I have a running joke with my husband, Darren: “Like I always say…” We use it often, when my wiser self knows the best thing to do, but my real-life self just isn’t there yet. For example:
“Like I always say….don’t sweat the small stuff!”
“Like I always say….water under the bridge!”
“Like I always say….Hakuna Matata!”
What makes it funny, of course, is that I usually do sweat the small stuff, have a hard time letting things go, worry a lot, and so on. I’m lucky that Darren sees these personality traits as quirks, not flaws, and the joke helps me see that I’m being silly without coming down hard on myself. Kind of like, “There I go again…” (shakes head)
In this series, originally published as TinyLetters, I explore the space between my present self and my ideal self, finding the balance between accepting myself as I am and evolving toward the person I want to be. I’d love to hear about how you see these themes playing out in your own life.
what I’m working toward
I’m loving the Happier in Hollywood podcast, by Liz Craft from Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In episode four, Liz and her writing partner, Sarah Fain, discuss their current “life mantras.” Sarah’s is “Look Up,” inspired by a friend who posts pictures of unusual clouds on social media. I need this reminder myself, multiple times a day. I tend to put my head down and work, forgetting to look up and see what’s around me: nature, the news, or my own husband and kids wanting my attention.
The other life mantra that I have written on a mini yellow Post-It on my desk at work is “Be Mindful.” I’m practicing pulling my mind back into my body, as it will drift off into thoughts and worries without my even realizing it. When I’m mindful, I listen with full attention, know where I’m putting things so I don’t need to search for them later, and don’t run into furniture (OK, I still do, but not quite as much).
what’s fueling me
On Campus, Failure is on the Syllabus (New York Times)
A number of colleges, including Harvard and Stanford, now have initiatives to normalize failure and build grit among their students. Seeing how people coped with setbacks would have been good for me at that age (and would be just as helpful now, as well).
Wondering What Happened to Your Class Valedictorian? Not Much, Research Shows (TIME)
I recognized myself way too much in this research. Why do we keep training kids for success in the classroom when there’s such a disconnect with success in life? (h/t Gillian Burgess)
Mom Packs Encouraging Note in Own Lunch (The Onion)
I think about doing this on the daily.
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Image via nchenga