am i missing out on my real life?

The Ultimate Library

Like Belle in the song “Belle” of the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast who is at the very least partially oblivious to what is going on around her because she has her nose stuck in a book, am I missing out on my real life in the joy of my effort to read as many books as I possibly can?  I have often wondered about that.

The benefits of reading are well-documented: staving off dementia and Alzheimer’s, expansion of one’s vocabulary (this has been a problem when I go to speak a word that I have never heard pronounced; I know what it means, I just don’t know how to say it. It’s made for some hilarious moments), improved focus and concentration, the list goes on without even discussing the knowledge and insights that one gains while reading. But how much is too much?

After tracking my time, per Laura Vanderkam’s recommendation, I discovered that I was wasting much more time letting Netflix know that I was “still watching” after hours on end and playing Candy Crush (does anyone still play that?) on my phone than I ever will reading. And that was good enough for me.

I believe we were all born with a unique thing that we tend to enjoy.  My mom loves jigsaw puzzles.  But if the needs of daily life are being met, I now believe, that I can find the time to do the thing that I love, if I intentionally chose to do THAT thing, as oppose to wasting time doing that things that are just meh.  I’m looking at you, Netflix.

What’s your thing to do that you love?

til tomorrow, enjoy life

P.S. I have always wondered whether a part of Belle’s motivation in marrying the Prince was all the books in that gorgeous library.  It had to be part of her considerations, don’t you think? It would have been part of my mine. LOL

Catch up on the rest of this series.

now i get it {spring 2018}

One of my favorite inspirational writers, Emily P. Freeman, post a quarterly link-up where we share what we learned during that season. I’ve seen and read these for a few years now but only participated one time. Sharing something so intimate feels overwhelming; what if I never learned anything new? What if I keep having to learn the same old things day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. For example, if you read my January 2016 edition, I discuss foundational habits.  Yep, still struggling with those! But, now I get that this is an excellent exercise for anyone who is seeking to live their one life with intention and purpose. And sharing in this space crystallizes what I have learned, making it real and refreshing my memory when I need to be reminded again and again.

So, with that in mind, I am participating this season and sharing with you wonderful souls what I learned and will probably always be learning this past spring. Here goes…

  • I’m learning to trust my intuition, my gut, “the voice within, the voice of God’s spirit, the whisper of my own soul.” (Shauna Niequist in Present Over Perfect) This is something that I will have to work on for the rest of my life.
  • I now know that I for me to live the life that I want to live that I must stop running from my emotions. In the book, “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chödrön, she discusses the necessity to sit in the “hot loneliness.”  I hate doing this! I have run from my emotions and my feelings for most of my life.  My modus operandi is when I get a whiff of a feeling that is uncomfortable, painful, or even something that is exciting or interesting, is to do one of two things: (1) push it deep into the spaces of my own heart and then pile food, preferably ice cream, on top of it or (2) get busy doing something, anything to not think about it anymore. All you have to do is see a pic of me to know which one I do the most. Ignoring my emotional life has affected everything: how much joy I experience; my honesty with my husband; my memory, or lack thereof, of the special moments in my life; and the authenticity in my writing. Learning to sit with my feelings is hard, probably the hardest thing that I will ever have to do, but now I know that I have to do it.
  • Self-care is requirement; it is not an optional exercise. There is no life (literally, no life) without it.

What have you learned recently? Let’s talk about it.

enjoy life

an un-“enjoy life” riff

I know it’s Friday but no “secret” today. Just a riff on something that’s been irking me lately.

 enjoy life…

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me well that I try to do everything as close to perfect as I possibly can. I am a planner by nature; I take pride in my ability to think through scenarios, to anticipate problems before they happen and stop them from happening. This is what I do!!! My sense of value comes from being reliable and dependable. My basic fear is not being supported, valued, loved, appreciated by others (Enneagram type six, anyone?), ergo, I try to do EVERYTHING that I can do without fault so that others will like me, love me, value me, appreciate me. I don’t want to be a disappointment!

For that reason, I have lived a large part of my life in fear; fear that will I not measure up and then no one will support me. I haven’t done things in life because I feared I wouldn’t be able to do them well. I have played it safe. A lot.

Well, my world was turned upside down. I had a baby, something I knew I would struggle to do well-aka my biggest fear. And even though I knew this before Buddy Man arrived, it has been made plain to me since his arrival. I have absolutely positively zero control anymore; my planning nature doesn’t serve me as well as it use to because all of my plans can go out the window in a matter of minutes. While this may have always been the case, it’s really becoming a thing and has been very discouraging and very sad for me. I am not meeting the expectations that I have always held for myself. I now have to cancel the appointment, to not be able to meet an obligation because my child is sick, I’m so sorry. And “Mommy brain” is REAL! I forget things I use to not forget – to send the thank-you cards, to call or text back, to remember the birthdays, Where is my phone?

I am not this person!

Or am I? Now? Is this the new me? Is this how it’s going to be?

More importantly, will people still approve of me?