Jumping in Leaves? Remember This.

Oh, fall. You're such a wonderful, cozy season. What's more festive than raking a substantial pile of leaves, breathing in their earthy scent, and then, upon the urging of your kids, jumping in with childlike abandon?

But I'll warn you, if you're about to take the plunge, remember this tip:

The landing is hard.

The Addition That Comes from Deliberate Subtraction

When I was a kid, I worked on art projects until they were finished. Then, due to a combination of my overly-idealistic youthfulness and a lack of restraint, I kept adding details until I messed up the projects completely. After countless botched attempts to add "one more thing," I finally learned to hold back and let good projects rest.

This is a smart lesson to learn. It's useful to know when to say, "This is enough. Anything more will detract."

Even now, I talk to my writing and public speaking students about using deliberate subtraction in order to add meaning and clarity. We reduce excess words. We streamline content so only the best remains. We minimize clutter so every sentence, image, and idea adds value. It's hard work, but it reaps dividends.

The concept of deliberate subtraction doesn't just influence my classroom instruction; it also impacts my daily life. It's shockingly easy to fill a day to the brim with obligations and activity. I've had months -- years, even -- when I've kept moving, like I was running on a hamster wheel, and I rarely paused to assess if my perpetual activity added value.

When you're operating at full capacity, there's only time for reaction, not reflection. It's exhausting. And, sadly, it's also empty.

I was tired of being exhausted, so this year I grappled with the choice to slow the pace of my life in a very concrete way: I reduced my teaching load by one course each semester. While this choice to "do less" made me feel weak at first, I've since recognized it as the single greatest decision of self-care that I've made during my adult life.

I'm doing less, but I'm doing better. Addition has resulted from subtraction.

If you're tackling too much in most facets of life, let me encourage you to deliberately subtract. It might hurt to let go of good activities. It might bruise our egos to admit that we can't do it all well. It might feel like a cop-out to build margins of time and rest into our lives when, technically, we know we could squeeze in something else.

But consider the art project. Adding "one more thing" can become more of a liability than an asset when it clutters and crowds.

The practice of deliberate subtraction operates in stark contrast to the frenetic pace of our world. But that's okay. Less can be more.

You're Invited to a Women's Inspire Brunch in State College, PA!

I AM SO EXCITED TO INVITE YOU TO AN EVENT!  I'll now stop shouting at you in ALL CAPS and bold font. Please read on.

Worry. Fear. You know the drill. In the midst of hard times, we might fear that things never will change. In good times, we might fear that circumstances totally will change. We may worry that we're not enough, that we're too much, or that we're (insert some other perceived personal shortcoming). We might worry that our limitations will prevent us from being successful or accepted. We may fear we're totally screwing up our children. We might fear aging, or insignificance, or, I don't know, spiders.

(Because, PEOPLE, if we're being entirely forthright, spiders can be highly unnerving.)

Sometimes we don't even notice when fear and worry dominate our thoughts. We grow accustomed to their tactics, and they become a subtle soundtrack to our daily lives, coloring our moods and interactions.

It's time for a happy breakup. That's why I'm speaking about saying goodbye to worry and fear at a Women's INSPIRE Brunch on Saturday, November 9, in State College, PA -- and I'd love for YOU to be there.

It's going to be awesome! And funny. And honest. And, most importantly, my prayer is that it'll be FREEING. (My goal is for us to leave feeling 10 pounds lighter, proverbially speaking. Disclaimer: a light brunch will be provided, so no actual weight loss will occur.)

Whether I know you in person, or you've been reading my blog for years, or you're brand new at Robin Kramer Writes, please consider joining me on November 9. The event is free, and you can RSVP on this Facebook event link.

Invite your friends! Message me directly if you have questions! Hope to see you there!

Because I'm Kinda Sorta Like Michael Phelps

You know that iconic photo of Michael Phelps wearing the 28 medals that he won across a span of 16 years in 4 separate Olympic Games? Well, not to compare -- because I'd hate to take away from his accomplishments -- but I did just finish my 7th half marathon in exceptionally average time.

Michael, we should share stories sometime. (You're the surf, I'm the turf. Together we'll be dynamic.) You come wearing your medals, and I'll come wearing mine. No need for you to feel intimidated by my accolades, or my crooked selfie-taking skills, for that matter.

It'll just be straight talk, one highly-decorated athlete to another.
Back to Top