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{This week: With health & gratitude, the gig economy, dorm living & more.}

Hi all,

Here’s a list of my favorite links, listens, and good reads from the past week:

1. With health and gratitude.

2. Thriving in the Gig Economy.

3. Dorm Living for Professionals Comes to San Francisco.

4. I haven’t been sleeping soundly, so this podcast was a timely listen: Rubin Naiman – Wired & Tired (via HurrySlowly).

5. I love this book: The Great Work of Your Life.

6. So good— For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

7. An amazing story: Albert Einstein’s ‘Theory of Happiness’ Fetches $1.56 Million.

8. Worthy.

9. The true cost of an amazing opportunity.

10. If my work supports you, consider supporting my work by becoming a patron.

With gratitude,

Yesterday, I explored Monterey by foot and tried to take all the photos. After walking 8-miles, my feet are seriously tired and sore. When I get home, I’ll work on a detailed post about my adventures. For now, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite shots from yesterday. Today, I’m going to enjoy the sights by bike. Talk soon, friends!

As I write these words, I’m in Monterey, CA at Cafe Lumiere drinking a cup of coffee and eating a slice of warm apple pie because it’s Pi Day!

Logan has a work conference in Monterey, so I tagged along on the trip. It’s our first out of town adventure of 2018, and it feels good to break away from my daily routine. Mary Jo, our lovely cat sitter, is watching our girls. The cats will sleep by the heater, eat all the food, and Mary Jo will spoil them rotten.

My aims for our mini adventure include:

— Taking all the photos.

— Gathering material for blog posts.

— Seeing the sights by foot.

— CrossFitting if my legs can handle it.

— Playing hooky from work.

I was curious about the term “play hooky,” and where it originated.  According to the Urban Dictionary, the term “‘Play hooky’ is probably derived from the Dutch term hoekje (spelen) ‘hide-and-seek.’”

There’s more to life than work, and these types of trips remind me that it’s okay to play hooky, and indulge in a warm slice of apple pie; especially on Pi Day.

In addition to keeping a daily journal, I’ve been doing something different this year. I’m keeping a logbook of my days in a small pink Moleskine planner.

At the end of each day, I write a simple list of what I did and observed. I also include a few notes about what I’m grateful for. Other than blogging daily, writing in my logbook is one of the best projects I’ve taken on in 2018.

I stole the idea from Austin Kleon; one of my favorite bloggers. I love the simple list format!

I’ll let Kleon explain why list keeping is important:

“… keeping a simple list of who/what/where means I write down events that seem mundane at the time, but later on help paint a better portrait of the day, or even become more significant over time. By ‘sticking to the facts’ I don’t pre-judge what was important or what wasn’t, I just write it down.

Best of all, limiting each day to one page and breaking it down into a list instead of prose makes it easier for me to scan through it later, and get a real feel for the passing of time as I flip the pages.”

The idea of keeping a logbook can be tied to Stephen Cope’s message in The Great Work of Your Life. He said, “A life is built on a series of small course corrections—small choices that add up to something mammoth.”

If I’m not writing down my course corrections and notes, I won’t remember them. For example, last night I flipped through my logbook, and I discovered themes that I want to explore in my public and private writing.

I’ll leave you with a few snapshots from my logbook:

Last month, my friend Shanna mailed me a package full of books, and I’m slowly reading the fiction and non-fiction stories. One of the books Shanna sent is by Stephen CopeThe Great Work of Your Life. I started reading Cope’s book on Saturday night, and I’m already 70 pages in!

Before digging into Cope’s book, I didn’t understand dharma philosophy or history.

Here’s how Cope introduces the idea:

“The yoga tradition is very, very interested in the idea of an inner possibility harbored within every human soul. Yogis insist that every single human being has a unique vocation. They call this dharma. Dharma is a potent Sanskrit word that is packed tight with meaning . . . Dharma means, variously, ‘path,’ ‘teaching,’ or ‘law.’ For the purposes in this book it will mean primarily ‘vocation,’ or ‘sacred duty.’ It means, most of all—and in all cases—truth. Yogis believe that our greatest responsibly in life is to this inner possibility—this dharma—and they believe that every human being’s duty is to utterly, fully, and completely embody his own idiosyncratic dharma.”

I’m fascinated by this notion, and by Cope’s exploration of the concept—through an intensive study of many lives. The life stories of Jane Goodall, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and “so-called ordinary lives” are used by Cope to examine the idea of dharma.

Below are a couple of quotes by Cope that I’ve been pondering. They make excellent journaling fodder:

“. . . here’s an experiment. Stop reading for a minute, and ask yourself these questions: Am I living fully right now? Am I bringing forth everything I can bring forth? Am I digging down into that ineffable inner treasure-house that I know is there? That trove of genius? Am I living my life’s calling? Am I willing to go to any lengths to offer my genius to the world?”

“. . . Someone has had a profound taste of living their dharma, maybe even for decades. But now that particular dharma is used up—lived out. You can smell it. This person knows that a certain dharma moment is over but has only the vaguest sense of what must be next. It increasingly begins to dawn on her that in order to find that next expression of dharma she is going to have to take a leap of some kind. She knows that she is going to have to close a door behind her before she will find the next door to open. And gradually she comes to edge of a cliff, where she knows a leap of faith will be required. This is where she sits down in her folding chair. Will she ever get up?”

“Failure is a part of all great dharma stories. And great dharma failures do not just happen early in life. They routinely happen throughout life. We only know who we are by trying on various versions of ourselves.”

Cope’s book is making me think differently about my life and work, and I’m looking forward to finishing it this week!

{This week: Zines, newsletters, getting specific, and more.}

Hi all,

Here’s a list of my favorite links, listens, and good reads from the past week:

1. Fancy Zines.

2. The blissfully slow world of Internet newsletters.

3. Get specific!

4. A few weeks ago, I ordered a pink Clairefontaine Basic Clothbound Notebook from Goulet Pens. I love writing in this notebook because the paper quality is amazing, and I can use my fountain pen.

5. A must-read essay by Paul Jarvis: “You inspired me to quit my job!”

6. Buy a cat, stay up late, don’t drink: Top 10 writers’ tips on writing.

7. Why Facebook Is a Waste of Time—and Money—for Arts Nonprofits.

8. Cait is back! Here’s her latest post: I’m Still Here! What I’ve Been Doing, Consuming, and Thinking About in 2018.

9. I was so moved by The Lifeboat Station Project that I became a patron. Also, this is a must-read: Turning the Tide to Keep Art Alive.

10. If my work supports you, consider supporting my work by becoming a patron. On Sunday, I’m sending my 20th Tiny Letter to patrons. Also, my latest creative tool box is about the financial side of running RowdyKittens.com. This money essay is one of the more vulnerable articles I’ve written, and it’s also a topic I wish more online creatives would discuss.

Many thanks!

With gratitude,

We lived in our tiny house full-time for four years, and for the last two years, we’ve used the house as a vacation cabin. Late last year, we decided to sell our tiny house because it’s time for new beginnings and adventures.

The house is officially on the market! We’d be incredibly grateful if you shared this post on social media or via email with friends and family. I hope we find a buyer who loves this little place as much as we do!

Cost & additional details:


  • $35,000


  • 16 feet long
  • 8.5 feet wide
  • 13 feet tall
  • 128 square feet


Our house does not have:

  • a hot water heater
  • a traditional flush toilet or shower

Open house:

In the spring, we will host an open house in Yreka, CA. I’ll share the details when they’re available.

In the meantime, you can take a virtual tour below.


Contact me at tammy@rowdykittens.com.

Additional tiny house details and essays at LoganBlairSmith.com.

© Photos by Tammy Strobel, All Rights Reserved

Yesterday, I wrote about riding the writing struggle bus, and today I want to share how I reframe a challenging situation. When I struggle with writing—or other hard circumstances—I focus on gratitude because practicing gratitude helps me be playful, relaxed, and generous with myself and others.

In short, reframing my thoughts through gratitude is the key to turning the struggle bus around.

This concept reminded me of Jen Sincero’s book—You Are a Badass at Making Money. In Chapter 7—Faith and Gratitudinal Gold—she said:

“Have faith that you and the Universe have created everything for your growth and be grateful for it. No matter what. Get practiced at making gratitude your go-to, notice the eight trillion things around you at all times that you can be grateful for, and feel into the grateful expectation for all the things coming your way. The good, the bad, the ugly, the salsa stain you just got on your new white shirt, become a gratitude machine for all of it.

There is no lack of things to be grateful for if you remember to pay attention.”

Tired of being on the struggle bus? Start a gratitude practice and see where it goes.

Dictionary.com defines the term “struggle bus” as:

noun, slang.

1. a situation, task, etc., that seems difficult or frustrating:
With no sleep last night, I’ll be on the struggle bus today.

Recently, I’ve been riding the writing struggle bus because I’m making an iPhone photography course and it isn’t going well. I’m not happy with the content, and my inner perfectionist isn’t helping the situation.

I’m also tired of being on the struggle bus, so I decided to write the class and worry about the details (like formatting, course delivery, etc.) at a later date. I also started using Scrivener again because the program helps me organize my writing with less effort. It’s a visual person’s dream!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to write the course with ease and spend less time on the writing struggle bus.

Today, I have a few pieces of news share:

1. A Simple Year

We’re opening registration for A Simple Year again from March 5 to March 19, 2018. This is the last time you can join the 2018 program.

—When you register, you’ll have immediate access to the first three modules: clutter, busyness, and digital simplicity. I’m excited to teach the Digital Simplicity Module this month! In the module, I talk about social media and mindfulness, decluttering your digital world, relationships, and more. Register here.

—We will provide a PDF at the end of the year with all the course content and webinar recordings for lifetime access.

—There is a 30-day refund policy.

Let me know if you have any questions!

2. Spring Cleaning 

Last weekend was all about spring cleaning. We cleaned our apartment deeply, rearranged the furniture and my office, did our taxes, and we sorted through some of our belongings. Cleaning and organizing our little home felt great! I’m also in the process of doing some serious spring cleaning on the blog (more on that soon).

3. Two Wheels South 

I’m obsessed with the Hurry Slowly podcast! This weekend I listened to Jocelyn K. Glei and Matias Corea’s conversation about “his recent project Two Wheels South—a 7-month long motorcycle trip from Brooklyn to Patagonia in which he traveled 19,000 miles through 13 different countries.”

Here’s my favorite quote from the interview:

“To be able to grow, you have to put yourself in a position where you can grow. Sometimes we make decisions based on what we know, and there is very little opportunity for growth and reward if you keep repeating the same situations, environments, work. I think trying to put yourself in positions where you don’t know the answer is what actually helps you push forward and grow as a human.”

The topic of growth has been on my mind for most of the year, and it’s part of the reason I’m going to Paris this summer. Corea’s quote sums up my philosophy perfectly.

Have an amazing week!