10 THINGS I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT – BRIDGET WILLIAMS
Who hasn’t read a Sophisticated Living travel article and dreamed of living the life of Bridget Williams? A self-professed hodophile, Bridget’s adventures across the globe have excited the wanderlust in readers across the country for more than twenty years. A native of greater Cincinnati, Bridget began her career in the non-profit sector before co-founding Sophisticated Living in 2003.
The magazine has since grown to encompass editions in seven cities: Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, Indianapolis, Nashville, and St. Louis. Bridget also serves as the editorial director for the common content across all seven markets, and her name is familiar to loyal Sophisticated Living readers as the byline for stories on travel, wine, fashion, and more.
Currently living in Louisville, when she’s not writing or traveling, she spends time learning a foreign language or a new instrument, dreams of living abroad with her fiance after their 2024 wedding, and enjoys taking frequent work-from-home breaks to play chase with her bulldog.
Purpose – Obviously, working in publishing forces me to be deadline-driven, but even outside of this, I always need to know that I am working or training for “something.” The wisdom of getting older has shown me that while I have a propensity for perpetual motion without a purpose, I am just spinning my wheels.
My people (and pets!) – I do not need to run in a large pack, so my circle is small but strong, and those inside it are my life’s greatest treasure.
Exercise – I’ve played sports my entire life, but it took my younger sister besting me in a 5k race in grade school to ignite a passion for pushing my limits through running and exercise. On those days when nothing seems to be going my way, exercise is a salve for my soul; feeling myself get stronger, faster, or just making it through a workout is enough to remind me that I can tackle any adversity that comes my way.
Music – Although I can’t carry a tune, I sing constantly, often making up my own lyrics for familiar songs to suit a given situation, such as the daily ditties I’d come up with on the fly for years to wake up my daughter before school. My 15-year-old dog is even in on the action; although his hearing is failing, somehow, a few bars of the “snuggletime” song we made up when he was a puppy sends him scampering off to bed. Songs are my memory keepers, transporting my thoughts to specific moments in time.
A sense of adventure and continuous curiosity – On a family summer camping trip to the Grand Tetons during grade school, I vividly recall dipping my toes into the freezing waters of Jenny Lake, pointing to one of the mountaintops, and telling my dad I wanted to see “what’s up there.” He indulged my curiosity, and we hiked up from the forest floor until we came upon a shady spot still packed with snow, where we gleefully slid around in shorts and t-shirts. To this day, the symbolic mystery of what lies atop mountains and the magic that can happen when you dare to find out fuels my wanderlust.
Kindness – One of my fiancé’s many endearing traits is complimenting strangers as we go about the ordinary activities of our day. Whether it’s a barista’s unique tattoo or a parking attendant’s “fabulous” ‘do, seeing someone’s eyes light up during what would normally be another umpteenth mundane interaction is a reminder that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Little indulgences – From my daily after-lunch white chocolate Reese’s Cup to feel-good shoes and clothing purchases (but only if they’re on sale!), I firmly believe creating your own moments of joy is imperative.
A big closet – Closely related to fully embracing #7.
DIY Projects – I love the process of creation, and not having any true artistic skills, but lots of creative juices, I’ve turned my 150-year-old home into an evolving canvas based on a more is better philosophy. And while these projects have had varying degrees of success, I always love the feeling of satisfaction that comes with seeing an idea – however wacky it may be – through to completion, particularly when it involves learning a new skill set.
Time outside – Even if it’s a five-minute barefoot walk in the backyard, I never underestimate the positive impact of fresh air to clear my head and lift my mood.