Monday Inspiration.

By: Jen Shoop

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Four separate Instagram saves from the past week or two that really made me stop and think, or laugh, or just sit with my feelings drawn about me. Sending out your way today —

Via @philosophical.quote

Via @mytherapistsays

Via @secretchords_apoemfortheday

Via @growwithcolby

The last one reminded me of my observation that time alone increases steadily as we age, and that we must therefore learn to befriend ourselves almost as a matter of survival, and also of my essay about how little time we really have with the people we love. If ever there was a nudge to pick up the phone and call my sister, or arrange a lunch with a girlfriend, this is it. I also found myself thinking about the people I do see all the time. Interesting to acknowledge that, for example, I now see my trainer more often than my mother, and the neighbors more often than my best friends. Who are these people we end up almost accidentally spending our days with? And might they be answers, or blessings, too? (I wrote elsewhere: “Stay open to the neighbors, who turn out to be guardian angels in disguise, treating you tenderly when you’ve fallen, and bringing by dinner and crates of activities for the children when illness visits.”).

The Dooley poem mainly spoke to me in the sense of how much we carry as women, and how the profound jangles up alongside the piddling. Pocket change and remorse! It’s all there, and if we aren’t careful to separate them out from one another, we can feel like Atlas on a random Monday. Just a reminder that not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry, and that the good people in your world want to help. The movie “Saltburn” was so dark and unwelcome in its sentiments — I could not disagree with its underpinning assumptions more. Movies like that lead you to think that greed and self-interest are the binding agents of humanity, but my life has proven the opposite: open the door, and people will show up for you. People want to help!

Of course, the worrying one gave me a good laugh. (I worry too much!) Anyone else?

And to sail into the week: Anais Nin’s reminder to take risks, because even when things don’t turn out as we anticipate, we still learn and move forward and arrive where we’re meant to. It has taken me years to see how all of the zigs and zags of my squiggly career path have deposited me here, writing for a living, and happy. Trust the path! On a finer-grained note, one thing I learned from my direct sales days: don’t take the “nos” personally. It’s usually an issue of product-market fit, or that you didn’t have the right value prop, or that you didn’t speak to the right stakeholder — and so those “nos” are really refining your process versus proving that you are in some way incompetent, or dim-witted. Zooming out, I see the Nin philosophy. “The mistakes are right, too.”

Onward —



+On writing about your loved ones.

+How to get started with writing.

+Getting out of a reading slump.

Shopping Break.

+A Magpie pointed me in the direction of Ann Taylor’s new “Weekend” collection and WOW. Absolutely love the styling/vibe – it’s SO me. Love this cardigan, these wide legs, and this phone sling which is SO much like my Celine!

+Adore this pink jacket.

+You know I’m obsessed with Vibi Venezias — I think I own five pairs! — but I might need this fun floral.

+Pretty spring blockprint napkins.

+Hunter Bell’s collections sell through so quickly, and I am in love with their entire spring collection, especially this dress in either fabulous pattern, and this skirt/top set.

+H&M always has fun home finds – love these. On the fashion side of the house: this embroidered top is stunning!

+Gorgeous woven flats.

+Jenni Kayne’s popular Cooper sweater is back in stock, and 20% off! You can get the look for a little less with this La Ligne, FYI.

+Drawn to the new colors of this chic Cuyana bag.

+I own and love this dress in a different pattern, but it’s striking in the lilac eyelet!

+20% off of Kule with code ESSENTIALS. Add some color to your wardrobe with a fun striped tee or a cheery striped sweater.

+Oh my gosh, this mirror. Swooning.

+A bridal dream.

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