good things take time

a metaphor on growth and slowness

I discovered Sarah’s Yes and Yes blog through Clare’s blog recently and loved, loved, LOVED this post about growth and change and why slowness is a good thing. She wrote this beautiful metaphor and I wanted to re-share with you today. Read her original post here and definitely check out her blog!

“Rather bizarrely, I spent a large portion of my childhood thinking about wood.

By the age of 12, I knew how to start a fire in the furnace or fire pit. I knew which wood you used to get the fire going (birch), which wood burned fast (pine), and which wood burned hot and slow, keeping your house warm so you don’t have to get up in the middle of Family Matters and throw another log on (ash, oak, hickory.)

Why did those specific types of wood create more heat? Why did they make a better fire? Because they’re hardwood; they grow slowly.

Now here’s where that heavy-handed metaphor comes in: The good things in life
a career you really love
a loving, supportive relationship
emotional security + stability
are often the direct result of very slow, deeply unglamorous work.

There aren’t really any shortcuts to getting the good stuff. Discovering your talents, polishing them till they shine, and finding out how to make a living from them? That takes years (or 10,000 hours.) Trying things, failing, trying again, learning to cope with tough stuff, and emerging a smarter + better person? That takes years, too.

So you haven’t landed your dream job yet.
Or you haven’t amassed that 401k.
Or your writing skills aren’t where you’d like them to be.

Be patient. Be gentle with yourself. It takes an oak tree 20 years to produce its first acorn.

You’ll get there, slowly but surely.”

better days

lovely links and happy almost weekend!

happy almost weekend! this week has been a whirlwind. i went to yosemite last weekend, took monday off for eric’s birthday and then flew to nyc for work tuesday through this morning. i love exploring and traveling, but also looking forward to some old fashioned lounge time this weekend. hope you have a great one!

here’s a few things i enjoyed reading on my cross-country flights this week!

pretty flower arrangements

advice for bad days

on not being defined by an eating disorder {beautiful post clare!}

travel prep tips

i want to host a grilled cheese party!

the one word to not say after ‘i love you’

why you should journal instead of checking your phone obsessively

girl journaling

quit checking your phone!

have you ever read some of the awesome articles posted on linkedin? while a lot of them are career-focused, there are often lifestyle and productivity-related posts that i really dig. this one in particular shares about why it’s not-so-awesome to check your phone first thing in the morning. i am SO guilty of doing this and i hate it! i also find myself journaling and reading before bed and then checking my phone onelasttime before sleeping. why?! it’s really a terrible habit of mine.

my goal is to not instinctively reach for my cell phone right when i open my eyes and instead, um..wake up? then journal, start my day by getting ready and THEN AND ONLY THEN check my cell phone {frantically}. anyway, hope you enjoy these quick reminders about checking your phone and why you should journal instead.

1. Checking your phone forces you to be reactive than pro-active; it creates pressure to respond to texts and emails when other people want you to, rather than when it’s convenient for you.

Instead: Writing in your notebook puts you back in control of your communication; it gives you the chance to craft your reply instead of shooting it off reactively, and respond on your schedule, not someone else’s

2. Checking your phone fills you with that frenetic, compulsive feeling that you might be missing out.

Instead: Writing in your notebook has a calming influence.

3. Checking your phone tricks you with the trivial; it fools you into thinking that news and updates from the virtual world are more important than what’s right in from of you in the actual world right now.

Instead: Writing in your notebook reminds you of what’s important right now.

4. Checking your phone fills every spare moment with noise.

Instead: Writing in your notebook provides you time to think and reflect.

Image found here.

bad day advice

advice for bad days

not every day is going to be amazing. as an optimistic, look-on-the-bright-side kind of girl, it’s hard for me to accept this. some days won’t be exciting, they will be boring. even worse, some days will just be flat out disappointing.

rather than fake happiness or pretend everything is okay, please just be honest enough with yourself to admit you’re having a bad day. it’s important to be positive, but it’s so so so important to remember that being honest and realistic is not the same as being negative. life doesn’t always be butterflies and rainbows and days where you want to jump up and down all the time. it’s more than okay to just feel “okay” and have off days.

it’s vital to learn how to accept and acknowledge how you feel and then be able communicate that effectively to yourself and people that love you. in the past, i would have a bad day and literally force myself to think that it wasn’t bad. but it was…and my  ’positive thinking’ didn’t change that. that wasn’t positive thinking either, it was just lying to myself. i’ve learned to recognize that some things, situations, moods and feelings are hard and difficult and sad and sometimes bad. accepting that  doesn’t make me a negative person, that doesn’t make me a complainer or a quitter – that makes me human. and as humans, we all have bad days.

what’s important to remember is that you have to get up. you have to keep going even on the not-so-awesome days. you have to keep moving forward, doing the best you can. and above all, i’ve learned how valuable and instrumental it is to be able to confidentially say that life is good, beautiful, a blessing – even on the bad days.

anyway, if today is one of those bad days for you – i hope this was helpful. i hope {and have a really great feeling!} that tomorrow will be a better one! xo

image found here.