I'm writing you a late-ish note today, having spent the morning addressing and stamping and mailing out January subscriptions for Year of Wonder. I enjoy all parts of the process for YOW, but, I have to say, the final readying of those kraft envelopes is, hands-down, my favorite—because it means some wonder is about to take flight and, soon enough, land in mailboxes all over the world. The excitement is real!
This week, four variations on a theme:
1. I'm trying always to remind myself of the aphorism, "Perfect is the enemy of good." The economist, George Stigler, put it another way: "If you never miss a plane, you're spending too much time at the airport."
2. Vanessa Jean is a self-proclaimed imperfectionist, a fact that has inspired me to begin thinking about how I might start adapting that title for myself. She's listed several of the stories she most desires to bring to life in 2016, and one of them is about this exactly:
To write, and keep writing. To make, and keep making. To live, and keep living—without the need to be perfect. To trust my gut and just get stuff out there. To be bold and be brave and be free and full of typos and not worry so much.
3. I'm a big believer that words create our world and that the stories we tell about ourselves (to others and to ourselves) are powerful beyond measure. Naturally,the article, "Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality," was right up my alley:
This narrative becomes a form of identity, in which the things someone chooses to include in the story, and the way she tells it, can both reflect and shape who she is. A life story doesn't just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for who the person is, for who they'll become, and for what happens next.
4. Jane Flanagan wrote a refreshingly honest post on what it's like to take a new job, only to realize, one month in, that you've picked the wrong one...and need to quit:
In conversation, of course, I'm framing this as a simple mistake that I've course-corrected on. [...] But in reality, I don't know that it was such a mistake. Mistake implies that I did myself a wrong I have righted. Of course, I would rather have been spared the mortification of such a public display of unknowing. But at the same time, I feel like this is the real mystery of things. That we can follow a path that seems fully in accordance with our happiness and what we know about ourselves, and yet find ourselves quite unhappy and unknowing. And conversely, we can find great joy in the most unfathomable, deceptive-looking decisions and outcomes.
If it applies: Who would you be if you could let go of perfect in favor of good?
Notes from the week of January 10
+ Crybabies (Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyre's podcast about the songs, movies, commercials, and moments that make us cry; ever the highly sensitive empath, I've just subscribed)
+ Jessica Jones (a new Netflix series about the Marvel Comics character of the same name; I'm not a reader of comic books, but I do like what this show has to say about life after trauma)
+ Vanessa Jean's TinyLetter about her first galavant around Iceland (where she stumbled upon "whale bones, people. Whale bones.")
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ teriyaki tofu
+ tuna salad
+ frozen pizza (hooray for convection ovens in RVs!)
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ "A life story is written in chalk, not ink, and it can be changed" (via my mom, who finds the best articles)
LOCAL COLOR EXPERIENCED
+ in shopping for wedding bands, we've encountered the phenomenon that is the hunting camo ring
+ the smell of a charcoal smoker at the RV park (they look like locomotives to me)
+ more digital feathers for my collection, some of which you can see in this week's header (there were so many of them, we could've made a huge down blanket)
+ the couple who works in the clubhouse on Sunday nights
+ various jewelry counter employees