After a crazy week with plenty of hours at my day job of nannying, the list of things to inspire you is a little longer than my other sections this week, but after 50+ hours with a 2 year old and an infant, who DOESN'T need a little inspiration? Throw in the American presidential race and anytime you turn on the news, and I think we can all see the need for a finding some happy things to fill these days.
I Told The Truth In My Sister's Obituary, So That Others Might Choose To Live: This heartbreakingly honest piece, told by a woman who chose to list her sister's cause of death as depression and suicide, brings about an important conversation. So often depression isn't listed or even talked about after it affects someone so deeply, but she believes (and I think is so important) that by talking about it, we can't keep it in the dark. Things like depression and anxiety and mental health only grow the more we don't talk about them, and while it's encouraging to see a shift in how we talk about mental health, we still have a ways to go. As she says, "Here is the truth: You have value. You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you. Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter. Depression lies. We must tell the truth."
Fear Is Boring, And Other Tips For Living A Creative Life: Elizabeth Gilbert, will you please be my spirit guide/guru/voice of my conscience? Everything she is and does and shares is incredible, and this article from TED is nothing short of brilliant. Her book Big Magic was one of my favorites from last year/all time, and I would like everyone to read it. Mega props to my friend Luke for sending it in his weekly email, which I always love, and which greatly inspired this blog series.
When Friends Are "Like Family": I am a big fan of friends who have become family, in addition to my actual family, and this author brings up some really interesting points about what she's found that to mean, through research and conversation and personal experience.
The Staves: Spotify In Residence: The Staves are one of my most favorite bands - their harmonies and musicality are consistently ridiculous, in the best sort of way, and I always think it's so interesting to hear what your favorite bands are inspired by. Thankfully, so does Spotify, and you can check out their first playlist/podcast/develop-a-friend-crush-on-them-all above, as well as the second episode here.
Typhoon (Lawrence High School Classroom Sessions): Another one of my favorite bands, Typhoon, in one of my favorite mediums (live and acoustic), doing one of my favorite things, aside from playing music (talking about their music and process). I've seen them live a few times, the last in a very acoustic manner at DePaul University this winter, and they never disappoint. This is one of my favorite series, from a well-connected Kansas high school teacher - check out some of the other artists and groups he's brought!
JK Rowling Posts Publisher's Rejection Letters: EVEN JK ROWLING GETS REJECTED. Granted, these letters were about her book The Cuckoo's Calling, which she first wrote under a pen name, but it is still her writing. The same author as the wonderful and treasured Harry Potter series, which are some of the best selling books worldwide. It's so easy to think that rejection is something that only happens to non-famous people, or that rejection is a bad thing, but it literally happens to everyone.
Pope Francis Washes The Feet Of Muslim Refugees: Regardless of your faith background or where you might find yourself in the spectrum of faith, it is pretty awesome to see what Pope Francis has done since he became Pope. Coming from a Christian background and now pretty unsure of where I'd classify myself faith-wise, I've always thought that loving all humans, regardless of their background, was kind of the basis of Christianity. Love and kindness and respect for all are some of my most core values, and it's really cool to see those things popping up in the life of a international faith leader. YOU GO POPE.
Inside The Studio Of The "Micro-Engraver" Who Works Between Heartbeats To Keep His Hand Steady: Yes, you read that correctly. He SLOWS HIS HEARTBEATS DOWN in order to make the kind of work he needs to make. I haven't tried this (and likely won't), but helloooo dedication to your craft.
Heavy Petting: Whatever you thought, THINK AGAIN, because this is the most delightful thing you'll see all week. Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, one of my favorite things on the internet, started a video series entitled "Heavy Petting" in order to spotlight dogs in need of adoption. But it's not just videos of dogs. As incredible as those always are, they are dubbed with voices of actors and actresses, many from Parks and Recreation, which makes them 394723948 times more wonderful.
Chicago's Pizza Squirrel Is Much Cuter Than New York's Pizza Rat: Let's just first acknowledge that squirrels are ALWAYS cuter than rats, but I'd also like to say that I saw a pizza squirrel in Chicago like four years ago. Perhaps they are a rapidly breeding species? I'm fine with it.
May you have a week full of remembering great music, remembering to eat pizza, and remembering how important you and your life are.