Monday, February 19, 2024

May 2/3rds Come True

Sounds goofy doesn't it? I was listening to Trevor Noah's podcast What Now? - the Grammy's behind the scenes episode. One of Trevor's pals said he tells people that he hopes 2/3rds of their dreams come true. 

Why? 2/3rds is better than half, it's still most of your dreams. Also, not having 1/3rd of your dreams done (yet) means that you can still chase those remaining dreams without seeming insane. 

Their words, not mine, but it's definitely stuck in my head. Partial credit, if you will, for where you are right now, and motivation to keep moving forward.

It's a great episode, especially if you love awards shows :-) but if you want to skip to this specific discussion, start at the 23 minute mark.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Distraction Action

Aren't these beads gorgeous? The are handmade glass by Kerry Bogert. They're even more precious because she's not making beads right now. I was looking for something in my office and saw them, literally bright shiny objects catching my attention. My imagination lept ahead to a project - disassemble these pieces and put them into a single long necklace so that I can better enjoy the colors while wearing them. 

This is classic distraction action. It's a new term I learned on the Faith Adjacent podcast (the NOs of Resolutions episode, starting at about 28 minutes in, to be precise :-)). In the podcast, Jamie shares the sage advice from her therapist to assess actions as necessary, or action (no matter how valid) that is a distraction from a more important task.

I realize it is rarely clear what is the most important action and what is really a distraction (I mean, who wouldn't want a new necklace with these pretty beads?) but alas, there is other stuff I should be doing right now. But I'll get back to this project soon, for sure!


Monday, January 8, 2024

The Best Resolution

I have a love hate relationship with new years resolutions and also the first half of January. Dark, gray, party-less, blech.  I used to find putting away the Christmas decorations and the weird emptiness left where the Christmas tree used to be kind of a bummer. But for some reason I am digging it this year. I love the lack of clutter and sudden spaciousness around the house. 

After a fun couple of weeks with loved ones, it's definitely very quiet. But I am appreciating the mental white space to make plans, and to really think. Between now and December 31st, 2024, what will that look like? 

The list is long, and probably unattainable, but a wise woman I know said that purpose and follow through were more important than perfection. It's such a simple idea, but it has really stuck amongst the many open tabs in my brain. It's permission to start and to finish, without worrying if the result will be perfect.

Now, go!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Lessons and Laughter

We just got back from visiting Yosemite National Park. It’s stunning, and actually very accessible if you’re traveling with babies or parents that aren’t up for hiking El Capitan.

Talk of Yosemite on our family zoom brought up a memory from my mom and aunt about taking my dad’s and aunt’s parents to Yosemite when my mom and dad were first married. Travel and the outdoors was more of my mom’s family interests, but my dad’s parents?  Not so much. Apparently the overnight in the tent cabins was a bit of a disaster and tears were involved. It was a treasure for me to hear the story from the before-me times. 

There are lessons to be learned, even now:

- If you can laugh at what seemed like a disaster, then maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. And maybe applying that lens to my own minor disasters  (like those sneaky negative memories that wake you up at night randomly?) would be a good way to reframe things.

- One disaster does not a relationship make. My mom had a great relationship with my dad’s parents, and my brother and I very much benefited. I’m so glad their Yosemite trip wasn’t allowed to do permanent damage.

- Everyone doesn’t have to like everything their family and friends are in to. My grandparents, parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles and my own kids love, enjoy and excel at very different things. And I am richer for it.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Goals, Time and New Projects

Perfectionism gets a bad wrap, right up there with micro managing, but The Perfectionist's Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power by Katherine Morgan Schafler dismantles the negatives as a way to help relieve stress and use the power of perfectionism for good in your life.

Schafler defines 5 types of perfectionism and one is me to a T: "Messy perfectionists are in love with starting...nothing brings a messy perfectionist more joy than beginnings. Messy perfectionists are optimistic and start happy but they struggle to maintain momentum unless the remainder of the process feels as exciting and as energizing as it did in the beginning...their's are the Instagram profiles featuring half a dozen vague and grossly unrelated job descriptions in the bio." Ouch. Note, I used to use emojis in my Instagram profile so I could fit in more words - ha!

There is hope for me though. "Messy perfectionists take over the world when they learn how to channel their enthusiasm into single, intentional missions they can execute in dynamic ways."

I am a 50-something empty nester, and have way too many ideas with what to do in this third act of my life. Here's to paring it down to something reasonable and achievable!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

There's More Room

I love a good story about someone choosing their own way. As someone who often feels like a square peg in a round hole world, I admire those that lean in to their individualism with confidence. 

You should check out the September 9 article in the Wall Street Journal, "Dressing Like a 1950s Housewife Is Not Just for ‘Trad Wives’: Bright-red lipstick, curled hair, high heels, full skirts: Feminists and ‘trad wives’ alike are embracing the midcentury look". Some women interviewed like the mid-century style because it's an un-ironic expression of their conservative values. But most interviewed just liked the how the style looked and enjoyed thrifting and sewing their outfits -- "it was “rude to assume” anything about their values based on how they dress." 

The end of the article is really what got my attention, though: “Why can’t I have a career and still wear pink sundresses? Why can’t I be a feminist and still want to stay home with my children?” she said. “Why is there no more room to be more than just one thing?”

I couldn't agree more. 

You should check out two women I admire who are exceptional creators of their own looks while also having many other roles: @flashbacksummer and @janinekspendlove.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Don't Press the Bruise

When I have a morning to myself, I'll flip on the Today show while I eat breakfast and read the paper. Very old school. But occasionally in the background noise a gem pops out, like the interview August 29th with author Michelle Icard about her new book, 8 Setbacks That Can Make a Child a Success

I haven't read the book, and my kids are pretty much adults now, but her steps for getting through and growing from failure would apply to just about any phase of life: Contain, Resolve and Evolve. 

- Contain: Do whatever it takes to limit further damage

- Resolve: Take action to fix the wound, not just stop it from bleeding

- Evolve: Deliberately start to put failure in the rearview mirror

Another way to say evolve? Don't press the bruise. 

Oh man, if only I had heard this years ago. My poor children. In my worry and in an effort to know that we had weathered some storm, I am sure I asked 1,000,000 times how things were going with whatever the issue was. I wish I had done more to keep that to myself. Luckily they are pretty awesome and turned out ok anyway - ha!

For those still in the thick of middle and high school, I highly recommend following Michelle Icard on Facebook and Instagram.