green path redwoods

Photo and text by Gabrielle.

Well, Hello! Welcome to April’s installment of my random thoughts. Feel free to share your own random thoughts in the comments.

– With two new nieces on the way, I’m thinking of the sweet moment when siblings meet for the first time. One day they’ve never met, the next day, they encounter a person that will know them the longest of anyone in their life. So amazing.

– Ben Blair has two trips this month. As I mentioned, he’s been in Salt Lake City over the weekend, presenting at the Mormon Transhumanist Association conference. He’ll get home today. And then later this week, he’s heading to Houston. He and my brother, Josh, were asked to speak about Teachur at an education + technology conference.

And speaking of Teachur, a little update: it’s so awesome to see the company growing and forming. They are in true start-up mode. Lots of inquires from (like this article), getting asked to present at conferences (the Houston conference will be their 3rd so far), and more and more curriculum is getting built every day. Maybe the most fun, is that they are reaching out to professors and teachers to beta test the curriculum building software. Very exciting!

– While Ben has been in Utah this weekend, he had lunch Christopher and Lisa Clark. Topher is one of Ben’s life-long friends and was recently diagnosed with ALS. Which is mind-blowing. It’s impossible to picture him sick — this strong, happy man, in-demand director, father of 5, husband of Lisa Clark (one of my favorite people on the planet).

Understandably, everyone that knows him is heartsick about it. I had never even heard of ALS until the ice-bucket challenge came to be, and I still know very little, but apparently it’s the same disease that Stephen Hawking has. In Topher’s case, he’s been told it will be terminal. This is a hard thing.

– We’re having erratic spring weather, and I’m super into it. I know lots of places in the country are having unusual weather this month, but the Oakland version is pretty lovely. Last week, we had a hot day that felt just like summer. The next day, it was chilly and rainy, but not too chilly. Today is low 60s. Later this week we have some perfect high 70’s days on the schedule. The earth smells good! And if you drive toward Walnut Creek, the hills are green and misty and it looks like Ireland. It’s definitely the greenest I’ve ever seen it. I’m in love.

Oh. And the California strawberries are amazing at the moment! Go eat all of them before I do.

– I’m feeling a huge tension in my mind at the moment. I don’t think it will be a surprise to you if I say I have this non-stop drive to build and create. New ideas, new projects, whole new companies. But bringing them to fruition requires a high level of intensity and often stress. And when I’m in the middle of that stress, I react to it by wanting to shut everything down and just read all day for the rest of my life.

One part of my wants to build, build, build! To take on more, to fit in as much as I possibly can. I can feel the days and months rushing past, and I ask myself in a panic, am I doing everything I want to do? Are there ideas and projects that I will regret not exploring?

Another part of me has a vision of a simpler life. Where I’m doing less and less, and the days are filled with the calmness of a set schedule that requires very little decision making.

The building part of me is definitely stronger, but is it possible to build something big and amazing and worthwhile without the overwhelm? I long for models to study, to find people who are super engaged with their work, but somehow have a life of ease. I don’t really think they exist, but I long for them anyway.

– Our refinance closed last week. It ups our monthly payments, but lowers our interest rate, and switches us from a 30 year loan to a 15 year loan. I think it will feel like a burden at first, but am hoping it’s the smart financial decision. Who knows. I always feel like such a novice when it comes to decisions like this. Either way, it was a quite a process, and it feels like a big relief to have it marked off our to-do list.

– I’m craving some deep spring cleaning. And mostly de-cluttering. I walked into our living room the other day and just thought: What is all this stuff? Anyone else?

– I’m also craving some fresh media. I need a new show to watch or a stack of great books to tackle. But I’m not in the mood for anything too heavy. What are you reading and watching these days?

I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to anything here, or bring up your own topic. I always love hearing what’s on your minds!

P.S. — I post my random thoughts each month. You can find them all here.