Tag Archives: gratitude

I’ve Been Gone, But I Haven’t Forgotten

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Hubs and I went to a new trivia spot this week, where there hostess announced she had dubbed this week National Positivity Week. If ever there were a sign I need to get off my butt and get back here, that was it.

Hello from the beach!! The house is built, our furniture is in the same state and house, we’re finally settling in to some semblance of a routine, and I have no more excuses for not paying any attention to my creative endeavors.

The only thing I’ve crocheted has been chair socks to guard this floor I’m suddenly very protective over and the only thing I’ve painted has been something colorful for the mantle. Every time I stop to take time for myself, I can see a thousand things I still need to do to get our new life unpacked and organized. I’ve been so focused that I’ve started to feel guilty when I take time to enjoy myself.

It’s one thing to recognize and appreciate your blessings, it’s quite another to use them as an excuse to beat yourself up.

I’ve been allowing this anxiety over being worthy come between me and enjoying this life we’re beginning down here… kinda defeats the purpose don’t you think? That said, I’ve stumbled on my first positive affirmation!

I am worthy of my blessings and enjoyment is gratitude enough.

A bit lengthy, but both parts are equally as important I think. While I’m reminding myself that I deserve my happiness, I’ll be cultivating more by getting back into my blog routine, crocheting fun things, practicing yoga, riding my bike, cooking, painting… you get the idea.

Blessings to be grateful for:

  • I can ride my bike to the market
  • My dog has a fenced backyard
  • Hubs is just downstairs when he goes to work
  • We have amazing neighbors
  • You’re still here even though I disappeared for a month!! (that’s a major blessing)

It’s good to be home, y’all.

Happy Monday!

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After finishing up this lovely little sunflower to celebrate how gorgeous it’s turning outside…20150316_01

I read this article with my morning tea. Even though I’m not a parent and I found myself reading it from a personal perspective, it still hit home.

I was very much a tomboy as a child… well in all honesty, until my wedding… at 30. I mean sure in my 20’s I finally started wearing makeup when I went out, carried a purse, and had multiple pairs of shoes, but I didn’t really embrace dresses and enjoy being feminine until it was so celebrated during the process of wedding planning and the day of my wedding made that it was made fun (read: acceptable) for me.

At first it was embarrassing. Being fussed over, tugged, pulled, trimmed, painted, draped, all of it made me intensely uncomfortable. Those things were supposed to be superficial and silly and therefore NOT what I do. The desire to not be the stereotypical girl even made me question my life choices, “Do I really want to leave architecture where I’m working as the only female project head to go…. cook?” “Can I still feel strong and capable if I can’t pull my equal weight financially in my relationship?” “Am I still a partner if I’m at home and he’s at work even if it is temporary?”

When did it become a negative way to view yourself? When did I become so ruled by the exact limitations that I was fighting so hard against? It’s ironic really. I’m fighting so hard to not be in the societal box that I’ve put myself in another box with a whole different set of rules and regulations. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t still push the boundaries of stereotype and I don’t think the author of the article is either. I think the point is that we can feel strong and empowered and still wear pink lipstick if we want to. Like the #LikeAGirl campaign is seeking to change the stigma that to do something “like a girl” means to do so inferiorly and be somehow less, I want to reshape my perspective on myself. I can be a girl and still defy the stereotypes that seek to confine all of us.

Just because I want to put on a dress, I like to crochet flowers, and my full time job is my home for the time being that doesn’t mean I can’t still have my “screw you” attitude! It’s not about gender. It’s about being true to yourself regardless of what others think. If I find myself being guided in spite of what others think, I am equally as ruled by it. So there’s the motivation this week.

No-one-is-you

Especially if that means you get up everyday and do what you love the best you can.

So go own it. Be you. You’re the only one who can and that is powerful.

The Art Of Minimizing

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Living out of a suitcase for a week will remind you just how little you really need day-to-day. Now that we’re home and beginning to pack for the big move, it’s time for us to make some decisions.

What do we really want to take with us?

Every time we move, I go through this. It’s amazing to me how much I accumulate without noticing! Scraps of paper, notes, books, receipts, keepsakes, old coupons, yarn, art supplies, shoes, plasticware… the list goes on. I understand how it happens in the moment, but when I start thinking about having to pack and move whatever it is the meaning begins to dwindle… and that’s when I know I don’t need to take it with me. Who really wants to lug all this crap around with you everywhere you go?

I remember the first time I really had to minimize. I was moving out of the first place I’d rented. I had been there for three years (looking back that’s the longest I’ve lived somewhere until we move into our new house… whoa…) and I was moving from a townhouse into a one bedroom apartment. From 1600 sqft to 790 sqft. The thought of downsizing scared me. I was going to have to throw away all of these things, these pieces of tangible evidence that I was here for the last three years. These things when I looked at them represented all of the growth and independence and experiences I had. If I threw them away, how would I still hold on to those parts of myself?

Room by room, I lamented each scrap of paper, ticket stub, and magazine filling bag after bag for trash pick up. I donated all of my clothes except what would fit (neatly) in my dresser and closet and any pair of shoes that didn’t fit in an over-the-door organizer reserving two rows for belts, gloves, and hats. Once I realized that most of the clothes I donated either didn’t fit or hadn’t actually been worn in a year I started to feel better. I only packed what was coming with me in bankers’ boxes because they’re small and easily stacked. The things for the storage unit got the bigger boxes and I limited the furniture to whatever would fit in the 5’x10′ unit. The more I was able to organize and see the spaces around me, the more I started to feel powerful. I felt less like I was losing control and more like I was taking control of what was going on.

I started to realize that all of these things were anchoring me in place. WIthout them I could go where ever I wanted, whenever I wanted. They were crutches keeping me comfortable in that place and I didn’t want that for myself anymore. I wanted to feel the uncomfortable spaces!

My next move from the one bedroom apartment to a spare room in a friend’s two bedroom apartment, I downsized again. This time it was 790 sqft to approximately 100 sqft. I got rid of the storage unit, put any kitchen supplies I had in my dad’s spare room. Everything else I had would either fit in my four drawer dresser, my nightstand, my over-the-door shoe organizer, my 4’x2′ closet, or under my bed. That’s it. I’d done it. I’d pared down to the bare essentials and was enjoying it. If I wanted, I could load everything in my car and go someplace. If I wanted to buy new clothes, I had to switch out old ones. No new hangers. No shoving clothes in drawers.

I could look around and breathe and it felt amazing.

It’s not just about organization though. It’s knowing your priorities, knowing your needs vs wants, knowing what you’re capable of, and knowing how much you have to be thankful for. There’s a bar set when you know your bare minimum where you realize that everything beyond that is a bonus. Like the gravy on your mashed potatoes! I looked around my hotel room last week and realized I was content with a suitcase and a few toiletries. I’m blessed that I have those things. I’m even more blessed for the gravy at home.

I look around our rented condo. We’ve only been here for a year now, but I can see the piles of things, of evidence that lay around like little arranged still lifes reminding us of various moments. Free duffle bags, old wine bottles, tupperware, cards, clothes I don’t wear… ugh! I can’t wait to minimize. Our move is more than just relocating. It’s a whole new life that we’re starting together. If we’re moving forward, why take every little thing from the past with us? How can we be thankful for what we have when we don’t know what we need?

Let us cast these anchors, set sail, and be grateful for the waves that carry us along.

I was blessed last week to be able to cast off my extras, experience new people and places with my best friend, and to have a home to come back to… and my dog, of course.

The affirmation this week: The less I have the more grateful I am.

I have about three weeks to pack this place up. Let’s go!