i snuck out on a ride this afternoon, just a quick one before the rain started. i love that there is a killer loop right from my house. i get curvy wooded roads, views of the water and the mountains, a few hills and an espresso stop on the way home. at the coffee shop, i borrowed a pen and the barista gave me a piece of scrap paper so that i could jot down whatever popped up while i was peddling. 1. the past few weeks, i’ve lost the fun element of what i’m doing. it’s hard, yes. and sometimes the first thing to go when that happens is the joy of the thing you’re doing. i can shift that. i can bring back the fun, the joy. it’s not entirely gone, but it’s certainly waning. 2. there is always, always, always time for a ride. or a walk or a run. moving and taking a break from the screen flips a switch and i’m usually able to make some kind of progress when i sit back down to work. 3. the right tools make all the difference. when i moved to seattle, i treated myself to a good pair of 3/4 bibs and a rain jacket from velocio. they are worth every penny. if i’m comfortable riding in the rain, i’ll fucking go for a ride in the rain.
i spent a split second in the poetry section of the elliott bay book company tonight and happened to flip open a thin, but wonderful gray Mary Oliver collection. the poem that caught my eye: “lines written in the days of growing darkness.”
fitting for a seattle november, isn’t it?
this song on repeat. i like it so much it hurts a little.
monday was a hard day, for no reason other than it’s half-way through the quarter, i’m a student again for the first time in 15 years, i didn’t get enough solo time this weekend and, well, i’m human. my insecurities hit toward the end of my afternoon class and i cried all the way to the bus. and once the faucet is on, it’s on. i noticed a poster on a street corner looking for a lost 66-year-old man with dementia. that really sent me over the edge.
i wrote a list once i got on the bus.
it’s titled: on the days you want to quit.
- put a good song on repeat
- eat something healthy + fulfilling (warm in the winter, cold in the summer)
- know that if you didn’t have a few days like this, you wouldn’t be pushing hard enough.
- no one said it was going to be easy. ha.
the last one made me chuckle. when i first moved to san francisco, i had a roll of butcher paper on the wall of my room. at some point, i wrote “no one said it was going to be easy” amidst random notes and reminders. i fell into a particularly dark period of depression right around the same time and i remember my roommate at the time saying to me, “you know, no one said it was going to be easy.” i looked at him with a blank stare. it was so blunt that i laughed. “what?” he said. “you have it written right there on the wall.”
the cry helped. the run helped. the music helped. the food helped. i know that there will be days when those things won’t help. but having some sort of hope, some kind of optimism that you’ll make it through, that helps, too.
so here’s to pushing on.
P.S. serendipitously, this song is randomly on my speakers right now and it just feels fitting.
have you heard of oliver jeffers? he’s the delightful illustrator behind my favorite children’s book, the day the crayons quit. this video is beyond charming and i love getting a peek into his creative process. spend some time browsing through his artwork, as well.
belated merry merry + a happy new year from oakland.
i went on a bit of a podcast hiatus over the holidays, and when i logged on this morning, i was greeted with a slew of amazing new episodes. i cannot WAIT to dig in.
taking a step backward, though, here are some of my favorite episodes from the past year:
on being with krista tippett
here’s the thing with alec baldwin
the moment with brian koppelman
design matters with debbie millman
i know i’m slightly biased on this one, but there are some REALLY great conversations!
i’ve also listened to a fair number of west wing weekly episodes. let’s just count that whole podcast as a favorite episode.
i love this recipe. i’ve made it the past several years around the holiday to hand out as little gifts. by this point, i know that i can’t keep it around the house because i could eat an entire jar mindlessly in 5 minutes flat. it’s so simple and so tasty.
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw pepitas
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
*if you like your granola a little sweeter, do 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup honey instead
preheat oven to 300.
combine all ingredients and spread over a parchment lined baking sheet. bake for 35–45 minutes, tossing occasionally.
cool and enjoy!
(print via / available on grandpa)