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Life Lifter (283 posts)
The car, I realized, was from a local driving school. And then I saw the woman driving. She was probably 60 at the youngest, her hair covered with a headscarf, and she had a look on her face of sheer determination. She didn’t look scared, or embarrassed, or frantic, the way I would have surely felt were I driving not just the wrong way but the wrong, like, dimension. And something about her made me want to just jump for joy.
My irritation immediately melted away. This woman! She was doing it! She was learning to drive! It’s something most of us did without thinking twice (and without any sense of fear or danger) at age 15, a skill that now seems as ordinary as walking. And here was this woman, the world’s worst driver, inching her car towards an ill-fated parallel parking spot, concentrating so hard she didn’t even flinch when a taxi cab swerved around her. In that moment I loved that woman, and that she was learning to drive, and that all sorts of (very slow-paced) driving adventures lay ahead of her. We should all be so open to new ideas, new projects, new skills. Even if, at first, we really, really suck at them.
Here are some places to start:
7 Ways to Learn a New Skill
Learning for Fun
A visit to the Amazon basin, minus the fist-sized mosquitoes. Yay for Google Street View!
Whether your prom was the night of your life or you stayed home and watched "Carrie," here is one take on the quintessential school dance you're sure to love.
"Faux fun helps you ignore problems; real fun helps you face them." Could it be that you only think you're having fun? How to find the real thing.
Make a point to appreciate art. It just might help your health someday.
The Life-Lifter: Who says there's nothing left to discover? This intrepid pair is planning an ambitious expedition across Africa -- for a noble cause.
It's 3:00 p.m. You're dragging. You've already had nine cups of coffee. In an unprecedented move your neighborhood Starbucks has cut you off for the day. You tried some breathing exercises your yoga teacher suggested but you started nodding off. You know what would be really energizing? Going home and sleeping for eight hours. But for some reason that's frowned upon. So what do you do? Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest eating kale or anything. All you have to do is watch this video:
Who can resist it? How psyched do these kids look? How much fun are they having? Look at their wild knees and hands! The music, by the way, is Kwela, a traditional, upbeat pennywhistle-based street music from southern Africa, which I totally knew and did not just read on Wikipedia and which I now must go find as much of as possible because it's just so foot-tappy. And I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge Mr. Pink Shirt, who is one of the best dancers I've ever seen. I want to move through my day the way he moves through this dance -- energetic, ecstatic, effortless. Don't you?
Joyful Fun From A Family Band
Your Energy is Infinite and This is Why
The answer: her sister. Delle Donne is extremely close with her older sister, who is blind, deaf, and has cerebral palsy. As Delle Donne explained to ABC News, "Skype, cellphone, texting, email — doesn’t work with Liz. We’ve never spoken a word to one another so the only thing we have is our physical contact. So that’s our whole relationship. It’s everything. She knows me by my smell and my feel, so, physically, physical contact is the only thing she knows. So when I did leave, I lost Lizzie basically. Well, she lost me and I wasn’t OK with that when I left.” Delle Donne then took a break from basketball for her first year of college because she was feeling burnt out and wanted to recapture the joy of the game (yet another reason to love her).
And now that Delle Donne is back in the game, leading her team to unprecedented victories, she has her sister to thank. As Delle Donne put it, “She teaches me that you just fight no matter what." (You have to watch the ABC video for the hug between Elena and Lizzy.) And that teaches us all a little something about the power of sisterly love.
12 Drawings a Day
A Writer Learns Forgiveness
A sweet alternative to chalk hearts on the sidewalk: padlocks of love.
Finally, one country tells women, "Eat a sandwich," and bans underweight models.
Black Swan nothing! Ballet is even more impressive seen in mesmerizing slow-mo.
This blogger finds something special in every day. Here's her breathtaking Magical Moment 614: communing with a deer on a run.
Some not-too-terrible-for-you deliciousness: strawberry-buttermilk baked doughnuts. Yes, please.
The Life-Lifter: And now, for a word from the trees. The most remarkable trees in the world, that is.
The ups and downs of working with your husband. On TV.
"How will you be known?" This poem answers the burning question, beautifully.
What a charismatic beagle has to teach us about cultivating our own "It" factors.
On today's to-do list: Climb Mount Everest. Virtually, of course.
The Life-Lifter: "Life came into perfect balance." When the cameras stopped rolling, this actress stuck around to help the actual city her show was filmed in, and along the way found her true purpose in life.
A Twitter-bit of self-discovery: Ask yourself this probing question about the day you were born.
Don't you just love those videos that make you see the world with scrubbed-clean eyeballs? Behold, the jump-rope-cam.
New year's resolutions are meant for the new year, not just January 1st. Here, a reminder to check in with yours in the present.
The tastiest chicken recipe in the world. You're welcome.
1) Figure out how bad your distraction problem is. 2) Follow this advice on how to be more focused and productive. 3) Whee, a cat gif! Wait, no. Back to step 1.
The Life-Lifter: "Here goes something!" A 10-year-old girl ski-jumping for the first time inspires us all to be brave. (Just wait for the cry of complete, unadulturated triumph!)
The 3-second vacation: visit far-off places with a click of the mouse.
Relax with some chips and guacamole. Er, dice and poker chips. The "cooking" video that must be seen to be believed.
Celebrate spring with the almost-too-pretty-to-be-real phenomenon of cherry blossoms in bloom.
Isn't it great when couples go through different stages together? Photographs to marvel over.
How being more independent may just be the key to your happiness.
The Life-Lifter: "The list of what we cannot do grows shorter and shorter." 28,000 flowers turn a mental institution into a locus of hope.
If only all homes were as organically beautiful as a nest of blue eggs.
Stay true to yourself. Even when you're talking to your boss. Or your boss's boss.
From pearl necklaces to air raid survival skills, here are the 10 coolest facts about the Girl Scouts on their 100th anniversary.
"Be not disturbed at trifles" — and 12 other virtues to live by.
The Life-Lifter: How 3 pre-teen monks inspired this photographer to go "gift-economy."
It's the best of lists, it's the worst of lists. Just kidding, it's the best: the top 100 opening lines of books.
A vertical greenhouse could make a city self-sufficient, super-futuristic.
What would Venus' Botticelli look like if she conformed to today's beauty standards? (Here's a hint: a lot skinnier.)
The Life-Lifter: After-school-job what? 14-year-old girl buys a house and becomes a landlord.