“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
We say that a lot around the office. Probably because we’re all a bunch of perfectionists brought together (strategically) for the common goal of creating something great. And we’re all constantly battling the desire to make something perfect – instead of just making something great.
Even with that statement, my bias reveals itself. Like so many others, I frequently buy into the idea that “great” is just that: great, but not perfect. And wouldn’t perfect be so much better?
Most companies are looking for people who won’t settle for less than the absolute best and who will work tirelessly to achieve greatness – both for the organization and for their own careers. And most people (if they’re honest) would really like perfect. Perfect is what many of us tell ourselves we should be.
And yet, perfection is an illusion because there’s always something more we can do, something better. We can never reach perfection, but we keep driving toward it, and that keeps us endlessly spinning and pushing and running. Continue reading
It was far too crowded on the train today. Between the hours of 5 and 6PM, Montgomery station is a mass of people, and today was exceptionally packed. As the N pulled up to the platform, I let the flow of the crowd carry me on to the train. I didn’t really have anywhere to be. I just wanted to get home. So, I thought skinny thoughts and squeezed myself between one very tall man and a shorter woman and her oversized bag.
I couldn’t reach one of the poles to hang onto, but there was no need. We were all so smashed together that no one was moving anyway. We just leaned against each other as the car continued on down the tunnel, jostling us and forcing us to get uncomfortably familiar with each others’ bodies.
When we finally came up for air and exited the tunnel, the dog park came into view. The same one I pass every day on my commute back and forth from downtown San Francisco. But this time, I heard an invitation. Continue reading
The eve of my 30th birthday was relatively quiet. I chopped rainbow carrots and kale in my little San Francisco kitchen. I did not turn on the TV or listen to music. I resisted the urge to fill the space with noise. Instead, I washed the kale and peeled the carrots. I minced garlic and stirred it around with olive oil and cumin and coriander.
I listened to the sound of the knife on the cutting board, and savored the aromas filling the room.
I reflected back on my day – how busy it felt, like I was moving too fast and yet not getting enough done. How I kept having to remind myself to slow down. As my boss would say wisely, “This is PR. Not the ER.”
I carried that purposeful slowness into my evening. Letting my body and mind rest after a day of post-vacation email pile-up. Not avoiding it, but not worrying about it too much either. Sometimes you just have to hug the slog.
Much like excelling in the workplace, cooking from scratch requires patience and a methodical commitment. It requires focus and time. And if you’re going to enjoy the process, it requires slowing down and being present.
This is the greatest truth I’ve discovered in my 20s. Slowness. Savoring. It’s the truth I want to carry into my 30s. The gift I want to give to others. Continue reading
This Part 2 in a two-part series on what practicing yoga has taught me. If you missed it, catch Part 1 here.
6. Let go. Being present on the mat requires letting go of anything outside of your mat for that hour. Your posture is not one of control and striving, but rather openness and malleability.
So often, I find myself having a breakthrough during class. My mind relaxes, and I receive an answer to a question I’ve been pondering or a conflict I’ve been working through.
Isn’t this so often how God works? When we let go of our preconceived notions of what He can do – or what we can do with Him – we allow Him to enter the spaces where we feel most weak and strengthen us. He always surprises me with His goodness.
But this first requires opening up to Him. Continue reading
1. Front porches should be a thing everywhere.
I’ve been to several cities where front porches rule the day: Columbus, Charlotte, Portland. California – at least, the Bay Area – is seriously missing out.
I long for a good front porch – it seems like the perfect place to both relax and get some good alone time and also be available to spontaneous chats with friends and passersby.
I don’t know that everyone takes advantage of their front-yard space, but I’m telling you: if I had a front porch, I would be out there almost every night. I love sitting out with tea or a glass of wine, chatting with friends, and saying hi to the neighbors. If the Lord ever sees to bless me with a house with a front porch, I promise to put it to good use.
2. Church is everywhere God’s people are gathered. As my pastor in San Francisco has often said, “We’re the body gathered and scattered.”
While I completely believe in the importance of regular gatherings with other believers – for accountability, teaching, and inter-generational wisdom – I don’t think that church is limited to Sunday mornings.
I saw this truth play out over and over again during my week in Oregon. Whether we’re talking over coffee or during a long car ride, conversations with dear friends is one of the primary ways I connect with God. I love learning other people’s stories, asking hard questions about our struggles, and “spurring one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
There’s a reason God gave us each other; he knew we’d need each other to be a full and complete body – with all our vital limbs and organs – able to live out his love in the world. Continue reading
This past week has been full of beauty, friendship, rest, and sunshine. All the good things. Here are 10 things I’ve learned during my time here. Continue reading
Sabbatical is awkward. Rest and stillness feels foreign. Nearly one week in, and I feel like I’m still trying to settle into this slower pace of life.
Part of this may be due to the fact that I’m no longer at home – I’m traveling, living out of a suitcase, sleeping in a new place. But I think it has much more to do with the state of my mind and heart.
Even while I’m writing about being enough and not finding your worth in your productivity or performance, I’m still fighting the urge to make the most of every minute and operate under a tight schedule. Must get to barre class at 8:30. Must be writing in coffee shop by 10. Must draft first chapter today. So many must’s that I’m trying to muster the strength and energy to complete. The irony is not lost on me.
But I hold onto the hope that God is teaching me through my discomfort and he’s using this internal battle to reveal more of himself to me. In this process, I’m trying to give myself grace as I break in these new shoes of Sabbath, silence, and slowness.
That’s the journey of enough – it’s a continuous cycle of shedding old habits and trying on new ways of thinking and being.
Yesterday I did not go to work. No, I wasn’t playing hooky. And I wasn’t sick. Instead, I’m incredibly grateful and excited to say that yesterday marked the first day of my four-week sabbatical.
This month is dedicated to kick-starting my book writing process – something I’ve been so enjoying sharing with you. Throughout this journey, I will continue to invite you in to give you sneak peeks at what’s coming and to receive your feedback. To get early access and updates I only send over email, sign up here. No spam. Just love.
I first started talking about this sabbatical a year ago. My company, One Medical Group, has this crazy awesome perk of offering a sabbatical after five years at the organization. I’m a year behind in taking mine as April marked the start of my seventh year at One Medical – time is flying! But I know the Lord’s timing was perfect. Continue reading
Strolling at Whetstone Wine Cellars
Last week I spent four beautiful days in Napa with my mama and sister. All sunshine and good food and just being together. And, of course, vino.
We booked this trip a while back, not knowing that it would coincide with the passing of our beloved family dog. For those who aren’t dog people, I might be hard to relate to this statement, but Lacy’s passing felt like a true death in the family. A dog like Lacy provides unconditional love and genuine companionship that we mere humans have a harder time giving to others. Because of our higher-functioning (read: obsessive, self-centered) brains, we’re more concerned with whether our affections will be returned, what others will think of us. Lacy wasn’t that way. She just made friends with everyone she met and doled out love freely, never worried that she’d run out of it.
I want to be more like that. Continue reading