Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Will Smith on Hustle

"The only thing distinctly different about me is that I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be overworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things that can happen. Either you're going to get off first, or I'm going to die. It's really simple. So let's go back to what I do when people reject me. I'm either going to get back in, or I'm going to die. The majority of people who aren't getting the things they want, or aren't achieving the things they want, is strictly based on hustle. It's strictly being based on being outworked, on missing crucial opportunities. If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready."
                                                                                                                                   - Will Smith

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Breaking Good

Things are a little hectic up in this joint right now. At work, my boss is on sabbatical, so I've had to fold his duties into mine, and on the personal front, I can't seem to stop trying to do all of the things. This isn't a complaint. I dig it. Usually.

Now? I need to buy myself some time so that I can work on finishing www.serenamcclain.com! I've wanted a new online home for a while, so I'm stoked to get it up and running. The problem is that I write slowly (obsessing over almost every word), and when I have to write about anything related to me, we're talking glacial. The ice caps melt faster than I can write an about page. So, instead of just leaving this space blank for a bit, I'm going to combine my love of pop culture with my collection of quotes and just keep the next month simple. I'm calling it breaking good :-)


I think this post may break one of own blogging rules*. Oh well, we're all a little hypocritical, right?

*The first rule of fight club is that you do not talk about fight club.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Gilead: Book Review

Gilead (by Marilynne Robinson) took me by surprise. I'd listened to Rebecca and Jeff discuss it on the Book Riot Podcast, so I was fairly certain there would be tears. I just misjudged completely what would make me emotional.

Let's back up. Gilead is the story of a much older father writing to his young son, attempting to cram a lifetime of learning and relationship into what he thinks are the last few weeks or months of his life. In an almost stream of consciousness, the father (a preacher) weaves family history with spiritual struggle in a way that's entirely unpretentious and, yet, rendered beautifully.

I fully expected to cry at the father's anticipated death. Instead, I found tears pouring down my cheeks at the points where his struggles are my struggles and when he nails ideas I've only begun to circle around. He speaks of each of us being alone, essentially being unknowable to each other and comparable to distinct civilizations. Somehow, it was in these words that I felt known, unalone.

Robinson captures so eloquently my desire to know, really know, my family. Parents lead such interior, seemingly secret lives from their children, and to be able to share in what makes them them seems precious.

"I'm trying to make the best of our situation..."

You need only look at my dog-eared copy to know that there are so many highlight-worthy passages in this book. I can tell it's one I'll keep coming back to.

Do you have books you read on the regular? It's somewhat abnormal for me.

Listen to Ravena and I talk about this and other books we've been reading over the last two weeks!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Where have all the mix CDs gone?

found music, 05.30.14

I realize I'm a bit of a sucker for nostalgia, but can we reminisce for a moment about where all of the CDs have gone?

I was digging through a few old purses last week in a desperate search for my expired passport when I uncovered this relic of the past. It shared a snazzy envelope with a mix of Muse songs and was tucked in next to a "best of" Foreigner set. [I know I'm not the only one to want nothing more than to be able to belt out I Want to Know What Love Is while driving down the highway.]

Anyway, I digress. Is anyone still making mix CDs these days, or are the kids just trading Spotify playlists? If so, where's the magic in that? Can you accidentally stumble upon a playlist someone made for you five years later and become instantly overwhelmed with the rush of emotion you used to feel when you listened to those songs?

Serendipity is such a charmer. It was awesome to rediscover this mix CD and pop it in, having totally forgotten who gave it to me or what was on it. I didn't even mind that a couple of the songs made me tear up as, in the popular vernacular of our times, I had all the feels ;-)

Do you still make mix CDs? When was the last time you made one?

P.S. I consider finding an eight-year old fossilized chocolate bar a sign that every now and then I can muster great restraint.