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.

now i get it {fall 2018}

Emily P. Freeman’s quarterly habit of recording what she learns during the season is something that I strongly recommend for everyone. And this fall has made me get one major thing.

Intentional, thoughtful, and present decisions are a must.

Last month, someone asked me to do something that I have been wanting to do for a long time.  But the timing was not right.  It would have been on top of everything that I had going on in my life at that time: my parents’ coming into town; the Buddy Man’s birthday party; and previous commitments that I had made to others, and more importantly, to myself.

I struggled with it, wrestled with whether I should go ahead and do it even though it would have taxed my mental, physical, and emotional strength.  I have an innate desire to please people and make them happy and not doing this thing would have certainly not made everyone happy.

Finally, I decided to test my “personal decision-making template” that I have been working on for some time. I had put this template together to try to decide between two things that are neither right or wrong.

  1. I looked at my priorities – which was most important?
  2. I looked at how I have decided that I wanted to feel (via working through Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map) and the way I have chosen to live my life (via Gretchen Rubin’s concept of Personal Commandments).
  3. I identified my attitude about each choice. Would I carry any anger and resentment with either one?
  4. And finally, my ultimate decider, which decision would give me peace.

I decided not to pursue the opportunity. And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision until I realized that because of my mild (to me) obsessing, I had forgotten to make the chili for the dinner. I gave myself the mental and emotional space necessary to be fully present for my family, my son, and his birthday party.  I was true to the previous commitments I had made and present for those closest to me. I am so grateful that I was brave enough to make that choice.

enjoy life…

And head over to the Emily’s Link-Up to see what others are learning also.

now i get it {summer 2018}

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Emily P. Freeman’s quarterly habit of recording what she learns during the season is something that I strongly recommend every one, especially one who is seeking to lead a life well-lived, should do. Writing my lessons down (you can record it in some other way) cements them into my consciousness and sharing it with you keeps me cognizant of those lessons.

This summer has provided one major thing that I get now.

To live the life I’ve imagined, I have to do the scary thing, the uncomfortable thing.

I don’t know who said it first but I heard it attributed to a fitness trainer who was responsible for getting Brad Pitt in shape for his portrayal of the Greek hero, Achilles, in the 2004 epic, Troy. He told Pitt, “To get to where you want to be, you are going to have to put yourself in a place of discomfort every single day!”

There’s a wide range to this level of discomfort. Some is absolutely terrifying.  Others are just slightly disconcerting. This summer, I intentionally made myself uncomfortable, furthering a lesson learned from last spring.

Here’s a rundown of a precious few of my experiences, from the mild to the “OMG! I’d never thought I’d do that!”

  • I ate at some interesting spots while on vacay.
  • I interviewed a ceramic artist in another state. I traveled to her home, sat in her kitchen, played with clay in her studio, and recorded over two hours of footage, transcribed that footage (listening to myself is like nails on a chalkboard) and began to write up the story of her journey to awesomeness. It’s coming to the blog soon.
  • I joined a writing group. At my first meeting in July, I knew no one. And then, after about three hours of writing, we had to pass our words to someone else for them to read out loud to EVERYONE! Gulp. But, I’m glad I did it. And I went back and did it again in August.
  • I wrote a piece and submitted it for publication on a very popular web site. Pushing the send button of that email elicited a bit of throw-up in my mouth. I was so on-edge, I promptly went outside for a run to relieve the angst. The run did help.
  • My Hubby has a new hobby – photography. And while on vacay in Miami, we had photo shoots in various locations, including the hotel room. I have never really liked taking pics.  When I was a teenager, I practiced for hours to get my smile to something that I could live with and now I can smile on-cue.  Only people who know me can tell the difference between my “fake” smile and my genuine smile.  Let’s just say, the hotel room shoot involved more than my smile.  It was scary, but incredibly freeing and empowering.  And no, those will NOT be coming to the blog any time soon.

What about you? Have you done anything that scared you a little recently?  I’ve learned it’s the only way you’ll be able to fully…

enjoy life