Categories
What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#65)

Quote that I loved:

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

Alice Walker

Ten stories you need right now:

https://www.sciencealert.com/here-are-10-good-news-stories-you-need-to-read-right-now


50 things to do:

Just some ideas between friends.


A great talk on self-renewal:

Hard not to just copy the entire talk here, it’s really good.

We have to face the fact that most men and women out there in the world of work are more stale than they know, more bored than they would care to admit. Boredom is the secret ailment of large-scale organizations. Someone said to me the other day “How can I be so bored when I’m so busy?” And I said “Let me count the ways.” Logan Pearsall Smith said that boredom can rise to the level of a mystical experience, and if that’s true I know some very busy middle level executives who are among the great mystics of all time.

Learn all your life. Learn from your failures. Learn from your successes, When you hit a spell of trouble, ask “What is it trying to teach me?” The lessons aren’t always happy ones, but they keep coming. It isn’t a bad idea to pause occasionally for an inward look. By midlife, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves.

We learn from our jobs, from our friends and families. We learn by accepting the commitments of life, by playing the roles that life hands us (not necessarily the roles we would have chosen). We learn by growing older, by suffering, by loving, by bearing with the things we can’t change, by taking risks.

There will inevitably many who will find the current disruption a reason to venture out and do something new and scary. At least there is something good there to think about.


It’s normal to feel weird about this:

And so the drunken carousel of wildly-spinning emotions goes on, staffed by octopods, ridden by monkeys, narrated by a short-circuiting robot.

These are weird days, friends. It’d be weird if you weren’t weird about that.

I love Chuck Wendig.


Favorite book excerpt:

“What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here—and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.” (Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird)

Writing, drawing, making, doing…the same rules apply. Go make a mess and leave it for awhile. It’s ok.


A gripping story to keep you occupied:

Forty five years ago, eight Soviet women climbers were pinned on top of a high mountain in the USSR in the worst storm in 25 years.

The presentation on this is super cool.

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/01/sport/russian-climbers-peak-lenin-spt-intl


Art projects keep us sane:

Here’s what we did this week. Lots more to come.


Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.

Categories
Art Kids

This week’s little fires

Art projects are like little fires: https://getonwithit.blog/tag/art-projects/

The fires were alive and burning this week.

Morning note

Vivi made a morning note for Sam. Just saying he’s the best, that’s all.


Polar Bear Story Mini-Zine

Continuing on the them of making mini-zines, made this one using some magazing cut outs. Here’s the inspiration: https://austinkleon.com/2020/03/04/how-to-make-a-zine-from-a-single-sheet-of-paper/


Sam lines

I liked the way this turned out in a strange way.

Sam lines

Crazy sketch

A collaboration between Kav and Sam.


The new normal


Birthday cards

It was Kav’s birthday last week which was another excuse for making things.

Categories
Misc Parenting

50 things to do

A list not about working from home but what I’m doing or am aiming to be doing. A list in no particular order to go with all the other lists out there. Hoping you find some inspiration within and are not one of the unlucky ones with serious things to do like look for work or care for a sick family member.

This is the list of what I’m telling myself to be doing (subject to change at any point in time for any reason whatsoever):

  1. Look at images from the great museums and art collections of the world. Here is a list of open-access galleries: https://www.apollo-magazine.com/open-access-image-libraries-a-handy-list/.
  2. Read a book, or two, or three. Here is my list from last year: https://getonwithit.blog/2019/12/16/books-i-read-in-2019/.
  3. Tidy up.
  4. Listen to Philip Glass: https://open.spotify.com/artist/69lxxQvsfAIoQbB20bEPFC?si=2Z1Kfi6ASj2dQjQKxsXYlg
  5. Be affectionate.
  6. Listen to an album you never have listened to before. Here is a helpful list to get started: https://www.kexp.org/kexp-top-903-albums-2019/
  7. Start a blog. Here is a great place to do it (and it’s free): https://wordpress.com/
  8. Get a helmut: https://getonwithit.blog/2020/02/20/get-a-helmet/
  9. Make a mini-zine: https://austinkleon.com/2020/03/04/how-to-make-a-zine-from-a-single-sheet-of-paper/. Here is mine: https://getonwithit.blog/2020/03/07/four-little-fires/
  10. Doodle with Mo Willems: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%23MoLunchDoodles
  11. Do some watercoloring.
  12. Build a fire.
  13. Take a walk.
  14. Go running. Better yet go running in the rain: https://getonwithit.blog/2019/11/07/running-in-the-rain/
  15. Write some thank you cards.
  16. Get 8 hours of sleep.
  17. Write a letter to someone.
  18. Read some poetry. Start with how to be a perfect: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57243/how-to-be-perfect
  19. Listen to This is Water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI
  20. Play hide-and-seek.
  21. Cook something you love, and cook something you’ve never cooked before.
  22. Learn to cook.
  23. Meditate. Here is the app I like currently: https://wakingup.com/
  24. Build something with legos.
  25. Have a wrestling match.
  26. Bake some bread.
  27. Have a camp out in your living room.
  28. Watch a documentary.
  29. Take care of your plants.
  30. Eat healthy.
  31. Read the Burrito Rant: https://medium.com/@jackdire/dear-guy-who-just-made-my-burrito-fd08c0babb57
  32. Try to learn something new. And then write about it: https://getonwithit.blog/category/willw/
  33. Bake some cookies.
  34. Make a collage from a magazine, old wrapping paper, or a book.
  35. Host an online meetup using Zoom: http://zoom.us
  36. Draw something. Try a drawing a day: https://getonwithit.blog/2019/01/04/a-drawing-a-day/
  37. Use this list of ice breakers to generate a fun conversation: https://zoom.us/
  38. Write in a physical notebook.
  39. Practice gratitude. See the 5MJ questions for a good start: https://www.intelligentchange.com/blogs/news/the-five-minute-journal-questions
  40. Search Twitter like Google instead of looking at your feed.
  41. Look at pictures from previous trips. Here is my most recent: https://getonwithit.blog/2020/03/01/notes-from-islay-and-jura/
  42. Update your resume.
  43. Think of something you can do to help someone else.
  44. Reach out to a person who you haven’t talked to in a while.
  45. Give yourself a foot massage.
  46. Look at the stars.
  47. Read The Tail End: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html
  48. Be gentle with yourself.
  49. Relax.
  50. Stop looking at your phone. Call someone.
Categories
What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#64)

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.” (Haruki Murakami and Philip Gabriel, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)

We gotta keep running.


The story you tell yourself can change everything:

A person who is managing a customer-support team can tell herself that she’s overseeing people who answer customer questions. That’s one story.

Another story is that she manages people who genuinely love helping others; a group that exudes empathy and enjoys solving problems like detectives. This narrative drives her intentions and behaviors. When this is the story she believes about her work, it speaks to her identity and sharpens her work.

While there are environmental forces—such as leadership and workplace culture—that influence what we believe about ourselves, ultimately we are the stewards of our own stories.


This may be silver lining for (non-remote) workers:

More companies might fully embrace remote work after this current coronapocolypse. That’s a good thing.

“We’ll never probably be the same. People who were reticent to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way. Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams that were remote will have a different perspective. I do think we won’t go back.” Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s head of human resources, in BuzzFeed News


How should we think about the end:

We may not have arrived at the end, but we have certainly arrived at the thought of it. Medical, environmental, political, economic and military problems seem to have joined forces to remind us that the story of humanity is, at some point, going to draw to a close. That’s a very painful thought to have. It also raises a serious philosophical problem.


Beware the hand dryer:

This is validating what my Dad has been saying for years.

A 2012 analysis of 12 studies over four decades published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings concluded that “[f]rom a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers” and that they should be used in “locations in which hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and clinics.” Though it could be argued that hygiene should be paramount in the restroom of, say, your neighborhood Panera Bread, too.

https://www.wired.com/story/wash-your-hands-but-beware-the-electric-hand-dryer


Learning more about shoelaces is a powerful distraction:

First, check out this very short TED talk on how to tie your shoes:

The strong form of the shoe knot. Sometimes a small advantage somewhere in life can yield tremendous advantage elsewhere. Brilliant.

Also related is Iann’s shoelace site:

https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace

And finally, here’s what the extra lace hole on your gym shoes is for:


Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.

Categories
What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#63)

Art projects are like little fires:

Here are four recent ones.


Quote I was thinking about this week:

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Peter Drucker

Subscriptions are only going to get more ubiquitous: That everything is seemingly behind a paywall is frustrating with news and science, it might not be a bad thing entirely in the long run:

Today, there seems to be a larger integration happening across-the-board, for everyone. All of us, in one form or another, will have no choice but to practice self-sponsorship. Imagining a future where Twitter and Instagram have private monthly subscription options for users with locked accounts doesn’t seem that far off. Maybe certain platforms offer package deals. For $10 a month on YouTube, you choose which five creators you want to subscribe to, of which they get a cut.

This new reality is less about everyone transforming into their own brand or even becoming an independent contractor at the whims of a mercurial gig economy—it will be the very basis for life, or at least livelihood. It’s the creation of a future in which we can never afford to stop working, or better yet, where work doesn’t actually feel like work. Most people will still have the kind of jobs they have now, but living them will provide the additional capital they need to get by, as each person’s life just becomes another upload into someone else’s feed. This shift will completely change how we define labor, and what it means to generations who come after us, remapping their relationship to the internet and its many resources.

https://www.wired.com/story/everyone-is-a-subscription


The difference between men and women:

Brought to life in the form of a poem by Neil Gaiman along with a pretty animated short.

Titled “The Mushroom Hunters,” lovingly addressed to Neil’s newborn son Ash…the poem went on to win the Rhysling Award for best long poem and has now been brought to new life in a soulful short film…

Read the full poem here:


Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“Instead of running from our emotions or being swept away by their initial gusts, we should learn to sit with them, become at peace with their unique flavors, and ultimately discover deep pools of inspiration. I have found that this is a natural process.” (Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning)


It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top:

Some inspiration from one of my favorite books.


What I was thankful for last week:

  • A note I found in the car that Vivian wrote for me the day earlier while we were sitting listening to music and waiting for Kav to get back from grocery shopping. It simply read “I love you”.
  • Reading The Naughtiest Unicorn lying in bed with Vivi after school, her with a hot chocolate and me with a cup of coffee. Can’t think of anything better to spend a late afternoon doing.
  • Got to go to Kav’s spinning class with her on Monday. Good to do something a) with just Kav and I, b) exercise other than running, and c) do it with a group which definitely brings out my competitive side.

Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.