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Hi there, September: 8 links I love

Katie Morroni

A new month. The unofficial start of a new season, and the long-awaited return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and football.

September is here, and I'm so excited about this new season -- not only on the calendar, but also the various transitions happening in my own life. This month, I'll enter the third trimester of my first pregnancy, which means my husband and I will get to meet the new member of our family soon!

For now, ahead of baby's arrival, there's a number of life and work transitions at play: My home office has been moved to the basement to make room for a nursery. This unborn baby and I have been on 13 flights together, and will fly 3 more times this month before my self-imposed travel ban goes into effect. (Hello, bonus frequent flyer miles? Ahem, Frontier Airlines, ahem.) My plan for maternity leave is taking shape.

Besides my own shifting (office space, travel plans, body itself -- you name it), this has been a year of tremendous transition for Iguana as a company and for everyone involved with Iguana personally. We've set some goals for the rest of the year, and are continuing to map out what the rest of 2014 and early 2015 might look like. It's an exciting time for all of us.

Maybe things aren't transitioning quite so dramatically for you right now, but wherever you are, I hope you're looking forward to the new season ahead. On behalf of all of us at Iguana, here's to your best season yet!

Here's a few of my favorite blog posts and links from the last week or so:

1. Easy ways to get fit while you work (Verily Magazine)

We've all heard the frightening stats: we're sitting too much, and it's wrecking our health. Here's a few new stats for you to chew on, and some meaningful, doable tips to make a positive change right away.

2. Today I’m starting a new book: Present Over Perfect (Shanua Niequist)

beautiful lettering via  Lindsay Letters

beautiful lettering via Lindsay Letters

Shauna is one of my favorite writers, and her simple mantra "present over perfect" is one I've embraced in many of my own seasons since first reading it. Now she's writing a whole book about it? Sign me up. The only bad part is that we have to wait until Spring 2016 to read it.

3. Turning passion on its head (Seth Godin)

In his list of the keys to finding greater happiness in our work -- and, I think we can reasonably conclude, in our whole lives, I love that Seth Godin mentions serving people first. Cecily shared a recent post of his with Rob and I, and now our whole team is reading his blog daily. They are usually short and always useful, so I'd recommend signing up if you don't already receive his musings via email each day.

4. What art demands of us… (C. S. Lewis, via Twitter)

As the non-designer on Team Iguana, I forget sometimes the obvious fact that design is art. Granted, not every brochure or presentation is museum-worthy, but our team creates art nonetheless. And I loved this reminder to pause and consider that amidst deadlines and invoices. 

5. How to make the most of a big mistake (Unstuck)

There's nothing Unstuck publishes that isn't helpful. Period.

6. Things I don’t do (Finding Joy in All Things)

Inspired by Shauna Niequist and Robin Long (both of whom are also featured in this list - see #2 and #7), Mary has accomplished something I have been struggling to do since I first read about it in Shauna's book Bread and Wine in April 2013: make a list of things I don't do. I get stuck every time I've attempted it, thinking, "What if I should be doing that? What if I would like doing that? Maybe I would want to do that, if only ____? Maybe I need to do that? Maybe I'll want to do that later?" This kind of thinking is exactly what the exercise is intended to counteract, yet I haven't been able to get there. My hat is off to Mary for succeeding in this task and for sharing it with the world. I think it's courageous, and I want to get there like all three of these brave ladies have. If I do, I'll share it here.

7. How To Order Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks (The Balanced Life)

Speaking of brave ladies, meet the aforementioned Robin Long. (While I do love Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte, including Robin's post in my list here has nothing to do with that.) When some readers criticized her for a pseudo-endorsement, she didn't balk or apologize; she confronted the situation head on, and explained how her original comments were exactly in line with her philosophy. Seems to me this -- and all of Robin's advice -- fits right in with the "present over perfect" thinking Shauna espouses (see #2 above). It's not hard to see why these ladies inspire me.

8. 3 Simple Things That Will Make You 10% Happier (Eric Barker)

This information isn't new to me per se, but I wasn't familiar with Dan Harris' story and some of this research. I'm always glad to see more people recognizing the power of mindfulness, whatever form that takes.