Cozy Quilt Completion
Terry the Quilting Husband got his cozy flannel quilt back from the long-arm quilter and finally we have put the denim binding on (I say “we” because Terry sewed the binding strips together but I sewed them down on the quilt as he hates that part!) and completed the quilt.
Here is Terry under the quilt (he does not like his photo posted, and no, he is not in a witness protection program):
A close up of the denim binding (Terry’s idea) and the pieced :
Here is the chair with the quilt “sans Terry”. This chair is actually my favorite chair for reading in front of the window, but Terry has hijacked it and has his quilt and his book (Military History not crafting) in my spot:
Terry selected the fabric (a fat quarter stack of Woolies flannel), designed the quilt, and pieced the quilt…and assembled the binding then handed it off to his wife to sew onto the quilted quilt!
Non-Stop Self-Help Audiobook Listening
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know of my obsession with self-help audiobooks. I do try and sprinkle a little fiction into my book consumption whether it be a Neil Gaiman audiobook or my recent read (via a hardback book!) of Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train (which I really liked, it was a page turner, but the main character did irritate me…).
Recently from my local library, I have listened to three “self-help” genre audiobooks back to back:
- Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
- Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David
I am still reading/listening to Emotional Agility and it might end up being one of my most favorite “self-improvement”/”self-help” audiobooks of all time. It is narrated by the author who has a lovely South African accent (early in the book she shared some of the horrors witnessed growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid and how they influenced her; she now lives in the US).
I greatly enjoyed The Subtle Art… and it was not about being indifferent or becoming a sociopath – it was about embracing your life struggles and viewing your struggles from a different perspective. The book also focused on deciding what is important to you in life, based on your values, and focusing your energies there instead of getting lost in the meaningless details in life.
I gave up halfway through the book Present Over Perfect as I found the narrator and the book sort of tedious and repetitious; however the author did make some good points and perhaps I would have enjoyed it better as a print book.
Here are some quotes from each of the books that I found inspirational:
Present Over Perfect (Shauna Niequist)
“What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”
“How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”
The Subtle Art… (Mark Manson)
“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change. We have evolved to always live with a certain degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity, because it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.”
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
“We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause. People, high on a sense of false superiority, fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it.”
Emotional Agility (Susan David)
“People frequently die in fires or crash landings because they try to escape through the same door they used when they entered.”
“Your Values will bring you freedom from Social Comparisons.”
“Bottling and brooding are short-term emotional aspirin we reach for, yet these habits don’t deal with what’s causing our distress.”
There is a great transcription of an interview with Susan David by the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School’s website: How Achieving Emotional Agility Can Help You — at Work and in Life.
This quote by Susan David from the interview sums up the theme of this wonderful book:
“(Emotional Agility is) the ability to be able to be with your thoughts, your emotions and your stories. We all have thousands of these every day in a way that enables us not to be derailed by them, but rather brings us intentionally and with purpose towards what we value in our live.”
I keep thinking I will eventually tire of or just get completely sick of “self-help” books but then I stumble across a couple of gems like The Subtle Art… and Emotional Agility!
I backup my photos on Google Photos and occasionally it will automatically add a special effect to one of my photos that I can choose to save or discard (not affecting the original photo). Here are two photos that were first featured on the 01/15/17 post Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees that Google added special effects.
I wanted to share these photos as they look really cool (well at least to me):