Author's Posts

I am goal-oriented. This can be a great thing, but it can hinder me. Because if I don’t see immediate progress towards the goal, it feels too big or too far to reach.

I reframed some of my thoughts around the big goal, the big vision, the big stuff. What if I made it about small, daily habits? Weekly habits? Monthly habits?

When you look back on those weeks, months, years of small progress — that’s what makes the difference.

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There’s one thing I’m really good at when it comes to creativity: signing up for classes.

Improv.

Art.

Songwriting.

Voice.

Piano.

Sailing.

But classes are just part of my fear when it comes to creativity. I’m so worried not being good enough at one of these activities that I spend my time searching for classes rather than figuring out how I can make it happen.

There’s a chart I have in my creativity journal from four years ago. Passion on one axis and confidence on the other. High passion and high confidence includes activities like my work. Skiing.

Low confidence and low passion = golf. That’s fine by me.

But it’s that quadrant that includes playing guitar (high passion low confidence) that haunts me.

Why do I spend my time being haunted? Instead of just DOING IT?

Tommy is looking at me so I’m going to try some chords on the guitar.

Doing it.

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I like goals. Sometimes too much. Often too much.

I want them to be big and ambitious and challenging and exciting and…

…then I wonder why I haven’t reached them yet.

I heard this suggestion. Super simple but led to a complete “AHA!” for me:

What do you like doing?

Doing? I like doing lots of things.

Well, do more of it.

Let go of the goal for just a second.

And do something.

…doing it.

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Not in a religious sense. Or maybe in a religious sense?

My old boss was the ultimate believer. Optimist to the extreme. Sometimes we thought he was nuts, often he was brilliant. But he believed in the things we couldn’t see yet. Sometimes things would fail, other times they’d spark, most of the time they’d lead to something new or a lesson learned or a relationship or a partnership that was worth it. But the power behind this belief is what I’m interested in.

I’ve told people that finding a role that I was excited about was a real experiment in — if you believe things will work out, they just might. I didn’t go in with an agenda, a script or an overzealous elevator pitch… I just showed up, as me.

And then I got hired.

S and I talked about houses and renting and buying and we just kept going back and forth until we wondered – if we believe things will work out, will they? If we trust in this process, will it?

We can make the most of many situations. My husband has that eternal optimist thing going on a lot.

I wonder what else I can believe in.

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When friends ask how it’s going, I have one word only: surreal.

Maybe…. dreamlike.

It feels like I’m living someone else’s life and haven’t fully grasped that this is now my reality.

I’ve always loved a challenge. Still do. And this, my friends, is a challenge. Uprooting your life and moving back towards home is a BIG change. But it also means that every day feels new, and adventurous, and challenging. It means I am constantly trying to get back to “reset” in order to be present as a mom, as a human. But this feeling of home — there’s nothing like it.

I was always skeptical of geography and how important it really could be. I have always felt the pull back east. And driving on 95 — with the music blaring — feels good. Smelling salty air while at the lobster shack — it feels good. This is where I belong.

We’ve alternated our days and hours between naptimes, beach trips, errands, unpacking, lobster rolls, and hosting visitors.

Yes, visitors.

We’ve had eight visits since moving into our house two weeks ago. That feels good.

We’re home.

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If you feel like you’re lost
Think of the backyard you came from
That way you’ll always know
The way back home

There’s a song on Lori McKenna’s new album that I’ve played on repeat for the past week. I have been a fan of Lori McKenna for a long time — one, because she’s an atypical country folk music star (in my opinion). She’s from Massachusetts. And now that I’m a mom, I appreciate her music so much more. I’d love to have a drink with her.

Anyway, “The Way Back Home” is all about your childhood home and how there’s a feeling that’s sparked when you just roll up to your front door. And that line — think of the backyard you came from — is a beautiful image for me.

Because my brother and sister had already moved out of the house for most of my childhood years, I spent a lot of time alone. This meant my home was my stage, my studio, my canvas. And the backyard was the place where I often brought out my First Sony — with the mic or without — and would just play cassette tapes over and over again. The swingset in the yard became my stage and I would sing, choreograph, jump, or just swing endlessly while listening to the Big Chill soundtrack. There are some songs that just immediately bring me back to that place. I remember fall days when we’d rake leaves (I’m sure I didn’t contribute much) — but there would be a giant pile of leaves that my parents would leave right so I could jump off the swings, and into it.

Where W roams — whatever his backyard will be — I hope it can also always leave him with that sense of home and being and wholeness that my backyard left me.

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One of my coworkers moved here from D.C. a year and a half ago. She’s my age, and I recently asked her how they’re feeling about Seattle.

The answer?

Torn.

She and her husband spent nearly a decade in D.C. Her family is from there, she has high school and college friends who live there, and… those friends are hard to replace.

I get it.

Seattle has felt like a transient city since I arrived ten years ago. I had to get used to this fact (have you seen my transitions post?). I think Febbie’s leaving made me much more resilient and open to the fact that people will come and go, and that’s just part of life.

But I don’t know — there’s just nothing like old friends. And I love how some of my Seattle friends I would now refer to as “old friends.” I mean, hello, we would hang out for nights on end when we were 24 doing a whole lot of nothing but thinking that it was a lot. And now some have kids, some don’t, some are still here, some aren’t. But we’ve had those shared experiences that shape the friendship today.

Nothing reminded me of this quite like going to a camp friend’s wedding this summer. It was a a reminder of how there really is nothing like old friends.

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It feels like my brain might burst with all the things stirring in it these days. Or maybe that’s just who I am. The ideas, the questions, the hypotheses, the plans… I am taking things in at a mile a minute and wanting to produce even faster. What factors are driving the latest idea dump? 

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I booked tickets to San Fran at the end of last year, not knowing exactly who I’d see or where I’d go, but knowing that a weekend away to visit friends would do me some good.

I did not know that E-Naus would have a connection to a beach home, and would insist that my other SF friends join us. So all six of us piled into the townhouse for the weekend and it was magical.

I loved blending my friend groups — Seattle meets Amara meets Belmont High School.

We had a blast.

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