Burnout

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Yesterday I finally made time to read this excellent article on burnout, and it was well worth the long read.  Anne Helen Petersen is observant and strikingly perceptive in her assessment of how Millennials have become the burnout generation.  We work hard, have endless side-hustles, have it drilled into us that we must find work that we are passionate about that also pays the bills, all amidst the fallout from an economic downturn that will likely stunt us for the rest of our lives.  Oh, and don’t forget, we need to look good doing all this on the ‘Gram.  I’m exhausted just typing all that.

While I don’t share her exact malaise in terms of the small daily errands, so much of life these days just feels hard.  I commute for over 3 hours every day, work hard at what should be my dream job where I get paid chronically not enough, serve on the board of a nonprofit, act as committee chair in a professional organization, and no, I haven’t chosen a dentist on our “new” (as of four years ago) dental plan, because who has time to sift through dozens of providers to find someone I am not afraid will advise me to get fillings I don’t need?  The whopping hour and a half of “down time” I have when I get home is devoted to cobbling together some sort of dinner, feeding my pets and walking the dogs, tidying the house, doing an errand or tow, and then I get to relax… oh, wait.  No, actually I don’t.  I crash in bed and try vainly to push past my anxiety get a full 8 hours of sleep before hauling myself out of bed to go the gym before I go to work like someone who has it together, what ever “it” is.

We are the first generation in a long time to actually have it worse than our parents, but the meritocracy of the American Dream has been repeated to us so many times, that we think if we just work harder, longer, better, then we’ll finally get ahead.  So we work more hours at the entry-level jobs we took that we were overqualified for, stay tethered to our phones in case our bosses need something, pursue our side-hustles because of course the gig economy means more opportunities (!) … and we are burning out.  Hello, burnout generation.

I’m not sure what the answer is.  Maybe awareness will at least help mitigate the mental burnout load.  Financial constraints and the feelings of futility that accompany them will certainly not go away with some internal reflection.  But I am hopeful that “thinking about life, and what joy and meaning we can derive not just from optimizing it, but living it,” might be a way forward.  All I can do is try.  Maybe even hustle a little.

Five great consoles

I’m not sure if it’s the freshness of a new year or the lull after the holidays, but either way, I’m in the mood to shake things up with our home decor.  I’ve been ruminating on a potential new media console for our living room, and there are such good ones out there at the moment!  Here are a few that have caught my eye to kick-start your weekend.  I think that navy lacquer beauty will fit best in our space, but I’m still on the prowl.  In the meantime, enjoy some eye candy — and happy Friday!

Odetta console  Pictograph console  Fuel credenza  Suspend console  Bios sideboard

A new year

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Happy new year, and welcome to 2019!  It seems we all have resolutions at the beginning of January, and one by one we let them fall by the wayside, with varying levels of guilt.  In the past few years I’ve decided to forego resolutions for that very reason.  Inevitably I find myself in a contemplative and reflective mood as the year closes, though, so instead of resolutions, I like to think about intentions for the year ahead.

This year, self-love is (again) on my mind.  I’m still mulling over how I can best take care of myself this year, but on New Year’s Eve I had the not-groundbreaking but also personally startling realization that maybe, just maybe, it is less about “fixing” and more about acceptance.  I tend to wonder what is wrong with me, and then set about trying to fix it.  Perhaps the key is not to fix, but to be still, accept, sit with, and be.  Rather than railing against my restless spirit and striving for an ever-elusive contentment, perhaps I can acknowledge that as part of my nature.  Perhaps contentment is less a state of being to be achieved, and more about enjoying snippets of joy and happiness as they are found, and made, and stumbled upon.

Wishing you joy in this new year, in whatever form it takes!

In Living Coral

pantone_living_coralPantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 has been announced as Living Coral, “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”  I am 100% here for it.  It’s a fresh version of the millennial pink trend that never really went away, and I am happy to embrace it.

I’m particularly fond of corals and pinks when mixed with a bit of eclecticism.  Think earthy ceramics, warm woods, mid-century touches, and maybe an old world portrait or two.  Even better if there is a mix of textures: velvet, rattan, wood, lacquer, and leather, oh my!  The interiors below get it exactly right, in my opinion — fresh, quirky-fun, and easy to live with.

Break out the coral-colored glasses for 2019, guys.  It’s going to be the year of Living Coral.

 

photos via house&home, architectural digest france, my scandinavian home, wit&delight, my unfinished home

 

 

Three great design books

Right now there are so many inspiring books on design to choose from!  If I had to pick three right now, I’d be diving into these handsome volumes.  Each has a unique point of view, but all feature amazing, quirky, beautiful spaces that I’d love to pore over again and again.  Coincidentally, all three are by incredible women that I am proud to support.

It’s Beautiful Here by Megan Morton

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This is Home: The Art of Simple Living by Natalie Walton

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The Alchemy of Things by Karen McCartney

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Going with it

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Tide pool, Crystal Cove State Park, December 2018

Sometimes, you need to just go with the flow.  Take it one day at a time.  Good with the bad, highs with the lows, just go with it.  The last month or so has been full of challenges and difficulties, but delightful moments have also popped up to warm me in the shadows.  I’m going to have a few days off from work at the end of the month that I hope will be a time to recharge and reset for the coming new year, but in the meantime, I’m trying to float along.  I’m just going with it.

Fir? Sure!

A few years ago I stumbled upon my very favorite holiday candle of all time, Frasier Fir by Thymes.  To me, it is just perfection.  Every year growing up we’d drive out to choose a Christmas tree and then decorate it as a family, the whole living room smelling like the holidays had arrived.  To this day, the scent of a fir tree makes me happy.

As an adult and as a musician, December gets very busy, so for years now I have opted for a faux tree to streamline our holiday decorating.  Scent is such a powerful thing, though, so I splurge on a new Frasier Fir candle every holiday season.  The glow of lights from the tree, the scent of fir needles, and a mug of tea while cozied up on the couch is about as close to perfect as I can ask for at this time of year.

fir candle  faux fur throw  whiteware mug

 

Fun things!

This week my mind is all over the place — Holidays soon!  Thanksgiving to clean up after!  Gifts to buy!  Here are a few fun things on my radar at the moment:

I’m in love with this faux fur coat — it’s beautiful cozy coats like this that make me wish for colder weather!

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This adorable interloper is causing havoc in Vancouver.  Are you Team Otter or Team Koi?

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Hooray for the Mars lander!  Handy (and amusing) explanation here.

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These are beautiful.

images via: ofakind.com, , Matthew Inman, Bornn enamelware

Thankful

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Kristina Akers, Pieces

On this odd in-between day between Thanksgiving with friends and Thanksgiving with family, I am simply grateful.  Grateful for good friends and warm hearts, for my loving family and sweet furry companions, and for my own little spark of optimism that helps me get through the days that seem too hard.  In my heart, I am taking a moment to be still and give thanks.

Wish list

Everyone I know seems to have their holiday shopping already underway, while I am still a bit dazed that Thanksgiving is already here.  While I haven’t started my gift shopping, I’ve at least started thinking about gifts for loved ones — and I have a few items on my mind I that would love, too!  Here’s a little peek of what I’m dreaming of finding under the tree, both fantastical dream splurges and more modest wish items alike.

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This lovely Doctors bag by Linjer looks like just the right size.  Clean, classic, easy.  Love it.

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Le Labo Rose 31 is a fragrance I discovered at their shop while wandering a bit in Seattle.  This woodsy, mysterious take on a traditional rose scent is addicting, and I think I’ll need a bottle once my carefully-rationed sample vial is finished.

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I fell hard for the Louis Vuitton Catogram Speedy as soon as I saw the launch of Grace Coddington’s collaboration.  The cat and dog illustrations are just too adorable for words.

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I’ve been intrigued by Nisolo for a while, and this stylish Chelsea boot seems like an ideal way to get to know this brand.  I really admire their ethical production practices.

 

While I was initially unsure I’d want or need an Apple watch, I’ve grown to really love mine.  It is so much more discreet to get notifications via a tap on the wrist rather than a buzzing phone on my desk.  The sleek new 40mm Series 4 and a pretty leather band are on my list, as I am sure it will wildly outstrip my Series 1 in functionality.

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I stumbled upon Stoned: Architects, Designers & Artists on the Rocks in a shop recently, and was smitten with the gorgeous photos in this tome.  One can never have enough books as far as I am concerned, especially when they are as beautiful as this.

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I’m as in love as ever with my Baleen earrings, and wear them all the time.  Their rose Herkimer studs are just the right sort of undone take on a traditional diamond stud, and I’d love to have these beauties in my rotation as well.

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And finally, I love starting each year fresh with a new calendar.  Rifle Paper Co.’s World Traveler calendar would be the perfect way to remember favorite trips as well as inspire (and maybe schedule) new ones.