Musings
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Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 289: On Moving the Dirt.

By: Jen Shoop
Inspiration will come and go, so you must learn to be disciplined. This is true in creative matters, in entrepreneurship, in academics, even in relationships and motherhood. Some days you are gliding on through, lifted by motivation and grace. Other days, the skies cloud over and your feet feel as though quagmired. On those days: you just have to move the dirt.

My Latest Snag: “Big Girl” Bedding for Mini.

Mini has outgrown her toddler bed — and then some. We have been meaning to transition her to a “big girl bed” for a long time now. We finally ordered her a proper mattress (the Saatva Youth — we LOVE this brand’s Zenhaven mattress we bought earlier this year for ourselves, the result of weeks of research on Mr. Magpie’s behalf) and will transition her toddler bed to a full size bed as soon as it arrives. I had the fun task of filling out the rest of her bed, and bought her two sheet sets to begin with (will continue to round out backup sets over time, but as any parent knows, it’s critical to have at least one back up set at all times). I bought her this set from the Company Store in the ditsy star print and this gingham set from Gap Home. I like pattern mixing in the children’s rooms — so fun. These will go with the “swan” duvet I already have for her from Pehr (sold out), but if I didn’t have that on hand, I would have contemplated this Hill House or something from Biscuit. (And P.S., if you have a smaller child, I love all the patterns from newer bedding label Gooselings, all for toddler beds!). I ordered a few extra of my favorite affordable but high quality pillows for her bed since she’ll have more sleeping pillows now. The last step will be ordering her a cute decorative pillow. I like the ones from Peppermint Bee and Southern Shades.

This Week’s Most Popular: Early Fall Finds.

The most popular items on Magpie this week:

popular fall finds

BLUE AND WHITE PINSTRIPE BUTTON-UP SHIRT

COLLARLESS TWEED JACKET WITH CONTRASTING GOLDEN BUTTONS AND WAIST TIE FOR A PUT-TOGETHER FITTED LOOK

HIGH-WAISTED FLARED BOOT-CUT PANTS MADE FROM KHAKI COLORED CORDUROY — THE FIT OF THESE IS SO FLATTERING AND A PERFECT ADDITION TO YOUR FALL WARDROBE

RICH GREEN KNIT TURTLENECK IN AN OVERSIZED, COMFORTABLE FIT WITH EXAGGERATED RIBBED HEMS

DRAWSTRING WAIST STRAIGHT LEG PANTS MADE FROM A SWEATER MATERIAL SO SOFT YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO TAKE THEM OFF…PLUS, THERE ARE POCKETS!

CLASSIC BUTTON-FRONT CASHMERE CARDIGAN IN AN EYE-CATCHING HOT PINK HUE — MADE FROM SUSTAINABLY SOURCED MATERIALS TOO

KNEE-HIGH WESTERN-INSPIRED BLACK FAUX LEATHER BOOTS

SET OF FIVE COLORFUL AMERICAN-MADE PENCILS WITH WIZARD SPELLS PRINTED IN GOLD LEAF — ONLY $10 AND PERFECT AS A GIFT!

GORGEOUS OVERSIZED CHUNKY RIB-KNIT TURTLENECK WITH CONTRASTING STITCHING ALONG THE SLEEVES FROM RAG + BONE

SET OF NINE ELEGANTLY PRINTED HALLOWEEN THEMED PAPER PLATES

BOLDLY PRINTED MONOGRAMMED CELLPHONE CASE THAT COMES IN SUCH A CUTE RANGE OF COLORS

WOVEN CORN HUSK PUMPKIN FOR CHIC, BUDGET-FRIENDLY FALL DECOR

SET OF CHOCOLATE BROWN LINEN CLOTH NAPKINS WITH CONTRASTING WHITE SCALLOPED TRIM — INSTANTLY ELEVATES ANY DINNER PARTY!

STAINLESS STEEL JULEP CUP WITH ELEGANT BEADED EDGES FOR SOME EXTRA FLAIR ON YOUR BAR CART

RETRO-INSPIRED TORTOISE PATTERNED CAT EYE SUNGLASSES

WESTERN STYLE SUEDE BOOTIES FROM SAM EDELMAN WITH CHIC KITTEN HEEL

Weekend Musings: Moving the Dirt.

Earlier this week, I went on a deeply unsatisfying run. I hated every minute of the workout. I could not get into a groove and wanted to stop and walk the entire time. I ground it out, but it was an unpleasant experience — this, coming from someone who already finds running “a necessary evil.” (I am not one of those passionate hobbyist runners — for me, running is a means to an end, or several: breaking a sweat, clearing my mind, and elevating my heart rate. It’s also conveniently cheap and portable. You can run anywhere.). Afterward, I polled my Magpies on Instagram: “How do you motivate yourself when you just ain’t feeling it?” Most of the answers pooled into one of three responses:

  1. Put on motivating music.
  2. Commit to ten minutes and if you’re still not feeling it, throw in the towel. (Though, usually, ten minutes in, you can motivate yourself to grind it out or you’ve gotten into a rhythm.)
  3. Bribe yourself with something fun afterward.

These are all excellent, tactical pieces of advice. But the one that really stood out to me ran as follows:

“Sometimes you just have to move the dirt.”

I truly felt that in my bones. It was, in different words, what I’d told myself every step of that unsatisfying run, and how I’d made it to the end. Nothing particularly awe-inspiring or mood-lifting — just: “Keep going. Grind it out. This sucks. Keep moving. Move that dirt. Get to that next tree.”

Inspiration will come and go, so you must learn to be disciplined. This is true in creative matters, in entrepreneurship, in academics, even in relationships and motherhood. Some days you are gliding on through, lifted by motivation and grace. Other days, the skies cloud over and your feet feel as though quagmired.

On those days: you just have to move the dirt.

Shopping Break.

+Another great statement loafer for the fall season. Major Gucci vibes, but the exaggeration of the hardware makes them feel not too copycat. This ladylike style (under $50) is also fab in the chocolate brown. (More loafers here.)

+PSA: Clarins Double Serum is 25% off! This is my ride-or-die skincare secret. I will not leave it.

+Well this fall dress is spectacular (and under $150). Order now for Thanksgiving!

+ByTimo has some really fun pieces out at the moment — this quilted mini and this corduroy one! (You can get the latter look for less with this.)

+Speaking of corduroy dresses, this Madewell one is fun.

+Drooling over this houndstooth blazer. The tie!

+GASP. These shoes!

+I couldn’t believe how quickly my tree topper sold out this year! Will keep an eye out for a restock. I do have to say my other frontrunner would be this gorgeous dove from Fig and Dove!

+This Etsy shop has adorable personalized cocktail napkins. Love these for a fall oyster roast!

+I’m hunting for boots for my son this fall. These are a statement but I’m kind of loving them?

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8 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 289: On Moving the Dirt.

  1. Wow, thank you for this! We are in a season right now, managing a colicky newborn and her three big siblings. Each day is a grind, and it’s hard to see the light! This is helpful imagery…just have to keep moving the dirt. It won’t always be like this!

    1. I wrote about something similar recently; I’d hit a plateau with my running and our renovations at the same time and it was a miserable struggle to get through. The good news: a couple of weeks of fairly cranky running and I did get through – running feels good right now! – the dirt does get moved.

      1. I love this, Hayley. Exactly right. A reader also just forwarded me a newsletter from Farnam Street that went like follows:

        “My high school football coach used to run us like crazy after a bad game. While I’m sure these tactics wouldn’t be accepted today, the lessons I learned in these moments still help me when things are hard.

        The most practical skill in life is learning to do things when you don’t feel like doing them. Anyone can do it when it’s easy, but most people drop out the minute easy stops.

        Muhammad Ali was asked how many sit-ups would do to prepare for a fight. His reply: “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” True to Ali’s mindset, our coach would only start counting the sprints when people started falling over.
        Inevitably someone on the team would say they wanted to quit. The coach would shout back a bunch of things that can’t be repeated, but he’d finish with “If you really want to quit, you can quit tomorrow, but you can’t quit today.”

        No one ever quit the next day.

        The person who is consistent outperforms the person who is intermittent every time. While inconsistent effort works for some things, for the things that really matter you need to be consistent. If you want to be consistent, you need strategies to keep you going when things are hard.

        The key to doing something you know you should do when you don’t feel like doing it is telling yourself that you can quit tomorrow but not today.”

        I really love that phrase — “you can quit tomorrow, but not today.” Going to pocket that one. A good way of galvanizing myself without feeling that waning “oh my God, I have to do this AGAIN in two days” backtalk that sometimes really puts me in a bad mood when motivating myself to exercise.

        xx

      2. Oh Hayley I hear you – we have about 3 months left of a 3 year renovation. Pray we are done for Christmas! Which we are also doing ourselves. And I still don’t know why but I signed up for a 46km trail race in December. Which will be about 40C here in Australia. I am bone tired! But just pushing through day by day! Good to hear others pushing through and just getting it done! I am a massive believer in if we waited for motivation we would never do anything! I bet we all go to bed proud of her efforts – even if they were a struggle xxx

    2. Amen, Shannon! Hang in there — that is such an exhausting time, and I didn’t have a baby with colic! Sending you love. It is a short season but mama mia, when you are in it, you are really in it. Keep moving that dirt!

      Not to be too cheesy, but my son has been asking me to play the soundtrack from “Cars” lately in the car on the way to school, and there is a very sweet Brad Paisley song in it that nearly always touches me. The lyrics go:

      I’ve heard it said that this too shall pass
      Good times or bad times, neither one lasts
      But thinking that your luck won’t ever change
      Is like thinking it won’t ever stop once it starts to rain
      Behind the clouds, the sun is shining
      Believe me even though you can’t quite make it out
      You may not see the silver lining
      But there’s a big blue sky waiting right behind the clouds
      Yeah, there’s a big blue sky waiting right behind the clouds

      Not to say you’re feeling “down on your luck,” but truly, sometimes it can feel like a long, long season when you are at home with a newborn (or an ill child), and I loved the imagery of blue skies right behind the clouds. Cheesy, I know – but sweet.

      xx

      1. Thank you for this much needed encouragement, Jen!! We love Cars, but I don’t know that I’ve paid attention to those lyrics before. I just listened. So hopeful! Thank you for seeing me in this moment!

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