Tag Archives: boston

Scenes from Saturday + Brass & Burritos

Sometimes I wonder why I still write these posts each Sunday. I’ve certainly been doing it long enough that it is an ingrained habit. I’m not trying to establish anything.

But is it giving me energy or deadening my spirit?

Repeating something can often mean looking backward. That doesn’t always feel productive. That would be soul killing. The constant second-guessing and what-if’s.

I realized being consistent and making slow, steady progress isn’t all about streaks or optimizing my time it’s about coming back.

The key part of a habit for me is to help you return but also find something new. A practice is built on the movement of return. Even if it’s a just a new way to joke about glitter or Michelle repairing the house.

There’s energy for me in that.

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Scenes from Saturday + Rain & Ducks

We are past Quitter’s Day and admittedly a few of my optimistic New Year’s promises to myself are hanging on by a thread.

What I say when I’m fighting against resistance to build that new habit or maintain a resolution: “There’s just not enough time to fit this into my routine.”

What I actually mean: “I’m not really interested in doing this.”

When I’m taking care of myself (sleeping, moving, eating right) and working on something I am genuinely excited about, finding time is never really an issue.

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Scenes from Saturday + Markets & Macarons

I’m not sure if it was the cool, dry weather on a weekend (finally) or stumbling across this quote from Annie Dillard as I finished up working on the manuscript on Friday, but we had a (mostly) ‘Yes’ day yesterday.

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now.”

We did not rake leaves, or empty gutters, or obsess over flashcards (okay, a little flash cards). We did not try to bottle up the day and squirrel it away. We let our instincts to be productive, or study, or workout, or hit that word count go dormant.

We wrung out the day and had no regrets.

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Scenes from Saturday + Food & Freedom

Parents of teenagers, what is it about the age (hormones, a glimpse of the ‘real’ world) that so often poisons the resiliency and willingness to just try of their younger selves?

For most, this is just a temporary fog, but here is a life lesson, or life approach, that I’d like to inject directly into my kids brains as an antidote to overly negative thinking: How can I make this work?

It’s not a life hack (hate those) but a mindset. Don’t be the type of person that approaches a situation and think, “What are all the ways this might go wrong?

This is not to say I want the girls to be naive or overly optimistic. Just the opposite. I want them to be realistic and believe that they’ll find a way through no matter what and not to depend on things outside their control.

Both types of mindsets need to deal with reality, but the first person will only have to solve problems that actually occur while the second person may never get started because they’ve scuttled themselves with potential (or even imaginary) problems before they even start.

There will always be reasons to not do something. It’s how you start anyway that makes a difference.

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Scenes from Saturday + Food & Fouettes

It was a long, rough week, both nationally and locally. Near and far brought news where answers or the right words were near impossible. Most of the time I felt frozen in anger, frustration, and sorrow where action and change were far out of reach.

What do you possible say to your children other than the truth and provide as much love and support as you can?

Epictetus said, as you tuck your children in whisper to yourself ‘They may be gone in the morning.’

That feels like a brutal slap in the face but as we’re confronted with almost each day, life is fleeting and the world is cruel. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. So it’s not a slap but a daily and realistic reminder not to waste a single second of our time. It is one small thread of clarity that can come from tragedy: be present, be loving, be forgiving.

It can all go away in a blink. There’s nothing we can do other than be what they need right now. Right this second.

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Scenes from Saturday + Sacraments & Solo Stove

At the risk of going thematically off the rails again, I’d like to revisit effort again. This is a frequent topic in our house because of the tug of war between music, improvement, and daily practice. And maybe because of 80s movies. Rocky IV, Karate Kid (“You’re the best… AROOOUNND!”), Teen Wolf, Bloodsport, or Dirty Dancing include the training montage showing the blood, sweat, and beards required to get good at something. Those aren’t exactly accurate despite the awesome soundtracks and hair. They might present a slightly skewed view of the cost of improvement.

Now here’s the part I get stuck on. I think a key part of making the mental switch, and potentially enjoying or understanding better, the link between practice and effort is admitting that you suck and want to get better. My girls have incredible confidence. It’s something I admire about both of them. They put themselves out there in ways I never could. I don’t want to blunt that or discourage that. But they also lack almost any critical self-awareness.

The fact that they aren’t great (yet) is totally fine. But there is not a magic training montage on the horizon to cultivate improvement. There is just a loop of a little bit of practice, get a little bit better. Repeat for as long as it takes. There is joy to be found in sucking a little less each day. It just takes a willingness to embrace being bad first.

On to Saturday…

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