Things I've Been Meaning to Tell You

There's a handful of recommendations I've collected on my phone this week. I like to imagine that this journal is just a text I'm sending to a friend. And instead of sending you a note every time I've thought about you, I've decided to save them up for the weekend. So pal, here are some things I've been wanting to share with you.

Podcast Episode Recommendations
In my last post I recommended a couple of new podcasts, but here are a few specific episodes that I've enjoyed lately.

Henry Cloud on The Shauna Niequist Podcast -  great relationship-focused conversation covering dating and marriage. Pairs well with the Annie F. Downs interview on Jen Hatmaker's For the Love podcast. Both episodes refer to Henry Cloud's How to Find a Date Worth Keeping.

Offer Your Work With Hope - Episode 5 from The Next Right Thing podcast. I've sent this link to so many people, but I have to include it on this list still. In the midst of so much hurt and tragedy in our world, it's an encouraging reminder that your contributions matter. Let's keep pursuing the work we were made to do friends.

Friendships - Episode 92 on The Simple Show. Continuing in this season's theme on the essentials, Tsh Oxenreider and Erin Loechner offer a lot of great insight into the challenges and joys of making friendships work as you grow older. My only wish is that the show had a host who could speak from the perspective of the unmarried, as I think that gives you a different perspective on relationships that is worth examining.

Music Recommendations
Sam Smith - Too Good at Goodbyes - I had kind of forgotten about Sam Smith, but this single reminded me of how much I enjoyed his first album. Now I can't get this song out of my head.

The National - Sleep Well Beast. This is what I'll be listening to this fall, perfect melancholy music for those cool days. The review from Pitchfork is as enjoyable as the album. I loved what the author, Jayson Greene, said about the power of consistency (emphasis mine). 

"...the National offer testimony to something we don’t often celebrate: Enduring is a superpower of its own. The fact that no one can talk about the National without invoking their dependability might feel a bit unfair to them, or at least a bit tired. And yet, there’s a reason it remains such a dominating lens through which to examine them. Consistency is not boring. Consistency is a miracle, a small act of defiance against entropy. Berninger has compared the band to a marriage, as all band members do, but their music feels particularly devoted to the quotidian nature of lifelong unions, the way that your success is measured in time, how each year together turns your commitment into its own kind of monument. There’s a reason anniversary cards say things like 'All these years later, I still love you.' It’s because the miracle isn’t in the 'love,' it’s in the 'still.'"

What are you listening to these days? Do share! And if you take a listen to anything above, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Listening: Podcasts I'm Enjoying Lately

Over the last month two podcasts have popped into my routine, both centered around the topic of decision making. One is brand new and the other is a bit of a re-launch of an existing show. Whether you're an avid podcast listener or not, I highly recommend both. In fact, if you've chatted with me in the last few weeks, you've probably heard me mention them. Here's why - decisions are hard but they're also unavoidable. What better way to confront this reality then with greater intention and perspective.

The Next Right Thing is a new podcast from author Emily P. Freeman. In the first episode, Freeman lays out the format noting, "Each episode will offer a short reflection, a simple action, and a benediction to help you create a little more space for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing." In her charming and soothing voice she has remained true to this offering in each episode. Freeman gives you something to chew on as you consider how you can slow down and be more intentional with your choices. The Next Right Thing is a needed breath of fresh air, especially moving into fall - a season that, though lovely, is often marked by the hustle and stress of a new year beginning. This podcast is unique, at least in my roster of listens, in that it isn't an interview style show. One of the benefits of this format, seemingly, is that Freeman offers transcripts of each show on her site. If you prefer to read over listen, you can still enjoy the insights offered in each episode, or come back to something that you missed while listening. 

The Simple Show is produced by Tsh Oxenreider, author and editor of The Art of Simple. Tsh has a rotating cast of co-hosts and together they recently launched a new season of this long-running show, moving from the general concept of simplicity to get specific with the theme - "No & Yes." Each episode involves Tsh & a co-host dialoguing about what they say no to and what they say yes to when it comes to a specific area of life. So far they've covered what they eat, what they watch, educating kids and friendship. A lot of the basis for this season's theme comes from the ideas in Essentialism by Greg McKeown. If you have read and enjoyed this book, you will definitely enjoy this show. It's a great deep dive into the whys behind the decisions we all make, whether conscious or not. Those decisions that shape our days and ultimately our lives. It's free of judgement and as you listen, you'll find it's sort of like overhearing two people chat in a coffee shop. The only sad part is that you can't turn around and join in.

It seems like new podcasts are shooting up all the time. I'd love to hear what's caught your attention and how you make the time to listen. These two shows tend to get heard while I'm driving to and from work, or making dinner. I'm thankful they come out on different days so I have something to look forward to throughout the week. What are you listening to these days? Do tell!