fourth friday’s “secret”: #buytheflowers

This Friday’s “secret” is courtesy of Anne Bogel’s upcoming book, Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decision, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life. You can listen to Anne read Chapter 13: “Small Shifts toward Simple Abundance” here. Or you can catch me talking to Anne about this very thing (and some other stuff) on Anne’s podcast What Should I Read Next Episode 222.  In fact, you should probably do one or both of those things before reading on for context. Or maybe it’s not necessary. Don’t overthink it. LOL. I’m thrilled to have my mommy here to guest post about what she did after listening to the first half of Episode 222.

#BuytheFlowers.jpeg

I stop and put the baby’s breath in my grocery cart! But before that….

I’m on my way to the grocery store (not Trader Joe’s) listening to the podcast What Should I Read Next, Episode 222. My daughter, Shannan, had shared it with me. As I’m pulling into the parking lot, the part about Anne shopping at  Trader Joe’s is finishing up.

 I walk into the store get the shopping cart and, as always, to the right are the flowers.

 I like cut flowers. And I’m blessed to have a husband that brings them home quite often (he’s a really great husband and dad).  I really like the inexpensive ones, like carnations, because they last so much longer.

I also really like baby’s breath, which I later learned are in the carnation family.  I’ve only remembered seeing them added to other arrangements, not necessarily in a vase by themselves. So, most of the time, I pass them with my grocery cart thinking, “I really like these,  I want to get these, I wonder how they will look by themselves in a vase, one day I’m going to buy some, I’m going to buy these the next time.”

 I had prevented myself from doing so because I didn’t want to deter my husband from continuing to bring flowers home. LOL

 But after listening to Anne’s dialogue with herself on Tuesday mornings in Trader Joe’s, I reached for the flowers. 

Guys, it is absolutely ridiculous the way that we talk ourselves out of the simplest pleasures in life: a bubble bath, a cup of tea, a nice pen, a glass of lemonade instead of water with lunch, lighting the scented candle that we already own! As Anne says, “we think our way out of happiness, over and over…It doesn’t have to be this way….We can give ourselves permission to enjoy something that exceeds the minimum we need to get by. We can appreciate the good things in front of us without feeling guilty about them.”

So buy the flowers, Guys.  And if you are not into flowers, find your equivalent.  And if you haven’t a clue about what that is (and there is no shame in that, I didn’t know for the longest; all it means is that you’ve got a lot of fun exploration to do) there are loads of ideas in the comments of Anne’s blog post here.

#buytheflowers and enjoylife…

P.S. And yes, I realized, today, that this is not the fourth Friday, it’s actually the fifth.  Oh well, LOL, the “secret” applies any day of the week.

hello 2020!

Happy New Year

“Take nothing for granted.  LIVE.” -Kyrzayda Rodriguez

In August of 2018, my family took a road trip (a 14-hour road trip) down to Miami with the then 3-year-old Buddy Man. Road trips remind me of a passage by May Serton: “One arrives through the uproar of one’s anxiety and panic, exhausted at the start.” That’s essentially me on a trip, especially with a toddler.

However, the Buddy Man was awesome.  With his iPad playing Blippi and other randomness about trains (which he is still obsessed with), we didn’t cry once.  Correction, he didn’t cry once.  I came close. You see, I had forgotten to get baby wipes (he still wasn’t potty-trained) and milk. What mother forgets those essentials? The plan was for him to stay with his grandma upon our 1 AM arrival while the Hubby and I were to have honeymoon-of-sorts in a hotel with a king-size bed.  I doubted the Buddy was going to go along with that plan. My anxiety was high: no wipes for his bottom, no milk, and I wasn’t going to get any sleep that night. I was fretting.  I was worried.

Then I realized that I was fretting and worrying.  I tried a few deep breathing exercise.  I thought “what’s the worst that could happen?”. I thought, “I haven’t slept before. So I will have a massive headache.  That’s what Tylenol is for. And as for wipes and milk, there are stores where we were headed. That’s what the Hubby is for.” That relieved the pressure. Somewhat.

Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 11.48.15 AMAngst relieved.  Somewhat.  I went on social media.  There I saw Kyrzayda Rodriguez post (I had been following her for years) about starting her 5th round of chemo. FIFTH round because the other four didn’t take. She was wondering whether it was time to give up. The post was undeniably somber. She closed it with these words: “Never take anything for granted. LIVE.”

I was properly chastised.  We were on a 14-hour road trip to Miami – to sun, to water, to the wind coming off that water.  I was determined to make it a good trip. And I did.

Kyrzayda passed one month later. She was 40 years old.

I’m determine to make 2020 the year that I take nothing for granted.  The year that I live. Let’s do it!

 enjoy life…

 

now i get it {winter 2019}

Linking up with Emily P. Freeman and the What We Learned Community to share lessons learned this winter.

Now I get it. It’s OK to slow down. It’s OK to pause. It’s OK to do what feels like nothing.

I intensely dislike winter-hate seems too strong a word to use in this setting but dislike isn’t strong enough.  I specifically dislike winters in Alabama.  The temperature is cold. The sky is gray, most of the time. And it is very very wet.  This month, we have had the most rainfall in four or five years. Without the magic of snow, I might add.  Winters in Alabama are depressing. And for me, the gray days often prompt the gray thoughts.

In November, I decided to try something different this winter. Instead of thinking that I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, I decided that the winter is the time of year where my body, mind, and spirit need a break.  Essentially, I decided to become a bear.

Going into the winter with this mindset made me very nervous.  Deciding to focus on rest seemed so counterintuitive. I believed that I would feel lazy and unproductive as I sat around, essentially, doing nothing.

However, the opposite has proven to be true.  This winter, as I rested, I also have posted to the blog nine times, including a guest post from my sister. We featured Becky Glaze in the first Enjoy Life Interview of the year. We started the first EnjoyLife Project: Create Home thru KonMari. And I have completed the first category: Clothes. Blog post coming in March.  I have started hosting What I’m Into on the first of every month and a good number of you are linking your posts to the site.  I am so honored to have you. Our next post is tomorrow, March 1.

I hosted my first New Year’s visioning party in January. I have read 4 books this year of the 39 that I want to read in 2019. I have attended two Writing Retreats and have written 4000 words to a novel that I want to write. I also volunteered with The CornerStone Initiative for the annual C4 Conference.

On February 12th, Danielle LaPorte wrote a poem: Building Strength. In it she discusses the concept of building strength through rest and feeling deeply. Take a look at it here.

It has proven true for me this winter.

What about you? Do you find that rest makes you more productive?

P.S. One good thing about being in Alabama during the winter months is that we often have at least one burst of Springlike temps and sunshine.  We had one this month, before all the rain, and are going through another right now. Folks are wearing sandals, I kid you not.

enjoy life…

P.P.S. I also played a lot of Sims 4, but if we are being honest, that was something that I intended to do going into this experiment.