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.

enjoy life guest post: emily anderson’s “the table”

I love hosting other creators on my blog and today, I am pleased to have my little sister, Emily, visiting with a guest post today.  My sister was there when no one else was, literally.  She is my biggest supporter and cheerleader and believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.  I introduced her to Emily P Freeman’s podcast: The Next Right Thing. You should check it out if you are not familiar with it.  Emily (my sister) is a Masters prepared social worker at heart and is fascinated with the power of narrative in our human experience.  She values simple, peaceful but eclectic living. She is an excellent jigsaw puzzle worker; she’s kick my rear since she was two. She lives in Washington state with my brother-in-law, my 11-year-old nephew, and their two terriers. Her post today is a timely thought (which she is also known for) during this holiday season. Take a look!

black kettle beside condiment shakers and green fruits and plants on tray on brown wooden tableFor the past several years I have obsessed about buying a dining room table.  My husband cannot quite understand it and I often wonder what my deal is.  My sister is the “foodie” of the family and although I enjoy cooking for appreciative eaters, I am fully aware that they are just as comfortable eating at my current four-chair table or pulling up a tray to the couch.

Why does buying this dining room table – the long farmhouse-style table made of solid wood that will endure the test of time – seem as Emily P. Freeman would say, like “the next right thing”?

Then it hit me after listening to one of Emily’s podcast.  That long farmhouse table symbolizes more than just eating.  Growing up, my family would often spend hours at the table.  Long after we had consumed our meal, we would sit and talk.  Whether analyzing the movie we watched the night before or getting to know someone new my father invited home for dinner after church.  Whether it was uncontrollable laughter that took you from your chair to the floor, or deep conversations that made you see the world from a different perspective, it was the conversation that took place at “the table” that meant so much to me.

So “the table” that I am obsessed with symbolizes connection.  The uninterrupted connection, before cellphones were small enough to bring to the table, that nourished my soul.  So, although still a symbolic heirloom I hope to purchase soon, it is connecting with people as I did at the dining table of my childhood that is my next right step.  Not in a fragmented way but in a way where everyone has a “seat”.  Connecting, sharing stories, learning, laughing, listening, and then leaving feeling restored.  At this proverbial table, we’ll find clarity and restoration.  At this table, we will find direction and inspiration.

Care to join me?  Let’s start truly connecting with people.  Let’s share, learn, laugh, and listen to one another.  Not with emojis and Facebook feeds, but with uninterrupted intention, just like I use to do, at the dining room table of my youth.

enjoy life…

Photo by Mark McCammon on Pexels.com

enjoy life guest post: taralyn caudle’s “looking for a good read?”

close up of eyeglasses on table

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ?  LISTEN TO A PODCAST.

Let me tell you what I say to someone at least once a week, “You should really check out this podcast {insert name here}…”  Full disclosure: I listen to a LOT of podcasts. I listen to them in the shower, when I work out, when I’m cleaning my house, and while I’m waiting in the car rider line at my kid’s school.  On long drives, on short drives, in doctors’ offices, and sometimes even before bed.

In fact, I was recently listening to one of my nighttime favorites, “Nothing Much Happens:  Bedtime Stories for Grownups” by Kathryn Nicolai, in which Kathryn reads her own original short stories designed to gently lull you to sleep.  The episode, titled “In the Library”, is actually what sparked my inspiration for this post. In it, Kathryn describes an autumn morning’s journey to the library, vivid with sensory descriptions that left me both curious and relaxed.

But just before I started to drift away, I was struck by these lines:  “I’ve always thought that each season had its own best kind of leisurely pursuit.  Winter was for movies. Spring was for poetry. Summer was for music. And autumn… autumn was for books.”

“Ah, how right you are,” I thought. Now is definitely a good time to freshen up my reading list, and my go-to for inspiration (any time of year, really) is often podcasts.

I enjoy reading, but I must admit that I don’t read nearly as many actual books as I used to, mostly because I never feel like I have (ahem, make) enough time.  And to be completely honest, I’ve found my ability to sit still and really give a good book all of my attention stunted by my incessant and often misplaced need to get other stuff done.

So in recent years, podcasts, for me, have come to occupy that tension between time and desire… a desire for a good story.

Be it true crime, comedy, politics & culture, self-development, entrepreneurship, or writing (all of which you’ll find in my digital library), storytelling is my jam.  And the format of the podcast- guest interview, debate, game, or actual storytelling- rarely seems to matter.

Some podcasts lead me to a topic for further investigation, like that of procedural justice, which was prompted by an podcast interview I listened to with Judge Victoria Pratt who assigns introspective essays to criminal defendants of minor offenses, as an alternative to serving jail time.

Others introduce me to new short fiction writers (my fave reading right now), like the podcast by Mr. Reading Rainbow himself, LeVar Burton, aptly called, “LeVar Burton Reads”.

And of course, there are a TON of podcasts singularly devoted to books.  From “The Book Review” by The New York Times which covers the top books of the week to “iFanboy” for all my avid comic book lovers to another one of my personal favorites, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read with Zibby Owen”.  (I’ll let you guess why that caught my eye.)

There is indeed something about the crisp autumn air that makes me want to curl up with a good book, but even when I don’t have time, there is always a place I can go for a good story.

Taralyn Caudle is my friend and one of the reasons I’m writing and sharing my work to you guys.  If you don’t like what I’m doing, blame her.  She lives in Huntsville, AL with her smart and equally creative daughter, Gabby. In addition to podcasts, which I can personally testify to the the truth of her statement because she has introduced me to a couple, she loves good food, good music, and a good deal on a pair of shoes. Practically possessed by politics, purple, and Prince, she loves alliteration (obviously) and has a philosophy that a little bit of sarcasm and a whole lot of laughter never hurt anybody. We laugh all of the time! She’s a technical writer and so if you need a few good words, check her out on her at taralyncaudle.com. And, if I may throw another great story podcast in the mix, check out Mike Rowe’s “The Way I Heard It”. Thanks, Taralyn!

til tomorrow, enjoy life

Catch up on the rest of this series.