what i’m into – keeping me sane {february 2020}

What I'm Into. February 2020

I’m not going to lie, after a writing retreat in early February, the rest of the month was a little rough! I was stressed out and exhausted. I got all kinds of anxious over the coronavirus, among other things. Unfortunately, a lot of my good habits that I had been working to build in January fell to the wayside in February. But one thing kept me sane this month.

I focused on what HAD to be done and let the rest wait for a better time.  I did my work, took care of my kid (he’s alive and reasonably happy so we will call that a win!), and presented at the Catalyst Center, formerly the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama, for a follow-up workshop of my MOMpreneur presentation last August.

I focused on what needed to be done and let the rest go. To let you know how bad it was, at the time of my writing, I have completed just one book this month. The Quick Lit post may be a bit dull and sparse.

I am excited about March. I’m hoping that space and time will open up for me and that the weather will be brighter and warmer.  I can already here the birds singing in the morning.

What kept you sane this month? What were you into? Tell me below and if you have a monthly recap post, please link it there too.  We do this every month and we will do it again on Wednesday, April 1.

 enjoy life…

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.

now i get it {winter 2020}

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman and the What We Learned community to share what we learned this winter.

Now I Get It. Winter2020

Photo: Secret Garden by Pexels

Ahh, my favorite season of the year. NOT! I am so ready for Winter to be over! I am beginning to see hints of buds on tree and bushes, as I write this, and that makes me pretty excited.  All that being said, I learned something this winter.

There are many different types of flowers in the world.  Yes, I know, mind blowing right?  But think about it: there are the kind that need next to nothing to bloom (cactus flowers in an arid desert, dandelions between concrete cracks).  There are the kind that need a little bit of care and then, once cut, with a little water stay pretty forever (carnations and daisies). There are roses and hydrangeas.  With care they will bloom beautifully but once cut, don’t last long at all. Finally, there are orchids.  Ah, the orchids. I have killed about 5 of these gorgeous flowers. They required very distinctive care: 3 ice cubes, not too close to the window but close enough to get enough light but only if the temperature is right.  Just the right mix of humidity: not to dry but not to wet.  Not really dirt but some special dirt and moss blend – the list is endless. And move them an inch in the wrong direction and they are doomed.

People are just like that.  Some of us, through our DNA and/or life circumstances and our sheer will, have been equipped to bloom through the concrete.  I say us, but I don’t mean us, in the literal sense.  I am not one of those; I am an orchid.  I need just the right mix to bloom at all and then only for short periods at a time.

What does my mix look like? I have been working on that this winter.  A morning reading, followed by a half hour of journaling.  Meditation and prayer is next.  A podcast is good also and I have been diving into back episodes of Emily’s The Next Right Thing. Then a morning run tops it off nicely. To keep up with this extensive morning routine, I require a bedtime no later than 10 PM.  And all of this just to get a good start to the day.

I lamented my neediness for years! Why did I required all of these things? There must be something wrong with me? Why was I such a pansy? Which, by the way, isn’t an accurate cliché seeing that pansies can survive temperatures below 32 degrees. Then I realized and now I get (with the help of friends and the Hubby) that the orchid doesn’t wish it was a dandelion.  It doesn’t look at all of its requirements, fights against the grain, threatening not to bloom. It is what it is – an orchid – and it needs what it needs for it to offer it’s best to the world.

We are the same way.  We are what we are and we need what we need to be our best for our world.  Now I get it. I’m an orchid and now it’s time for me to get ready to go to sleep.

What do you need?

enjoy life…