I thought I’d take a different approach this week, since a common theme has surfaced time and time again recently: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
The Good: My beloved laptop did not have a meltdown, as I feared it might, while my young nieces played assistant and tapped, tapped, tapped away on my keyboard Monday night. I was fortunate to be able to work remotely during a quick trip to Florida, but man was I fearing the worst while they oohed and aahed over a non-touchscreen device.
The Bad: I did have a meltdown. A fatal flaw of mine is taking on the weight of the world, and it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. It’s part perfectionism, part insanity, but I can’t seem to let things go or let others “do” for me. This often manifests itself in my impatience and lack of trust, and sometimes, it gets so bad I go into full shutdown mode.
The Ugly: The emotions from said shutdown, plus from seeing my family for such a fleeting few days, made for quite the ugly cry. Thankfully, hugs from my nieces, comforting words from my mom, support from my brother and sister-in-law, and all-around love from extended family and friends helped me get through the worst of it. Just goes to show, no matter how old you are, your support system is everything.
Which of these smileys most closely fits your week? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s a good thing we’re halfway through May since it is thoroughly kicking my ass. Between visitors, work trips, dog-sitting, volleyball, volunteering and um, my day job, I am le tired.
I was a little depressed about being far from family on Mother’s Day weekend. And, I was “missing” an event due to the recent break-up. To say I was in a funk is an understatement. A hike up Lake Berryessa last weekend couldn’t have come at a better time.
And, let me tell you firsthand: This hike has no time for funk. It’s about 2.5 miles of switchbacks up the whole way. Not much shade, nowhere to hide. I seriously contemplated having my friends leave me to be eaten by vultures, but I persevered.
And boy, was the view worth it.
Full disclosure: It helped that we had the promise of wine and cheese and meat at a nearby winery after.
So the next time you’re dying on the side of a mountain (figuratively or literally), remember this view and how much the pain is worth it. If He brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it. Cheers to that!
It feels more common than ever where the week gets away from me and before I know it, a month or more has passed in the blink of an eye. It’s a good problem to have, overall, but I often find myself rushing from one thing to the next, rarely stopping to pause or reflect on what the heck I’ve done.
This week is no exception, as I’ve had a particularly packed few days and the most intense are yet to come. In the spirit of keeping a 350+ week streak going, though, here’s the earworm on repeat in this constant chaos of mine.
Until next week…
Buckle up, people. This week I’m on a rambling stream of consciousness while being raw, real and un-apologetically obsessed with these four finds:
- FinalStraw: The brainchild of a former colleague’s son is the world’s first collapsible and reusable straw. The campaign was trending on Earth Day and featured on BuzzFeed’s Facebook, so it’s no surprise they’ve exceeded their fundraising goal by more than 680%. But, they could still use any support — and couldn’t you use a nifty, Earth-friendly gadget?
- “I Want to Be Rich and I’m Not Sorry”: this NYT opinion piece and I felt the need to pay it forward to you. Jessica Knoll shares her definition of success. As a fellow writer, of course it resonated with me. But I think any woman can understand the confusion of “…conflicting messages of millennial womanhood: to be ambitious but never bossy, strong but skinny, honest but polite, supportive of my fellow sisters’ success while the culture gets off on girl fights.” Enjoy.
- A Sweet Treat: A mid-week and mid-afternoon slump is just about as good a reason as ever for a treat yo’self timeout. Luckily, my work husband is a certified genius and McDonald’s master: He bought a bunch of us the iconic Mickey D’s vanilla soft-serve and poured a bit of office coffee over them for makeshift affogatos. Delizioso! (Note: This photo is a stock image, not of the actual creation.)
“Whatever Makes You Happy” – Jennifer Hudson f. Juicy J: Although I abandoned “Empire” after season 2, I still regularly listen to the soundtracks of seasons’ past. This earworm has probably the most simple chorus of all time, but it hooks me nonetheless. It could be J. Hud’s powerhouse vocals or Juicy J’s swag, but I think you’ll find it equally as entrancing.
I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.
The fun part about being in meetings for five to seven hours of the workday means it flies by, often without even realizing how late in the day it is. Yeah, that’s the fun part.
- Coconut Oil: I feel a little bit like the dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” here when I champion how coconut oil is kind of a miracle cure. I’ve used it in the past to oil pull for whiter teeth, and a friend recently recommended it to heal a crispy sunburn. And with a nominal cost for a huge tub, I literally can’t get enough!
- Refinery 29 Money Diaries: To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. These peeks into anonymous women’s weekly spending is fascinating — they span all over the country (and some international locales), ranges of salaries, couples versus singletons, parents versus not, and so much more. Be warned, though: You will get hooked.
- “Crazy Rich Asians” – Kevin Kwan: With money on my mind, it’s no wonder I’ve fallen quickly in love with this fast read. The bestselling book will be released as a movie in August, so you have plenty of time to read it — and the subsequent two novels — before then. Enjoy!
- “Sorry Not Sorry” – Demi Lovato: This power anthem is yet another one for the breakup playlist, guys. I may not be turning into Demi anytime soon, but it’s a great reminder after heartbreak or even a friendship ending that you can stay true to yourself while still being strong.
Even though I read all day long as part of my job, I find myself grasping for more content to consume during my downtime. Whether it’s a rainy bus ride or relaxing before bed, I’ve been voraciously reading more long-form articles and novels than usual. For example…
- “Who Does She Think She Is?”: Acclaimed author Laurie Penny wrote this essay and I hope you’ll take the time to read it. Spoiler alert for my favorite passage: “…any woman … must find a way to dress which is neither too conservative nor too revealing, not too frumpy nor too frivolous, a way of speaking which is neither ‘aggressive’ nor simpering … It’s almost as if the problem weren’t the behavior or the voice or the clothes but the woman wearing them.” DAMN.
- “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma”: You’ve likely seen this essay from renowned author Junot Diaz shared among your social networks already, so I’m not breaking any ground here by reminding you to again, take the time to read it. The detail and decades of masked pain are heartbreaking and infuriating and excruciating all at once.
- “Keep Your Head Up”: Some co-workers were discussing addiction to technology via smartphones and other devices, when one mentioned this article from NYT contributor Adam Popescu. Granted, you have to read it on a device, but the irony was not lost on us. As much as I love the ability to FaceTime family and stay connected to loved ones, it’s also eye-opening to see what physical damage we’re causing on a daily basis.
- Mark Zuckerberg on SNL: When you need a break from all that weight of the world, this Weekend Update bit from SNL is sure to win. My work husband used it against me in a meeting today and I full on had a giggle fit in front of 20 people. So yeah, you could say it’s a good one. POKE!