Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Victor Frankl

Came across this quote while reading an article on Stoicism and mindfulness practice. Two seemingly disparate practices that in fact dovetail nicely.

If you have the time to complain about a situation, you probably have the time to find a solution. It’s a simple, but not easy, shift in how you look at problems.

Take a deep breath. Decide if there is something you can do to make the situation better. If there is, do it. If there’s not, stop complaining, let it go and move on to an area where you can affect change.

In order to create, you have to remove.

Want to create a healthier lifestyle? Probably need to remove excess weight. Want to get smarter, improve your worldview? The first step is removing previous assumptions about how things work so you’re open to new ideas.

Or let’s get more global. We need to get better at communicating with each other in terms of our politics, person to person and nation to nation. In order to do that we need to remove the stereo types we all harbor.

In order to create a better version of myself, I need to remove things to make room.

After reading @JeffStrand ‘s My Pretties and watching season two of Mind Hunter I had had enough of serial killers. I needed a palate cleanser. Season six of The 100 worked nicely.

It wasn’t the strongest season of the show and the story lines are getting a little repetitive, but I’m committed to these characters at this point. Read somewhere that season seven will be the last one. Probably a good decision, though I’ll be sad to see them go.

Thanks to @JWOcker I have learned that the PEM museum in Salem is going to have a Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibition. Pretty excited for this one as I have long been a Hawthorne aficionado and every year I teach his short story, The Birthmark. The exhibit is titled The Creative Legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Selections from the Phillips Library Collection.

From the PEM’s website:

This is the first exhibition in a new gallery dedicated to showcasing works from the museum’s research library. Nathaniel Hawthorne is integral to Salem’s rich history, and PEM’s Phillips Library collection includes over 3,000 individual volumes by the author. The library’s recent acquisition of Mindy Belloff’s A Golden Thread, a contemporary reinterpretation of Hawthorne’s short story “The Minotaur,” considers the links between past and present, visual and verbal, and how artists have drawn on one another’s work throughout time. Focusing on the visual artistry of bookmaking and printing, from cover designs to typography, this exhibition highlights the full creativity present in books as art objects.

How and why I use social media. Seems every few weeks I come across another post or article decrying the use of social media, and while on the one hand I totally get it- social media has been the cause (or at least symptom) of a lot of what ails modern culture- on the other hand, I think it really depends on how you use it.

Here’s my back of the napkin social media life:

Facebook: I keep my account so that I know when someone has big family news- death, marriage, baby. This seems to have become the de facto way of sharing this type of news and I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth talking to a friend or colleague I only see once in a while.I generally check in once or twice a week.I never post.

Instagram: I follow a lot of national parks, country accounts, interesting creators and photographers. I like to look a pretty pictures. I don’t rely on it to show me everything about the few personal accounts I follow. I mainly use it as eye candy. Check in first thing in the morning to see beautiful things while drinking my coffee.

As for posting, I like using the story function to put up random shots. The fact that they are here and gone appeals to me. Gives me a reason to snap a pic every now and then. I do tend to post quotes in my feed, but that is more for my business persona than anything else. (Have to maintain the brand somewhere, and I like Instagram best for this purpose.)

Twitter: Oh Twitter, the love to hate social media sibling. Honestly, Twitter has always been and probably always will be my favorite place to hang out. I keep my follow list around 100 and fill it mostly with authors and creators I enjoy reading about. Politics is pretty ruthlessly pruned out.I generally don’t follow people I know in real life- few of them are even on here. I’ll check in a couple times a day and post sporadically. I tend to respond to other people’s content more than I create my own here. (My personal blog does auto share to Twitter).

LinkedIn: I use this everyday, multiple times a day. I’m a job search coach so I have to live here. It’s fine.

I’ve never had social media make me feel anxious, depressed, FOMO or anything else that a lot of people talk about. All of my accounts have a pretty small follow list (around 100) and even then I have a few people muted from time to time. The algorithm doesn’t really seem to affect me. Don’t give it a lot to chose from and it tends to show you everything I guess. It’s a pleasant distraction or a tool. It has as much power as you want it to.

When there is clarity within

The world appears clear.

When there is chaos within

The outside world appears chaotic.

Our world is a reflection of our state of mind.

Don’t “change the world”. Change yourself.

Chad Lutzke and John Boden’s Out Behind the Barn was 130 pages of …I don’t know how to describe it. A “sweet” horror story? Regardless, I highly recommend it. And if you are a writer, or just appreciate the craft, the afterward which explains how this collaboration came about is entertaining in and of itself.

How much better to heal than seek revenge from injury. Vengeance wastes a lot of time and exposes you to many more injuries than the first that sparked it. Anger always outlasts hurt. Best to take the opposite course.” — Seneca

Ask yourself, What do I subjectively gain by endless anger and frustration?

Time and energy would be better spent trying to leave behind what made you so angry in the first place.

Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present‚ thoughtfully, justly.” Marcus Aurelius

An ever-ready piece of advice to stop wasting time. Do things that you’ll look back on with pride or fondness at the end of things.