My Sweet Dumb Brain

Katie Hawkins-Gaar
A newsletter about facing life's ups and downs, all while being kind to yourself.
Created 29 May 2019
  • Reflections on a lonely year
    14 Dec 2021 • 7 min read • 12 7
    Everyone’s experience of loss is different. And yet, there are a few universal bits of advice that get passed around grief groups—pieces of hard-earned wisdom that are generally agreed upon. One of th...
  • How a panic attack opened my eyes
    07 Dec 2021 • 6 min read • 8 13
    Last week, driving home from a rare errand, I had a panic attack. There wasn’t one specific thing that sparked the event; it was a combination of triggers. I drove past a multi-car accident and multip...
  • For your sweet dumb brain: Looking ahead
    03 Dec 2021 • < 1 min read • 7 2
    Publishing Tuesday’s essay, which was about the choices that Billy and I have made as a result of the pandemic and the consequences of our cautiousness, felt like lifting a great weight off my should…...
  • We're still here
    30 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 13 10
    At my last full-time job, we had a monthly tradition of acknowledging employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries. When birthdays were announced, everyone would shout, “Happy!” When someone’s work ann...
  • Throwback: Gratitude is easy when life is good
    23 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 7 0
    Hi friends, It's Thanksgiving week for those of us in the United States. While I acknowledge the dark history of this holiday—it was not a celebratory feast between Pilgrims and Indians, as popular cu...
  • For your sweet dumb brain: Light finds a way
    19 Nov 2021 • < 1 min read • 4 0
    In Tuesday’s essay, I shared the story of the high-heeled shoe full of green M&M’s, a moment of lightness and levity in an otherwise dark time. I wrote that the gifts I’ve received during times of so…...
  • We can’t grieve all the time
    16 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 16 15
    Eight years ago this week, my husband Jamie and I came home to discover a high-heeled shoe full of green M&M’s on our front porch. It was the best thing ever. Also eight years ago this week, my dad pa...
  • How to focus and get shit done
    09 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 15 10
    I am a person who gets a lot done. This is something I know about myself and that other people tend to comment on. If I agree to do something, it’s going to happen. For the most part, I consider this ...
  • For your sweet dumb brain: I wish I knew how to quit you
    05 Nov 2021 • < 1 min read • 7 7
    A few weeks ago, a reader described My Sweet Dumb Brain as “a slow-rolling memoir,” a story that’s happening in real time. I loved this description, and it also made me pause. Memoirs are usually wri…...
  • The awkwardness of being off social media
    02 Nov 2021 • 6 min read • 12 28
    In early July, around the same time I took a break from writing this newsletter, I decided to delete Instagram and Twitter from my phone. Every time I opened a social media app—which was often—I’d ine...
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