Words for the Day // No. 63

03/27/15

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So excited to have these words by Brené Brown in my next book of hand lettered quotes. Comes out in September of this year!

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Words for the Day // No. 62

03/20/15

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From my upcoming book about swimming. For more sneak peaks at this book, follow me on Instagram and follow the hashtag #theswimmingbook.

Have a happy weekend, friends!

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Words for the Day // No. 61

03/11/15

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This one will appear in my upcoming book about swimming!

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 60

02/26/15

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Have a great Thursday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 59

02/24/15

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I wanted to say thank you today to everyone who emailed, shared and commented on my Facebook fan page & on Twitter on this post from last week. Your sentiments are heartfelt. Here’s to defining our own lives!

Have a great Tuesday, friends.

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Words for the Day // No. 58

02/18/15

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Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

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Words for the Day // No. 57

02/09/15

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Today’s wise words brought to you by Stephen King. These words will appear in my next book of hand lettered quotes.

I’m headed this morning to Summit Powder Mountain for a week-long artist residency. I’ll be taking photos there all week and documenting the progress on the mural I’ll be painting. You can follow along over on Instagram.

Have a great Monday!

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Words for the Day // No. 56

01/21/15

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One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite writers.

May we all live our truth.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

 

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Words for the Day // No. 55

01/14/15

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Have a good Wednesday, friends!

 

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Words for the Day :: No. 54

12/29/14

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A little lettering & illustration work I did for my client Airbnb this past year.

Have a happy Monday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 53

12/18/14

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Have a good Thursday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 52

12/15/14

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Wise words from Augusten Burroughs. This and 99 other quotes on bravery will appear in my second book of hand lettered quotes, due out from Chronicle Books in 2015! You can purchase my first book of hand lettered quotes here.

Happy Monday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 51

12/09/14

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Words of truth from Ursula LeGuin. These particular words will appear in my next book of hand lettered quotes, which comes out next Fall from Chronicle Books.

Have a great Tuesday, friends.

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Words for the Day :: No. 50

12/03/14

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This quote, along with 99 others, will be included in my next book of hand lettered quotes, coming next fall from Chronicle Books. I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular quote over the past week.

Hope everyone is having a good & cozy Wednesday.

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On the Messiness of Life

11/27/14

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{The quote above by Tara Brach, one of the world’s greatest Buddhist teachers, will appear in my next book of hand lettered quotes, due out from Chronicle in 2015)

For most of my childhood my mom had a cartoonish greeting card taped to our refrigerator that said DULL WOMEN HAVE IMMACULATE HOUSES. Even after it was splattered with food and yellowed at the edges, this card never left the center spot on the freezer door until after I went off to college. This saying was, in a sense, my mother’s mantra. She wore her lack of fastidiousness like a badge of honor. She told my siblings and me repeatedly that she had more important things to do than to clean all the time. It was, she told us, more important to be an interesting person who did interesting things in life than to be obsessively tidy.

While I have never been a fussy house cleaner, thanks in part to my mom, I have had a harder time embracing the more figurative disorder of life: things like messy relationships, unfinished conversations, incomplete projects and impending deadlines. Immediately after reaching adulthood, I began continually obsessing over the details of the imperfections in my life and how I should fix them. If only I worked hard enough or fixed this or that relationship, my life would finally be okay. It might even become perfect!

This idea of “if I could just fix this” was, for most of my adult life, the theme. If I can just get through this to-do list. If I can just mend that relationship. If I can just finish getting that part of my life in order. Then I will finally arrive at a beautiful, perfect life. As a result, I spent years with horrible anxiety, in therapy, exploring Buddhism, reading self help books, trying to find some relief from this spinning wheel.

One of the most beautiful things about entering your 40’s and leaning toward your 50’s  (I turn 47 in January) is that you learn really crazy lessons almost daily. Stuff you thought was true your whole life comes undone. And this undoing can feel both completely terrifying and also completely liberating. One of the lessons I have learned is that I will never, ever feel like I have arrived. There will always be relationships that feel painfully awkward, there will always be unfinished items on my list, goals I haven’t achieved, unresolved email threads, people who I may have disappointed, people who don’t like me. I am never going to get there. Ever.

While this idea still freaks me out from time to time (wait, oh no, I really don’t have control?), it has been the most freeing understanding I have ever had about my life. And furthermore, I have realized the messiness of life I once rallied against is precisely how I learn and grow and evolve.

Truth be told, I still rally against the messiness. I still make to-do lists and stress out at the end of the day when I have to move things I didn’t accomplish to the next day’s list, again. I still worry that people don’t like me. I still want to please the important people in my life. The difference now is that those thoughts don’t control me or my ability to feel happiness and joy. And I also understand now that the messiest situations give birth to some of the most beautiful (I wrote about that here earlier this year). It is in fact the messiness — and not the orderliness — that is part of what makes life so profound.

So this Thanksgiving I continue to be thankful for growing older, for everything I have learned, and for my beautiful messy, imperfect life.

May you also find some beauty in the messiness of your life.

Have a happy day, friends.

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