March Bookmart post, two people in conversation | Karst Stone Paper

Care and Growth: Nurture relationships this March

It's easy to get caught up in all our appointments and start taking for granted the relationships in our lives. A lot of folks treat work as serious business, but let their focus take a backseat in their relationships. As we mark one year since "coronavirus" came into the modern lexicon, let's take some time this month to truly consider our important relationships.

Our newest monthly theme, "Nurture Relationships" was borne out of an unfortunate trend many experienced globally beginning in March of 2020. In the new era of WFH, learning and navigating the competing responsibilities of work, family, children, pets, and partners make it all the more difficult to manage when they all occur under one roof. And we must acknowledge the stark reality that millions have lost loved ones in the past year. As we round out a year of living in a COVID world, we hope March will be just one of many moments where we check-in and honour the relationships we have with ourselves, as well as our loved ones.

The definition of nurture: "care for and protect [someone] while they are growing". We love the idea that nurturing our relationships takes place "while they are growing," meaning they are living, growing things. We hope the 'cool stuff' for this month serve as a jumping-off point for putting some well-deserved care and attention to our important relationships.

Revisiting and reconsidering our Key Questions

In addition to this month's key questions from our Monthly Focus, we want to raise some thoughtful questions and prompts that will help prime you to make meaningful progress:

  • Who is someone you've never fully expressed your appreciation for? What are you waiting for?
  • Who in your life considers you a priority, and are they a priority to you? Have your recent actions honoured this relationship?
  • When has been a time where you've communicated poorly and harmed a relationship? Have you resolved this?
  • Is there someone you've lost that you can honour in some way even after they are gone? What small gestures would bring them joy?
  • Is there a relationship you would like to leave in the past? What can you do now to bring yourself some closure?

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Some things to ponder from our team

While we may have hundreds of acquaintances, most people have around 5 close, intimate relationships. According to Robin Dunbar, human brains have a processing limit on the number of meaningful relationships they can keep track of. So don't stress if you forgot to wish all your Facebook friends "Happy Birthday!"

Therapy can be extremely helpful, but also daunting to some. If you might be in need of family counseling or couples therapy and you're a little hesitant, listen to Ester Perel's podcasts, Where Should We Begin? and How's Work?. Esther, a therapist, author and speaker asks the pointed and confronting questions we need to hear. While "Where Should We Begin" tackles romantic relationships, "How's Work?" tackles many iterations of different dynamics at/around work: co-founders, employee/boss, siblings. You might find some questions applicable to your own life, or find these are the nudge you needed to seek help yourself.

For most of us who are in, have been in, or want an intimate romantic relationship, it's common to feel "not ready". Like we must work on ourselves silently and diligently until we finally reach a moment of where we are ready to reveal our cultivated and perfected selves to the universe. For those people, we bring you two articles from a The Outline (quickly becoming one of our favourite publications!): "I’m still in therapy. Should I be dating?" and (spoiler alert!) "There is no such thing as being ready for love."

Among books, there are far too many self-help and wellness books on the topic of relationships. Instead, we leave you with a good, kinda-related read (creative non-fiction!) that makes you think: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. Called a book about "love and its fruits: both the falling in love and the maintaining of affection, devotion, tenderness. It is about love and marriage, motherhood, pregnancy, birth and family-making."

Sometimes we just need to spend time together to nurture our relationships. But what to do? A growing trend, "conversation cards," might be the way to go to prompt discussions & debates with our loved ones. Kalina Silverman's "Big Talk" cards and Flex Factory's "Conversation Cards" are our top picks!

Any resources that inspire you? Share them with us on Instagram!