Monday, August 29, 2011

You Learn By Living

"The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, `I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
— Eleanor Roosevelt
You Learn By Living (1960)

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Disappointment on early work and pushing through

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have.

We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

-Ira Glass

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Thursday, August 25, 2011


My daughter loves tigers. Specifically she loves white tigers, but since our zoo doesn't have any she manages to content herself with the regular orange variety. I had promised her a few weeks ago that we would go to the zoo again before school starts and make it to the keeper talk.  During the keeper talk, the tiger keeper talks about tigers and feeds them meatballs through a heavy duty chain link fence.  We made it in time, but the speaker was broken, so we just watched the tigers take meatballs...and I took pictures.
Look at how powerful his muscles are!
A discussion over who goes first.
She waits patiently for him to finish

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Over the course of this past  year (being that it was all four seasons) I spent approximately $100 on clothing for my three children.  Also, until a few weeks ago, did not purchase clothing or shoes for myself.
People have asked me how I managed this and I have been promising a blog post for awhile, so here it is...

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Last day of summer break

It went by too fast.
Last night we went to meet their new teachers. My oldest learned how to struggle with a locker. Old friends were seen, and last years teachers said hello to.  There was candy.

As with everything having to do with parenting, having them go back to school is bittersweet.  Summer was a blur of activity and I got nothing done that I wanted to, but the kids had a good time and I enjoyed having the time with them.  It is exciting to watch them go off into a new grade and have new challenges to take on, new friends to meet. Both boys will be playing violin in the strings orchestra, and I think I have them convinced to join the choir (they both are in that age where boys have beautiful singing voices). 

At the same time, it is watching them take on a deeper level of independence and a further realization of how short the time I have been given to parent them.  A privilege of time, really.  
So, tomorrow they go off on their new journey, and I begin the process of decluttering, repainting, cleaning carpets, and getting my house back into ship shape order.
Then next month I start back to school with a math class, philosophy of logic, and a psychology course...which will be my own adventure. 
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