Dear People Who Like To Read Things On The Internet

This is 100% a copout for an actual post with real words and thoughts. I’m not even kind of going to hide it. But since we’re all in the midst of a long weekend, I thought now would be an ideal time to share the list of links I’ve been compiling since I “started blogging again”* in September.

*That was a two-post streak, so here’s to this streak outlasting that one by at least one post. #dreambig

If you find yourself at an Alessia-Cara-style party tonight, here are a few good things to keep you entertained until your people are ready to go:

What we carry by Design for Mankind

What are you carrying? What is essential? What do you believe are your strongest tools, your smartest assets? What might take you where you’d like to go?

Pack those.
Leave the rest.

Making things happen vs. letting things happen by Modern Mrs. Darcy

I thought hummingbirds were one of those things that you had to let happen. To a certain extent, that’s true. You can’t force them. But you certainly can give nature a nudge.

For today by The Mother Years

Everyone loves new.

What we struggle with is saying goodbye to the days that are behind us.

They remind us that we are finite beings, that we have no control over time, that life-changes rarely happen abruptly and far more often happen so slowly – minute by minute and a big chunk of those minutes when we’re fast asleep – that we don’t even notice until we can longer deny that nothing is as it was.

Life on a Mobius strip by Janna Levin for The Moth via Brain Pickings

Eventually it starts to rain, and it rains forever. Woody Allen said, “Forever’s a very long time, especially the bit towards the end.” And a rainy winter in Cambridge is a very long time. Warren picks up a mandolin; he starts playing these Americana bluegrass tunes over and over again, you know, na na na na na na na. And it’s this manic soundtrack to our mounting insanity, and eventually we explode.

The Spring by charity:water

Note: This is a 20-minute video, which is unfathomably long in our 20-second video culture, but don’t let that stop you from watching. It’s inspiring in all of the best ways, especially if you’re a storyteller/story lover/people lover.

When You Change the World and No One Notices by Morgan Housel for Collaborative Fund

The Wrights’ story shows something more common than we realize: There’s often a big gap between changing the world and convincing people that you changed the world.

Love the one you’re with by Jeremy Pierre for The Gospel Coalition

Jesus came to serve an impulsive Peter, a distracted Martha, a dubious Thomas. And he came to serve a silly person like each one of us. And yes, Christ’s redemptive love changes us by degree, but this change is about conformity to righteousness, not conformity to personal preference.

Note: This is written for people with spouses, but applies to all sorts of relationships, I think.

Masters of Love by Emily Esfahani Smith for The Atlantic

“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”

Note: Also meant for spouses; also applicable to all other types of people.

Do Americans Understand How the World Sees America? an interview with Jeremy Courtney, founder of the Preemptive Love Coalition, for Gradient

I think Americans by and large are fairly ignorant of history, so we don’t often understand how anyone in the world could see Americans as anything other than the good guy — the savior, the one who comes in to help. The one who rescues and provides outsized amounts of humanitarian assistance and all these kinds of things. None of those things are untrue, but there’s another story.

13 Writing Tips From J.K. Rowling, Because She Knows A Thing Or Two About Perseverance by Sadie L. Trombetta for Bustle

You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is.

The Instagram Bible by Jen Wilkin

If the Prosperity Gospel offered us all the things, the Instagram Gospel offers us all the feels. It preaches good news in part, but we need the whole. It may move us in the moment, but it cannot sustain us through the storm.

Who’s The Woman With The Camera Chasing Smiles And Styles In Nigeria? by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton for NPR

Abubakar had been feeling frustrated that her home region is best known for its ties to Boko Haram. So in 2015, she decided to do something about it.

My Son, the Prince of Fashion by Michael Chabon for GQ

I took my son to Paris Fashion Week, and all I got was a profound understanding of who he is, what he wants to do with his life, and how it feels to watch a grown man stride down a runway wearing shaggy yellow Muppet pants.

I’m Glad I’m Not the Same Guy Who Wrote Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

I’m so grateful I’m not the same guy who wrote Blue Like Jazz. Certainly I still love the book and am grateful for it, but it’s been ten years now and I’ve changed.

If I haven’t changed, something is drastically wrong.

Cable news by Seth Godin

What if the fear and malaise and anger isn’t merely being reported by cable news…

What if it’s being caused by cable news?

What if ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture?

Exciting, fresh ways to not use our words by Haley Nahman for Manrepeller

There is so much to say in 2017. Thank goodness we won’t have to use actual words.

Why time management is ruining our lives by Oliver Burkeman for The Guardian

Then there’s the matter of self-consciousness: virtually every time management expert’s first piece of advice is to keep a detailed log of your time use, but doing so just heightens your awareness of the minutes ticking by, then lost for ever. As for focusing on your long-term goals: the more you do that, the more of your daily life you spend feeling vaguely despondent that you have not yet achieved them. Should you manage to achieve one, the satisfaction is strikingly brief – then it’s time to set a new long-term goal. The supposed cure just makes the problem worse.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide by The Art of Simple

We care about putting our money where it does the least harm and the most good. We also care about giving quality, meaningful gifts that don’t clutter up our loved ones’ lives—thoughtful giving, in other words, from the item’s inception to its place under our tree.

Note: I know this might seem out of place, unless you plan to really go all out for Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Groundhog Day or President’s Day, but this is a really helpful list of anytime gift ideas you can feel good about.

How to Enjoy the Season: The Practice of Immersion by Giants & Pilgrims

It’s really simple actually. Instead of the holiday being just a day (or a meal or a party or a church service), we make sure and do several things we love and enjoy in the season leading up to the observed hoopla.

Note: Also seemingly out of place, but also applicable to all seasons.

Do you hear? by Design for Mankind

Now is not the time to quiet down. Now is not the time to silence ourselves out of fear that our questions might add to the chaos. Now is not the time to stop talking, to disengage entirely.

Now is not the time to cover our ears and miss the bigger voice – the higher pitch that promises to cut through the noise, if only we’re willing to listen.

Heavy Boots: Incredibly Ordinary by Jessica Jordana

Me: “What are your plans this weekend?”

Them: “Nothing, I don’t think!”

Me: “Sometimes no plans are the best plans!”

Oh, I’m sorry, did I just vomit a cliche all over myself?  Let me go clean that off my heavy boots.

Lily & the Snowman by Cineplex

Note: This is a video and you should just be ready to cry all of the tears.

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