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I don’t know who needs this …

It was a tough week. So I am especially grateful for the bright spot of Taylor Swift’s surprise new album, Folklore. I saw her tweet, and I ordered the album on CD. I’m old school like that (but it came with a digital version).

Check out cardigan:

You are my favorite, ICYWW.


Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

Hair scissors photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Hair DIY

After a series of haircuts that were not quite me, I realized the importance of finding a hairstylist who could work with why I have: fine, straight hair and lots of it. I learned why it’s worth it to pay someone who is well trained. My last haircut was in early February. One of my last pre-Covid-19 outings, I remember that it was pouring rain and cold and that I left the salon with a cute but expensive haircut. I went on a business trip through the Seattle airport, which made me nervous as I read reports of a virus that was sweeping through China. Within a month, my home state was hammered by the virus, and we were acclimating to a new stay-at-home reality. 

I really understand the “I need a haircut bad” feeling. But I also know I’m not willing to die for a haircut. Even with short hair, I can make a haircut last about 12 weeks. Mid-May, I was shaggy. I trimmed my bangs, and that helped. My computer headset camouflages a lot, and it helps that no one can see the back of my head on Zoom calls. But by July, it was out of control. So I enlisted my husband for a full haircut. It took two rounds of cutting and a YouTube video, but we accomplished a good-ish haircut. 

He’s very experienced with clipper cuts, having cut his own hair since college. (Yep, he even cuts the back.) I cut the hair in front, channeling the best stylists that I’ve had. The first go-around, my hair was still too long in the back. My husband, like so many stylists I’ve had, was really reluctant to cut it short. I found a video showing a clipper cut on a woman, and that gave him the confidence to go for it. 

Two things that I wish I had: hair clips (we used chip clips) and texturizing scissors. Next month’s goal: get some tools and learn to do a fade with the clippers.


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

Negotiation, Creativity, and Inner Peace

I always have a stack of books and a long list of online classes. Here’s what’s come to the top in the last month.

I just finished Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator. My big takeaway from the book is that negotiation is a big part of our lives, and our aversion to it doesn’t help us in the long run. Voss builds on the research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky–I wasn’t expecting a continuation of Thinking, Fast and Slow when I reserved this book at the library. Check out his talk at Google for the TL;DR alternative:

I am a big fan of LinkedIn Learning and just finished Banish Your Inner Critic to Unleash Your Creativity with Denise Jacobs. I attended an online summit several months ago and heard Denise speak about the inner critic. Then about a month ago, she was featured on a LinkedIn live event on creativity. 

I have been making my way through How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (best known for his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People). As Jen Sincero of You Are a Badass fame would say, it’s an old-timey book. What surprised me is how relevant a book first published in 1948 feels in 2020. Carnegie’s work is filled with practical advice and was amazingly well-read and dedicated to helping people improve their lives.


Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

Stylish woman working on a laptop. Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Keep Learning

I am a big fan of LinkedIn Learning. Many of the video segments are 5-10 minutes so almost everyone can fit a little bit of training into their day. I find that even when the topics are familiar, these online classes offered a great refresher and even new insights. 

LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com a few years ago, and you may still see it referenced that way. Lynda.com was my go-to source for software training for a very long time.

Here are some of my favorites:

LinkedIn Learning may be available through work as a professional development opportunity or as an electronic resource through your local library. Check it out!


Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Small red strip quilt

Quilted Joy

I was in the sewing room trying to find a project that I could work on and finish–I needed a win–and came across some red strips from another project. A long time ago, I took a quilting class called “All Reds Go Together (ARGT),” and this is an ode to that class. That take-home message has stuck with me all these years.

I usually set pieced strips against black borders but I went all in with ARGT for this mini quilt. It feels like quilted joy.

Black lab listening with cocked head. Dogs are the best listeners.

The Listener

Sometimes I talk too much, but mostly I don’t. I’m a listener. I listen to understand. Listening is also a gift I can give to others. I have observed that many, many people are longing to be heard. And to be understood.

In times like these, it feels especially important to listen: listen with an open heart and an open mind. To be prepared to be wrong and to make mistakes – and to be humbled. We need to listen for the ways that we need to change, the actions we need to take, and the reparations we need to make. 

Many people are waking up to a reality they have long avoided. And many people have suffered too long in that reality.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash