I’m gearing up for a return.
It was above 60ºF. It was a Monday. The motto was: just make contact.
The roommate and I took advantage of a twilight session at the driving range last night. Despite living within one block from this place, I had yet to head over there. We could find no excuse not to go after a hard day at the office and beautiful evening weather.
The last time I picked up clubs was a few years ago when Mom, Grandpa and I were together. Despite the fact Grammy and Grandpa gave me golf lessons (either for my 13th or 16th birthday), I still have much to improve in the way of my game.
Needless to say a tradition is set. Though today it’s 30ºF, so we may have to wait a bit for our next venture.
Upon moving to Chicago, I started doing something I hadn’t done since I was about 10. I didn’t mean to do it, it just started happening. My hair just started growing and I started rocking longer locks (except that one time in San Francisco when like a hippie child, I cut my hair at a music festival because it seemed like the right thing to do).
Though after the winter static, the battle of sitting up properly in a chair without catching it and running out of bun options, I’m going to chop it all off.
With a date sent (the end of March, so I can have one more family wedding with Southern Belle curls), an organization picked (Children With Hair Loss) and the mentality I’m ready for the shorter look, I’m way too excited. Here I come bob!
When I read The Book Thief a few years ago, there was a quote that really stood out and well, I still carry to this day.
I find this to be all too true. A great book, I just want to keep holding as the book and story have a hold on me. It’s hard for me to really let go of a story and its characters since it all feels so incredibly real. And according to science now, it appears I’m not going crazy as a story implants itself in your brain and sticks around for a bit, changing the way your mind works.
Dr. Gregory S. Burns and his research team conducted a study with undergraduates and recorded their brain activity while reading Pompeii (Robert Harris) over nine days and then continued monitoring brain activity for an additional five days after finishing the book.
Huffington Post writer Jacqueline Howard goes into more detail about the study and its findings, yet I cannot help to just love this little nugget from Dr. Burns during Howard’s reporting:
“At a minimum, we can say that reading stories –- especially those with strong narrative arcs -– reconfigures brain networks for at least a few days. It shows how stories can stay with us. This may have profound implications for children and the role of reading in shaping their brains.”
— Dr. Gregory S. Burns
And now, I think I’m going to have to pick up Pompeii.
With the paddleball at my desk, I’ve mastered one traditional way of hitting them…up. Then, I received the challenge to master hitting/paddling down. It’s been a struggle. With near eye trauma. And now I’m finally there. Though the Simon Birch face still has a cameo to tell the world I’m not quite sure I’ve got this.
We street teamed on Sunday. We’re previewing tonight. The Junior Board is ready.
It’s nearly time for the 49th Chicago International Film Festival!
I’ll admit it. Some days, I just don’t know what to write. Despite receiving briefs and direction at the office, I still just stare at that blank page completely unaware of what I should do. It’s an extremely unnerving feeling, though one I’ve learned to just accept and run towards, not away.
While in New York at the Creativity Workshop back in June, we filled out postcards to write promises/advice to ourselves to remember what we learned. I received that postcard last month, and didn’t really think much of it. Just tacked it to the wall, occasionally catching a glimpse when my wandering eyes at my desk needed to refocus. I also made a commitment to practice automatic writing every day. Needless to say, that too has proved much more difficult to keep up as well.
But that all ends today.
I recently learned of this organization out of South Africa called Writers Write. They offer classes and tips and tricks to strengthen and build a Writer’s skills. Seeing as I won’t be heading to South Africa anytime soon, I can still gain some inspiration from the group with their tweets for “Daily Writing Prompt.” I feel these are going to help me keep my Creativity Workshop promises and get me out of the blocks.
I’ll admit, I was one of those who never really used LinkedIn. Or looked at it. But then I started getting hooked to “Influencer Posts” that cover a variety of topics from various levels in the professional world. Last week, Arianna Huffington posted Hemingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the Virtues of a Good Long Walk and it really got me thinking.
Maybe those guys (being Hemingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the slew of others mentioned) were seriously on to something. I’ve often turned to walks during stressful times. Times to catch up with friends. Or just times to escape it all. And often, these happen along the lakefront. Though for some reason, it’s only during the fall and spring (maybe that chill in the air slapping you in the face has something to do with it). But it’s my first defense when things get rough.
Take for instance this past week at the office. A colleague was seriously overwhelmed and after seeing her walk by my desk, I followed up with a Gchat message saying: “Want to take a walk?” Even though we never went outside, it still helped. To get up and just walk away for a bit to gain a little perspective, but more importantly, a little distance. I’ve made a point to just pop into offices instead of calling people, just for the chance to get some mobility into my day.
I particularly enjoyed the quote from Gregory Berns in Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently when he writes, “new insights come from people and new environments — any circumstance in which the brain has a hard time predicting what will come next.” That to me sums up why around that 2:30 hour at the office, I’m craving somewhere for my legs to carry me. Sitting makes me feel stuck. Sitting makes me feel like a lump. And how is one supposed to be creative in that kinda of setting?
Below is an infographic from Mind Yourself Chicago on the importance of getting out there, for less than an hour. So feet, sandals, flip flops and boots, start walkin’.
I’ve noticed dinner parties/rooftop gatherings/patio meet-ups are quickly becoming more favorable than heading to nights out at bars for drinks and cocktails among friends. So naturally, we have to be nearing adulthood right?? Adulthood or not, I will say the conversation topics have shifted. Talk that surrounding pop culture and trips of nostalgia, has now become “Guess what I learned this week?” and “You’ll never believe this, but …” Maybe chalk it up to Buzzfeed with the endless lists of things you never knew about your favorite films, bands, TV shows, etc. Whatever it is, I walk away from these nights with new facts for trivia nights, perfect since that season is right around the corner.
During my daily blog run down, I came across Fill the Silence. It’s a fun Tumblr with random facts sure to spice up conversation at the next dinner table. There are only a few pages, so feel free to go back through the archives, you won’t get lost in a never-ending hole for the next 2 hours (like most Tumblrs). Two of my favorite findings below from the site.
Via A Cup of Jo