quick lit – next page, please {march 2016}

 

 I love Quick Lit time – time to post what I have been reading this month.

Read:

  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: Modern Mrs. Darcy (Yes, her again! LOL) recommended this book for someone who has the Meyers-Briggs personality type of ISTJ: capable, logical, reasonable and peaceful, which happens to be close to my type, as the perfect summer read. The only problem was that it took FOREVER to get it from the library. I absolutely LOVED this book and I can see while the Hold list was so long; it has climbed the ladder to be one of my favorite novels of all time. I blew through this during the 3 and ½ hour flight home. So many great quotes. “He feels naked when speaking about things he really loves.” I feel like this too. And “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time. Also very true, indeed.
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: I really liked reading this series of short stories about Barrymore’s life and what she learned through them. Here she talks about her feelings for her mom; who quite arguably, could have been a better mom. “I want only to say thank you to her, because I love my life and it takes every step to get to where you are, and if you are happy, then God bless the hard times it took you to get there. No life is without them, so what are yours, and what did you do with the lessons? That is the only way to live.” My question to myself has become just that: what I am doing with my lessons?
  • French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano: I started reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and became fascinated by the French mindset of how they enjoy life: living every moment in that moment. I remembered hearing about this book a long time ago and Oprah and decided to pick it up and see what it was about. I finished this one but am still working through Bringing Up Bébé. My two takeaways are from these two quotes: (1) “I also had to cultivate my appreciation for what I was having. In short, …[the] French way of enjoying those foods that can be friend or foe depending on how we treat them. The keys are sensory awareness, portion sense, quality, and an eye to the big picture of overall wellness.” And (2) “If you can’t name your pleasures, chances are you’ve surrendered to many of them. It’s time to start cultivating.” A problem that I have had until recently.
  • Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott: When I met my basketball-loving Hubby 13 years ago, I started watching ESPN’s Sportscenter with him, which was often anchored by Stuart Scott. I began to feel like I knew him, I saw him so often. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, of course, I was aware and we saw him fight and go into remission a number of times. When he died January 4, 2015, it hit me a little hard. I loved this book because it gave me a perspective into what those who are fighting cancer may feel like in a way I pray selfishly, I will never be able to understand. This perspective is invaluable to me as I am a Chemo Card Angel. More about that here. I loved this quote by Scott:“Nerves are good. What are nerves, after all? They’re just energy.” Sometimes it’s hard working up the nerve to write these blog posts, I gotta tell ya!

Currently Reading:

Paused Reading

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Had to return this one to the library (someone wanted it) and thus will have to get back to it later.
  • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown: Yep, still paused.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: While not my favorite way to read, there is something to be said about reading books digitally, on a Kindle or other mobile device. You can do it while you are traveling at night! Started this while returning from my 10 Year Anniversary Trip. Haven’t been in the dark since and thus my digital loan expired. Not sure if I am going to re-borrow it but I am leaving the door open.

I have read 12 books out of my goal to read 36 books this year; I am 5 books ahead of schedule – a nice cushion for the Holidays when things get hectic.  I don’t want to have to make a big push at the end of the year to make my reading goal.

As usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy. Check out what everyone else is reading over there.

What have you been reading?

enjoy life guest post: paula sexton

5-ways-to-make-life-enjoyable

I am thrilled to feature my second guest post on the blog today (Read the first here). May I present to you, Paula from The Geeky Shopaholic! I met Paula through Leigh Kramer‘s What I’m Into Link-Up. I liked her blog and listed her as one of my best blogs of 2015 and I am beyond thrilled that she consented to guest post today.

geeky_shopaholicPaula is a fellow geek and lifestyle blogger who loves to read, shop, travel, and obsess about SuperWhoLock (the television shows: Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Sherlock). She is Mom to a Chihuahua named Buffy. And would most likely be sorted into Hufflepuff (a Harry Potter reference). You can find her on her blog, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Take it away, Paula!

I am honored to be guest posting at Shannan Enjoys Life today! She asked me to give a few tips on how I enjoy my life. So, here are five ways that I’ve made my life more enjoyable.

Strive for a work/life balance

I am going into my third year as the third shift manager for my store. Most people only last a year. Why have I stayed? Third shift allows me to have a good work/life balance. I work four nights on, and then I have four nights off. It’s long hours, but it’s worth it to have four days to live my life. Because I’m not someone who lives to work. I work so that I can live.

I know that it’s not easy to find a work/life balance. There are times in life when the balance will shift one way or the other. But I believe that striving for that balance is one of the first steps in enjoying your own life.

Know what is important to you

For me, the most important thing in my life are the people in my life. My boyfriend and I both work in retail, so we have crazy schedules, but we always find a way to make time for each other. I live in a different city than my family, but I go home to visit as often as possible. My friends are all married and most have children, but we still get together several times a year. We go to lunch, or on a shopping trip, or spend a day at the water park. Making time for those you love is one of the best ways to enjoy your life.

I also make time for the things that I love. Like writing for my blog, and reading. When I make these two activities a priority, I feel more like myself, and that makes me a happier person. What is something that you love to do? Drawing? Writing? Hiking? Whatever it is, be sure that you make time for it.

Make your home a refuge

buffy_geeky_shopaholicI’ve always believed that a person’s home should be their refuge from the world. It should be calm and peaceful. For me that means, having as little clutter as possible. I feel more focused, and I’m better able to enjoy my home when it is neat and in order.

Something else that helps make my home a refuge is having a dog. Not everyone likes pets, but I believe that they truly make a house a home. At least, that is what Buffy did for me.

Volunteer

A few years ago I was asked to be Captain of my store’s Relay for Life Team. Immediately I said yes, because Cancer has touched my family and I wanted to help in the fight against it.

Volunteering was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was fun! It was a great way to connect with the people I work with outside of work. I learned their stories and why the Relay was so important to them.

Find a cause that you believe in and volunteer to help. I guarantee that it will make your life brighter!

Say yes more than no

I always said no to things. I was too shy. But around my mid-twenties I started to say yes. It started with a trip to Greece. Everyone told me I would back out, but all their doubts did was make me more determined to go. And I did! It was amazing! It changed my perspective about myself. I am now an adventurer!

You don’t have to say yes to everything. I have no desire to bungee jump or sky dive. (If you do – go for it!) But when opportunities come your way to do something that you’ve always dreamed of, say yes!

This is what I do to enjoy my life. Tell me about yourself, what do you do to enjoy life?

what i’m into – that’s keeping me sane {october 2015}

Pic. What I'm Into. October 2015The usual Friday’s “secret” is being preempted by a new type of post for Shannan Enjoys Life. Today, I’m excited to be  linking up with Leigh Kramer who does these wonderful round-ups called What I’m Into of what she’s into for the month. I found her through one of my absolute favorite haunts on the web, Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly What I’m Into posts. The idea to create this kind of post once a month appealed to me because it will help me be more mindful of what I’m doing throughout the month.

So here’s my first of what I hope to be many What I’m Into That’s Keeping Me Sane posts. October has been a particularly busy month for me.

  • My kid, who we’ve kind nicknamed The Buddy Man, turned a year-old this month. I can’t believe it’s been a year all ready! As Gretchen Rubin says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
  • Gave a presentation at a health and wellness retreat in Orangeburg, SC (Ugh, public speaking, as shivers run down my spine). Learned some things though and will write about them soon.
  • Ran my first 5K race since Buddy Man’s arrival. Trained with my friend, Mel, and it was great to spend time with someone who’s becoming as addicted to running as I am. Oh, it feels so good to be back out there running regularly again – definitely keeping me sane! Posted about the race here.
  • Being a vegetarian, you wouldn’t think that there would be anything for me to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse but you would be wrong! The sides are amazing and my family and I had the greatest waiter at the Statesboro, GA location, a young man who was so pleasant that it was refreshing. I aspire to that level of pleasantness; an aspiration that I, sadly, will never attain in this lifetime.
  • Reconnected with my love of writing letters thanks to the Love Notes project. Thank you, Jennifer, for creating such a wonderful project. I’m so looking forward to the next round in January. Previous post about this here.
  • Facebook and Instagram. Yes. Facebook and Instagram are keeping me sane. I am in the process of weeding out negativity from my feed and following only inspirational and positive people. It’s working.
  • The Challenges with my friends have helped me get more steps this month than I have gotten in a long time. Thanks so much Grandma, Mommy, Alicia, Joy, and Nicole!
  • Read a number of books this month; you’ll have to wait for my first Quick Lit post to find out what – hint, it was heavy on the self-help shelf. I’m going to be reading some lighter fare for November – to stay sane.
  • Listening to The Lively Show and Happier podcasts. Jess Lively interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert this month, one of my new favorite writers of all time. Speaking of Gilbert, I’m sad that Magic Lessons is done for the season. But I’m enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast series right now on the Four Tendencies. Obligers, where are you? She should be covering our tendency next week.
  • The fall shows are back and my DVR is working overtime. Have to mention three of my personal favorites though: (1) Survivor – it so interesting to watch the dynamics between people and observe each one’s level of self-awareness and how it plays out in the game. (2) The Amazing Race – I have watched every season of this show! Love it! (3) The Big Bang – same thing here. On a certain level, I can relate to those nerds and, of course, laughter is the best medicine!

 What have you been up to this month to…

enjoy life…