Posts Tagged With: grateful life

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day one

Yesterday was Mother’s day. Also the first day of International Week of the Birthday.

YBW and I planned a shoot day, but as it turns out, he was feeling a bit wonky in his belly, and my head was trying to hurt, so we decided against that. Instead we went over to the construction site where our new house will (eventually) be.
The first building has plumbing and electrical.
The second building is missing the topmost floor.
The grading is almost finished for the third building.
The fourth building is still a big ass pile of rubble.

This is the same model as ours at the end of the first building.

After about an hour going through and taking photos of the unit, we headed for home.
We sat at the table on the porch for a while before YBW decided he wanted a nap.
I got settled with a coca cola, book, and notebook. (the coke helped my head feel better)


I’m eager to dig into this book.

And then the phone rang.
Thing 2 said: Happy Mother’s Day!
We talked for nearly two hours.
I said: Thanks for letting me be your Momma.
She said: I’m so glad you’re my Momma. She paused for a moment and said: I’m so glad to be your kid.
We talked for a few moments about the difference in meaning between those two statements.
Essentially, my daughter is content to have me as her mother, as well as being content to be my child. And these are two very different things.
(this may actually become another post)
As we do every single time we speak, we said: We need to do this more often.
She giggled and told me, I’m going to talk to you Tuesday anyway!
I said: Wow! Twice in two days. That means we probably won’t talk for a few months!
We decided that might be too long.

While I was talking with Thing 2, Thing 1 called. We exchanged texts earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken. I texted her I was talking with her sister and would call her asap.
We talked about how even though this is her second mother’s day, it feels so much different than last year. Baby K was still brand new, and she was excited to be with her Momma on mother’s day for the first time in many years.
But this year, mother’s day is real. She has a daughter who can walk and talk. She has a daughter who can express her joy and love. She’s having a ‘real’ mother’s day.
My eldest daughter is a mother.
It doesn’t get any less weird the more I say it.
I can tell you that it is so wonderfully cool though!

When YBW woke from his nap, we ordered delivery food and watched the last two episodes of season two of Westworld.

I had a very Roby sort of mother’s day and first day of IWotB.

Even though the world is still shut down and in chaos, and I’m not getting to celebrate the way I’d like…
I’m chock full of love.
I’m chock full of gratitude.
I’m celebrating the forty-ninth anniversary of my birth in new and creative ways.

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time: well spent or wasted?

I spent over an hour Saturday morning looking at pantry and linen closet organization photos on Pinterest and vids on Youtube.
To be perfectly honest, I felt guilty about ‘wasting’ that valuable time.
But the more I considered the time spent, and the information gathered, it wasn’t really wasting time after all.
I discovered new and different organizational ideas that may work well for the way we live, as well as some that will not.
I’m extremely confident in my own abilities when it comes to organization and design, but I’m always open to new or different ideas, especially if I know I need a change.
Now, I could geek out over organization from now until the cows come home, but I’m more interested in this concept of wasting time.

I know we hear about how the average person loses ‘x amount of time each day’ to fairly normal things. But how much of that time is truly being wasted? That number will be different for each person.
Not because each person wastes a different amount of time each day, but because ‘wasting time’ means something different to each person.

I’m not a gamer.
Everyone in my immediate family is. Both my daughters, my husband, both my stepsons, and my son in law enjoy playing video games.
It could be said my family wastes precious time playing video games.

I like to watch vids of people organizing their pantries and linen closets. I like to look at photos of well organized spaces.
It could be said I waste precious time doing that.

I like to go to T.J. Maxx or Marshalls and Homegoods once every ten days or so. Normally I don’t purchase anything, I just like to look and see what’s new. I always go to the kitchen section first then organization before moving into the rest of the store. Some days, I’ll spend an hour or more, other days I’m in and out in less than ten minutes.
It could be said I waste precious time (maybe even money) in these stores.

What about those days when we just need to not. You know, some times we just need to be still and quiet. And more than likely accomplish absolutely nothing.
It will most likely be said we waste precious time doing nothing.

Marthe Troly-Curtin wrote,

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

How we choose to spend our time is directly linked to our quality of life.
Whether it’s gaming, reading, watching vids or TV, being still like broccoli, or going over Homegoods to see what’s new.
No shame in that!
If we’re using our time in ways that inspire and motivate us. If we’re using our time to relax and recharge. If we’re using our time to join a quest or save a princess, create civilizations or even shoot up stuff. If we’re passionate about how we use our time, if we’re learning new things, or perfecting skills, or simply taking the quiet moment we need, then how can that be a waste of time?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote,

What fools call wasting time is most often the best investment.

I’m not saying we don’t actively waste time, because most of us do at some point or another.
I think we need to be much more mindful about the way we judge how we spend our time. Because whatever that most fulfilling thing is to one person, is completely different to another.
I believe we need to treat ourselves with more kindness and respect. We need to acknowledge that time spent doing what brings us joy can’t possibly be time wasted.

Otis Redding sang,

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

No shame. No judgement.
Just straight chillin’.
And we all know that can be time well spent.

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September gratitude

As September closes and we’re still having days in the upper 90s, it’s hard to pay attention to anything, much less what I’m grateful for. But Indian summer or not, I’m aware. And I’m grateful.

finishing my degree
celebrating finishing my degree

one of my alternative healthcare providers twice
my therapist
a truly amazing WHNP-BC who not only has helpful ideas but also really listens
YBW’s and my therapist

Rendon bobblehead even though Nats lost this game

my girls
Friday the 13th
finally going to school and teaching 2nd graders
my big sketch book
the shift in me
colored gel pens
productive conversations with my husband
making real plans for the future
watching Good Omens the second time
Rimmel Scandaleyes Curve Alert Mascara

porchlife drinking vodka lemonade with homegrown basil

Amber (she does my hair)
playing Superfight with Thing C and Girlfriend L
bookshop and lunch with Mike and Josie
celebrating a dear friend and neighbor’s birthday
hitting the game tavern with Nora and Dale
a whole afternoon baking with Holly
one rainy morning

reading books
particularly Daisy Jones and The Six
this line from Daisy Jones and The Six

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my me things

What am I doing with all my free time now that I’m finished my degree?

I’ve decided to get my shit as much together as humanly possible. (Is there a ‘duh’ at the end of that sentence?)
I even have the perfect notebook with which to handle this task.

All kidding aside, I intend on putting forth as much effort possible into organizing my own personal chaos.
My goal is to get/have all my ducks in a row between now and August of 2020.
That’s when I want to start my Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MEd Concentration. It’s 60 credits plus another 15 to go through licensure.
It took me two years to make this decision.
The decision involved many conversations with YBW, my girls, friends, my therapist, and my creator. (and finally finishing the degree plan I was already in)
I knew I no longer wanted to teach for a living, but wanted a way to help people. I believe I will be good at (as Thing 2 says) ‘therapizing’ people.
I am content in my decision.
I mean, I may be bordering on crazy to jump back into school with both feet, but I truly believe it’s right for me.
(100% believe, 89-93% decided, just so we’re clear)

That’s not actually my point though.
My point is getting my shit straight/ducks in a row/chaos organized.
I don’t actually feel too chaosed…but I do feel the need to be organized.

How will I spend my time now that I’m not always spending my time doing course work?
P.S. still haven’t been called in to school yet. This concerns, but does not worry me. I’ll be turning down days soon enough.
I can be productive.
I keep myself occupied. (TBR much?)
I can run the errands, etc.
I can do the things.

But how can I do me?
What am I doing for me during this gift of ‘free time’?
How am I living my intention?

I want to explore my me options.
Get all my me ducks in a row.
I saw my therapist Tuesday, we spent our time pretty much catching up since I haven’t seen her since I first came home after Baby K was born. We celebrated my achievement with my degree. We briefly discussed the new degree plan.
I intend to spend more time with her as I organize me.

It occurs to me I spend a great deal of my time and energy outwardly focused. The other side of that coin is that I spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on everything ‘out there’ from my own particular point of view.
What I’m after is to focus a bit more inwardly, but from a broader perspective. I think…?

Anybody know that song Complainer by Cold War Kids?

You say you want to change this world
Well, do you really believe in magic?
But you can only change yourself
Don’t sit around and complain about it

I’m talking about healthy boundaries and productive conversations and improving overall comfort.
I’ve become weary of sitting around and complaining about it.

I can change only one thing in this world and that’s me.
Changing me isn’t going to be easy.
But what’s that saying, nothing worth having comes easy, or whatever? Teddy Roosevelt, maybe? (will google after I finish my thought so as not to lose momentum)
So, if it’s worth having all my me ducks in a row in order to live a more mindful, grateful, and content life. Not to mention aid in my preparation for 75 new credits, I’m willing to do the hard work.

I have a brand new notebook and pen.
I have some vague ideas.
I’m going to write down stuff that makes sense.
I’m going to develop those ideas into a plan I can utilize.

Instead of looking around me at what I cannot possibly fix, I’m going to fix me.
My ducks.
My shit.
My chaos.
I’m going to concern myself with me things.
Not in a selfish way.
In a way that makes me the kind of human I want to be.
Mindful.
Grateful.
Content.
Learning.
Growing.
Living my intention.

Now that’s for working hard for what’s worth having!

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didja miss me?

Didja miss me?
I missed y’all!
I was silent for longer than I expected!
I was a straight creeper, reading your blogs, even commenting on some, but not writing at all.
After the sadness and grief of leaving Thing 1 and Baby K, I needed time to fit back into this house, this life.

The first week I was home, I saw girlfriends and got my hair did.
I went back for the last two days of school, mostly to say goodbye to students and staff.
We saw our last play of the season at Woolly Mammoth.
I cleared the DVR of HGTV shows that got recorded in the six weeks I was gone.
I finished the third of five books for one of my last five courses, wrote a quick essay about it, and participated in a book discussion.
YBW and I got invited by friends to go to Williamsburg for a couple of days.

I did a great deal of this:

For the most part, the weather has been beautiful! Cooler temps, lower humidity, and good breezes keep me on the porch. When it was hot and humid last week, well, we were in Williamsburg sweating our balls off. But, I was able to come back home to great porch weather and be out there with my books and iced tea.

I knew it would be hard to come home after being with my daughter’s family. And with the exception of some acute sadness and grief the first three hours in the car the day I left, I’m handling it well.
I miss them. I want to be near them.
But we talk frequently. And they’ll be here in less than thirty days!

We sent Baby K an ipad so we can facetime with them.
Yesterday when YBW came home from work, I was facetiming with Thing 1 and Baby K and he got SO excited! But here’s the thing, Baby K got so excited when she saw her Papa YBW’s face, she broke into a HUGE smile!
That girl smiled at her granddad, y’all! She knows what’s up!
She did not smile at me. She pretty much ignored me while I talked to her mom. She did however, look at me when I said, “Birdie loves you, girl.” And she attempted kisses which pretty much turned into her sticking her tongue out at me when I made kisses at her.
God I miss her!
But seeing her is such fun!

Here’s a pic just in case y’all want to see her too!

Gah! Don’t you just want to squeeze this deliciously fat baby!?!

I have a bit more course work to knock out. Two more books, five more annotated bibliographies, a hefty paper, and I’m finished.
I’m eager to tackle my TBR stack!
This summer I’m all about me on the porch with a stack of books.
Bring it.

I missed writing. Sharing my thoughts with you.
But I needed to circle the wagons a bit as I reacclimated myself into my life here.

Since Easter, everything has been all about Baby K. Well, Thing 1 and Baby K. And I’ve absolutely adored every moment of that time. But I’m beginning to realize not everyone is as hype as me. (mais pourquoi pas, je ne peux pas dire)
I’m beginning to remember that life is a bit bigger than that precious baby bubble.

My (summertime) life is farmers market Thursdays and day drinking with Holly. It’s me porchlifing my ass off. It’s books and magazines stacked up near me to pick up when I can. It’s laundry and groceries and Target runs. It’s weekends with friends, and YBW and I having ‘shoot days‘.

I’m gently stepping out of the bubble to embrace my life.
I feel a little out of practice, but I’m a quick study.
It’s easy to want to be in your life when you love it, and y’all, I do love my life!

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giving of thanks for November

November. The month that contains the giving of thanks. And y’all, I am not a Thanksgiving kind of girl.
That said, I am chock full of gratitude this month.


Charleston visit.
Time with Sally and her fam.
Time with Jessica.
Solitary road trip.

My therapist.
Two of the three alternative healthcare providers.
Our therapist.
Amber. (she does my hair)


First snow day of the year! (Nov 15)
YBW’s sense of humor.
An unexpected day spent with Catherine.
Independent bookshops.
Michaels coupons.
Mail from Sundance.
My mother in law’s ring back on my finger.
40% off sale at J Crew. (Roby’s getting a new coat for Christmas.)
Flannel jammie pants.
My monogrammed rain boots.
Target’s customer service.
Old Town Warrenton.
Shop small Saturday.
Accidental wine tastings.
Eric Clapton’s Christmas album.
redbubble.com
Holding hands with YBW.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Apple cider mimosas.
Spending Thanksgiving with friends and family and actually enjoying myself.
YBW’s mad kitchen cleaning skills.
A powerful phone conversation with Thing 2.

A new menorah for Hanukkah. (first night is Dec 2)
Christmas decorating.
Making bows.
Fairy lights on the banister.
So! Many! Baby! Jesuses!

And quite possibly what I’m most grateful for!

Thing 1 is pregnant!
The best part is that she is in excellent health, and the baby is strong and healthy!

My cup runneth over.

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September gratitude

September was a difficult month.
That wretched therapy appointment started it off.
YBW and I spent a great deal of time focused on the lack of effort Thing G spends on being responsible for his own life.
I didn’t realize how disappointed I would be when the time came for us to be holding a new baby and there was not one to hold.

That said, there’s much to be grateful for!

Boyfriend J’s birthday.
My therapist.
Our therapist.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s production of Gloria.

All three of my alternative healthcare providers.
Fall decorations!
Amber. (She does my hair, and it looks GOOD!)
Meaningful conversations with Sally.
The sun finally showed up!
Ridiculously fun meme sharing with Sundance.
The easiest blood draw I’ve ever experienced! (my veins roll and that makes for bad times)
Double date at the art festival with M and J.
Phone calls with Jessica.
Being in the park for the last home game of the season. (Nats won 9-3!!)
Sirius XM Broadway.
Cocktails with YBW.
Sitting in the sun at the Naval Academy watching our nephew play Rugby.
Spending time with great friends-as-family in Annapolis!
Talking with my girls.
Cooler temperatures. (Only by a smitch, but I’ll take it!)
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Comedy of Errors.

Finishing a successful school term.
Did I mention the sun finally showed up?

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l-i-v-i-n

It’s not about revenge. This is because life is not a contest. It’s your life. The only one you’re going to get.
Pay attention!
You gotta live that life with an unparalleled immediacy and authenticity. In that, there is no time for revenge. Only time to be your glorious self.
Fulfill your dreams.
Actively live your passions.
Let your freak flag fly.

And when you’re a successful human, and by that I mean living your best possible life with joy and verve, that’s when you know it doesn’t matter.
Revenge is meaningless when you’re focused on looking forward. Moving forward means you’re not looking back.
Revenge is most definitely looking back.
Traps you.
Keeps you stuck.

They say, ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’.
You know why they say that?
It’s not what you think…
For me, it’s that revenge gets cold because you become so enthusiastically occupied with your own life you completely forget the initial desire to serve it.
It makes no kind of sense to waste your energy seeking revenge. Seems to me that’s just you handing over your power. You need your power to do all your cool life things!
And consider this, if someone or something was so awful you feel the need to seek revenge, do you want that one or thing to control your power?
No!

Your life is a precious gift! Focus on living it with all the love, grace, and gratitude humanly possible.

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my freak flag flies

Here’s some of what makes my weird little heart happy.

books
currently reading:
Noir by Christopher Moore
in the queue:
Hold Still by Sally Mann
The Balcony by Jane Delury
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose
The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris
You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams by Alan Cumming

monograms

I honestly want to stick my monogram on everything I possibly can!

journals

I have no words to successfully convey my love of books to fill with my writing.

cloth napkins

music
current playlist:
Rufus Wainwright
Paolo Nutini
The Kills (always)
The Devil Makes Three
Alice Merton
Tori Vasquez

railroad spikes

Doesn’t matter where I am, if there’s a railroad near, I’m going to hunt for spikes.

food network and HGTV shows
Beat Bobby Flay
Iron Chef America
The Next Iron Chef
Home Town
Good Bones
Rehab Addict

school/office supplies

Sharpies. Gel pens. Mechanical pencils. Colored pencils. Crayola crayons. Ballpoint pens. Funky scissors. Legal pads and spiral notebooks.

random things
porch life
my Naked Mountain Winery tee with the outline of Virginia
nail polish
cracking crab legs and peeling shrimp at the seafood joint
organizational items
James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke
movie theater popcorn
magnets and stickers
robin’s egg blue
baseball
the freckles on my knees
rainbows
random tv/movie/song quotes
MLP:FiM
super sharp kitchen knives
the ballet
brand new mascara
a perfect BLT
switching out my bag
popping a bottle of bubbly
robin birds
my bitmoji
Cinema Sins ‘Everything Wrong With’ vids
central air (no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than)
playground swings

So that’s

I’m curious what strange things make y’alls weird little hearts happy.
Let your freak flag fly in the comments!

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R. Eric Thomas

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