I have been learning more about superheroes and their general appeal in the past few months. I was never interested in superheroes growing up, but I’ve recently become more and more curious. I have never fully understood the dedication and love people have for these characters, but Lee’s talk drew me in and gave me a new perspective. I hope you enjoy!
Does Stan Lee’s talk make you understand the mass appeal of superheroes?
This title caught my eye; Western culture is particularly obsessed with feeling happy and constant self-improvement so you can feel happier. Listening to this talk gave me a different perspective on how happiness is incorporated into our culture all the way down from the founding fathers, but not in the way we might think…watch the talk to learn how we’ve confused our country’s mission!
Since I’m from Nashville, seeing snow is a rare occurrence for me. Sure, every few years we would get a few inches on the ground for a few days, but nothing over six inches and nothing that would stick around for long. I moved to the Bay Area about a year and a half ago and have been dying to go to Lake Tahoe during the winter time. I don’t ski or snowboard, but I just wanted to see the beauty.
My boyfriend (J) and I decided to go for a nice weekend getaway to Lake Tahoe and we spent hours looking for the perfect Airbnb. We went in with few criteria, but quickly learned we were pickier than we thought! We ended up choosing a beautiful one-bedroom guest suite about ten minutes from downtown South Lake Tahoe (plus it had a hot tub!).
We left San Francisco on Friday evening around 5pm, with a quick Chik-Fil-A stop for dinner on the way. My favorite Chik-Fil-A pick: market salad–it’s full of flavorful grilled chicken, chopped fruit, nuts, and they have great dressing options.
We spent about four and a half hours on the road, which is not bad considering the notorious Tahoe traffic we were told to expect. We arrived around 10:15pm and checked out the place before crashing into bed.
The next morning we both woke up around 6:30am just in time to make tea and coffee and watch the sun rise from our back porch.
We spent the morning relaxing and headed out to brunch around 10am. We ended up eating at A Cup of Cherries and the food was delicious; I might’ve eaten the best omelette I’ve ever had there (tomatoes, mushrooms, and basil). J ordered an egg plate with a side of French toast. We left feeling stuffed and ready to conquer the day.
After buying gloves, which we both forgot, we headed off to go snow tubing. We arrived at Heavenly ski resort and learned that snow tubing was not available yet–they said it was too early in the season, which I found baffling given the amount of snow on the ground ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Even if we couldn’t go tubing, we decided to take the gondola up to the top of the mountain anyways to soak in the good views.
Pretty unbelievable right? We thoroughly enjoyed the gondola right up to the top and explored the basecamp, saw skiers skate by, watched toddlers teeter on snowboards and then we headed back down. We walked around the shops in Heavenly village and went back to the Airbnb to recharge before dinner. I ended up napping, which is not something I normally do, but was much needed after our adventures.
South Lake Tahoe has dozens of BBQ restaurants so we picked one of the top rated places (Sonney’s BBQ Shack Bar and Grill) and headed over at an astonishingly early hour–5:30! We enjoyed a great meal of pulled pork, ribs, and classic BBQ sides:
I don’t eat pork very often, but this absolutely hit the spot and left us feeling exhausted (again)! After dinner, we made our way back to the Airbnb intending to use the hot tub, but we ended up watching “Chicken Run” and falling asleep early.
The next morning was low-key with a later wake up. We enjoyed our coffee and tea in the hot tub, which was a wonderful experience! I have never been in a hot tub in freezing weather, but it was a fascinating experience–getting in was the hardest part by far. We both read or worked on side projects for a few hours enjoying the cute mini fireplace and sipping hot cocoa. Around 11, we started packing up our bags to head home. We made a pit stop for lunch at Verde Mexican Rotisserie and the food was delicious:
My favorite was the cauliflower rice bowl I ordered–cauliflower sautéed with peppers, onions, greens, and tomatoes. Topped with organic spring mix, chimichuri, avocados, and grilled mahi-mahi. I could hardly finish the bowl!
The ride home felt a little longer, but the four hours flew by with good music and conversation. We made it back to the Bay Area by 5pm with plenty of time to get organized for the work week ahead.
For the full video experience of our trip, click here.
Have you ever been to South Lake Tahoe? Any tips on learning to ski?
Since Thanksgiving was yesterday, I wanted to focus today’s talk on gratitude and the value of giving thanks and asking for a thank you when you need it. This talk relates back to two of my favorite relationship rules:
1) ask for what you need
2) express gratitude
I hope this short talk is helpful for you and I hope you had a great holiday!
Do you always ask for what you need? Do you wish you asked for someone to express gratitude for your actions more often?
This talk is especially important right now. I think there is immense pressure to stay on the moral high ground, that we often sacrifice how we could be better or think more deeply about our action out of fear of being perceived as bad, politically incorrect, etc. Chugh’s commentary on how we perceive goodness and how we can evolve to be better people.
How do you think about being a “good” person? What was your favorite part of this talk?
I was not sure what to expect when I began watching this talk, but I was quickly drawn in by the obvious bravery and strength of both speakers. I enjoyed Pollock’s approach on realism over optimism; I find it a refreshing break from the usual story of struggle and resilience. I hope you enjoy!
Do you consider yourself a realist or an optimist?
It’s been a little over a year since a dear friend of mine passed away. While certain songs still bring him to my mind, like any song by Jurassic 5 or Biggie Smalls–some of his favorites, they make me smile more often than they make me cry. I’ve been thinking a lot about this difficult period in my life and what it means to me a year later. Studies show that how we cope with difficult events helps us make meaning and come out a little wiser on the other side. We need social support to make that happen.
I’m so grateful for the many shoulders I’ve had to cry on, the friends who have listened to my stories, and the loved ones who’ve checked in on me. I’ve also found amazing community through sharing my grief on social media; over 30% of young adults know someone who has died of an overdose. That is a large portion of the population, and sharing our stories is one way to cope with our losses.
I was lucky that his parents and the Nashville community spoke so openly about his death. My friend had suffered with different addictions for years. I remember a call from him a few years ago and hearing fear in his voice. He asked me to hold him accountable, and I did. He went to rehab a few months later, spent more time with his family, graduated from college and had a job that let him be outdoors. I remember meeting up with him and his dad about six months before his passing; I went to one of his father’s graduate school lectures with my friend for fun. We reminisced and he told me some of his stories that inevitably cracked me up. He had a wonderful sense of humor, kindness, and genuine friendliness about him from the first day we met that always struck me.
We texted in the few weeks before his death; he seemed to be doing well and I told him I wanted to visit him in Colorado and finally learn to ski. Skiing was one of his many beloved outdoor hobbies. There was no hint that he was not ok, no signs that I detected. That is one of the scariest parts of addiction–it is an ongoing battle. As friends and supporters, we can only do so much. Addiction is not a choice we can prevent, but rather a disease well beyond the control of friends and family.
His death has prompted me to look deeply at the way I live my life. He was always carefree, calm, and in awe of nature. I’ve taken some amazing trips, hiked new trails, and taken chances with new challenges. I’ve also started prioritizing my social ties–staying connected to those who matter most with phone calls, letters, and visits. Research shows that our social network actually heals after the loss of a friend. Friends are pulled closer together following a loss–helping to heal both the group and the individual.
While it will never be easy, I am starting to feel that it is getting easier.
Last weekend I took a tumble while hiking on one of my favorite Bay Area trails (Gray Whale Cove Trail in Pacifica). It was a beautiful day and a lovely hike–moderately sunny, light wind, lookouts on to the gorgeous Pacific. As we neared the end of the hike, I tried to go a bit faster going downhill and completely wiped out, landing on my knee.
At first it felt totally fine and as I got up and walked a few steps, I looked down and noticed the whole knee of my leggings was ripped off and my knee was bleeding quite a bit. Hobbling the rest of the mile, I was pretty mad at myself. My friend was supportive and didn’t make a big deal of it, and that made me stop and re-think the incident. This is a good lesson on people; choose to spend time with people who show compassion and support during times like this!
Could I have done something different? Sure! Does it matter now? Nope! I fell and that’s that; all I can do now is be gentle with myself, body and mind, and let it heal. I always joke that I hardly ever get injured, and it certainly came back to bite me this time.
I almost went to the ER because the abrasion was full of debris with a few deep wounds, but luckily I was able to wait until the next day to go to the doctor to get it checked out. I got a tetanus shot and a thorough cleaning of all my cuts and scrapes. I am incredibly lucky that there was no real damage–no breaks, sprains, or anything that will cause long-term problems. Pretty miraculous all things considered! I was super bummed that I couldn’t work out for a while my knee heals, but I’ve been trying to take it easy and give my body a respite from working out. I think my body has thanked me for it–it’s been a little more relaxing and it’s given me a few extra hours of sleep.
Five days post-fall and I’m still hobbling a bit while I walk, but I’ve been able to get into the gym a bit for some light exercise–focusing on upping my arm workouts and a few ab intervals. I have been taking it easy overall–giving myself a bit more permission to be “lazy,” take it easy, and feel gratitude for my normally healthy body.
When was the last time you took a hard fall? How do you cope with an injury?
I’m a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist. In hindsight, for the first twenty-something years of my life I tortured myself striving for perfection that couldn’t exist; 4.0 GPA, leadership positions in too many clubs, staying in touch with endless people. If I was late to a meeting by five minutes or got an A- on a paper, I was so angry and frustrated with myself. I’d spend so much time thinking about what I should’ve done differently.
I should’ve left ten minutes earlier.
I should have phrased this sentence differently.
All the “should haves” and wasted energy I poured into my mistakes was exhausting, unproductive, and self-destructive. In the past year and a half, I’ve been working harder to shake this negative self-talk and deeply entrenched perfectionism. I have respect for all perfectionism has allowed me to achieve–a wonderful education, strong friendships, a solid work ethic–but I have also learned a few tools that allow me to ditch the downsides of perfectionism:
Ask yourself these questions:
Who actually cares? Probably NO ONE, but if someone does care they likely do not know you well and might not be the type of person you want to value in your life.
Will this matter in five years? Most likely not. Think about small mistakes you made five years ago–do they impact your life today?
What am I losing? You’re probably only losing out on time you spent feeling regretful, upset, or disappointed.
Do these things:
Give yourself a hug, maybe even a small kiss on the shoulder–practice self-compassion.
Treat yourself like a friend. If your best friend made this mistake, say to yourself what you might say to them
Distract yourself: watch a quick show, ted talk, or call a friend.
Focus on the positive: sure, one thing in your day went wrong. Now, focus on what went right.
In school mistakes might mean a less than perfect grade and in the professional world, it might mean a frustrated client or a mistake in a presentation. Whatever it is, it’s likely not life-threatening and often we are the ones who suffer most. If you’re anything like me, I highly recommend trying out some of these tips and learning how you can change your perception of perfection.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you use any of these strategies?
My biggest lesson in post-grad life: you have to nourish relationships–and it’s not always easy. I’ve divided my friendships into distinct categories that have helped me think about friendship and moving on in the “real world.”
There are friends who always check in or call me regularly, and I reach out to them an equal amount. These are what I call my natural “give and take” friendships. Occasionally, these fall out of balance during a particularly busy time; a move across the country, a newfound romance, or the holidays–but all in all, steady, easy back and forth. These are few and far between!
Another category of friendship is one that is highly prioritized and requires scheduling to maintain. I have to schedule time with some of these people weeks out, or we likely will never talk. It’s not because one of us doesn’t care–our schedules are simply different or we are in different time zones. For example, one works odd hours in Eastern time and his weekends don’t always line up with the regular work week.
The third category are my “fly by” friends. These are people who I don’t talk to often, and it’s typically brief when we do talk, but they provide support, meaning, and true friendship even in those short interactions. I love these friendships dearly because they exemplify how small interactions can feel so profound and connecting.
There are some people that I’ve learned to let go. Some friends were wonderful friends during the time and place of college. People I grabbed a meal with, went to a party with, or studied for a class with–these are the people who were convenient friends. Still true friends, but not the people I would go pick out of a crowd. I often miss these people and shoot them a text or quick call, but I don’t think much of it. It’s painful sometimes, but it’s a necessary part of moving forward.
Looking back, there are very few friends who I’ve totally lost touch with. Even in college, I was well aware of the importance of maintaining relationships; I had lunch plans with a different person everyday to keep up with the people who mattered to me. I definitely gave my mother to thank for teaching me this lesson early on; she was nearly always on the phone with her friends (scattered all over the country) and taught me the value of friendship from an early age.
Have you kept up with your friends? Do your friendship categories look like mine?