Maybe We Shouldn’t Be So Concerned

I think all of us care about how we look. Most days we make the effort to clean up and show up. Some days are easier than others, but we usually make the effort.

I think we all wonder what others think about our appearance. We wonder if our outfits look okay, if we are having decent hair days, if our bodies look fit enough, if we look stylish or put together.

The other day I came home from work and went up to my bedroom to change my clothes. I glanced in the mirror by my closet and I noticed I had only one hoop earring in. I love these earrings. I wear them often and I was bummed that I had lost one. I didn’t want to go back out since I had just gotten home, but I decided I should go trace my steps. Maybe I would find it.

I looked inside my car, checked at the gas station and then went back to the school. I was following the exact path from the library to where I had parked my car, and all of the sudden I heard the window open and a friend say, “Are you  lost? Did you lose something?” I started to laugh and told her that I had indeed lost something and I was tracing my steps. She asked if it was a hoop earring. What?!? I hoped it was mine.

It was. She had found it outside of the school office that morning. I was very thankful. Then I started to laugh to myself. I had gone all day with one big hoop earring in. And, apparently no one had noticed. Not a teacher, not a student, not the friend I hugged at the gas station or the clerk who took my money after getting gas.

This made me think that maybe we are too concerned with our appearances. Maybe people aren’t paying that much attention. Sure, we should make an effort to feel good about the way we look, but maybe the most important job is how we are inside. What energy/vibe/emotion are we sending out to the world? Maybe that’s what people see.

Just a thought….thanks for reading and have a great day!

Spending Time Wisely

I love Yoga With Adriene. Recently, I signed up for her TRUE – 30 Day Yoga Journey. She sends a daily email, and when I read this message on day one, I was blown away.

“New year, true you.

The message is clear. You don’t need fixing, you don’t need to waste energy searching for tools to help you get what you don’t have. You have everything you need.”     ~Yoga With Adriene

I do believe that we each already know what we need to live our best lives. I think if we just listen to the right thoughts that lead us to the best actions to take, we will be fine. Maybe even better than fine.

One of my goals for 2018 is to be more mindful of my time. If it feels right to you, think about what areas of your life are important to you and look at what you spend your time on.

For me, I have three areas I plan to spend time on: work, family & friends, and me. I will see how much time I can devote to each area. It brings me joy to know that I have some say in where I put my energy. My goal is to use my time wisely.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!

A Blank Canvas?

The new year is approaching and I always enjoy reflecting back on the past year and thinking about how I hope the new year will be. I wondered how many journals I filled last year and I found four. I didn’t do this on purpose, but they are all ones that I created and are on sale on Amazon. This is so cool to me! Still kind of a dream come true.

I was thinking about each day being like a blank canvas. I was trying to imagine what paint I would use; what kind of picture I would paint. How would I want each new day to unfold? My mind went blank pretty fast. I am not a painter, although someday I would like to paint a lovely picture.

What came to mind rather quickly was that I could write a story about my day. This appeals to me. I adhere to the belief that our thinking dictates our experience. I always say that if you want a different experience, change your thinking.

I am aware that we tell ourselves certain stories; that we believe set things about ourselves and others. Just the idea that we can tell a different story seems hopeful.

To be mindful, to simplify, to be in a constant state of gratitude – these are some of my goals.

I hope you carve out some time for yourself to think about how you would like your new year to be. I hope everything unfolds for you beautifully. Why not? Why not have the best year of your life?

Happy New Year!

It’s the Little Things….

I bought some new shoes on Black Friday. Actually, I bought two new pairs of tennis shoes (one for casual -think leggings/jeans and one for running). Maybe it’s because I work at an elementary school library, but this song, Pete the Cat/I Love My White Shoes,  just kept running through my mind as I wore them.

I can’t tell you what a lift new shoes did for me. It just made me happy. I hit the road early this morning with my dog. I won’t say it made me a better runner, but it was more fun with new shoes!!

I hope you do something fun for yourself. Sometimes in life it is the little things that bring us joy. If you want to get your groove on, look at this Pete the Cat video. It makes me smile every time I watch it.

Have a terrific day!

Thanks to You!

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you that reads my posts, hits the “like” button, takes the time to comment, shares my writing, buys my journals, and just in general thinks kind thoughts and offers me support. I appreciate you, very much!!

The last year or two I have had goals of getting paid for my work and feeling contentment in my life. Well, my dear, old dad always said, “be careful what you wish for, it just might happen…..”

Whew, this year has been busy. Recently I was reading a bio of myself that I had written and it made me tired just reading it! I realized it was time to simplify a bit. Some people like to be constantly busy. I am not that kind of person. I like down time, quiet time, sit-outside-and-let-the-sun-kiss-my-face-time, pet my dog time.

The good news is I am making some money with my journals, college teaching (I took on more than I have in years), and my part-time job as an elementary school librarian. (I love this job! Every day that I work, I walk into my little library and say, “This is a happy place.”)

I have a lot to be thankful for.

What I wish for you is that you have some quiet time to think about what your life looks like from the outside looking in. I hope you see what’s working and what can be let go of. I hope you have a few moments to think about all you have to be thankful for.

This is what I have been doing today.

Thanks so much for reading. Have a wonderful day!

p.s. Here is the travel journal I recently created for my friend who is a traveling Emergency Room nurse. Travel Journal

Catching a Falling Leaf

Standing next to a tree that’s letting go of its cloak of summer,

 Seeing its branches,

Seeing its scars of battles,

And as it lets a tiny piece of clothing fall

to the floor,

You try to catch it…..

it will make you dance like a fool,

diving and twisting,

laughing like a child, unaware as you’re laughing,

forgetting all about your scars and dropping your guard….

When and if you grab one, you’re granted a wish –

You’ll smile and make the most heartfelt wish,

guilt not included.

 

Author, Chris Warren

Don’t Settle

Years ago my husband and I moved to a remote, small town in Kansas and started the arduous process of renovating a 100-year-old house. My father was a big help in this process. In fact, I’m not sure we would have accomplished what we did had he not been there to help us.

We finally got to the point where I needed to pick out cabinets for the kitchen. We had redesigned things and the kitchen was large and had the flow that we wanted. We had visited with several businesses trying to find the right cabinets. We wanted to use our local hardware/lumber store to order and purchase them. The problem was they didn’t have the design or color that I wanted.

Renovating a large, old house and having small children was stressful. Making decisions was stressful. I remember my dad saying, “I don’t understand, why aren’t you having fun?” I couldn’t see the fun in anything back then. It just all seemed like a lot of work. Also, the fact that we basically lived in the middle of nowhere made shopping and decision making even harder.

So, back to the cabinets. I decided I would settle. That I could make the cabinets that the local hardware/lumber store work in our kitchen. My dad looked at me with that halfway smile where one side comes up into an expression of questioning, and said, “Don’t settle, hold out for what you really want.”

Well, I took his advice. I went to the owner of the local store and explained what I truly wanted. This time he started the search and found exactly what I wanted. He got them ordered and my dad and husband put them up.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years people walked into our kitchen and said it was beautiful and how they loved the cabinets. The color, the style, everything about them was lovely.

So, sometimes I have to remind myself that we don’t always have to settle. Sometimes it’s worth it to hold out for what you really want.

Have a wonderful day and I hope you get something you truly wish for!

Three Secrets to Happiness

I am inviting you to a challenge. Just try it for one day. If it works for you, try it any time that you want to improve your day.

Here is the challenge:

1. Become aware. Look for ANY moment that brings you joy. It can be the slightest thing: the light rain coming down, the laugh of someone you love (the laugh of someone you don’t know, but it makes you laugh – because people laughing is really funny: Contagious laughter compilation), a big smile from a stranger, the smell of baked bread, a song that makes you want to dance, photos (This Is What Happiness Looks Like In One Photo) – you get the picture.

2. Just live in that moment. Appreciate it for as long as the moment lasts.

3. Be thankful that you get to experience this. Have you noticed that often happiness is linked to gratitude or thankfulness? According to an article in HealthLine titled Benefits of Gratitude, ” What if there were a solution to stress that involves nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.”

Even though we often forget it, time is a gift. Today is a gift. How we spend our time is often up to us, but a lot of the time we aren’t aware that we might have a say in how our day turns out.

Take this challenge. If you have any moment that makes you happy, please share it on social media #BeingHappyNowChallenge. You might just make someone else happy.

 

Love Being Love

I was out early this morning, and as I often do, I observe my surroundings as I pass by things. I saw what looked like an abandoned house. It was a small house with red siding. There were overgrown bushes along the front of the house and weeds coming up by the two front steps that led to an old, dirty door, with cracked paint and a broken window pane.

What caught my eye, though, were the beautiful pink flowers tucked neatly inside an edged flower bed to the right of the door. They were perfect. So pretty and bountiful.

I thought how the flowers didn’t know where they were blooming. They were just there to do their job.

This made me think of love being love. Just like most dogs. They are love because they express love. I think that’s why so many people love their dogs. Many people will tell you they like their dogs better than people. Think about it. Who give you such unconditional love? No matter what our flaws may be, they still love us. They love us a lot.

I wonder if we could be more like the flowers and the loving pets. Can we just be love?

36 Seconds

Recently I had the privilege of spending the day with my daughter. She was in a basketball tournament and we had time to kill between games. She is an easy person to be around. I enjoy her company very much. She is one of those people who assesses situations quickly. She’s not a big talker, has an easy laugh, and is easy going unless she is tired or hungry.

We ate a nice meal out, shopped, went to the library, and then headed back for the last game. On the way home she said, “Thirty six seconds, that’s how long there was silence before you talked again.” It makes me laugh just writing this. I can’t help it. I was born to talk. Which is ironic because often I happily spend hours by myself where I don’t talk to a soul. I enjoy time alone.

I am aware that I don’t need to share every thought that is going on in my head. I just like to talk. I also like to listen. This is probably why my degrees are in Communication.

Whether you are a talker, listener, or somewhere in between, I thought you might find this story funny. It seems like time after time I come to the conclusion that we are all just wired the way we are wired. And, you know, that’s kind of cool.