Some links that helped me find calm, beauty, and inspiration this week:

Life gets awesome when you opt out. “Of course (of course!) I don’t care if other people love giving oodles of holiday gifts, sending Christmas cards, or driving a 2015 Camry. If it brings you joy – do it! But these things don’t bring me joy, so I’m not doing them.”

23 things only people who love spending time alone will understand.

On admitting what you don’t know, and letting yourself learn something new.

Why standardized testing, and standards themselves, don’t promote learning the way we want them to. “A broad, flexible curriculum that supports children’s individual interests and strengths is more likely to engage them and promote learning.”

And to follow up on that…What schools could use instead of standardized tests.

These banana-oat-chocolate cookies are delicious and pretty healthy.

I just read Canyon Solitude, about a woman who does a solo river trip through the Grand Canyon. It was an awesome and inspiring book about adventuring, and also about solitude. Next up: Torch by Cheryl Strayed.

And all these beautiful pictures: Wanderers Welcome.