5 Quick Things, #137 🐱

Blanket forts, chocolate chip cookies, the best comic strip of all time, & terrible worship music

Hey there,

This week I’ve been thinking about the simple idea that adversity produces resilience. Hard things, while we wouldn’t wish for them, do often result in strengthened character (when we allow ourselves to let the fire burn away impurities). Our family has a joke, clichéd response whenever we’re required to do something hard (do math homework, clean a messy bedroom, hike a steep incline, wake up early for a flight): it’ll build character. Let me tell you about the look I get after I say that to someone digging in the backyard for our new deck. 😑 (Fun fact: Here’s our response’s origin story.)

But hey, it’s also kinda true. And it’s what I’m leaning into these days, when quarantine and social distancing have become our new normal. It’s not what we would wish for. I look forward to when my neighborhood library and favorite coffee shop reopen. It’ll be a mighty reunion when we can see friends again. But in the meantime… it’ll build character. Right? Right? 🤞

A stray cat sits in an empty Istiklal street on April 19, 2020. (I’ve been here, and it is ALWAYS busy.) #

5 Quick Things ☕️

1. Continuing our monthly countdown during this final year of AoS, here’s the ninth most popular post of all time. First written in 2009, who knew it could come in handy right now?

2. "Amidst all the current disappointments and moments of anxiety, I know I’ll look back on the spring of 2020 as a time that refined my life and my priorities." Amen.

3. Three short, shot-in-the-arm encouragements for our current coronatide: send a letter, exercise for alone time, and watch a show about World War II that feels strangely familiar these days.

4. We’re trying out Kendra’s chocolate chip cookie recipe this weekend.

5. And this is a bit niche, but I laughed so hard.

Quotable 💬

“True restfulness, though, is a form of awareness, a way of being in life. It is living ordinary life with a sense of ease, gratitude, appreciation, peace and prayer. We are restful when ordinary life is enough.”

― Ronald Rolheiser

Time Machine ⏰

7 years ago, my friend Sarah shared what’s become one of my all-time favorite poems.

Have a good weekend — keep washing those hands & wearing those masks,

xo, Tsh

p.s. I’ve had my students keep Commonplace Notebooks for a while now, and for ease of sharing, I decided to take mine online, if you’d like to see.