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It’s been almost six months since I wrote. Many things have calmed down since then. We moved into our beautiful and cozy apartment in Long Island City – a neighborhood that we love. Joey studied for and passed the NY bar exam. I got a new doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering and I feel very cared for and safe there. I have gotten back to work. I choreographed a new piece that premiered in April, I published my first scholarly article in the Media-N journal, I had a couple of other small pieces come out, and I revised a chapter for a mellon seminar on dance studies. Slowly, things are picking up pace. We feel like we’ve arrived. Finally.

Yet, of course there are still unknowns. I still have moments of fear over my health that I try to manage with deep breathing. I am still not working as much as I’d like and it’s unclear how that working will manifest itself in a career. I try my best to be in the moment, but sometimes I find that incredibly difficult.

One thing that helps me is to have a calming body routine. To cook good foods, have a clean house, get dressed in outfits that make me feel good, and have a beauty ritual. I’ve often been comforted by a good beauty ritual. When I was a sophomore in college and I was struggling with a hip injury I overhauled my eating habits, focused on yoga, and became obsessed with Burt’s Bees natural makeup, lotions, and the like. When I was in France and learning to be comfortable on my own I whitened my teeth, got a new haircut, and found perfume that I loved from L’Occitane. When I lived in NYC for the first time I became macrobiotic and experimented with styling my hair and dressing like a New Yorker. Graduate school was all about the nails – manicures, pedicures, painting my own nails. And then when it was time for us to get married I was back to makeup, this time focusing on Jane Iredale’s organic makeup and Tarte from Sephora.

It seems that different beauty rituals mark different moments in my life. This time, cancer has brought me to a place where a good beauty routine feels just right. Now, it’s even more about the natural. Long soaks in the tub, of course. But here are some other staples:

Occasionally I’ll still pull out my Jane Iredale and Tarte cosmetics to primp, but it’s been pretty au natural these days. Some things I’d still like to try include: