The Friday Recliner ~ October 15th


The Friday Recliner

Hello friends. So glad your here.

Its Friday so that means I’ve rounded up a few good words and reads to keep you company as you end the week and head into the weekend.

So take a deep breath or two, grab something good to drink and enjoy  – – –

A Good Word

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Shauna Niequist

A Good Look

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The weekend – where books and gardens and worn in comfy lounges meet.

More gorgeousness here

A Good Laugh

Courtesy of  Miranda Hart,  The Canoe Lady  and the Canoe Lady “Walks” Down a Hill

A Good Idea

Fill Up, Pour Out

by Kate Bowler

It stormed and stormed and stormed here on the coast of North Carolina and then TA DA! A moment of sunshine.

I’m taking all my moments of recharging where I can find them.

I am (sitting at the beach) reading a gorgeous book called The Gift right now about how our small talents must keep being given as gifts to others. We can’t keep too much to ourselves or we stagnate.

What a great thought.

We fill our buckets then we pour them out.

And do it all over again.

So if you’re the baking type or the encouraging type or the writing type or the organization type, bless it all.

Whatever type we are, we have gifts to give. So we pour them out. Then pause to get filled back up.

Reading always makes me feel full again. And parties.

Is there anything that fills you up faster than anything else?

A Few Good Reads

On Plans, Potential, And Success

“So, have you given any thought to your birth plan?” My no-nonsense OB/GYN posed the question at the end of my 32-week appointment. It was my first pregnancy, and I had dutifully followed every instruction she’d given me—except for the daily caffeine guidelines, where I fudged a little. This question threw me, though. 

“Birth plan?” I echoed, my brow furrowing.

Seeing my confusion, she explained. “Things like, when and if you want an epidural; who you want in the delivery room; do you want to be able to see when you start to push—”

“Let me stop you right there with a hard no to that last one, thanks,” I interjected. She smiled.

“I see what you’re saying,” I added slowly. “But, I mean, it seems like whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, yeah? Isn’t coming up with a whole written plan kind of … setting myself up for disappointment?”

“That’s one way to look at it,” she said. “But some women feel more in control if they have a plan and their wishes written out.”

I nodded, considering. I like control just as much as—okay, fine, probably more like slightly more than—the next person. But plans make me wary. Setting goals mostly feels like an exercise in tempting fate. My typical M.O. is to determine the lowest bar I’d like to clear and set my sights there, minimizing the risk of failure. My first childbirth attempt didn’t seem like the time to break that pattern.

“Doctor, I want to survive this, and I want my baby to as well,” I finally said. “If you can make those two things happen, I’ll be good. Do I need to write that down?”

She smiled again, and I patted myself on the back for eliciting two smiles from the least smiley person I’ve ever encountered.

“No need,” she replied. “Sounds like we’ll be working from the same plan.”

At my high school, we had what were called senior superlatives. The senior class voted for one boy and one girl in a handful of categories like “Wittiest” and “Most School Spirit” who best embodied those characteristics.

My classmates voted me “Most Likely to Succeed.” 

My male counterpart, Mr. Most Likely to Succeed, was the class valedictorian. In the twenty years since, he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from a prestigious university, became a research scientist, and is working to find a cure for cancer. That is not hyperbole. He has a patent registered in his name and regularly authors research papers with titles I cannot pronounce.

He is, by nearly every measure of the word, successful. I haven’t mapped the career trajectories of every single person I graduated with, but I feel reasonably safe assuming he is, in fact, among the most successful.

I attended a state college, quit a job I was good at seven years ago to stay at home with my kids, and regularly forget about putting dinner in the crockpot until it’s far too late to put dinner in the crockpot. Any writing I do is slapped with a pejorative “mommy blogger” label, and while I’m excellent at washing and drying the laundry, folding and putting away has a 7-10 business day lag time. I have zero professional goals. No vision board. No five year plan.

The Class of 2001 is batting a .500, is what I’m trying to say.

When I was in college, originally my plan was to major in journalism and minor in business. Actually, that wasn’t my plan at all  – – – –  keep reading

Sweet Things To Do For a Friend Today

A fantasy of mine plays out in On The Verge, a new show on Netflix, in which four friends have all the time in the world to help one other through every crisis that comes up. In real life, we can’t exactly drop everything and rush to the beach for a group hug at a moment’s notice, but there are still so many small things we can do for our friends in their time of need — or, really, any time at all. It just takes a little positivity and thinking outside the box. Below are 35 sweet things you can do today to send a friend some extra love.

  1. Offer a quiet room in your house as a change of scenery. Planning to be out all morning? Leave your house key under her doormat and tell her to make herself at home. New surroundings are good for the brain.
  2. Uber Eats some pastries or donuts in the middle of the week. Baked goods make the best surprise, and having the time to bake or drive shouldn’t be an impediment.
  3. Drop off dinner or email a food delivery card. If your friend is busy caring for a baby or parent, prepping for an important meeting or driving little league duty, take one major load off her plate by providing dinner. And  —  since half the stress of dinner is planning it — tell her prior. Ah, see that? You just created some space in her brain.
  4. Send an artifact from your friendship. Shoot her a quick text with an old pic of the two of you, or send her a concert stub, a quote from a favorite movie, or a memory from a fun trip you took together a million years ago. Here’s a list of poems about friendship, if that’s your thing.
  5. Make her something pretty. You cannot possibly beat a handmade gift.
  6. Venmo $ for a fancy coffee. She deserves it.   keep reading

12 Reader Comments on Kindness from Cup of Jo

Lately we’ve noticed amazing stories of kindness in the comments and thought we should share them as soon as humanly possible. Here are 12 reader comments…

On help that heals:

“There’s nothing I could ever do to repay the kindness of the hospital chaplain, who helped my grandma when she was dying of COVID. She was able to video chat with all her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She passed away the next day, and those two hours we spent with her are the most precious of my life.” — A.

“I was hit by a car while walking across a crosswalk. I called a dear friend to let her know I needed help. She came to my home with clean flannel sheets. She made my bed, tucked me in, drove with my son to our favorite restaurant, and brought back dinner. She came again and again as I recuperated. It’s been 13 years and I still sleep on those flannel sheets every winter.” — Tricia

On passing it on:

When I was 15, I flew to Paris by myself to see family friends. I was nervous about getting myself to their house on my own — this was pre international cell phone days! The man sitting next to me on the plane helped me with my bags, walked me to a taxi and gave them the right address. I didn’t know how to thank him, but he told me someone had helped him on his first overseas trip. Now I always keep a lookout for people looking lost in airports.” — Nicole  keep reading

That’s all for now friends. Enjoy the reads and have a beautiful weekend, rest up, do something you love xx

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