Things I cannot Live Without
After a crazy busy month, things are finally starting to shift back to a more ordinary pace. Ahhh…I feel like I can breathe again. Do you ever get so overwhelmed with work and social commitments that you put your own needs on the backburner? Me too. And now that there seems to be a pause, I’m going to take a moment to reconnect with myself. To listen to my heart and prioritize the things that make it happy. Because life, it seems, is just to short not to. There have been some recent tragic events in my family and I’ve been reminded of the frailty of this life. The one I am living right now. The one that I refuse to take for granted. So, I’m making a list of the things that I NEED to do to be the best version of myself. Things that help me thrive and bring me joy. And my hope is that by reading this, maybe you will do the same. Let’s start prioritizing some of the seemingly unimportant stuff. Let’s clear a block in our calendars for our own free time. Let’s make our own happiness a necessity.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the construct of my days. Of what works, what doesn’t, and what I’ve been leaving out. So, here’s a list of some of the little things that delight me, things that ground me, and things that keep me inspired:
A Good Cup of Morning Coffee Alone
Is there anything better than sitting down with that first cup of morning coffee? Every morning, even on weekends, I make sure to rise before the family so I can enjoy my first cup peacefully, and (ideally) without interruption. I almost never scroll on social media when I’m drinking it either – and now that I’m thinking about it – maybe that has something to do with why I enjoy it so much! I either sit outside to enjoy the sounds of nature, write, or work on creative plans.
As for the coffee I drink, I used to buy whatever was cheapest, but have since had a grand realization. I had no problem spending $20 on a bottle of wine that would only last an evening, but somehow couldn’t justify spending the same amount on coffee, which would last upwards of a week! So now, I don’t feel guilty about buying the good stuff. Buying fair trade coffee ensures that the producers (often in much poorer countries) are being paid fairly for their product. And if I'm gonna splurge, that's money worth spending!
Daily Phone Calls with Mom
I am so lucky to have been brought into this world by my Mom. Even though I’m grown, and we live hours apart, I still rely on her for so much. I call her every morning, usually on my commute to work, and we simply chit chat. If I’m being truthful, we talk on the phone far more than necessary. Calling each other multiple times for silly little things throughout the day – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the BEST person to bounce ideas off of, share recipes with, or have a laugh with, and she even helps edit my weekly blog! 🤍
Exercise / Move my Body
Organized exercise is something I struggle to fit into my schedule lately. At first, I really beat myself up about it, as lifting weights was something I was proud to do. It made me feel strong and capable. But a wise man (my Dad) helped me to realize that we need to bend with the seasons of our lives. That if working-out isn’t feasible, it doesn’t make me a lesser person. And that I can certainly sneak in some exercise in more unconventional ways. So, at times when life is busy, I make sure to sneak in a dance party, bike ride, or do some extra heavy lifting at work.
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Special time with the Kids
I may be a sucker, but I just love surprising the kids with out of the ordinary FUN! Whether it’s picking them up early from school to hit up the splashpad, going on an impromptu nature walk, or getting down to their level and playing. I love the look of excitement on their face when I show up for something unexpected. They are only going to be this little once. One day, probably sooner than I’d like, they won’t want mom hanging around – so I’ll soak up all of the lovin’ while it’s up for grabs!
A Creative Project on the Go
I don’t have a lot of hobbies. So having a creative project is a way for me to express myself, and to do something for me. As a mom, it can be easy to get caught up filling the needs of my family and forgetting about my own. Having a creative project, no matter how small, is a way for me to escape into my own creative world. And that world usually takes place in the garage. It's not very glamorous, but this is where I putz freely and am able to make and leave a mess for a while. Currently I’m planning a gallery wall for the empty space above the couch. For the empty frames I have prints ordered from Etsy from special places we have travelled and am working on some original artwork with the kids as well!
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One of my greatest simple pleasures is indulging in something sweet! And chocolate ice cream is definitely my weakness. I actually try not to keep it in the house, because if its here, I’m going to be the one to devour the whole tub. So, usually once a week, we go out for a cone. And in the meantime, I take great pleasure in guiltily stealing chocolates from the kids Halloween bucket (shhh).
Going to Bed with my Hubby
The structure of every marriage is different and unique. For me and Al, we have always had an array of social & work events that we do together, and many that we spend apart. But most nights, we wind up in bed together enjoying a shared program on the telly. It’s never been something we planned, but hitting the hay at the same time is just something we prioritize. We manage to keep very busy throughout the day. Aside from dinner, we don’t even take a moment to sit until the kids are in bed. So, at the end of the day, crashing into bed together is where we land. And we do it early! Most nights we’re in bed by 9:30. But this is our space where we can relax and not have to look at the chaos from the day. Here is where our chatting is done, or goals are discussed and most importantly, where we can turn off and recharge to take on life – together.
These may not seem like life altering events. But, for me, the little things are where magic is found.
“Time stands still
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