Tag Archives: balance

cool it.

20 Sep

it has been an excruciatingly long tuesday.

on days like today, i take a breather, procure an over-priced beverage, and browse relaxing artwork to calm me down.

this gem is a favorite of mine. it says “take a chill pill, leaner”.  it’s all just a rainbow; tomorrow, today’s problems will be part of yesterday.

i’m considering getting this in a small print to put up at my desk. seriously love it.

have a relaxing evening.

{if you love the painting above, check out more pieces from laura burkhart}

connecting the dots.

26 Aug

part of growing up is realizing that we have an uncharted path waiting ahead of us. for those of us lucky enough to have this freedom, we have infinite options for the direction that we can choose to take our life. we spend a vast majority of our first quarter-century learning, being guided by teachers and parents, ushered from one focused learning environment to the next until we come to the final phase of university.

and then what?

of course the guidance doesn’t end, and instead of teachers we find mentors in our wise coworkers, in relationships, and through the life-long experiences of our parents (who we now listen to!).  but still, the well-worn path which we’ve traveled for so long has ended.

this realization can be unsettling at the least. but it needn’t be that. as we travel down a new road–one less developed, less explored, and maybe a bit rocky at times, we find that navigating our twenties & young adulthood might not always be a cakewalk. but it is an adventure. an adventure we are lucky to have.

a dear friend recently sent me a commencement address delivered by steve jobs which focuses on exactly this topic.  jobs shares extremely relevant,  eloquent, and honest advice derived from his own life experiences.

below are my favorite snippets, but i suggest reading the entire address.

           on not trying to anticipate how the future is supposed to look:

…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut,destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

on learning to turn our failures into a new beginning:

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

on never settling:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

on death as a change agent for truly living life:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

incredible advice from an extraordinary man. i hope you enjoyed his words as much as i did. 

london: day two in blue.

25 Aug

some observations from my second day in london.

taken during my morning commute & evening dinner procurement.

i pass this sculpture every day on my commute.

it makes me smile. especially the pop of red inside the “x” and the old men who perch on the bench sipping their morning coffee. cities are the best.

bikes for rental are EVERYWHERE throughout the city.

what a fabulous concept! and bike lanes are everywhere too! so commuter friendly. pats on back, london!

apparently this is a new initiative  as of 2010. here’s the gist–you pay one flat fee (~£40/year) to use the bikes, from any location throughout the city. in talking with folks here, it’s inspired lots of young people to start commuting via bike to work.

a win for sustainable transportation & healthy living! chicago can learn from this.

a brilliant blue chair. spotted while waiting for my thai food.

ps. hoxton square is a treasure trove of hip & eclectic restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. if you visit london go there.

a gorgeous shade of indigo pops out.

i am NEEDING this doorway for my apartment. absolute perfection.

notice a common theme here? maybe i was noticing all the blue today since i’m in need of a calming influence.

i’m the first to admit that i get worked up, stressed out, maxed out–you name it. typically i’m surrounded by friends and a very wonderful boyfriend who help keep me sane when everything else is feeling out of control crazy.

now i’m in a new place and on my own during what is proving to be a seriously stressful work week. turns out that all my walking around, noticing the intricate details of streets and architecture did the trick. {well that, and the large glass of merlot sitting next to me.} today’s adventures & sightings made me appreciate a beautiful temperate day in london–one i might have missed if i hadn’t been so alone.

here’s to relaxing and soaking in our surroundings.

a year of inspiration.

15 Aug

after a long day, or a slow morning, sometimes a kick of inspiration is just the trick.

julian bialowas‘s current project, 365 days of inspirational photo art, is seriously breathtaking, not to mention full of uplifting asides. i’ve compiled a few of my favorites, though i spent a good portion of time flipping through the entirety of the project progression thus far. it was a wonderfully calming exercise.

so serene & beautiful. i’m loving the technique.

back to the grind.

8 Aug

after a wonderfully long & luxurious week of vacationing at the family lake house, it’s back to work-mode for this girl. with LOTS to get done this week, i’m already feeling overwhelmed by my lists of tasks and jam-packed calendar. oy!

as i’ve mentioned before, its times like these that i’ve got to step back and take in my tasks from a new perspective.

some snapshots from our enormously lazy days on the lake are reminding me of the finer things in life, those that are worth the work.

a quote that always reminds me how to untangle my stress:

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.


it won’t be long before i’m back on crystal lake again! perhaps a visit to see the colors this autumn!

great heights.

20 Jul

there’s something so graceful and surreal about hot air balloons. like they exist in another more whimsical world, in between dream and reality.

on the bus ride home this evening i passed by the louis vuitton store, featuring a window display of hot air ballons gently tugging luggage cases off the ground. my head turned to catch a longer glimpse as the bus continued down michigan avenue.

it had been an inavoidably stressful day. i longed to be floating away from it all.

i got to thinking about how we deal with the obstacles of daily life–our baggage. i tend to carry my baggage straight out of work, onto the 148 bus, and right through the front door of our home. it isn’t sustainable. and while it would be absolutely lovely to escape to a dream world when i start to feel overwhelmed, it isn’t realistic.

rather, what is real, is the way that i choose to carry my baggage, and where i bring it.

so while the charming imagery of hot air ballons lends to fantasizing and escapism, it’s message for me is to keep perspective–to look at my problems from greater heights.

from up there it untangles, becomes less surely complicated, more manageable, and far less impactful in the grander scheme.