A few weeks ago, I shared the following news with my patrons:
I’ve used WordPress to manage content on the backend of RowdyKittens.com for the last decade, and it’s time for a change. With my brother-in-law’s help, we’re moving my digital home to Squarespace! I’m excited about migrating RowdyKittens to Squarespace because the platform is easier to use, and I’ll be able to manage the technical components of RowdyKittens on my own (hopefully).
We’ll be finishing the migration this week, and that means I won’t post content to the blog until the new site is live. If everything goes according to plan, it will be live later this week. I’m so excited to share my new digital home with you!
In the meantime, I’ll be doing digital spring cleaning, organizing my Monterey photos, and writing. If you’re looking for something to read this week, join A Simple Year (it’s the last day you can register for the 2018 program), read my Tiny Letters, or explore the blog archive.
Yesterday, I explored Monterey by foot and tried to take all the photos. After walking 8-miles, my feet are seriously tired and sore. When I get home, I’ll work on a detailed post about my adventures. For now, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite shots from yesterday. Today, I’m going to enjoy the sights by bike. Talk soon, friends!
As I write these words, I’m in Monterey, CA at Cafe Lumiere drinking a cup of coffee and eating a slice of warm apple pie because it’s Pi Day!
Logan has a work conference in Monterey, so I tagged along on the trip. It’s our first out of town adventure of 2018, and it feels good to break away from my daily routine. Mary Jo, our lovely cat sitter, is watching our girls. The cats will sleep by the heater, eat all the food, and Mary Jo will spoil them rotten.
My aims for our mini adventure include:
— Taking all the photos.
— Gathering material for blog posts.
— Seeing the sights by foot.
— CrossFitting if my legs can handle it.
— Playing hooky from work.
I was curious about the term “play hooky,” and where it originated. According to the Urban Dictionary, the term “‘Play hooky’ is probably derived from the Dutch term hoekje (spelen) ‘hide-and-seek.’”
There’s more to life than work, and these types of trips remind me that it’s okay to play hooky, and indulge in a warm slice of apple pie; especially on Pi Day.
In addition to keeping a daily journal, I’ve been doing something different this year. I’m keeping a logbook of my days in a small pink Moleskine planner.
At the end of each day, I write a simple list of what I did and observed. I also include a few notes about what I’m grateful for. Other than blogging daily, writing in my logbook is one of the best projects I’ve taken on in 2018.
I’ll let Kleon explain why list keeping is important:
“… keeping a simple list of who/what/where means I write down events that seem mundane at the time, but later on help paint a better portrait of the day, or even become more significant over time. By ‘sticking to the facts’ I don’t pre-judge what was important or what wasn’t, I just write it down.
Best of all, limiting each day to one page and breaking it down into a list instead of prose makes it easier for me to scan through it later, and get a real feel for the passing of time as I flip the pages.”
The idea of keeping a logbook can be tied to Stephen Cope’s message in The Great Work of Your Life. He said, “A life is built on a series of small course corrections—small choices that add up to something mammoth.”
If I’m not writing down my course corrections and notes, I won’t remember them. For example, last night I flipped through my logbook, and I discovered themes that I want to explore in my public and private writing.
I’ll leave you with a few snapshots from my logbook:
Before digging into Cope’s book, I didn’t understand dharma philosophy or history.
Here’s how Cope introduces the idea:
“The yoga tradition is very, very interested in the idea of an inner possibility harbored within every human soul. Yogis insist that every single human being has a unique vocation. They call this dharma. Dharma is a potent Sanskrit word that is packed tight with meaning . . . Dharma means, variously, ‘path,’ ‘teaching,’ or ‘law.’ For the purposes in this book it will mean primarily ‘vocation,’ or ‘sacred duty.’ It means, most of all—and in all cases—truth. Yogis believe that our greatest responsibly in life is to this inner possibility—this dharma—and they believe that every human being’s duty is to utterly, fully, and completely embody his own idiosyncratic dharma.”
I’m fascinated by this notion, and by Cope’s exploration of the concept—through an intensive study of many lives. The life stories of Jane Goodall, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and “so-called ordinary lives” are used by Cope to examine the idea of dharma.
Below are a couple of quotes by Cope that I’ve been pondering. They make excellent journaling fodder:
“. . . here’s an experiment. Stop reading for a minute, and ask yourself these questions: Am I living fully right now? Am I bringing forth everything I can bring forth? Am I digging down into that ineffable inner treasure-house that I know is there? That trove of genius? Am I living my life’s calling? Am I willing to go to any lengths to offer my genius to the world?”
“. . . Someone has had a profound taste of living their dharma, maybe even for decades. But now that particular dharma is used up—lived out. You can smell it. This person knows that a certain dharma moment is over but has only the vaguest sense of what must be next. It increasingly begins to dawn on her that in order to find that next expression of dharma she is going to have to take a leap of some kind. She knows that she is going to have to close a door behind her before she will find the next door to open. And gradually she comes to edge of a cliff, where she knows a leap of faith will be required. This is where she sits down in her folding chair. Will she ever get up?”
“Failure is a part of all great dharma stories. And great dharma failures do not just happen early in life. They routinely happen throughout life. We only know who we are by trying on various versions of ourselves.”
Cope’s book is making me think differently about my life and work, and I’m looking forward to finishing it this week!
10. If my work supports you, consider supporting my work by becoming a patron.On Sunday, I’m sending my 20th Tiny Letter to patrons. Also, my latest creative tool box is about the financial side of running RowdyKittens.com. This money essay is one of the more vulnerable articles I’ve written, and it’s also a topic I wish more online creatives would discuss.
We lived in our tiny house full-time for four years, and for the last two years, we’ve used the house as a vacation cabin. Late last year, we decided to sell our tiny house because it’s time for new beginnings and adventures.
The house is officially on the market! We’d be incredibly grateful if you shared this post on social media or via email with friends and family. I hope we find a buyer who loves this little place as much as we do!
Cost & additional details:
16 feet long
8.5 feet wide
13 feet tall
128 square feet
The little house is approximately 6,000 pounds, and it was built on a custom Iron Eagle Trailer.
Yesterday, I wrote about riding the writing struggle bus, and today I want to share how I reframe a challenging situation. When I struggle with writing—or other hard circumstances—I focus on gratitude because practicing gratitude helps me be playful, relaxed, and generous with myself and others.
In short, reframing my thoughts through gratitude is the key to turning the struggle bus around.
“Have faith that you and the Universe have created everything for your growth and be grateful for it. No matter what. Get practiced at making gratitude your go-to, notice the eight trillion things around you at all times that you can be grateful for, and feel into the grateful expectation for all the things coming your way. The good, the bad, the ugly, the salsa stain you just got on your new white shirt, become a gratitude machine for all of it.
There is no lack of things to be grateful for if you remember to pay attention.”
1. a situation, task, etc., that seems difficult or frustrating:
With no sleep last night, I’ll be on the struggle bus today.
Recently, I’ve been riding the writing struggle bus because I’m making an iPhone photography course and it isn’t going well. I’m not happy with the content, and my inner perfectionist isn’t helping the situation.
I’m also tired of being on the struggle bus, so I decided to write the class and worry about the details (like formatting, course delivery, etc.) at a later date. I also started using Scrivener again because the program helps me organize my writing with less effort. It’s a visual person’s dream!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to write the course with ease and spend less time on the writing struggle bus.