Issue #82: Why Balance is Impossible (And What to Seek Instead)
Calling all perfectionists.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age by Katherine May: It felt like kismet when a friend sent me this New York Times article after the Tuesday I describe below. In it, May describes slowing down enough to add awe back into her life—a topic she delves into far more depth, in her audiobook which I listened to across several walks. “Enchantment came so easily to me as a child,” she writes, in the thick of burnout, describing it as “a deep engagement with the world around me.” The book is a thoughtful manifesto and a quick read (or listen) on tapping back into that sense of wonder.
🎧 “The Gray Area” Podcast: Though it’s been around a while (and was formerly hosted by Ezra Klein), I began regularly listening to Sean Illing’s podcast on cultural, philosophy, and politics last year with Dr. Gabor Maté’s interview. Since then, I’ve been enjoying Illing’s thoughtful takes and guests on topics that range from Nietzsche to ethical AI. A few worth starting with: “The power of attention in a world of distraction,” “Poetry as Religion,” and “Breaking Our Family Patterns.”
📺 “Marie Antoinette” on PBS: The royal so privileged she allegedly declared “Let them eat cake!” does not immediately garner favor. This new series, written by the creator of ‘The Favourite,’ asks us not only to empathize with, but even admire, the ways in which Marie Antoinette maintained her spirit when she moved from Austria to France to wed Louis XVI at 14 (he was only 16!). Similar to Sophia Coppola’s depiction, Marie is humanized as a young girl facing impossible odds and pressure to provide an heir and lead a country (the first episode, which came out Sunday, is free).
A bonus rec: If you’re still riding on Oscars excitement, I recently came across two Youtube channels about making movies. One looks closely at the process from script to screen, while the other (which I found via this interview with Tyler James Williams) breaks down common film tropes.
P.S. I still haven’t watched the Korean film, ‘Decision to Leave’ because the trailer looks so scary, but I’ve seen it written about all over the place, including a recent issue of the Substack,. Have you seen it??
On Monday, I had it all figured out.
I woke up five minutes before my alarm, and journaled for an hour with my coffee and breakfast, with ample time to do my hair and get ready for the day. After my morning class, I stocked up on groceries for the week from recipes I’d selected that morning. As I put them away, I chatted on the phone with a friend and filled the vases in my apartment with fresh flowers. Morning Person was already written for the next day, so I did some school work, got my inbox to zero, and closed my laptop early enough to go for a long run, make a delicious soup, and spend the evening reading.
Then came Tuesday.