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YESCESSARY - A Newsletter



Hello, hello!


How’s it going these days? I hope your summer has been full of play and wonderful pauses. The fam and I saw a double rainbow a few weeks ago. What a treat. I dig symbolism, so to save you a search, let me tell you that a double rainbow signifies transition, personal growth, evolution. I took it as a sign and have been renovating my life since. New morning routine, dedicated time for mediation, walking more, asking for what I need, drinking green juice. I’m hoping I can bring the beauty and energy of that twofer rainbow with me for the rest of the year because it spurred me in a way I haven’t felt before. I feel healthier. I feel more in control. And I’m finally here writing my newsletter. New beginnings are just rad.


Thank you for spending a little time with me. Some of you know me, and for those that don’t, I can change that pretty quickly.


I’m Andrea Griffith, a.k.a. AG. a TV executive and writer based in Toronto, Canada. I’m stoked to be doing a newsletter finally, something my dear friend Angie and writing partner said I should do six years ago.


Oh time. Things take time.


Let’s start with a simple proviso. I’m not here to jam up your inbox. God-willing, I’m aiming to crank out one of these once a month with the moments I steal when I push out pockets of time for myself and just write.


I’ve decided to start my own newsletter to have an outlet for my writing and ideas. And because I’m a sharer, I’m putting Yescessary out there to whomever I can loop into my gravitational pull because there may be something that resonates with you, helps you, entertains you or just makes coming to my perpetually sunny, always summer spot worth it.


Here’s what I’m going to cover in this newsletter:


  • AG + Newsletter Intro - I’m serving up backstory, so this newsletter will be longer than future ones

  • 1 Idea - an explanation of yescessary

  • 2 Yescessaries - two tips on how I get my sugar together

  • 3 (+) - things I’m saying “yes” to right now


AG + NEWSLETTER INTRO


A little more on me: I’m an all-in executive producer for television, writer and storyteller. I work across genres, but the bulk of my experience has been in lifestyle series - home reno, home design, food; those addictive, easy watch, feel-good shows.


I’m also a wife and Mom of two; a smooch on the lips, hold hands before we go to bed, big Sunday dinner, decadent sundae-making Mom.


I’m up to my eyeballs every day in requests, responsibilities, meetings, beat sheets, screening cuts, reading scripts, giving notes, follow ups, meal-planning, dates with an elliptical, plus all the other mores.


My husband wakes up with the birds and supports big time at home. He’s the Scrabble marathoner, hockey coach, drop off/pick up lead, midnight laundry fairy, while I’m the family chef, adverb enforcer, stylist, and booking agent. So many more roles in our family script, but that’s the gist.


Here’s why I’m writing a newsletter: a few years ago, things were messy chez nous. After my second kidlet was born, Step (my husband) and I were not lockstep. Managing two kids was a shock to our everything. We were not functioning as a team, and neither of us were up for Miss Congeniality.


I was in love with my baby girl, but it was a trying, stressful time. I didn’t know how to balance my incredibly demanding job as a network executive and be a Mom of two. And the new baby didn’t sleep AT ALL. She was awake seven to eleven times a night (I counted!), every night for years. Thinking about how we got through still makes me wobble.


On a stroller ride one morning, an idea floated into my brain. I’m a lifestyle producer - why don’t I produce my own lifestyle? Bingo bango. I started making observations about what I do at work producing and overseeing hit shows and started to transfer them to home. If I could nail process, support talent, and foster great ideas in television, why couldn’t I bring my boss sauce home?


When I started to write and keep better track of things, home life got a bit smoother.


This newsletter is where I will share what we do to produce our family in hopes that what works for us might be helpful for you. We’re all in our own life story. If that’s the case, then why not produce it? Make it more efficient, more entertaining, make it a hit show that you want to star in.


I thought for this first go at a newsletter, I’d dive a bit deeper into Yescessary; what it means to me, how I try to live by it, how it reminds me that life is full of bumpy, stressful, chin knock, Olivia Rodrigo lyric moments, but at the end of the day, I’ve decided to always look for lightness in this glorious, romp-filled life.


When I decided to mash up TV producing and life at home - I finally admitted that work-life balance was a crock for me. And now with hybrid work and work-life lines blurred, figuring out how to keep my sugar together (or separated) is my biggest challenge.


What I’ve settled on is that I should feel balanced.


I’m a surfer catching a wave every day. I think. I’ve never surfed before, but it’s got to be exhilarating when you’re that brilliantly balanced. Admittedly, most of the time my board is tipped towards work, but I still want to feel like I’m ok, my family is ok, that I’ve had some time for me, my activities, my creativity, time for early morning, slice of sun on my face dreamwork. And ideally my peeps have had the same- time for themselves, time for their activities, time for their creativity.

So, I came up with a word to validate what I do for my three besties - me, myself and I.


Which leads us directly into…


1 IDEA - Yescessary (what the heck is yescessary?)


A yescessary is what I choose to do (buy, read, watch, ingest) to make me feel balanced.


It’s beyond what is necessary like water, sleep, food, shelter, let’s add love there because I’m squishy like that. It’s the big things and little things I do for myself to feel better and make life run a bit more smoothly.


It’s what I say “yes” to for a more balanced, calmer, richer life.


When faced with the mongo mound that is my to-do list, yescessary is how I prioritize. It’s my collab, my work x life philosophy. I try my best every day to do what works for me. After all these years, I’m still learning about me, and still figuring things out.


A yescessary can be a ritual, a practice, or an activity you do to make you feel like your truest self. It can be a cute pair of jeans. It can be the jalapeno and mint-infused margarita I had at lunch the other day when I was out with the gals. Being loose, being spontaneous, rolling with it, is part of feeling balanced, too.


Yescessaries don’t have to be a big activity or practice, they can be a very simple thing you do.


You probably have some you use already. Singing. Sketching. Meditation. Going for a run. Calling your family members. Walking your dog. Hitting the clearance section of your favourite home goods store. No judgies. I’m there with you.


I came up with a word for what makes me feel great because I spent some time thinking on it.


Even though I’m loose with yescessary and have fun with how I use it, I took a beat to reflect and identify what actually works for me.


I landed on my big yescessaries by doing gentle self-excavation. I walked into a soulful conversation with myself with curiosity and care. And I took my time. Things take time.


I like to lob concepts in my mind and juggle them for a while. These are the questions I kept with me for a month or so to figure out what works for me:


  • What makes me feel calm?

  • What healthy activities are my stress relievers?

  • What activity, ritual, practice causes me stress if I don’t engage in it?

  • What activity can I do for a good spell of time that lights me up inside?

  • What brings me joy?

  • What activity am I grateful for?

  • What activity brings me closer to my truest self?

  • What actually works for me?


If you decide to spend some (or more) time in the coming weeks to think on what actually and truly works for you (not what you’ve been told works), promise me you’ll have fun with it! Be loose with it. Do a little time travel.


There may be an activity you used to do that you can pick up again. Sometimes we need to remember ourselves. Or maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do. Like archery. Or calligraphy. Don’t take my list. That would be lazy. Smart, but still lazy.


2 YECESSARIES – 2 Tips on how I get my sugar together


This is the section where I’ll share what’s in my idea log. I’ve been keeping track of what works for me and my family for years and I’m ready to share.


I KEEP A DREAM DAY OFF LIST

I tend to take a few treat weekdays off here and there, just for me. I find a cozy spot to write for a bit and then explore somewhere local. But there was always an issue. I was too busy to plan it. I’m usually so slammed leading up to my rare and wonderful day off, that the day would come and I’d be frozen with indecision. And then, I’d feel pressure. What do I do? How do I, Ms. Planner McPlanner, not have a plan?

And sure, it’s fine to free-for-all it and roam about, but I’m not great at that. There are so many places in this fabulous city that I actually want to experience and see. The solve: I started a running “Dream Day Off” list in my phone. When I see a place I want to check out (art exhibit, cool new store, restaurant) I pop it on the list. Now I have plenty of potential plans to choose from. Chau pressure. I choose pleasure.


I BARELY BACK TO SCHOOL SHOP

I still get giddy about back to school. Tingles in the stomach, fast-talking, too many interrogatives, all caps EXCITED. You noticed this about me. I love that new beginning, new chapter, new challenge jazz.


I used to buy the kids a few outfits before school started. New strategy: N.U.H. Shortened nuh-uh. Also my reminder - Not Until the Holidays.


Aside from them not really needing anything, it just gets to be too much. By the time the holidays roll around, we have too many tees, too many jeans, and weird stuff my Mom buys that she’s thinks is cute. Then, the holiday deluge. Now, I barely buy, and we get by until the holidays. That’s when I ask for any wardrobe top-ups if family members are looking for gift ideas. Parent win, Grandparent win, closet win. N.U.H.


3 (+) THINGS I’M SAYING YES TO RIGHT NOW


I love poetry, write poetry and need it in my life always. I’m reading this one by Toronto poet, Sabina Benaim. And am also delighting in feeling like I’m actually in Kentucky with Ada Limón.

My sis got me back on coconut water and I swear I’m part sommelier, part bloodhound and will sip and sniff different brands until I settle. I’m digging the flavour profile and calorie count of this yummy one.


Homemade popsicles are our faves. I always think the kids will get involved in experimenting and playing mix up with me. Nope. They’re all about the final product. Fine by me. I finally got the right size from this brand. And game changer: banana nectar.


My skin loves the sun, my hair does not. I swear it’s drier in the summer since it’s not stuffed in a hat. It’s got shine and a little more moisture now because of new cream.


I’m all about off-season shopping because that’s where the real deals are. Snapped this dress up half price. I look like an Ewok with the hood up, but I will ROCK this come Fall.


Before I say adieu, I have three key people to thank for sticking with me as I finally got my sugar together and got this newsletter published. Rochelle Kaminsky for her patience and brilliant design of the newsletter and website, the uber-talented Olivia O’Young for my sweet profile pics, and my soul sister, Marni Goldman, for her eagle eye edit review. Hugs and blessings to you three.


That’s it for this newsletter! I’m so deeply grateful to be starting something I’ve always wanted to do.


Thank you for being along for the ride. This is truly my joyful, fun experiment.


We’ll see what next month brings. Wishing you an effortless transition into Fall, more beautiful sunshine, a twofer rainbow of your own, and time for what’s yescessary.


Until,

xoAG



1 commentaire


angelaj999
03 sept. 2022

Love this, Andrea! And I fully lol’d … could hear your voice and laughter as I read it. Congratulations!! ❤️😘

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