Live Well: Ira Glass on Life

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Two weeks ago, my husband sent me this Lifehacker interview with Ira Glass to cheer me up on a Monday. It worked. Not only did it confirm what I’ve believed for over a decade now (that Ira Glass is awesome), it gave me a new mantra.

While I think there are several interesting points in the article, by far my favorite piece was the last question/answer:

“Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?

I’d just say to aspiring journalists or writers—who I meet a lot of—do it now. Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a f**king soldier about it and be tough.”

“Be a f**king soldier about it.” Forget the fact that this advice is aimed at those pursuing journalism – that’s the mantra we need for SO many things in life.

 I particularly loved that quote because it reflected my own attitude so perfectly in the early days of this blog. Back when I opened this little corner of the internet, I was dragging myself day in and day out to a job that I couldn’t stand. And it’s not just that it had some of the typical trappings of bad jobs – unpredictable hours, questionable management, and a WAY overinflated sense of importance – it was just boring. There were days where I would go hours without having anything to work on. I would say I exerted pretty minimal effort about 95% of the time.

While experiencing all this, I constantly felt like a complete waste of space. The type of stress I encountered was of the deep-seated, gnawing variety – I wondered incessantly where my life was going, if I was going to be stuck in this professional rut forever, if I was just a thoroughly average, boring person.

And then I decided to do something about it.

I committed to writing this blog five days a week, every week. For an entire year, I wrote on Christmas, on vacation, in the middle of the night when I came home from work (or parties) late. I realized that doing that kind of work is what made me feel worthwhile. It gave me a purpose, of sorts.

I didn’t start this blog to become a famous blogger. Let’s face it, that was never in the cards. But I started writing it to get me somewhere, and that somewhere arrived when I interviewed and landed my job at shopkick, a job that I love and that teaches me something new every day.

You would think all of these things would make me sad and embarrassed about the current state of this blog. My posting frequency has tapered off to being inconsistent at best. Even when I do post, I frequently forget to share it on Facebook…so hardly anybody sees it.

But honestly, I don’t feel bad.

This blog was, other than my marriage, my lifeblood for well over a year. So much work went into these pages. But I’ve realized that life isn’t about being a soldier at one thing all the time. It’s about being a soldier at AT LEAST one thing at all times. For awhile, that thing was this blog. These days, that thing is my job, going to the gym regularly, spending more time with friends, and, most importantly, taking time every night to relax and spend time with my husband. All of these things calm me down and make me happy. And I’ve reached the point where writing this blog can be the happy filler in between those happy activities.

Someday, writing posts every day may make an ascent back up my list of priorities. That’s a definite possibility. But for now, if it’s okay with you, I’m not going to let this blog be a source of guilt. I’m going to continue to write only when I have something to say. I know that’s the best way to keep it as one of the most unexpected sources of joy in my life – the place where I’ve gotten so much closer to all of you who read what I write here. I cherish that more than anything.

Is there a part of your life that you currently find unsatisfying? If so, I suggest you take the Ira Glass approach – find what you love, and be a f**king soldier about it. You won’t regret it.

Live Well: BRB, Watching True Detective…

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Hey guys – I know I’ve been a terribly inconsistent blogger as of late.

And to be honest, I don’t have a great excuse for that inconsistency. I mean, yes, I am dealing with crazy work schedules/social events/a desire to regularly attend the gym, all of which cut into my blogging time. But really I’ve been so bad so far this week because we finally, FINALLY got around to watching True Detective

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to start watching the show – a few things I had read/heard suggested that maybe it wasn’t all that enjoyable. They. Were. Wrong. In retrospect, the fact that I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon for this show is completely perplexing for three simple reasons:

Exhibit A: Matthew McConaughey

Exhibit B: Filmed in the South

Exhibit C: It’s a murder mystery

And (bonus) Exhibit D: Getting to watch Woody Harrelson be charming on screen for the first time since I was obsessed with Cheers in middle school

I mean, seriously…how did I not realize that this show was custom-made for my enjoyment? Detective books have always been my thing: when I was a kid, I LOVED Nancy Drew. Later on, I graduated to Agatha Christie’s body of work, and recently have been a major fan of Tana French. True Detective is the best television extension of those types of books that I have ever seen.

Additionally, I have to once again hand it to Matthew McConaughey for doing an incredible job transforming himself and being an integral part of yet another interesting work about life in the South. Thanks to all the astounding work he’s done recently in BernieMudDallas Buyers Club, and now True Detective (and even Magic Mike!), I will go see ANYTHING that he’s in (a level of fandom that I don’t give our lightly). This performance has me hoping that he’ll beat out Bryan Cranston for the Emmy win…but let’s keep that a secret, lest the Breaking Bad uber fans decide to come after me :)

If you’ve been on the fence about watching True Detective, I urge you to give it a shot. It’s thoughtful, suspenseful, beautifully shot, and only requires eight hours of your time, all in. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are both spectacular in it. And while the mystery’s subject matter can be tough (the murder of women and children) they manage to approach it in a way that never makes you feel like you’re watching a movie based on a Stephen King novel.

We finished the last episode of the series late last night. I wish that meant that I will be immediately back on the blogging bandwagon, but I’m going to be at an overnight company retreat tomorrow and Friday sans internet access, so you won’t be hearing from me the rest of this week! I’ll be back next week – I promise!

Dress Well: Sunday Dinners

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Super old tank (no idea where it was from originally), J. Crew tank layered underneath (old), Paige Denim jeans, Chie Mihara wedges, Old necklace, J. Crew pavé bracelet, J. Crew bangles, Anthropologie bag, Ray-Ban sunglasses

Y’all – it was WARM this weekend. It was warm and sunny enough this past weekend to cause me to get sunburned in all kinds of weird patterns – on my wrists (???), on my shoulders, on the tip of my nose, on my knees. Being exposed to that kind of sun is so rare for us San Francisco dwellers that I almost feel like I spent the past two days on a beach vacation – I mean, there was no swimming, and no bathing suits, but….it was close enough.

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DSC_5146There were multiple moments this past weekend where I stopped, looked around, and dedicated a few seconds to thinking, “does it GET any better than this?” The first time was when I was reading up on my roof on Saturday afternoon – the sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and I had a beautiful panorama view of San Francisco. Seriously – what’s better than that? The second time I had that same thought, I was running the Lyon Street steps, getting to the top, basking in the breezy 75 degree weather, and looking out over the San Francisco Bay.

When I wasn’t admiring my surroundings, I was enjoying time, meals, and laughs with my husband or friends. It was truly a weekend for the record books – low-stress, high happiness, and gorgeous in every minute. How did I get so lucky?

Hopefully you had a similarly wonderful weekend. ‘Til the next one…