What I Know Wednesday is a bi-weekly round-up of thoughts, ideas and recommendations from the desk of Leah Jarvis. The best advice for writing is to write what you know. This is what I know. . .

Disarming the To Do List

I spend most of my days isolated in my office trying hard to not get distracted by notifications, the fridge, and nosy cars turning around in the cul de sac. It can be a lonely place sometimes, and it can be a bit grueling. I used to think impressing my former boss was a huge task. That was nothing compared to waging the home office battle of working hard, getting distracted, being pleased with your work, hating your work, trashing your work, digging it out of the trash, keeping up with admin stuff, and starting the process all over again the next day.

Two weeks ago, I put “walk a mile (x4)” on my daily to do list to ward off the inner critic, to break up my day a bit. And, if I’m being completely transparent here, I hoped it would make my dog like me more than my husband. 

Walking four miles a day when you need to get things done isn’t convenient. Walking four miles a day when the average temperate is 90 degrees isn’t very fun either. But what I have noticed is that if you show up consistently (or just show up to start), the task loses some of its bite. I’m not saying it gets easier because I swear the humidity around here has only crept up since I started, but I can feel my attitude, my motivation, my mind getting stronger. 

The task is now an opportunity — an opportunity to think, to grow, to stretch, to notice my surroundings. When it’s time to go for one of those walks, I feel myself standing up a little taller as if to say, “This isn’t going to be the worst thing I do today.” 

I usually come back re-energized for the rest of my to do list and fired up about a podcast or story I chose to listen to during my walk. Maybe you’re struggling with feeling sluggish or overwhelmed by your to do list. What can you add to it to make it a little easier?

P.S. Gunner doesn’t like me more than Kevin at all. He just knows he gets to sniff and pee all over the neighborhood at 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. And not a minute late. 


Quotable

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Playlist for July

We spent the Fourth of July floating down the New River in Boone, and I was tasked with curating the perfect playlist. It had to include rock classics that would wow my father-in-law, meet my mother-in-law’s request for country beach tunes, not bore my brother-in-law and his wife, and have just the teensiest bit of patriotic flair. I didn’t do too bad if I say so myself. Now, I could have downloaded it to my phone before we got off the grid in the mountains, but hey, you win some and lose some. It turned out alright in the end. 

P.S. Here’s my monthly playlist that’s not trip specific if you like that sort of thing. It’s a lot of Ed Sheeran and John Mayer. No regrets. 


What I’m. . .

Reading: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Listening To (book):  Dollars and Sense by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler
Listening To (podcast): Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard interviewing Fred Savage
Cooking: The Lazy Genius Ramen Noodle Bowls
Baking: Thinking about making bagels this week
Knitting: Still plugging away with one hour on Kevin’s sweater every day

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