Inspiration: September 23

Inspiration September 23 >> Life In Limbo

Sixteen small steps to happiness. This post is truly what it’s all about.

Coping with stress is necessary and important! Big love for this big list of ways to do so. It reminds me of a post I once wrote about things to do on study breaks, which also contained 101 items.

Okay, I don’t think any of us are “ruining” our lives here, but I still liked this post a lot.

Creating a new things practice is an awesome idea, and mine has brought so much happiness to my life over the years. This is a good reminder for me to pay more attention to my 26 list again!

I only recently discovered Caroline and her site Made Vibrant. I think her art is beautiful and her subscription Color Your Soul seems so fun and interesting.

This week I am finally sinking my teeth into this book and I really wish I hadn’t waited so long! I actually started it once, about a year ago, but for some reason didn’t get into it. This time around, I can’t put it down.

I’m hoping to take a course through Ladies Learning Code this fall. Looks so great!

Another week gone by in a flash. I did some reading, had some meetings, did lots of work on the computer, went for lots of walks (yay!) and took some time for dreaming up ideas – or trying to, at least. This weekend I am hoping to decompress, make some plans for my move next week (!) and finish that amazing book. I hope you have a great weekend too.

Ordinary Yet Extraordinary


I got a new phone last week after several years of chugging along with my slow old workhorse of an iPhone 4. I upgraded to the SE, which is incredibly fast and amazing (I’ve been giving it googly eyes all week) and comes with great phone camera, which is definitely my favourite feature and, if I’m honest, was the thing I was most excited about when it came to getting a new phone.

However, having a phone camera again posed a very stupid and very modern dilemma, which is this: on Instagram, do I continue to post exclusively beautiful photos taken on my DSLR, do I mix it up with some fancy-camera and some phone-camera photos, or do I slowly but steadily shift over to phone camera only?

My aunt joked to me the other day about something totally unrelated, “It must be exhausting, being in your mind,” and, well, yeah. She’s right. I’m honestly amazed that these are questions I even consider, and that I don’t seem to be able to just go with the flow and let things unfold. I could beat myself up about this, or I could get curious about it.

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Inspiration: September 16

Inspiration September 18 >> Life In Limbo

I loved this list of spots to visit in Paris! I don’t have any trips planned at the moment, but I hope to go back to Paris one day soon (and San Sebastian, and Bologna..)

Yesterday I finally received my leggings from Girlfriend Collective! They have a cool promotion going where you pay only the shipping for your first pair – you just have to wait a little while. I ordered mine back in April, but they had delays with their factory so my shipment was particularly delayed. I think now the turn-around time is shorter, and I would highly recommend them! They’re so comfortable and the fabric and design are such high-quality.

A really helpful-yet-scary tool for seeing whether your data may have been compromised in any of the hacks that have been happening to big companies over the last few years. If it has though, just change your password! Better to know.

The link above was from this week’s Useletter, one of the few newsletters I subscribe to by email. Every edition has at least one link or tip that is highly useful or interesting.

Have been binge-listening to Emotion all week while I work. Thanks Carly Rae!

I’ve been trying not to watch any TV this week (success!) and have been reading instead. I’m currently reading Small Move, Big Change, and finished The Crossroads of Should and Must earlier this week. Both are awesome!

Happy to announce that I finally got a new phone this week – I had been using my trusty old iPhone 4 for around five years, and it was so old and tired. On my new phone, some of the first apps I downloaded (besides the obvious Google Maps + Instagram) were: Transit, Headspace, and Clue. What else should I get??

This week went by in a flash of work, playing with the puppy, updating my personal website and trying to get out for a walk every day. It’s an interesting season for me, to say the least, but I am truly feeling more and more grounded every single day. Life is good, and I am happy. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xo.

Do It Now

Do It Now >> Life In Limbo

I read a post the other day with a line that really stuck with me: “I have a weird tendency to put off doing things I know make me happy.”

I would also add: “things that will make my day a teeny-tiny bit better, or things that require backtracking of any kind, or things that prioritize important, intangible things like relationships and creativity.”

Yes, sadly I have a tendency to diminish, put off, or neglect all of the above. This idea applies to my life in tiny, everyday, menial ways and (unfortunately) in larger, big-picture ways too. I am quick to think that something is a “hassle” or “not worth doing” when it is even the slightest, tiniest bit inconvenient. And worse, I always tend to think that there will be another, better time to do XYZ.

I almost cringe to share examples of this, because it seems completely ridiculous that I even think this way. Permit me to share instead examples of when I narrowly saved myself from this lazy default behaviour and actually did the things?

A brief list from the past couple of days:

  • Heated up my coffee for 20 seconds in the microwave instead of drinking it cold
  • Wore my sunglasses while driving instead of leaving them in my purse and squinting the entire time
  • Walked upstairs to grab a sweater so that I could comfortably sit outside
  • Went for a walk despite feeling like I still had a lot of work to do

These are obviously small, almost trivial things. But do you know who appreciated each and every one of them? Me. I did. Every time I overcome my default setting of doing the bare minimum of what’s easy, quick, and efficient, I benefit. I feel a tiny bit happier, and my day is a tiny bit brighter.

Do It Now >> Life In Limbo

I love using Gretchen Rubin’s One Minute Rule to help me with this: if it takes less than a minute, do it now. I am so quick to want to save myself a little time or extra walking, but it’s so, so easy to reframe it, especially since I really do want to walk more.

On Happier last week they talked about a woman who always parks far away from stores, so that she doesn’t have to circle trying to find a spot to park and so she gets more walking in. While listening, I thought “I do that too!”, but I’ve only ever done it to avoid the crowds and have an easier time of parking. By thinking of it as an easy way to be a tiny bit more active, I’m instantly more motivated and not as worried about “wasting time” by parking further away.

The other thing that helps me a lot is Stephen Covey’s Urgent-Important Matrix. I often forget about this tool, but every time I remember, it’s a big reality check about how I spend my time. The tool is applied most often to work and career, but I think it’s just as insightful when used for your personal life.

I tend to spend my time and energy in the Urgent & Important quadrant, and the Not-Urgent & Not-Important one. I want to spend my time in the Important but Not-Urgent quadrant, but those are the kinds of activities I forget to make time for. “Important” for you might mean something different, but for me it’s about relationship building, creativity, personal growth, relaxation, and self-care. Whenever those types of activities aren’t urgent (which is almost always), they are easily neglected.

So it all comes down to this question, which I’ve asked myself before: Stephanie, who are you doing a favour by putting off the things that make your life happier, richer, and lighter? Re-reading that post is funny, because it reminds me that I’ve struggled with this issue before and I probably will again.

I’m reminded of a Cheryl Strayed quote I love: “nobody is going to do your life for you.” That means doing all the tiny one-minute tasks and making time for things that are important but not-urgent. It means making plans and creating routines and taking my vitamins and warming up my coffee. If I want a lovely life, I have to make choices every day that make my life lovely.