Nearly a month ago, a quick moving storm with strong mainline winds peeled off the metal roof of our neighbor’s outbuilding. The 500-pound steel I-beam catapulted over the fence and crashed through our less-than-a-year-old playset. It completely crushed the side with the swings and left a sizable crater in the yard, as if mini meteor had bowled through. . The playhouse and slide stayed intact, but the structural integrity has been compromised, so we’re not sure if it’s salvageable. . Today, Madilyn asked if she could paint the playhouse. And she wanted to invite her neighbor friends to help her do it. . They. had. a. blast. . Had it not been damaged, I don’t know that I would have let them loose with their paint brushes. . I realize now that would have been the bigger tragedy. 🎨

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In the last three weeks, . I’ve read life-changing books. I’ve gone to counseling. I’ve written every single day. I’ve had lunch with a friend I haven’t connected with in years. I’ve emotionally vomited all over Instagram. I’ve collaborated in better ways at work. I’ve gone to the ballet. Alone. I’ve enjoyed time with my family and had more patience with my kids. I’ve been asked to write two books. I’ve lost 2 pounds, and I got a big tax refund. 🙌🏻 . You know what’s changed? . Nothing. . Not a single thing in my life is different than it was 3 weeks ago, except this: . My perspective. . “There are only two things, love and fear.” –Anthony de Mello

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“Addition by subtraction” is a concept that means what’s most needed is not the addition of something good, but the deletion of something bad. It’s a universal principle that applies to everything from sports teams (it’s not new talent that moves the needle, but the benching of bad players or practices) to wardrobes (you’ll never stare at your closet and wonder what to wear if you have a handful of go-to outfits that you love). . I’ve seen it in action in my life recently. I’ve had a blog for 10+ years but never quite found the motivation to blog regularly or invest much time into it. It lacked focus. Lately, I began to wonder what would happen if I changed the theme of my blog to reflect the niche topic of my most popular posts (seems kind of obvious in hindsight, dang it). I changed the blog’s title and descriptions and then deleted every single piece of content that wasn’t related to those posts (it was a little painful). . I held my breath and prayed to the Google gods for mercy. It could have been the end of my blog. I half expected traffic to tank and my little side hobby that generates “coffee money” to be no more. . Instead, what I hoped would happen has. Traffic has steadily grown, and best of all, the monetization of those posts has markedly increased. In fact, today I broke my monthly revenue record (a 173% increase over my average) — and it happened with zero promotion or additional effort. . It served as a reminder of the power of deletion. . As I’ve been learning about myself and patterns of thought and behavior, I realize I don’t need to work harder at getting better. I simply need to drop what no longer serves me. . “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey . P.S. This is literally the only photo I took today. Lucky shot!

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Dual responses bubble up when I think about upcoming counseling sessions: one is excitement, knowing I can pay a professional to help sort through the emotional junk drawer of my life. . Another is sheer terror, wondering how much truth and uncertainty I can stand before I bolt. . The other day I started to literally panic just thinking about it. Driving home, I could feel adrenaline or cortisol racing down my neck, my heart started skipping erratically, and my stomach began churning. . So I did what any self-respecting emotional eater would do: I drove straight to Sonic and ordered a chocolate milkshake. But the stupid straw was too small to adequately accommodate the force of inhalation, so I took off the lid and began scooping it in my mouth as if the straw were a spork. . Desperate times. . A few minutes later, I felt better. Who says you can’t eat your feelings? . 😳😅🤔

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