As Taylor mentioned, I was hit with a “death sickness” last week, so I had fewer days to really love this week. Who gets sick with the flu in June?! That being said, I did rediscover my love for this cure-all ginger tea, which I’m also forcing upon the boy at the point as he’s following in my sickness footsteps about a week later. Bummer.
Sickness aside, it was a lovely couple of weeks, complete with travel to Seattle, some shopping, simple pleasures, exploring what “success” means and lots of time outdoors. Here’s a look!
1. sleepless in seattle: I was in Seattle, I just adore that movie, and I really didn’t sleep that well at the hotel…other than that, no connection…I traveled to Seattle for two nights for a work trip mid-week and was reminded just how much I love that city, especially when the sun’s out! I was able to do some sensible and exciting shopping, eat one of the best seafood dinners I’ve ever had at trendy Rock Creek (if you’re in the area, try it asap!), and reconnect with some friends and family.
2. diving in: swimming was my thing from when I was about three until I was fifteen. I stopped because I wasn’t as competitively inclined as the sport demanded, but I have always loved the certain relaxation and exhaustion that comes with a good swim. Taylor and I brought back the glory days for the first time in a long time on Sunday and successfully swam a mile (72 lengths, 36 laps, and 18 100m sets…). I purchased a full set—”no-drag” bikini, goggles and swim cap—of swim gear and went for it. I so excited to reconnect this this sport. What a great way to spend time outside, get a good workout, and spend time with friends!
3. new home surprises: we haven’t even been living in our house for a year, so each season is still a surprise. I was thrilled to discover a lilac bush hidden on the side of the house when the boy and I were battling some weeds (weeds:1, humans: 0). These lovely lavendar lilacs are making our home prettier and more fragrant. They’re the best!
4. strong alone. unstoppable together: Go, USA! I am so excited about the Women’s World Cup. Watch this video promo (it will make any childhood player nostalgic), and cheer for your country! These ladies kick ass.
5. new duds for the dogs: it was time for the girls to have a little wardrobe update as well. I went to the local pet shop, Thunderpaws, and was overwhelmed by the decision to choose just one collar for Zoe. So, Parley of course needed one, too. Here’s Zoe, modeling her new pink polka-dot “Walk-E-Woo” collar (because the boy can’t nay-say what I put on Zoe), and ParPar, modeling her rainbow trout patterned collar.
6. #nofilterneeded: I know we talk about this all the time, but Sun Valley, and Idaho in general, is just gorgeous. I am struck every day by the “no filter needed” beauty, which is amplified right now by just how incredibly‚ and uncharacteristically, green it is.
7. words of wisdom from a glossy mag: When Billy Collins spoke at my high school graduation (which was incredibly awesome), he wisely mentioned in his “top ten list of advice” to not pay attention to glossy magazines. For the most part, I follow this rule, except for the guilty, mindless pleasure of an occasional Us Weekly or my Rolling Stone subscription. I picked up this issue of Glamour in the Seattle airport because of the cover girl (I have a girl crush on Anna Kendrick), with little to no expectation for its contents. I was pleasantly surprised, to the point that I passed it on to Taylor.
In the “success” issue, the magazine tackles what success means for women today. Living in a small town with limited opportunities and careers, finding “success” is something Taylor and I both grapple with constantly. This magazine explores that anxiety, cites the wise words of women in various careers, and gives tips on how to be your most successful self, whatever that may mean. You’ll have to pick up the magazine for a full read — my favorite articles tackled topics from the importance of paternal leave, a simple health quiz, and equal pay in the workplace, to features on different “successful” women.
Also, here’s the letter from the editor, Cindi Leive, which resonated with both of us:
“Quick: What comes to mind when you think of success? A corner office, and the shoe budget to match? Eight bajillion Instagram followers, including but not limited to your now-envious exes? Yourself, on a desert island, with Theo James mixing margaritas? Whatever you pictured—no judging!—I hope the image motivates ou and makes you happy. As more than 2,000 of you reveal in the Glamour Success Issue survey, 82 percent of women feel confident they’ll attain “success,” whatever that means to them. So inspiring!
But our survey uncovered something else I find troubling: the idea that success isn’t always a happy, promising goal. Sixty-four percent of you feel pressure to be successful, and more than half all women say that the whole idea of getting there is “stressful.” It makes sense; after all, there are so many kinds of success today. Sell your start-up! Run a country! Lean in, and get 100,000 likes doing it! I’m tired just typing all this. Who could possibly hit so many home runs in so many different ballparks? And what if you want to feel successful whether or not you win the game?
So consider this: When Glamour’s survey asked women to stop thinking about their own success path and instead to name other women they considered successful, the winner was Hilary Rodham Clinton or Beyoncé—though both did fine. The most common answer was, quite simply, “My mom.” And odds are that (even if your name is Chelsea Clinton or Blue Ivy Carter) you value your mother not just for the post she held in her life but for the difference she made in your life. I consider my own mom successful not only because she carved out an against-the-odds career in science but also because she was the kind of quirky individualist willing to throw a pig roast in our suburban front yard (true story), and because she was always laughing. Her success—like that of a lot of women I admire—wasn’t about her résumé.
So isn’t it time we looked at ourselves the same way and recognized that Big Front Page Achievements are lovely (and I always cheer when they’re female ones), but success is much richer, and broader than that. Yes, to be happy you do have to push yourself, to take your own dreams seriously. But make sure they’re your dreams, not someone else’s—and remember that success is sometimes measured in how you make the other people around you feel.
Let’s toast to that kind of achievement right now. Theo, can we have a round?”
And with that, I wish you a happy and successful week!