This week's dispatch begins with a note from Lisa, lingers on our favorite days of the week, explores a couple of uncommon reads, and ends with a question for you. We hope you are well, and your week full of possibility.
By all accounts, ballet was my first love. I have always thought of it as the only way to teach yourself to fly, with the help of nothing but your own body and a lot of hard work.
I was in it more for the artistry than for the athleticism, but the countless hours of rigorous training over several years once transformed my young body into a compact, pulsing powerhouse. I remember returning from an intensive summer program one year, taking up my usual place at the barre, and sensing a perfect union between my mind and body. I was certain, in that moment, that anything was possible.
Since letting go of dance in exchange for more bookish (read: sedentary) pursuits more than eight years ago, I have never quite settled on something that would, if not replace the joy I once found in ballet, at least get me moving enough to meet my federally recommended fitness guidelines. I can’t count how many times I’ve dragged myself past the window of a busy gym and wondered at all the people inside who seemed to be staring at screens and running in place.
After lamenting to someone once about the barrier to entry for various sports—equipment, attire, training, memberships, fees—I received what was, for me, a simple but earth-shattering response: “Well, you know, running is free.” Except for a pair of running sneakers I eventually picked up at Target, I already had everything I needed to get started.
I surprised myself one summer by trying to discover how fast and how far my legs could carry me. It wasn’t very far or fast at first, but after just a few weeks, I was sailing over the pavement and catching glimpses of delight, once again, in what my body could do. I lost sight of this for a while, but as the sun reemerges from wherever it was hiding all winter, I have been rediscovering what it means to simply get up and go. — Lisa
Last week's dispatch asked, What is your favorite day of the week? For the record, no one picked Monday :)
Tuesday has always affected me in an impermanent way. Tuesday doesn’t have the heft of a beginning, middle, or end. It’s not a milestone. It’s not your 21st, 40th, or 65th birthday. It’s like 10:30 in the morning ...wide awake, but not ready for lunch. Tuesday is when you, just for a moment, forget what day of the week it is. It wasn’t named to honor the Sun or the Moon. Or Thor. Tuesday gives you the deep breath you need to find a solution to that side project or late weekend night conversation you can’t stop thinking about. If anyone ever tells you “Let’s talk about it on Tuesday” you know “it” can wait and everything will be fine. After all, it’s just Tuesday.
My favorite day of the week is Sunday -- more specifically Sunday afternoons. In the summer, it is a great time to be in the pool reading a good book or sitting under a ceiling fan taking a nap. In the winter time, I love to curl up with a cup of tea, and a book or watch an old movie.
I also love that time in the morning when the world awakens and the birds are singing....until the dogs start barking. Then I know it is time to get up and start my day.
This one's hard. Saturday is great because I get to sleep in (which I never "got over" from being a teenager) and spend all day with my wife, son and dog. On the other hand, Wednesdays are great because it's the night I invite over a close group of friends and we spend the evening collaboratively telling a story (also known as playing a roleplaying game). The former feeds the introvert in me and the latter feeds my social and creative sides. Dichotomies are fun.
I can't help but answer this week's prompt: Tuesday. The weekend is always a welcome relief, but it tends to lack the structure I love so much. Monday can be a bit of a slap in the face. By Tuesday, though, I feel like I've got both feet planted firmly on the ground, and the week still stretches out before me, full of promise.
My favorite day of the week is any day that I can spend with my wife and four children. My family pushes me to to learn and improve myself more than anyone else. I experience more life and love on these days. On every other day of the week, I yearn to spend time with my family.
I love Fridays because all day long I know I have three more sleeps until Monday. Love having more time during the weekend to work on personal projects, enjoy slow time with my husband, and explore our newish city and state.
No doubt the most popular answer to this question: Saturday.I wake up after a restful night of sleep and start to work on bringing this wonderful community to life, byte by byte. I enjoy delicious coffee and talk to people whom I value greatly, then return to be with my wife. We usually run errands or go enjoy some serene piece of Austin before the evening settles in.
Saturday evening is a time of near infinite possibility and ecstatic vivacity: there is nothing forcing us to wake up early, friends and events are available and numerous, and some of the best mellow nightlife in our city is alive, patient and inviting. No time limits, no boundaries, no worries; just relaxed life. I love Saturdays.
My favourite day of the week is Saturday. Since there's another day between me and Monday, Saturday is the day I feel the least encumbered by the responsibility of work. I can still stay out late and not worry about having to get up early the next day.
My favorite day of the week is the day of Frigg - Friday. It is a day of love given it's Venus association. Yet for me there is a sense of anticipatory completion that comes with Friday. It promises a transition, even though I will often be doing some work over the weekend, to a time of increased flexibility. It offers the opportunity to do nothing (although I cannot remember the last time a Friday was a prelude to nothing). And with a hat tip to a soundtrack provided by the Easybeats for "Friday' on my mind" and The Cure for "Friday I'm in love", I welcome sliding into a better state of being.
Sunday mornings. My girlfriend and I share Sunday Scrambles, mixing together indigents from the week into an egg scramble while sipping on coffee.
Sunday. Perhaps as a carry-over from college procrastination, Sunday to me is Get Stuff Done Day. I gather my thoughts, blow through the remainder of my To-Do list (including responding to Uncommon, as you can see), and get everything in sync before taking on a new week.
Friday: Regulars morning, finishing a week, weekend ahead.
The Stories That Bind Us by Bruce Feiler:
After a while, a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.
David Bowie: The Next Day. That album cover design from the Barnbrook Blog:
We know it is only an album cover with a white square on it but often in design it can be a long journey to get at something quite simple which works and that simplicity can work on many levels – often the most simple ideas can be the most radical.
What is your favorite way to get up and go?