What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#103)

What I’m grateful for this week:

The sunsets in the winter have been pretty spectacular.

Another thing I’m grateful for:

The kids panting projects we did together last week.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#102)

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“The writer is an infantryman. He knows that progress is measured in yards of dirt extracted from the enemy one day, one hour, one minute at a time and paid for in blood. The artist wears combat boots. He looks in the mirror and sees GI Joe.” (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art)

Keep doing the work.

How to write an essay well:

I’m still digging into this but am finding it a great resource to reference. There is so much here that I don’t know or pay attention to, or know instinctively but don’t practice diligently.

The goal of your first draft isn’t to say things well. Save that for rewriting. Your first draft is for generating ideas:

-Brainstorm talking points.
-Connect the dots between those points to learn what you’re really trying to say.

This works best when you’re exploring ideas that most interest you. The more self-indulgent you are, the better your article.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#101)

Quote I was thinking about:

It is not a bad thing in a tale that you understand only half of it.

Isak Dinesen

Book excerpt that made me think:

“So it came as a surprise relatively late in life, in fact only in the past year, that if you want to change the world, you have to enroll others in your plans and vision. Not only that, but the immense pleasures and satisfactions that can be derived from focusing on others, and the surprising discovery that the more I gave to others—which I’d always done—the more the universe gave me back in return.” (Adam Robinson in Tribe of Mentors)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#100)

Quote I was thinking about:

The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us.

Mary Oliver

Book excerpt that I enjoyed:

“Sometimes I think I became a better teacher and critic because I had to be detailed and systematic in my own learning. Someone once pointed out to me that the best NBA coaches—people such as Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich—weren’t the most gifted players. When I was a youngster, I saw both Riley and Jackson play, and I can attest that they spent most of the game on the bench. But the very fact that they had to fight for playing time, and work more tenaciously than their colleagues, gave them hard-earned insights that the natural-born geniuses never have to worry about. I feel the same about my own development as a musician. I learned slowly and carefully, and when (as I will often do in this book) I call attention to the ways an amateurish musician falls short, rest assured that I make this comparison with sympathy and a dose of self-recognition.” (Ted Gioia, How to Listen to Jazz)

Moving to Scotland

The year of the dog

We now own a dog. We are now “dog owners”. Our house now has a distinct dog owner smell that we cannot detect but others certainly can. We are out first thing in the morning and in the evening with the other dog owners and are now recognized as “one of us” instead of “one of them”. Our step counts are through the roof. Our shoes and socks are under constant threat. We are now aware of a universe of dog training YouTube channels. We have a clicker (unused) and stashes of treat jars around the house (very much used). We are clearly working on too much “skill training” at once. We have more meat in our fridge and freezer than we have had for several years. We are keeping an eye on the consistency of our dog’s daily poo. We have preferences and stong opinions on leash styles.

Life is certainly busier.