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.

what i’m into – keeping me sane {december 2018}

I would love if Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into community could live in this space now that she has decided not to host the link-up.  I invite everyone to share your link to your What I’m Into blog posts in the comments. And let your community know that you are doing so.  We’ll do this every month, next on Friday, February 1. Please spread the word.    

I have a confession to make. During the Holidays, I have struggled to retain my sanity.  Even though I intentionally pulled back from engagements (went into a form of hibernation, so to speak), my anxiety and SAD managed to rear their twin ugly heads more often than I had hoped.

What helped was taking a moment to be still, to breathe, and then to write.  I wrote down what I was feeling in the moment, what I was anxious about, and all that I had to do. I did this on several different occasions throughout the month. Surprisingly, once I had written it down, turned the hazy shapeless thing into something concrete, I knew the next right thing.  And I did that thing.  One time, it was making a list of all the holiday dishes that had to be cooked.  After compiling that list, I wrangled the recipes and wrote out the shopping list.  That was to mitigate what I hoped would be many anxiety-inducing OMG last-minute runs to the grocery store.  It didn’t.  The Hubby had to go to Walgreens Christmas morning to pick up Reynold’s wrap.  Oh well.

Another time, the next right thing involved looking at my blog’s editorial calendar and seeing all of the posts that I had planned for January.  I am so excited about what I have in store for you on the blog this year and, yes, I do try to draft some content in advance. I looked at what had been drafted and what needed tweaking. I questioned which of my planned posts would be better served at a later date when I had more time to devote to it.  I found two that could wait; one of which will make its appearance in early February so be on the look out for that.

There have been number of references to the next right thing in this post and last month on  my sisters’ guest post. If you haven’t taken a look at that already, you really should.  Also, check out the impetus for all of this: Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, The Next Right Thing. It’s one of the things that has kept me sane this month. And for those of you who would rather read your content than listen to it, Emily has a book coming out in April of this year, The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.  Of course, I have preordered my copy.

What about you? What have you been into?  What’s keeping you sane? Let me know in the comments and link to your own posts (if you have one) about what you’re into this month.

enjoy life…

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.