One of my favorite parts of big family feasts like Thanksgiving and Christmas is a fridge full of leftovers. It’s all the deliciousness of a home-cooked meal, and the only thing I have to do is reheat it.
Every post I’ve written for the Pastry Box this year has started as a small seed: a quote, or a thesis statement, or a brief thought. I keep a file full of these germs of ideas, and when it’s time to write I comb through until one of the snippets grabs me.
It’s the end of the year, and there are a bunch of entries still sitting in my file. I’m sharing these leftovers with you: thesis statements without essays to explain them, quotes without context, lines that quiet my heart and calm my breath.
“I’ve been conditioned to believe, since childhood, that an effective person takes care of problems as soon as they arise. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing. But it does have unintended consequences, the most obvious of which is that if you’re always attending to problems that arise, you get around to what really matters to you only after you’ve taken care of everything else.” Sarah Susanka, The Not So Big Life
Every word can create an opening or a closing. Choose words that create openings.
Elsewhere on the web, Krista and her colleagues explore all behavior with this single, brutal question: How’s that working for you? Eating paleo, hacking your sleep schedule, rewriting your project in Ember.js, entering into a committed relationship with animated SVGs: how’s that working for you? "The only correct answer is 'Great!'. If it’s anything else, you need to make adjustments."
“And then Therrot flung himself backward on the slope and howled at the hills, for true joy, like true pain, does not care how it looks or sounds.” Frances Hardinge, The Lost Conspiracy
When I lead a workshop, only a very small part of the point is to teach a particular skill like content modeling or writing for the web. What I’m really trying to impart is how to think strategically. I want people to learn to think things through.
“Because nothing works except what we give our souls to, nothing’s safe except what we put at risk.” Ursula LeGuin, The Shobies’ Story, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea
“Internal martial arts and acupuncture are designed to balance and heal the body. In doing so, they also recognize a give-and-take between the human body and the natural world. Unlike Western approaches, they are not really designed to conquer the ailments of the body so much as to return the body to a more natural state – whatever that state may be. This process is always healing, but it does not always cure.” BK Loren, The Way of the River
Ask if the story you are telling is big enough for you and others to be at peace. If it’s not, create a bigger story.