What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#107)

Quote I was thinking about:

Peace in the world is everybody’s business, no matter where you live or what you do.

Betty Williams

Book excerpt I thought was great:

“Say you step in dog poo. Now that can be extremely annoying. You have a choice. Curse the poo or clean your shoe? It’s a trivial example, but taking the kindest interpretation to events is simply accepting that energy spent wishing it were different is pointless. And that includes assigning blame, to others or to yourself. Would have, could have, should have. All a massive waste of energy. Clean the shoe. That’ll do.” (Laurence Endersen, What Owen Didn’t Know)


The timeline for any IKEA purchase

We recently bought some things from IKEA in a bid to address some organizational annoyances in the bedrooms and office. The last time we purchased stuff from them it was just after our move to Scotland and oh how how we forget! While IKEA can feel like a playground, I firmly maintain that shopping there will challenge even the most stoic-minded-zen-buddah jedi out there to keep their cool. Here is a timeline of how it goes, every time, without fail.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#106)

Quote I enjoyed:

“Ninety percent of good writing is rewriting.”

Charles Johnson

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“Writing is selection. Just to start a piece of writing you have to choose one word and only one from more than a million in the language. Now keep going. What is your next word? Your next sentence, paragraph, section, chapter? Your next ball of fact. You select what goes in and you decide what stays out. At base you have only one criterion: If something interests you, it goes in—if not, it stays out. That’s a crude way to assess things, but it’s all you’ve got.” (John McPhee, Draft No. 4)

This struck me as some of the best decision-making/life advice I have ever heard.

Robert Macfarlane on ‘The Living Mountain’

Just listen to this little 4 minute clip. I bought the book.

🗒 Note to get out into the hills sometime soon. Look for a walking club maybe?


Some of my favorite things from 2020

Here is a short list of things I shared this year that I wanted to reshare as we roll into 2021, as well as some thoughts on improvements (for me, our life, this blog, etc) next year. This wasn’t intended as any sort of annual review, but there are shades of that kind of thing here. 🤔 Good riddance 2020 and on to the next!

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#105)

Quote I enjoyed:

The most treasured gifts in the world are kind words spontaneously tendered.

Jim Collins

Book excerpt that I was thinking about:

“To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to “be happy.” But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.” (Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning)