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Hello!

I’m Tammy Strobel. Welcome to my digital home!

I'm a writer, photographer, and cat lover. I'm also obsessed with CrossFit and coffee.

Hope you have a nice stay!

“You’re just seeing one-dimension.”

“You’re just seeing one-dimension.”

I'm really flexible, which can be a good and a bad trait; good because I can release tight muscles easily and not good because I can overextend or pull muscles with ease, and that's what happened on Saturday morning. When I yawned and stretched, I overextended my back muscles and that lead to back spasms.

My original Saturday plans included writing and CrossFitting. Instead, I took two naps, three hot showers, and covered my back in doTERRA's Deep Blue Rub (which made the house smell like strong mint tea). I also listened to Death, Sex & Money. It's one of my favorite podcasts, and I enjoyed Anna Sales’s latest interviews.

If you need a dose of inspiration, I recommend listening to the conversations below. I included links to the episodes, along with my favorite quotes from the interviews.

1. Tayari Jones on frills and freedom.

Jones on quitting:

“...I think that the reason why people don’t quit is that you think you’re gonna get in trouble, or that it’s gonna go in your permanent record. There is no such thing as a permanent record. You can quit at any time and reset your life.”

I also loved Jones’s thoughts on womanhood and freedom:

“... I’ve always been a very eager protege of women who are older than me who teach me how to do things in life and I remember I had a friend who was older than me who taught me that you should always keep your passport updated, and I said well why? She says what if someone’s gonna invite you to Paris? And I said no one’s gonna invite me to Paris. She said of course they’re not ‘cuz they can tell you don’t have your passport up to date, and so I was like okay. So I went and updated my passport. I was always eager to learn. I wanted to learn the ropes of womanhood.

“...I was always like really attracted to women who seemed to be eccentric and kind of uncontrollable. I wanted them to teach me how they came to be so free.”

Jones also talked about becoming a famous author, and the importance of understanding the difference between ambition and contentment:

“Ambition is the opposite of contentment, and I think I decided I didn’t want to be famous because I just saw the constant kind of hamster wheel of it all, and so when the Oprah call came and I knew that my book could possibly be a bestseller, I wanted to do everything I could to insulate myself against this never satisfied, this constant running. I think that I’m really lucky that this moment came fifteen years into my writing career at age 47 . . .”

2. John Prine on wanting to be normal.

How Prine got into song writing:

“I was a mailman out there, braving the elements, between bees, wasps and dogs. I mean, it was jungle out there. It drove me to songwriting.”

On his creative process:

“I probably write more songs with a steering wheel in my hand than a guitar. It kind of helps me to think, driving down the road. It helps to have distractions sometimes.”

“ . . .my wife Fiona, who’s managing me now, and our son Jody who’s running our record label came up to me last year, and said real solemn, like they said, ‘John, it’s time to make a record.’ Because they knew I’d been writing all along. And they put me in a hotel suite for a week with 10 boxes of unfinished lyrics, three guitars and a ukulele. Fiona knew that I operate better in a hotel room than I do at home. At home, I just look for ways to get out of it, doing things. In hotel rooms I have some sort of—there’s something going on. I’m ready to do a show or something. So they left me to it. And I would knock around during the day and go get a hot dog. And at nighttime I’d start writing about three in the morning, order room service up, have a party by myself and end up with a couple songs every day.”

He went on to explain:

“ ...I spread the papers all over the suite. Everywhere you went there was an empty box with papers out. I just grab songs and pull them together. Some of them fit and some of them didn’t.”

I loved hearing about Prine’s creative process because it made me feel less crazy.

Also, his comment about his physical appearance after cancer treatment gave me the chills (in a good way). I battled my body for so many years because I wasn’t “thin enough,” “pretty enough,” “strong enough,” etc. I don’t hold those beliefs anymore, yet Prine’s comment was a powerful reminder. Here’s what he said:

“... I always thought who I am is from inside of me. That’s the person I’ve lived with since I was a child. And what you’re seeing in a mirror is kind of cool, but you’re just seeing one-dimension.”

***

Listening to inspiring podcasts helped me get through Saturday. On Monday morning my back felt great, and I was able to attend a CrossFit class and bike all over town with zero pain. Wishing you all well!

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