j.

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Very much inspired by these Fast Company articles on the ladies at the helm of J.Crew.

Career envy, most definitely. But also really great insight to give us all a kick in the right direction.

Also, how great is that photo?!

Image: Fast Company.
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MIA.

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The hours have gone by too quickly and the recent sunshine has pulled me away from the Mac, hence the lack of updates in the past few days.

Speaking of missing, thoughts of the Big Apple keep billowing in my mind. I reckon it’s time to plan a visit to my once other-home, and to peer at one of my all-time favourite buildings, the Seagram, again. The New York Times has a great story on the building of this landmark today, filled with fun name-dropping anectdotes. Love.

But before I can schedule in another 12+ hour flight, I’ll make do with a 2.5-hour one. See you tonight, Hong Kong!

Photo: New York City, Columbus Circle, 2009.

Busy.

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“Did you read this article?” was his response to my, oh, musings of the recent months passed. It was titled “The Busy Trap”, an article that has gone viral again after being first published mid-2012.

And now I’ve just read it for the sixth time.

It has all my recent favourite, albeit overused, words in it: Idle, existential, obligations. Can you see where I’m going with this?

We all do it. Go, go, go, ATTACK! Hit one target and immediately jog up to the next before sprinting through the next finish line. And repeat. However, do we do this because we must? The perfectionist in me says, of course, and complete everything at 120%, minimum. I’ve talked about pacing yourself, taking  a breather, and rediscovering the tiny but beautiful details that we overlook. Perhaps being still is a skill that we all need to practice as well, and question the cogency of our busyness.

The article particularly rings true in that our regrets lie with not spending time with those we love and not with passing on those projects that, at first thought, seem irreplaceable. Time is what is irreplaceable, so what do you want to do with the time that you have?

Let’s all pause for a minute and listen and smile and breathe and hug and kiss and be. And play. Then maybe contemplate an impulsive but maybe necessary move to the South of France, hmm?

Food for thought for the  first of April. No jokes here!

Photo: Brighton, 2010.

Booken.

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I’m loving this. But maybe only esthetically.

Raw Edges and LEMA have collaborated on this bookshelf/table/library. I’d never use it as a table, fearing I’d stain the pages, but as a reader who usually has at least three books on rotation, this might be handy for holding the most recent parade of reads. However, I’m not sure how book-friendly it actually is, as the pressure is reduced to the hinges, joints and spines. Heavy coffeetable books would be ruined.

So maybe it only acts as an attractive display? I’m thinking colour-coordinated, ombré-effect book spines…

Despite the above concerns, I’m already kind of imagining this taking space in my yet-to-be-discovered perfect flat.

A girl can dream.

Image: Designtaxi

Good Work Isn’t Enough.

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Trying to find motivation to get back into “work mode” when I came across this article.

I’ll soon be wading through piles of CVs to hire a new subeditor, and it’s good to be reminded that sometimes just having a certain skillset isn’t enough.

“…it’s the personal interactions you have with your colleagues, peers, and managers that truly shape your destiny.”

A few more takeaways on the qualities of successful people:

  • They are humble. Their success doesn’t consume them.
  • They are universally respectful—to their friends, their boss, or to the person that makes their sandwich for lunch.
  • They are on time. On time for work, on time for meetings, on time for the train. They hate wasting their own time, and as a byproduct, anyone else’s.
  • They respectfully push back. It’s easy to push back. To do so with respect takes skill.

Lessons of the day. Now it’s time to power through.

Photo: Shanghai, 2012.

Blue.

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Been sick for the past few days and it’s definitely not fun. Despite this, exciting emails have come in regarding a new project, so that’s a sliver of light amongst the foggy-brain feeling.

And I can’t not mention – how sweet did the little Obama ladies look at the Inauguration? Fashion aside, it’s not hard to feel the joyous, celebratory mood through the reports and snaps from yesterday as they filtered through from the other side of the world.

Right now, half of my brain is on the tasks I’m missing at work, and the meetings I need to reschedule for falling ill. The other half is semi-stressing about how I’m going to pack for my European trip in a few weeks. Exciting! Here’s the hoping the snow would have eased off by the time I arrive, but who doesn’t love a white winter wonderland once in awhile? I chuckle at the reminder of how I used to spot carrots all around after the snow had melted in my old London neighbourhood – poor Frosties without their noses!

So in the meantime, I leave you with a taste of what’s to come. And soon, introductions to my BFFs, who, believe me, you will want to get to know.

Photo: Shanghai, 2012.