fourth friday “secret”: get something green in your space

In the past, I have done these Friday “secret” posts – posts about things or “secrets” that I have found help me enjoy life. Please note that quotation marks around the word secret.  It’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek.  Most of these things are things that I have known for a long time, in fact, I would say, we all know them. And more often than not, they are not complicated at all and cost little to no money.  The problem is that we just don’t actually do them. Me, included.  The trick is going to be my incorporating these ideas into my daily life and an understanding that these are the things that will help me to be happy. With my new plan to post weekly (again, ARGH!!!!!), I think I am going to make the fourth Friday of every month be about a secret. You can check more of my “secrets” by scrolling down to the bottom of this post and clicking on the tag “secrets”.

Plant LadyThe first “secret” of the year is to get something green in your space.  And by green, I mean something that’s alive like a plant or flower. It is amazing how a little greenery instantly perks up a space and makes it look and feel a lot happier.  And in turn, I feel happier also.

Now, I know some of you are going to say, “I don’t have a green thumb; I have a black thumb.” And believe you me, I had one also.  But over time, I took my mom’s advice to try a plant and if it dies, so what? You can always get another one and try again. And eventually, you get better and better.  Five years ago, I probably had three or four plants.  Now, I have three or four around this window alone. And I want more.  I am basically turning into a plant lady.

The benefits of house plants are well-known but I will recap of few of them for you. They act as an air filter, cleaning out pollutants and changing the carbon dioxide that we exhale into fresh oxygen that we can breathe. The humidity that they emit can help reduce the effects of dry air we often have during the winter.  And there is a reason plants and flowers are the first things that people take to recovering patients in hospitals. A study done by two professors at Kansas State University, has shown that patients with plants and flowers in their room had lower blood pressure, lower ratings of pain, stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and higher satisfaction with their rooms AND the hospitals employees than those in similar rooms with the same care. Wow!

So, get some plants in your home, your work space, wherever.  You may be surprised at the results.

enjoy life…

 

friday’s “secret”: pay the money

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Graphic made with Font Candy. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Occasionally, I like to post things that I have realized helped me enjoy my life.  I call them “secrets”.  Today’s “secret” is to just pay the money, sometimes.

My daddy is what he likes to call “fiscally conservative.” But in the words of comedian Jeanne Robertson, “In our house, we spell that C-H-E-A-P” Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, some of his conservativeness slipped into my DNA and I dislike spending a lot of money on things.  When the Hubby and I were about to purchase our home, I got physically ill.

But the older I get the more I realize the necessity to intentionally spend the money on things that will make my life more enjoyable as oppose to just random stuff that I will forget that I bought the next week.

My recent trip to San Diego was probably one of the least stressful that I have ever taken because a couple of months prior to departure, I paid the $80 or so to become TSA PreChecked.

We departed for San Diego via Hartsfield International Airport, the busiest airport in the world with over 107 million passengers in 2018.  Hartsfield is laid out beautifully and once you go through TSA, you have access to the entire airport.  But there are only two separate TSA access points so you can imagine that there are a lot of people going through each one.  The general TSA line snakes for days. I have spent at least 45 minutes in that line before.

Not this trip.  With TSA PreCheck, me and the Buddy Man were through in less than 10 minutes.  I didn’t have to undress and redress on the other side.  It was so easy and WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Additionally, the last couple of times I have traveled, we have parked close enough to the airport to not require a shuttle to get to our car.  This is also great when you have another two-hour ride home and you’ve already been traveling for 6 hours with a toddler.

Money is a good servant but a bad master. -Gretchen Rubin

Of course, I am not advocating fiscal irresponsibility.  Your life is not enjoyable if you are sitting in the dark, hungry, or awake all night worrying because you decided to become TSA PreChecked.  However, in more appropriate situations, I am realizing that sometime I should make an intentional choice and spend the money to reduce my anxiety and stress and make life a bit more pleasant.

What “secret” do you have to enjoy life? Let me know in the comments.

enjoy life…

P.S. TSA PreCheck is valid for 5 years.  And, no, this post was not sponsored. LOL

friday’s secret: move, with fear

I am intimately familiar with fear. We have been at odds for years and it wasn’t until I read The FireStarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte that I began to develope a different relationship with fear.

Fear, like love, joy, etc., is one of our many emotions that lets us know important things about the world around us. Fear is what prompts us to be cautious, warning us of impending danger.

In Fire Starter, Danielle discusses our traveling down the road of life in our car with our many emotions as fellow passengers on the journey. She stated that while we should acknowledge fear’s misgivings, address any rational concerns that it brings to the table, we should never ever let it drive the car or control the sound system.

Unfortunately, I have let fear drive for a very long time. But around 2012, I started trying to do things that scared me. And in 2016, I applied to be a guest on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s podcast, What Should I Read Next. My main fear being what would happen if I got accepted? But I figured that my chances were slim-to-none so the victory, for me, was pressing the submit button on the application.

Anne, who I have rhapsodized about extensively on this blog, including in an entire post, Re:Modern Mrs. Darcy, is the guru of my reading life, especially when it pertains to fiction. Her book, I’d Rather Be Reading, spawned a month-long series of posts entitled This Bookman: Meditations and Miscellany.

Last month, I received an email from Brenna, one of the producer’s of the podcast, asking me if I still wanted to be a guest. I cried because I was so happy. And then I cried because I was so afraid. What if I sound like an idiot? What if I am unable to articulate myself properly? What if you disagree, or worse misunderstand, what I am trying to say?

But I emailed back and with fear, said “yes, I would be honored to be on the show.” From there, everything moved fast. Because of my apprehension, (what fear was trying to tell/warn me about), I took a look at my books and examined why I liked the ones I did. Brenna was awesome and we did a technical call where she explained everything that was going to happen, even reviewing my books, giving me a chance to discuss them, kind of like a practice run. That set some of my jitters aside. Within two weeks we recorded the episode and it is now live. I’d be honored if you care to give it a listen.

This experience was one of the literary highlights of my life and I had so much fun discussing books with Anne. I am so glad that I moved forward, with fear.

What do you need to do, with fear?

And I do realize, it’s Tuesday, but I could not wait til Friday to share! And if you know anyone who wants to discuss books, let me know. I am available. LOL.

Also, here’s a link to the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club referenced in the episode. Join us.

enjoy life…