The Friday Recliner ~ March 18th

The Friday Recliner

Hey friends

Happy weekending.

Anything lovely planned?

Here there’s soft rain falling and a restful easy hush over everything which feels like welcome relief.  As always, I hope these few words and reads will be fresh air and kind company as you head into the weekend.

A Good Word

Kyra Joy Craig

A Good Look

“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.” – Naya Riviera

A Good Idea

from Rachel Nevergall

Tell the Story

The first stories I remember my grandpa telling me were jokes. I would call him up, hundreds of miles away, and he would say “Rachel, I’ve got this great story to tell you…” We both knew the tale would end with a punchline, but still I listened like it mattered, because it did.

Grandpa was known for telling the same story over and over. He would start in on a tale and the family would hold up our fingers counting how many times we’d heard that one. We would tease him and he would pretend to be bothered, but I saw that grin on his face. He was in on the joke.

When Mike joined the family, Grandpa’s stories were new to him. Mike would ask questions, because he’s curious like that, and Gramps relished in having a new audience. When we left a visit, Mike would say something to me like “I didn’t know your grandpa could do Morse code.” And then I would say “huh, I guess I didn’t remember that either.” I suppose Gramps had told me, but somehow along the way I forgot to listen.

I think that’s when I started to pay attention. That’s when I learned storytelling mattered. It also happens to be around the time I became a mother.

Since then, I tried to be more curious. I learned to sit longer by Grandpa’s side, to keep asking questions, to listen. As the years went by and his mind and vision blurred, the stories that mattered sharpened. Sure, I heard them over and over again just like always, but this time I listened. This time I collected every story like it mattered, because it did.

When I went to visit Grandpa in hospice care last week, all I wanted was to hear him tell me his stories, one last time. But I could tell he was tired. It was Grandpa’s turn to listen. So I became the storyteller instead.

Grandpa, remember when you taught me how to two-step?
Grandpa, remember when you took me on that canoe trip?
Grandpa, remember when you built me that treehouse?

And he listened, like it mattered, because it did.

This is my promise, Gramps: I will keep telling your stories, over and over again. I’ll teach them how to be curious, how to listen, how to remember. Just like you taught me.

Kids, I’ve got this great story to tell you about your GGPa…

A Few Good Reads

From Courtney Carver at Be More With Less

3 Simple Ways to Reject Productivity Culture

I left the corporate world in 2011 and have never looked back. I don’t miss the ladder climbing, more is better, never enough, competitive world of productivity culture.

This isn’t just happening at the workplace either. It’s worked it’s way into our homes, to-do lists and family calendars.

Productivity culture says silly things like …

  • The more you do the better you are.
  • Work longer and harder to be recognized as successful.
  • You can sleep when you die.
  • Optimize your calendar, work and life so you can get even more done.
  • You can relax once you’ve earned it.

I believed every word of it. For a really long time. And then I got sick. Part of my healing process was recognizing that I didn’t want to push and hustle anymore – – – keep reading 

from Sean Dietrich


The white tent with Auburn University markings was set up outside an automotive garage. There were a couple grills beneath the tent, spewing blue smoke into the air. A sign out front read: BBQ.

It was a sleepy afternoon and business was apparently slow at the garage. The mechanics were all sitting outside, relaxing on the axis of the Wheel of Life. Chain smoking.

At the grill was a young man, working the coals. He was well over six-foot eight. Maybe seven feet. He had a frame like an F-150. His hair was in cornrows, his shoulders were the width of a Steinway. He was smothering pork ribs with a paintbrush that had been dipped in what was either barbecue sauce or 10W-30.

I ordered a full rack because I have a sixth sense when it comes to barbecue. My father before me also had a great nose for barbecue.

And I am a chip off the old block.

My old man could procure the greatest smoked nourishment from side-of-the-road places that most people would overlook. He once bought barbecue in a Mexican man’s backyard – – – – keep reading

And a reminder the grass isn’t always greener – – –

I swapped tailored pantsuits for a too-big chef’s shirt stained with bone-deep anxiety sweat.

A few years ago, 18 months into my law career, I fired off a resignation email to the managing partner of my Madison Avenue firm.

The ink was barely dry on my New York bar membership, but I had a plan: I would sublet my one bedroom in Cobble Hill and move to an attic apartment overlooking an old train yard in Bilbao, Spain. I would swap tailored pantsuits for a too-big chef’s shirt stained with bone-deep anxiety sweat. I would trade evenings downing lamb burgers and pricey glasses of Malbec for nights crawling around the floor of a Michelin-starred restaurant, scrubbing titanium cabinets until they shined like diamonds. As an unpaid kitchen intern, I’d do it for free. I’d do it gladly—at least in the beginning.

Resignation waves tend to be spurred by extraordinary or catastrophic circumstances. My desire to throw in the towel was the opposite: strikingly ordinary. Even though my job as an estate-planning associate had been relatively cushy, I was unfulfilled. During weekly conference calls over catered roast beef sandwiches, I’d daydream about menu ideas and thoughtful flavor combinations. I was consumed with the notion that I’d be happier if only I had a career that aligned with my ‘authentic self’: creative, sensitive, and passionate about food.

Becoming a lawyer had never been my calling, per se. Before law school I had deferred twice, hightailing it to Spain for two years to blog about food and sleep in budget hostels across Europe. But on my return, the ghosts of financial and career insecurity were waiting. Skin still kissed by the Mediterranean sun, I ignored my gut, signed a stack of loan agreements and commenced 1L. The warm memories and glossy jamón of Spain had been calling me back ever since – – –  keep reading

That’s all for now friends. Have a beautiful weekend. Rest up. Do something you love xx

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