And I used to sit in our living room and I would sit on the couch and we had like two, I don’t even know what you’d call, I guess we had a family room and a living room. We had two rooms and the living room, <laugh>, I saw some like internet, uh, like a meme about this or something the other day. But we have these two rooms and like the one you could, you’re not supposed to go in, usually it’s like the nicer one. Like we had a nice dining room and then we had a dining room, like the kitchen table that we actually used for dinner. And we only used the other rooms on special occasions, <laugh>.


And um, so, but for Christmas time we used the nice one and that’s where the fireplace was. And the tree in that room, we had like a kid’s tree in the family room where the TV and like where life happened and we got to decorate that tree with all the ornaments. And then the tree in the living room was the tree where all the presents were gonna be. And my mom would make that tree really pretty. It got to be like her tree to decorate and she made it all gold. It had like gold lace. Oh my gosh, it’s snowing even more.


Wow. Or maybe some snow is falling from the tree. I think actually it’s falling off of this tree. I didn’t tell you at the beginning, but we got so much snow. It is crazy. Um, I’ve never seen, we got definitely over a foot of snow and that’s the most I have ever seen since moving to Canada <laugh>. So I know it’s not like the most snow ever or that I’ve ever seen in my life because like I said, I grew up on the east coast, but since moving to Canada, usually, and I shouldn’t say it’s not like all of Canada, it’s just that in British Columbia close to the water, the climate tends to be really, really nice. Like, it, it tends to be warmer. It rarely gets below freezing. Although the past couple years, I guess it’s been, whatever’s happening with the climate changing has made the winter’s just really strange.


So usually it would just rain all winter, but last year it did snow. But usually what happens when it would snow is like it would snow a couple inches and then the next day the rain would come and it would just all melt away. Like the snow didn’t really stay, which I enjoy. Like I do really, um, I really do like that. I like, I like living somewhere where we get to experience the snow, but it’s not just constant snow because then it doesn’t melt and get all gross and dirty like on the side of the roads and stuff. But uh, today when I woke up I was like, my jaw dropped. I could not even believe it. I walked outside and I was like, whoa. Because like it had snowed yesterday, but I didn’t know it was gonna snow the, and every and people had said it was gonna snow this much.


But I was like, like sure <laugh> like, okay, like I’ve never, because everyone here thinks like they just don’t see snow that often. So they’re just like, whoa, this is so much snow. And today actually was so much snow when I came out. I was like, I haven’t seen this much snow in years. It’s been a long time. And so it’s felt really, really nice. Why, where, what was I saying that I was got distracted by the snow? Is it snowed Christmas time? Um, the tree? Oh yeah. So I used to um, I used to sit and look at the tree and I, there would be an angel on top of the tree and I would look at the angel and I felt like the angel was real. And it was so magical for me that when I plugged our tree in here, I just immediately cried.


Cuz I haven’t seen lights like that I think in a really long time like this. It’s so worth it to get in contestants I think. I can’t imagine ever getting anything else. So now I’m gonna get this package from my mom with the l e d lights and I’ll have to update on if the best l e d lights according to the New York Times were really even close to Incandescence cuz they claim that they are. Um, but I highly doubt that. So anyway, I had to return all the other lights cuz we had bought these awful lights at the store and once I plugged them in I was like, this is terrible <laugh>. And Jordan was like, later he was like, when I got the new ones, he was like, these are so much better. And the old, the old ones were like the lights that you would see at a club, like it just was like dirty club dance like rave and this is Christmas magic.


And so they’re very different and these are great, but I still, I wanna make ornaments, I wanna make salted dough ornaments and I just haven’t gone around to doing it yet. So there’s only two ornaments on the tree. They’re these little fluffy owls that I bought last year and the lights and a star. I got the star and I got the tree skirt and um, yeah, that’s been really fun. Anyway, I think I like, I think I talked about the star and tree skirt and like buying things for many Christmases to come on a different episode. But anyway, so that’s the Christmas time update. We are not going anywhere for Christmas. Um, we are just gonna stay here, which I’m really enjoying. I honestly don’t know. Like it feels sad to say that I won’t get to be with my family on Christmas ever again. <laugh>


Like I’m sure, I’m sure one day we will. But Jordan and I went for Christmas time to go see my family last, or sorry, no, last December, um, December, 2019. And it was such a terrible experience. The travel around this time of year, even though we came, I wanna say we, we probably traveled like around the 20th and maybe we stayed for a week or something, eight days. But it was awful and it was just so stressful and there was so many people and it was like, it, it’s so the opposite of what this time of year is like, it’s the darkest time of the whole year and everyone’s like up and about and stressed and rushing around and it’s Christmas time and like everyone’s stressed cuz it’s Christmas and we have to get all these presents and we have to like blah blah blah. Like it’s just all this rushing energy and I hate it <laugh>.


And once I experienced that like traveling around this time and then covid happened and I couldn’t travel and I got to experience what it was like to just rest and not see anyone and not go anywhere. Jordan and I did not get vaccinated. So, uh, even though his family is around, uh, like they live closer to us, um, they didn’t wanna see us and we got to be alone and it was just the best <laugh>. Like it was so nice. And I, I can’t remember Christmas that first year. Wow. The snow is doing the most beautiful thing cuz it keeps, we have these huge uh, Douglas fur trees and one of them is quite close to our house. And so it seems like every so often, I don’t know if the wind blows or it just starts to fall, but like a huge powdery, like it looks like it’s snowing but more like you’re in a snow globe. Like it’s just like a powder goes everywhere and then it just stops.


Um, yeah, so, um, we got to ex I, I can’t remember that first Covid Christmas in Christmas 2020. Like what did we do? Did we go anywhere? Like, I can’t even remember if we, maybe we did see any of Jordan’s family. I I’m really, maybe the vaccine wasn’t out yet, so it wasn’t a, a big thing. I can’t remember at all. It doesn’t co I feel like a lot of covid kind of blurs together too, but we, so we didn’t, well I know at least last year we didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t see anyone and it was so peaceful and our friends weren’t even around. So we like literally just hung out here, just the two of us for this whole time. And it was really nice, it was really calm and I enjoyed it. And so this year my family was like, are you gonna come home for Christmas?


And I was like, no, <laugh> and we’re gonna go visit them in February. Like I really want to see them, but I’d rather go in February when this time of year is over. I mean it’s still winter technically, but it’s not like the darkest time, you know, like it’s, it’s heading closer to spring and so because we’re not gonna go back to the States until February, we get to rest here and I believe if the snow, um, hasn’t gotten in the way, we’ll see when I put this episode out, I think <laugh> this because a new episode drops every Monday if you haven’t noticed. And this episode I’m just gonna put up as soon as my assistant can put it up and I’m recording it on the December 20th. So we’ll see. But I guess maybe I’ll tell you some things in this episode that I haven’t actually told you until future episodes.


But I think that I’ve told them too because I’ve already recorded the episode and this is where it gets all confusing for me. And so I think that this will be good for me is to like do episodes that can come out on any date that will come out. Like I’ll prepare them ahead of time cuz I am really enjoying being prepared ahead of time because then especially when I go away and stuff, like I don’t have to worry about it. Like it can still, um, I like the consistency of it coming out every week, but then maybe the real time ones like this where I just wanna chat about my life, I can just kind of throw those in between when they happen. We’ll see, we’ll see. So I’m recording this anyway on December 20th and our friends are supposed to have a big dinner tomorrow because all these people are coming and um, they’re like having a bunch of friends that are staying on their land and they were gonna have a big dinner, but I wonder, I hope the snow doesn’t get in the way of that happening. So that’s our only real holiday plan is that dinner. And then


We are doing, we’re spending tomorrow and the next day two full days planning. Um, we’re doing this workshop called Headstart through this, uh, like coaching, um,


Through this thing that we’re a part of. It’s like a, um, who we both, we have an accountability coach through and we like, she is their top coach and we both get to see her and it’s basically, you may have heard me mention her before when I talked about habits and uh, we both get to talk to her every week and it’s really, really fun. It’s basically like I get to, like, I’ve been setting goals of what I want to do and, and what I want to commit to for that week. Like I choose the things, it’s not like, uh, coaching in ways that I’ve like coached people or that kind of thing, but it’s more like as someone who runs their own business because usually you’re not, uh, accountable to anyone. Like no one knows if you’re doing the things that you wanted to do or not. With, um, this woman Emily, I set my own goals and then she


Uh, basically just holds me to them. Like, she’s like, okay, what are like you committing to this week? And then like every week we have a short call and she’s like, how did you do on your commitments? I’m like, what came up and what are you gonna commit to for next week? And then we set like longer term goals too. And so it’s been really fun for me cuz I’ve been like, I joined that right around the time that I was getting super into habits. So anyway, Jordan, they have a whole, I guess they have this like yearly annual New Year’s thing where the founder puts out a workshop and um, Jordan and I are gonna do it together. So I don’t know how it will go. We’ve never done it, but I’ve heard really great things about it and apparently it’s like eight hours of work of reviewing your year and planning for the year ahead.


And I’m really excited to sit down and review our whole year together because I know, I think this is true for most people, but I really noticed in myself that I have a hard time sometimes looking back and being like, these are all the things that I did well, <laugh>, like I’m, I’m typically really good at being like, this was off and like this was wrong and like shouldn’t have done this and learned this lesson, but I don’t spend a lot of time celebrating and being like, wow, <laugh> like this is really great and look at all the things we accomplished and all this stuff that we did. And um, so I’m excited to spend some time in that and, and to just do that with Jordan together. So we blocked off time to do that, uh, the next couple days. So that should be really fun. And I don’t know what we’re gonna do on actual Christmas, like I guess I think last year I made a special Christmas day dinner. Was it Christmas Eve? Maybe it was Christmas Eve, even though we ate it again on Christmas day,


Jordan and I don’t typically do Christmas presents for each other. I think he has one present for me because we were at the store one day <laugh> like last month and I didn’t have my credit card and I was like, I was like, oh this is like a really nice book. And I was like, this would be a good present for me. And I was like, if you need to get a present, I was like, you should get this for me and then wrap it up as a Christmas present. So then he did. And so I actually, what’s fun about that is that I don’t really remember what the book is. I remember it’s some sort of like either a recipe book, maybe it’s has something to do with food. It had pretty pictures, it was like a pretty coffee table type of book. But I think it had some use like, uh, maybe it was like more local foods. I have no idea. But I know that I picked it up and I was like, I would really like this. And I was like, you should get it for me. And then he bought it and then I haven’t seen it since. So maybe I’ll have one thing to open up under the tree. And my family has been mailing gifts. Um, but we’ve opened them all as they’ve come in. So <laugh>, there we are, we, there’s nothing we’ve like saved under the tree


For Christmas, which is fine. Like I think, yeah, I, I think with Jordan we really enjoy getting presents for each other when there’s a lot of thought behind them or for birthdays we get, we usually do gifts for each other.


Jordan got me these really, really, really beautiful, really good knives for my birthday this year and things like that are really fun. And he had been wanting, he’s like so bad at buying things for himself. Well he, it’s not that he’s bad, like he just, he doesn’t want a lot of things and then every time he wants something he just gets it for himself. And he’s not like, he doesn’t own a lot of material things. He doesn’t really enjoy that. And although I will say since living with me, he has become a bit more like <laugh>. He now owns more than one pair of pants, for example. And for his birthday, like he had mentioned to me many, many months ago that he wanted a pair of gray sweatpants and he didn’t know where to buy them. Like he didn’t, he was like, he just, he is, he is not someone who’s gonna shop online for a long time, like I said earlier, like he likes to know exactly what he’s getting and just choose it.


Whereas I will spend forever looking at all the options and um, he wanted a pair of gray sweatpants and so I, this was like months after, so it was a total surprise. I went online and I bought him like six different pairs of gray sweatpants in different lengths and fabric and sizes. So he kept them all, he has tons of them. I actually have a pair of them on right now, ones that he didn’t like as much <laugh>, but he um, he chose like the softest ones that he likes the most and so I’m gonna order more and he like every day he’s like, that was so thoughtful. Like I really, cuz it was something that he wasn’t gonna do for himself. So we get guests like that for each other and I really enjoy that. But I really enjoy also, like we occasionally throughout the year will get things for each other when it’s not a special occasion.


It’s just like, oh, I have this idea and I thought that you should have this. And like he’s gotten me a couple books like that just randomly like, oh, like I heard of this book and I think you’d like to read it. And I would. And so it’s like very thoughtful. But with um, with Christmas, I think we are both just like, why like I, we just don’t wanna go through all this effort just to get gifts. Although I will save the other day. <laugh> Jordan, um, Jor, wait, hold on, you can take a drink. Um, the other day Jordan said that, um, he said that it for Christmas time they never, like the kids didn’t get the parent his parents’ presents for Christmas. I think it’s so fascinating. Everyone’s Christmas time experience is so different and um, for me, ever since I can remember we always got my parents a present.


So usually like the other parent would take us kids and would be like, what are you gonna get mom for Christmas? Like, here you like, or they’d just get us something and be like, this is for mom from you. And so we always, and so I said to Jordan the other day, I was like, yeah, we won’t get each other Christmas presents, but then once we have kids, like once they’re old enough, then we will start getting presents for each other because we’ll get them for our kids to give each other. And he was like, what? Like what do you mean? And I was like, what? And he was like, you got your parents presents. He was like, he was like, Christmas is about the kids. And I was like, I don’t know. It was never that way at my house. It was always, we always had presents to give our parents too and it was always really fun to see like what would mom think of a present that I got her.


And um, anyway, I am, I feel committed to keeping that alive, that <laugh> tradition that our kids will get us presents. I mean we’ll like make things or whatever, but it’s just a cute thing to be able to do. And I think it kind of takes the fun, like I think it’s fun to be able to give people present. It’s way more fun for me to give people presents than it is to get presents. Like I enjoy getting presents and I enjoy seeing what people get me and I especially feel very touched when someone clearly is just so thoughtful about it. Like they know me and they ma they either create something or they choose something that’s like very, very thoughtful for me. My cousin actually did that with our, uh, for our wedding gift. She sent this box that was like, it had a bunch of little things in it and, and a lot of them were these memories from when we were little and just like, it was just a very thoughtful combination of little things and I was really touched by it.


And um, yeah, so I enjoy things like that but I enjoy giving presents way more like, I’m way more excited. I’ve mailed my presents out to everybody who’s getting a present from me and they’re all under strict instructions not to open it. And I wrapped everything up individually for everyone inside the box so that when they open the box they have a lot of little presents to open and they’re all wrapped. And I am excited <laugh> for that. And so I want everyone to call me when they open it and I am just excited about that. So anyway, so yeah, I feel like I’m in this place with this Christmas and then I guess New Year’s will be the same. Like it’ll just be very restful, which I really like. I haven’t stayed up till midnight on New Year’s in many years probably since Jordan and I started dating because I was like, I think I had always been pressured by exes to be like, okay, we’ll have fun. It’s like New Year’s Eve and like, you know, and now I’m just like, I dunno, I just wanna go to sleep. It’s like 9:00 PM and I’m like, okay, ready for bed now. So I think that’s probably what we’ll be doing.


But yeah, so I feel like, I think, I feel like our house is still in this strange spot between things are happening slowly. It’s like we have the tree star and the skirt and like each year we have more things. I mean thank fucking God that our water is still working <laugh> right now, right? Like it’s been really cold temperatures like well below freezing for a couple days and last year, if you remember, if you go back <laugh>, you could, our pipes froze. And so not only did we have dirty water, but then we had no water and we didn’t know what to do. Our pump was like making this crazy sound and we had to go under the house and unplug it and it was like we didn’t know what we were doing. We had only lived here for a couple months and it was so stressful.


And Jordan and I, like we couldn’t unfreeze the pipes and we didn’t even really understand, like we didn’t even know where the pipes necessarily were that were frozen. And so our heat also then the power, like the power would go out and so the power was out and so then the heat was off cuz we only had baseboard heating and then our water stopped working. And if you remember, we still had compost. Like we were using buckets for toilets. We were still composting all our poop. And so it was like, I remember last winter, I’ll have to remind Jordan of this today when I see him again that um, last winter when our pipes froze, we had like seven or eight buckets full of shit <laugh> like literally full of shit and dirt sitting in the bathroom on the floor and there was no space to even walk in the bathroom because it was just completely covered in these buckets of poop and waiting to go outside because everything was cold and frozen and covered in snow.


So we didn’t wanna take it out to the compost and it was just, it was quite a different situation. And so this year we were well prepared, we have a, well so we have clean water and we preemptively had the pipe that’s outside wrapped with heat tape, which if you don’t know what heat tape it, heat tape is cuz I didn’t know what it was until last year when I had to, when they brought us heat tape and then I had to go over, I don’t know if I told this, I must have told this story on the podcast. I had to go into the freezing cold creek, which looked a lot more like a river and I had to, cuz the plumber had come to try to unfreeze the pipe and they figured out that the pipe was the one that was going into the creek and that it, where it was exposed was where it was frozen and they wrapped it in heat tape, but then it rained and then the water in the creek rose and it became a river.


And so then the heat tape was underwater and I was like, someone has to go get the heat tape cuz it’s under the water. And I went out and I laid on the ground in the freezing cold and I unwed the pipe with the heat tape and I was like, well this is heat tape now I get to know what it is <laugh>. And um, so anyway, I’m familiar with it now, but it’s this thing you plug in and it doesn’t get like hot or even really warm. It just like, it, it just like gets just warm enough to keep it from freezing essentially or to thaw it out. And so, um, anyway, we had our pipe <laugh> wrapped with heat tape, so all we had to do was plug it in and we thought of these things ahead of time so it’s plugged in and so theoretically that should keep the pipes, um, from freezing.


But also another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to leave a tap running just, uh, really subtly like slightly. And um, <laugh> Jordan the other night, he was like, well what if we like leave the tap running but then overnight it like floods the kitchen And I was like, do you know how much water there would have to be for it to flood the kitchen? Like the tap on a trickle is not gonna flood the kitchen and it’s just gonna go down the drain. And he was like, well what if it like backs up in the sink? And I was like, it’s not going to do that <laugh>. And so we’ve been leaving our tap has now been running for like two days because, and it’s just a little, I’m like, part of me is like, are we wasting water? But it would be so much worse, like if our um, if our well freezes that would be extremely bad because our, well if you remember is like this, it’s an artesian well, which means it just gushes out of the ground, uh, on its own without a pump. It’s just like a big Fallon. Um, and so if it, it fit freezes and then it cracks or anything, it’s just gonna, um, be exploding out of the ground. And then <laugh> we’ll have to call them to come fix it and who knows how long that will take And anyway, so it’s better to not have that happen. And so we have the heat tape and we have the tap running because um, it’s pretty cold, but it doesn’t stay that cold. Like, like it doesn’t stay cold like this for long typically here,



Speaker 2 (00:39:21):



Oh yeah. So I feel just like I’m in this place between things are definitely getting done and our house is just still really not set up whatsoever. And I have some ideas. I was talking to my mom the other day and she was helping me kind of come up with a way, our house is strange because like it’s mostly just one floor. Like, well, not really, so we’re kind of on the second floor cuz the house isn’t right on the ground like it is lifted up, but you wouldn’t call it a second floor really. But like all of the rooms are on this floor pretty much. And then there is a set of, uh, spiral staircase that goes up to this loft. And right now we’ve mostly just had storage up there, but the bottom is really open. So like I’m sitting in the living room, but it’s not really its own room because it’s open to the rest of the house, which I really, really like a lot. But it’s hard to decorate or like, like, it’s just hard to set up because it just feels like there’s no real separation between things. And so I’m not sure, it’s kind of difficult to describe, but there’s just a lot of open space and a lot of open like central space


That I’m just not sure exactly what to do with. I have some ideas now, but I feel like we just are, there’s just so much clutter and I want to get rid of all this clutter. Um, and I think it’s gonna happen. Like we’re slowly getting there. But I think, I think, yeah, so sometimes when I sit here I’m just like, oh my god, there’s still so much to do and it’s never gonna end. And that’s what I mean when I’m saying like, I think it’ll be good to review the year because it’s also true that we’re no longer pooping in buckets and <laugh>. We don’t have to take it out to the compost bin. And we have clean water that I’m currently drinking and we have a wood stove which keeps it warm even if the power goes out, which it hasn’t really this year, but if it did, we would still be able to be roasty toasty as Jordan would say. And yeah, so that is all that. And

Speaker 2 (00:42:30):



I’ve also been writing a lot, and this is a thing, I think I didn’t tell this story, so I’ve been writing a book and I told the story of how I started writing the book. I think in the next episode that’s gonna come out <laugh>, the episode that comes out, um, on the 26th, I believe. Um, in that episode I tell the whole story and that’s, um, it’s a really beautiful story actually. And that episode, I really actually, that’s a really beautiful episode in general. It’s about my word for the year and like my word for this year. And um, I went through the, um, yeah, just the whole thing, what I’ve learned this year and I talked about writing a book and how everything led to this point and it really occurred in this, um, very synchronistic just incredible way. And, and so I told that story in in the next episode, but for now I’ll say, so it’ll kind of be out of order in this sense. But, um, I’ve been writing every morning and I’ve written, I must have written something like, well, let me look, 12,000, 13,000 words, let me see. Oh, almost 14,000 words.


13,924 words, which is wild. I’ve been writing every single day, uh, since December 3rd, which is the 11 year anniversary of my brother’s accident. And wow, it has like, it has been bringing up so much for me and I do it first thing in the morning, so I wake up and I write, and in a way, because I do it that way, it happens before I start my day. So to some part of me, it feels like I should just be doing this writing and then like, like it doesn’t impact the rest of my day because it just happens in its own contained period of time. But that’s not true at all. Like, that’s not how it feels at all. And in actuality it’s like I’m writing about these, this period of my life, like my early twenties when the accident happened and, um, so many pieces around it. And I, there’s just so many things that I am realizing that I either don’t remember or that I do remember, like as I’m writing and it comes back and I’ve been crying a ton, especially at the beginning. It was, it was really frequent that I would write and then just start sobbing <affirmative>.


And it’s felt like this way of starting to process that time of my life in a way that I haven’t been able to until now. Like I’ve processed it in so many different ways, <laugh> and um, I think one of the episodes I’ll have coming out in the new year is, uh, is is talking about feeling your emotions in a really effective, healthy way, like a productive way that actually releases them and, and going more into detail around that. But this for me is very different. It’s very different to tell the story in this way and to sit with myself and write with myself. And um, at first I was kind of like, oh, I think like I don’t wanna tell anyone I’m writing a book <laugh>. But then I started to think about it and really consider like why, like what is the part of me that doesn’t want to tell anyone that I’m writing a book? And cuz sometimes I have had the feeling that like, I wanna protect the thing, like I’ve needed to protect it. And so then it’s like, I was like, okay, well what is this, this part of me? Like what is her ideal? Like what does she, if she doesn’t wanna tell anyone, she’s writing the book, like what does she wanna do? And it’s like, oh well she just wants to be like suddenly one day like surprise, I’ve written a book <laugh> and it’s like published and just like have never told anyone about any step of the whole thing. But I think that’s like a protective mechanism. I think it’s both like, well if I tell someone that I ruin the, um,


Well first then I like, like I, I ruin the fact that like I’ve committed to it, but what if I don’t stay committed? Then I’ve told everyone and then it didn’t happen. There’s that piece, but that’s not as strong. I think the more strong piece is that like when I was young I was criticized and made fun of a lot and I think, um, me keeping it protected like a lot of things like, cuz it doesn’t just come up with a book, like it’s come up with a number of things where I’m like, I just don’t want to tell anyone about the thing until it’s already happened <laugh>. And, um, but I am, I’ve been really sitting with that. I really, I think that it’s just a protective piece. Like if I don’t let anyone see it and I don’t let anyone, like, if I don’t talk about it, no one even knows I’m doing it. No one can criticize it before it’s even completed. And I let Jordan read it the other day because I, oh cuz I, I uh, had told the story in the other podcast I had told my family, like I told my parents that I was writing the book and my sister and um,


Once I told people it really dissipated, like I was just like, oh, okay. Like I’m allowed to tell people that I’m writing it. And uh, then I decided to share it on here and um, what was I gonna say about that? The, I don’t know where I was going with that, that I was, I am writing and didn’t want to tell anyone. I don’t know. I’m sure I will come back, think get back on track. But I was also just thinking about how um, you know what, I was little, I used to write a lot of poetry and I remember, and I’m not sit like this is not my parents’ fault at all, but I remember writing a poem one day that I still have. I found it, I had saved it like forever then I found it, um, the other day and it’s actually a really incredible thing. I can’t remember if I wrote about this somewhere or if I was going to um, I was thinking about this the other day actually though, cause the first two lines of the poem are, am I doing this right? Am I shining perfectly? She asks


And I wrote, must have written it when I was like 10. And it’s interesting that the poem starts with that cuz I think that was really the central question of my childhood is like,


Like if my biggest wound was everyone’s making me wrong, I think that central question was like, am I doing this right? Am I shining perfectly? Like am I doing it perfectly? And so yeah, am I like very young self wrote that in her poem. But I know I was 10 because I won a poetry contest when I was 11 fifth grade. Um, I’ll tell you the poem just because we’re on this tangent and we’ll just go on it. The poem that I won the poetry contest in with was, I see if I remember the whole thing, but I think I do it rhymed.


It goes When my dog bit my sister, he bit her nose right off. It all happened so quickly, no one had time to cough. The dog came flying at her a admis of all our laughter and she tried to jump back up into her loft, but she missed a last and she didn’t have time to ask, what do you do when a dog bites you and your face looks like a mask, <laugh>? That really happened. Not all details of the poem happened. Like we didn’t have a loft and I don’t know, um, she didn’t try to jump or maybe she, maybe Damon maybe my brother had bunk beds and she like tried to jump, but our dog did and he didn’t bite her nose right off, but he did. Or we had a dog who bit my sister’s nose and pretty badly and we gave the dog away.


My parents gave the dog away, which was sad cuz it was Damon’s dog and he was really, really sad. My brother. Anyway, <laugh> so, um, poetry, oh, because I remember this poem I wrote about shining perfectly. Like I took this poem, I printed, I remember printing it out and I ran it out to my parents to show them. And I can’t remember exactly what they said, but I remember that their reaction was not like effusive. Like, it wasn’t like, wow, demetry, this is really incredible and you’re such a talented poet and like this is your calling and this is an incredible poem. They were just like, oh, that’s nice. Or like something just like, not to the extent that I needed to know that it was actually really good. Like they didn’t seem like unbelievably impressed. I’m sure that they were not like that stupid. But I remember the feeling in my body was like disappointment to me. Like I felt disappointed. Like I was just like, oh, like they don’t, like I thought this was really good, but they don’t seem to think it’s really good. Like it’s not that good after all. And um, I think that that feeling


Like I put out two books of poetry that no one basically even knows about <laugh>. You can find ’em on Amazon, they’re still under demons. Um, but my, the books of poetry were like the things that were closest to my heart. But I did the same thing with like, I wrote them, I published them myself and I didn’t tell anyone about it until it was done. And then I was just like, hey, I was basically like one day like, hey, it’s done. And then never mentioned it again. <laugh>. And I think there’s this way that these pieces of my writing, like I’m so out there in a lot of other ways and I’m so comfortable talking and like teaching about a lot of different things. But there’s these places where


I like the most tender pieces, the things that mean the most to me. When I wrote my first book of poetry, it was because I was like, if I died and I hadn’t put this out, I would be upset. And I, it just, I realized it one day and I was like, I have to create this book. I had already been writing poetry for a while, just for myself. I never thought I would publish it. And then it became very clear that I was like, this is the only thing that matters to me. Like, if I don’t put this out, I will regret it. And I think I was on an airplane and I was like, if this plane crashes, like what will I regret? Like what will I feel like I hadn’t yet accomplished? And the only thing was like putting out poetry, this book of poetry. And um, yeah, it’s interesting cuz I re it’s always, I’ve always kept it to the side and I think I’ve kept it to the, to the side because it has been the most important things to be like, I think contend to protect the things that are the most tender.


And I think I’ve noticed myself, or I did notice myself wanting to do that with this book. Like to be like, this is the only thing I, and you know, this is not entirely true, but it feels like the only thing that’s ever mattered. Like it’s just like, this is like the most important thing I could ever do and there’s a way that like I’ve just found myself wanting to, to keep that hidden. And um, I don’t think that’s necessary. Like I don’t think that’s a true piece. I think it’s just, um, the protective piece. Um, but I’m gonna keep doing it. And <laugh>, um, the world did not end and I told my family that I was writing the book and <laugh>, um, yeah anyway, so the more I’ve been writing it, the more I’m like, I could keep it hit. Like I could not talk about it much. But I also think, um, it’s nice to be able to share the process of what it’s like to behind the scenes. And I, I also really like to chronicle things just like for myself, um, in the future. And right now I feel that the way that it’s felt so far, so now it’s been 17 days in a row of writing


Every day. And I think, um, that I haven’t had much resistance to the writing itself. It helps a lot to do it first thing in the morning. And I’m starting to develop this relationship between me and the book where it just feels like I show up for it and like, like I’m committed to it and I will go where it leads me to go. And I’ve also noticed that there’s a particular rhythm that I found, um, that changes day to day where some days I wake up and I start writing and I don’t feel like writing, but it still like pours out of me. Some days I feel really tired and it still pours out of me. Some days I feel great and it pours out of me. Some days I sit down and I just feel like it’s a lot harder. Like it just takes me a while. It takes me a lot longer to like, like I’ll just notice that like I write a sentence and then I kind of look out the window and then like I write a couple more sentences and like it’s just slower. Whereas on some days it might take me like 20 minutes.


Um, other days it takes me closer to an hour to write like the same amount of words. And I’ve started to really trust that like I’m, I don’t make it mean things like I’m just like, oh, today is, because no matter what happens, the writing still happens. Like no matter what it looks like the writing still happens. And so at the end of the time the writing is done. And often even on the days where it’s difficult to write, I find that sometimes it leads me to a really beautiful place. Like something comes out and I’m like, oh, I didn’t expect that at all. And so I’ve just started like I really, really trust it and I’ve always trusted my, like writing has just been my, my home forever, but I’ve never showed up for something as consistently like this. So this is really new for me and to like write a longer thing. And yeah, some days I write and I cry a lot, some days I write and like what I’m writing I would think would make me cry. But instead I feel really just like solid. It’s really strange. It’s definitely the beginning. And


I think too, it’s kind of strange to talk about cuz I just think it’ll be like many years probably before anyone gets to see it. Like I just think there will be a whole process of writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Like I just, um, yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see. And then my brain handle all these questions like, well then what do I do after that? Like what do I do after? Like what do I do when I’m done with the first draft? Like, and it’s just like, sh those questions don’t matter right now. <laugh> what matters is just to write the thing. So that’s what I’m doing. Um, yeah, anyway, um, let’s see, is there anything else to update you on real time, real life stuff?


I don’t think so. I’ve been on this, um, protocol I might have. I’m, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, um, with a woman, Laura Lyons I’m working with, she’s a nutritionist and um, we, she did all my labs back in. She’s, it must have been the end of September, but it took her a while to like get them back and then get them to me. And um, basically like she created a protocol, it’s not really, it’s not like a diet protocol, it’s like a, um, different supplements like minerals that I am low in and things like that. Like, like probiotics, bacteria, like things that are missing in my gut, stuff like that. And, um, she did all these tests. She’s phenomenal. Like the way that she, she sent me like an hour long video explaining all my results and it was really great. Um, and


I’m like two months into that just about and I’m just definitely like in the thick of, at first my body reacted really strongly. Um, and now a lot of that has settled, but I still have, um, I’ve gotten eczema from it, like everywhere. It’s really crazy. I’ve never had, I’ve had eczema at like different times in my life, but like usually just stress related it seems, but this is like, yeah, crazy. Um, so it seems like my body is likely clearing out a bunch of stuff. We’re kind of keeping an eye on it to see what’s happening. But definitely I’m in that and I, but I’ve been feeling really good. That’s the reason I mentioned that too. Cause I was gonna say that like in general I’ve been feeling a lot better I think in the last few weeks. Like I’ve, I just feel like I have a lot more energy most days if I sleep well, <laugh> my sleep is also because we’re like rebalancing my minerals and so some, like my sleep has been hit or miss for sure.


Um, and if I sleep, but I <laugh> so it kind of depends on my sleep. But even if I don’t sleep well, I still tend to like have a lot of, um, creative energy moving and writing the book has helped a lot, I think open a lot of that up. And I just feel, I feel I guess like more optimistic almost is the word. Like I, I think the last few months was really a lot for me to move through and I think I’ve landed in this place where I feel very like happy and free and a lot more like me.


So yeah. Anyway, <laugh>, that is a thorough life update. Um, yeah. Okay, <laugh>, if you want to stay connected, you can join my email list, that’s, uh, demetric grade.com/newsletter. And if you are already on there, I would really love, if one thing you could do is go and rate or review this podcast wherever you’re listening, if you could just go and hit the whatever it is, like the amount of stars that’s on your app or something, that would be incredible and that helps more people find the show. And that’s what I really want right now is to, to get this out to more people. Okay. Talk to you soon. That’s all for now. And I hope that you have a very beautiful ending to 2022.