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.

now i get it {summer 2018}

IMG_6382

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