17Apr24 Roundup(ish): No Love, However Brief, is Wasted

It’s Friday as I write this, and I’ve been doing what I often do when I’m trying to process difficult feelings, which is scrolling mindlessly through Tumblr.
17Apr24 Roundup(ish): No Love, However Brief, is Wasted
In: Roundup, no love is wasted, if you can't bless it get ready to make it new

Hi folks! First, my apologies for the long wait between issues. A lot has been going on behind the scenes lately, much of it wonderful: I got a job and have been onboarding like I’m embarking on a cruise. I also launched a new Resources site just for CX folks, with a bunch of trainings, blogs, newsletters, and over 120 podcasts, with more to come in the coming months.

Given all that’s going on, I’ve decided to move the newsletter to a bi-weekly publishing schedule for at least the next few months so that I can settle into the new job and provide the same longform, expletive-ridden, Bad Job Bingo-chaos monster that is the Roundup. 

Obviously, this issue is a bit different and probably not quite what you expected when you subscribed (hi new subscribers! welcome!). However, I’m also going on a long-awaited European trip with my kid for a few weeks, and I didn’t want to leave without giving you some kind of update, hence this abbreviated issue. But that also means that there’s going to be a 3-4 week break before the next Roundup – sorry, y’all, but I promise to come back with a terrible English accent and an annoying habit of calling cookies “biscuits.”

Alas, although all of that is certainly enough, there are other reasons this issue is so late. The simple truth is that the last several weeks have been both wonderful and really rough (professionally speaking), for reasons I don’t have the energy to get into and from which I don’t have enough distance to be philosophical about yet.[1]

But I’ve felt discouraged and drained to the point where even sitting in front of my computer to write the newsletter has felt impossible. Until just tonight, actually.

It’s Friday as I write this, and I’ve been doing what I often do when I’m trying to process difficult feelings, which is scrolling mindlessly through Tumblr. And as I often do, because I’ve played myself by following smart, lovely people, I came across this screenshot of a tweet[2] in a post that was exactly what I needed:

Tweet from @louisethebaker: "I'm almost 50, and here is the best thing ! have learned so far: every strange thing you've ever been into, every failed hobby or forgotten instrument, everything you have ever learned will come back to you, will serve you when you need it. No love, however brief, is wasted."

Now, I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, nor do I think there’s an omniscient deity out there in the universe orchestrating my Tumblr feed just for my own personal emotional healing. But I do think we surround ourselves with people who can give us what we need, even when we don’t know we need it. No love is wasted.

And that beautiful reminder led me to another, this one from a modern interpretation of the Pirke Avot by Rabbi Rami Shapiro,[3] which I’d inscribed on the first page of my journal:

Everything we are is a gift.
Everything we have is given.
Know whence all things come,
and be not dismayed at their passing.

Life is full of endings, some forced and some chosen. Sometimes these endings are tragedies, and sometimes they’re just transitions. Sometimes they’re both. Sometimes you can’t tell which is which, which to me sucks the most because if you have to go through the pain of an ending, surely the very least you can ask for is a little clarity.

Of course, this being real life, neither clarity nor closure are guaranteed. Sometimes you just have to find a way to live with the way things are.

But if you’re grieving, if you’re sad, if you’re angry, if you’re lonely, if you’re worried, if you’re frustrated, if you’re stuck in an ending and unsure what to do with it, let this be the reminder you need: all things are a gift. Be not dismayed at their passing. No love is wasted.

One last thing. When I went to read Rabbi Shapiro’s words in my journal, these pages fell open instead:

Again, I don’t think this is kismet. I’d pressed that flower in the pages and it acted as a bookmark to one of my favorite poems, The Art of Blessing the Day by Marge Piercy.[4]

It’s one of my favorites because it reminds me that we’re never really powerless even when we feel like we are, and that we also have a responsibility to use our power to make things better. You’ll see. No love is wasted.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let's not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is as real as pain.
The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends'
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.
But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.
Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can't bless it, get ready to make it new.

All of my love to y'all. See you in a month.

  1. I’m sparing you the original piece I wrote for this newsletter, which was a hyper-emo treatise on power dynamics using the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers as an illustrative allegory.

    This, sadly or hilariously (depending on your point of view), is for real. This essay really exists. ↩︎

  2. I wasn’t able to find a link to the original tweet, so please comment if you have it and I’ll add it in. In lieu of that, here’s a link to their twitter, they seem delightful. ↩︎

  3. Rabbi Rami M Shapiro, Wisdom of the Jewish Sages, page 51. It’s out of print now, but you can still purchase it used. It’s a beautiful book, and I often find it comforting and instructive. Although it is very much a Jewish text, you might find wisdom in it even if you aren’t Jewish or particularly spiritual. ↩︎

  4. This is an excerpt. You can read the full poem here. ↩︎

That's it for this week! If you have items for the Roundup you'd like to submit, you can do so at, but be sure to check out the Roundup FAQs first.

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Written by
Steph Lundberg
Steph is a writer and Support leader/consultant. When she's not screaming into the void for catharsis, you can find her crafting, hanging with her kids, or spending entirely too much time on Tumblr.
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