Happy Birthday, Alexigraph!

Photo of flowers in Santorini with the text “We’re 1!”

Photo of flowers in Santorini with the text “We’re 1!”

After just a few days of planning, I started Alexigraph on January 8, 2017.  It took me nearly a full day to set up the site, but then I made my first post and I was off and running.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for a full year!  I love sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, and I truly appreciate you taking the time to read them, respond, and share.

In celebration of one year of blogging, I’m rounding up some of my personal favorite posts from the past year (in no particular order).  I know, it’s a long list — I had trouble narrowing it down! Read more

7 Things I Learned from My First 7 Jobs

Still life painting with vases, flowers, and table card holder
Table No. 4, 2016. Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”, framed. Available for purchase.

About a year and a half ago, the hashtag #1st7jobs (or #firstsevenjobs) began making its way around Twitter as celebrities and others shared lists of their early work experiences.  The idea, I think, was to show that where you begin does not dictate where you end up, and it takes hard work and trial and error to build the career and life you want.  While there are certainly critics of that narrative, I found the hashtag to be an interesting exercise, and one worthy of further exploration than Twitter’s character limit would allow.

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Loss, Love, and Community at the Holidays

Abstract painting loosely resembling a fall landscape
Peace, 2014. Private Collection; prints available.

With the holiday season well underway, I’ve been thinking a lot about family and community.  I had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving with family, as I’ve always been lucky enough to do.  While I was so grateful to be surrounded by my mom, aunt, cousins, and husband, the absence of my father and uncle were palpable — it was our first Thanksgiving without them.  Spending these last few days at my parents’ house, it seems as though everywhere I look, I’m reminded of my dad.  It’s as if I can still see him sitting in his favorite chair and hear exactly what he would say in response to just about every situation.

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Spending Money to Save Time: On Outsourcing Chores

Still life painting of candles, soap dispenser, bowls

A few months ago, I read about a study indicating that people are happier when they spend money to buy themselves free time (by outsourcing chores) than when they spend the same amount of money on material goods.  (The study was widely covered; you can read more about it here, here, and here.)  The authors reported that the reduction in time-stress resulting from paying others to perform daily tasks and routine chores led to greater life satisfaction across a wide range of income levels.  In other words, even people who are not wealthy benefit emotionally from spending their discretionary money on services rather than goods.  Given this information, why am I, like so many people, still cleaning my own house and weeding my own flower beds?

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