With summer right around the corner, I thought I’d do a post some wonderful ideas to get you in the summer spirit! I love taking trips and have traveled all over the world but one thing I hold true to is the fact that there's nothing, no nothing like being in your hometown! So here are a few great and budget friendly ways to enjoy the summer by "staycationing" right in your own town or city, or the nearest town! If it’s a small town, it might be a little difficult but you’re a smart cookie, figure it out!
Here is my top 10 Summer Bucket List ideas that you have to do before the summer comes to a close:
1: Watch The Notebook... just joking but I just watched it again, for the hundredth time and remembered why I loved it so much.
But seriously here's the real #1: Visit a part of town that you’ve never really ventured into before. You may find some cute boutiques, farmers markets, book stores and sweet shops that you never knew existed! Sometimes we are so busy living our lives that we don’t have the chance to get out and explore all the gems of our local area. Take some time to see what’s out there in your own backyard that you’ve been missing out on all these years!
2: Visit an outdoor concert or music festival. Summer can so amazing but music and great crowds make it so much better! Check our local paper or your favorite bands website for their tour schedule to see when they will be in your area. Other places to check: Mile High Music Festival, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo. Ticket Master is also a greet resource!
3: Stay at an outdoor campsite or local state park. It’s always great to get back in touch with mother nature especially if you spend 5 days a week in a classroom or cubical at work. Feeling the sun beat on your face, fishing, and swimming in the lake, building a campfire and roasting marshmallows are some of the most relaxing things you can do!
4: Take an exotic dance class, cooking class or art class to expose you to more culture. Can’t to Mexico this summer? That’s okay, take a salsa dance class or a Mexican cooking class. Get out there and get cultured! There’s a whole world but you don’t have to travel it to learn the ways of other cultures! Look at your local community college or community center for classes.
5: Visit a restaurant you’ve never been to. I don’t know about you but I have a handful of standard restaurants that I frequent either out of familiarity or to save time. This can get old so why not hit up a few new places while on your staycation? Yelp has as bunch of tips and reviews about local restaurants or be spontaneous and just show up!
6: Add some one-of-a-kind piece to your home or room. Yard sales, flea markets, vintage boutiques Goodwill, craft fairs and farmers markets have great finds that will look like you traveled out of the country just to find it.
7: Take a weekend road trip to the nearest city or town. Take a spur of the moment trip to a place you’ve never been and grab some friends, sunglasses and camera to take cool snapshots along the way.
8: If you have a porch or patio, redecorate it and spend some quite time reading, bird watching or just stargazing or throw an al fresco dinner party with pals. Check out local vintage shops for budget friendly outdoor furniture, twinkle lights, and potted plants to make the space inviting and useful.
9: Hike to the highest point in your town. Take advantage of getting a good workout and enjoying the view by hiking to the highest spot in your town. You might even see your city in a whole new light. If you don’t have mountains in your town, hit up a local state park and hike the trail with friends and take your dog if you have one.Or if all else fails, climb the roof of your house (safely) and view the city from there!
9: Do some volunteer work, meet new people and do some good for someone else. Helping others is not only rewarding but it can enrich your life and you can meet some pretty cool people that you may never have met otherwise! Get involved in a food bank, soup kitchen, or inner city school. It doesn’t even need to be once a week—even going once a month will make a difference, and it will make you feel good in return.
10: Host a movie marathon at your house! Nothing beats the classic movies so why not host a movie marathon with yummy snacks, great food and some cool friends and family to laugh or cry with! Check the movie list for the top 100 best and classic films.
Looking for a great way to get mom that one of a kind gift that she’ll love? Look no further, I have a few great solutions for all you crafty divas out there! Check out a these DIY Mom’s Day gifts!
Gift Idea # 1: DYI Cherry Blossom Art!
Plastic empty bottle
Gift Idea # 2: DIY Frames
Gift Idea #3: DIY Coffee/Tea Set
Plain ceramic coffee 4 piece set
Sharpie - color of choice
Gift Idea #4: Home made Hand Frame
Large Photo Frame Style of choice
Thin, long piece of wood panel or blank white canvas
White or silver paint for hand prints - Red may also look good
To other frame ideas below:
Gift idea #5: Homemade Sweet Treats
For the not so crafty person: Sweets are always a good gift idea!
Gift Idea # 6: Home-made Candle gift set
Today I wanted to focus on love and not love in the sense that makes you think of Romeo and Juliet or Valentines Day, roses or even hot dates… Nope, today I want to talk about a love for things or moments that make your life so much better. Yes, the love we have for family and friends makes our life great but I’m talking about the category of love for the small things that speak to your heart, that some how makes your day so much better and that can it worth getting out of bed for…
Our lives are broken up into small moments and when put together; they all sort of make the bigger picture. There are some moments that are epic and some not so much but in the midst of everything, we find pleasure in the smaller things, some that we absolutely love! For me, watching a sunset on the beach or hearing the rain beat against my window seal on a Sunday afternoon is like no other pleasure in this world…
I am one of those people who actually stops to smell the roses and notice the birds nest in the tree in my front yard. Or takes the time to small the wind as it blows on my face. I love life and it’s because I take notice to these free gifts that I am such a joyous person!
When the weather first started to change, I remember seeing the very first flower of the season and feeling a wonderful sense of joy! It was purple and so tiny but to me it represented something so much bigger and held so much beauty. These are the things I refer to when I say “the love of things that make our lives so much better”.
If you’re a person who rarely finds time for the little things of life maybe it’s about time you did. Doing this not only opens your eyes to new experiences but it also makes your day so much better.
Challenge for today: Find at least one thing that you love, one small thing that made you smile, maybe you heard a bird sing in the morning or perhaps it was a rainbow after a storm. Maybe it was the smell of flowers or some other small thing… It doesn’t matter what it is, but it matters that you take notice.
Just start to pay attention and you will discover a world that you have been too busy to be a part of! Smile when you have this experience and enjoy the moment while you can!
I really love this idea that I found over on Kate’s blog, Love is Everywhere so I’m “stealing” it!! It’s called 30 Days of Truth. So my plan and of course we all know how well plans often work out, but my “plan” is to post an entry each day covering the topic listed for that day. The reason I’m doing this is not only to share my soul with others but also to find out more about myself. I have been journaling since I was in 4th grade, I always had a diary and carried it wherever I went making notes and writing my thoughts down and the one thing that I realized was that I seem to learn new something about myself that even surprised me at times!Writing is a creative process and a healthy release.
So here’s the catch (yes, everything comes with a price), I have to be completely HONEST in my entries, no sugar coating or holding back! Post comments if you’d like, I’ve love to read what you think about my “truthdom”. Hey, I just made that word up but it seems to be relevant to the topic!
Also, just so you know, I have created my 30 Days of Truth tab on the top tab bar where you can refer back to the topics I will be writing about and they will link you to the entry if you happened to miss one and want to catch up!
Of course this will take some time to get all the links in as I have not even started writing my entries for 30 Days of Truth yet.
So go check out the new tab and find out what SECRETS about myself that I will be sharing in the upcoming days!
Because they are always there for us, sometimes we take them for granted but NEVER, forget that no matter what your family will be there for you when all others have turned their back.
Family is one of the most important things that will we will ever encounter in our lives. love those around you, spend time with the older generation for they have gems of knowledge to share with you, don't forget about the youth of the family for they will someday be the head of the house hold!
I don’t normally make it a habit to walk around talking about myself because that’s really not my style, but today that’s exactly what I’m going to do, mention something about myself that I love, only because it goes along with today’s focus.
One thing that I value about myself is my ability to not really care what others think of me or of what I say or do, with the exception of my family of course because I try not to embarrass them and I also care if I hurt someone so I usually don’t go around hurting people and not caring, but I think you get my point that I don’t really care what people think of me or about me. I was given this life and I only get to live if once so I do what makes me happy (as long as it meets to two above guidelines). I use to worry so much about what people thought of me and one day I just stopped caring, I don’t know how or what prompted it but I just let all my fears go and it was so freeing, so wonderful to just not care anymore. Many people were offended and thought I was rude or that I had an ego but it wasn’t that at all, it was me finally getting out from under years of perceptions that people had created about me and when they finally found out who I really was they couldn’t take the honesty. The truth is most people would much rather be told a lie than to face the truth because it can be ugly or it can hurt or it can really rock someone’s world and I had just hit the stage ready to rock everyone’s world!
The point I’m making is that today I want you to find 3 things about yourself that you love and value, even if no one else cares about them. All that matters is what you think, remember this is your life so don’t live it how others want you to, live it how you want to. Maybe it’s your freckles or your ears; maybe it’s your big heart or your friendly personality. Maybe it’s how creative you are or how you have to be punctual everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that you love this feature about yourself so celebrate it and try to bring it out more often, disregard what other might think because it’s your life and honestly no matter what you do there will always be one person who has something to say so go ahead and give them something to really talk about and enjoy every moment of it!
This morning I wanted to focus on the aspect of overcoming procrastination in your life. The reason I’m discussing this is because I use to be a procrastinator but with a bit of reformation of my habits and routines I was able to kick this bad habit to the curb!
Believe me it’s worth it! *Start planning and stop daydreaming or delaying. More than likely you’re not choosing the right priorities on your list so rearrange it! *Stop making excuses or saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow” and DO IT NOW!
Simple steps to change your nasty “put-it- off” habit:
1. Admit you’re a Procrastinator
a. -find your weaknesses, T.V., phone call, internet, whatever it is we all have things that suck up our time and cause us to put off what really needs to be done. Steer clear of these things for a few hours.
2. Create a to-do list and stick to it!
a. -add in some easy tasks with difficult one so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
b. -also only add things that absolutely NEED to be done otherwise you may get sidetracked.
c. -cross off each item as you complete it, this will give you a sense of pride!
3. Reinvent your attitude and start seeing the brighter side of things.
a. -find your weaknesses, T.V., phone call, internet, whatever it is we all have things that suck up our time and cause us to put off what really needs to be done.
Need help: visit this site for a free “To-Do” List template
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!” Oh how true this is!! Do you live your life like it’s an adventure or like your just waiting for it to end… Ladies, do you realize how blessed you are each and every day when you open our eyes? It’s a new opportunity to have another day to start over, to make new decisions, to make a difference to someone and to matter! I encounter people all the time that have something bad to say about everything, “It’s too cold outside!” “Uggh, why did my day have to start off so bad?!” or “I hate my job so much!”
Does this sound like you or someone you know? I have learned to see the beauty in life and I try my best to always look on the bright side because no matter how bad I may think things are, it could always be worse or I’m betting someone else has it rougher than me at that moment! Why not turn your complaints into compliments!
So it’s a little cold outside, well what a perfect opportunity to stay in and spend some time with your family or to relax and have some “me” time! Your day started off bad, really, do I have to tell you how to turn this into a positive? So if it started off bad, well make sure it ends GREAT!!
There are 24 hours in a day and maybe the first 3 or 4 didn’t go as you hoped but you still have plenty of time to turn the day around! You hate your job? Who doesn’t but think about this, at least you have a job and can pay your bills, buy food and every now and then treat yourself to a cute pair of heels and as much as you may hate it, there has to be something you like about it, fins out what that is! Never seeing the righter side of things will only make things harder for you, people won’t want to be around you because they’ll fear your rotten attitude toward life will bring them down and ruin a good time!
Ladies, now’s the time to step your game up! Every time you’re faced with negative thoughts about something, try to find at least 3 positive things about it and believe me, you’ll start to appreciate your life a little bit more! I have been living with this motto for a while and it completely turned my way of thinking upside down (in a good way)! I’m more in love with life and passionate about things, I see the bright side before the negativities have a chance to seeps in and when they do, I know how to counter them!
Removing Negative People From Your Life
This morning I really want to focus on the topic of learning to remove negativity from your life. One thing I have come to realize is that no matter what the situation or who the person, there will always exist some sort of negativity in your life. Now when I say negativity I’m mainly referring to a negative person who will make every attempt to get in the way of your life goals and dreams. We all have them lingering around in our circle, some we recognize, others are very sneaky with their discouragement towards us.
Maybe it’s a friend, family member, spouse, teacher, child, co-worker or even a boss but whoever it is, this person in your life is more than likely unhappy with the choices they have made, are lacking self confidence or could even harbor some jealously over your bold thoughts and ideas and seek to burn your dreams like a pile of trash.
Have you ever noticed that when you come to this person with exciting news or a great idea they seem to have nothing positive to say but have tons of things to point out that start to make your idea seem like a bad one? The truth is these people may really only want to be around you to make themselves look better and whenever you try to aim higher, it rattles them to their very core!
When I decided to start my very first website a while back, some people whom I considered close "friends" did their very best to discourage me, belittle my idea or convince me that it was a waste of time. Other people in my life said I would give up after a while and tried to “reminded” me of my “proven” track record of quitting everything I ever started (not true), but that wasn’t even the worst of it, some people didn’t even bother to read what I wrote but had plenty of negative things to say! If I had listened to them, I’d never do anything in my life and to be honest, that's probably what they want. except then they would talk about how I never do anything, it's a no win situation!
So you’re probably wondering how to deal with these kinds of people?
What’s really important to understand here is that you have to be willing to “check your sources”. What do I mean by this? Well, consider the person who is discouraging you and killing your dreams. What have they done in their own lives? Are they just doing what everyone tells them to do but never really living their own dreams out? Are they scared to step out on the edge of life and take the big steps that might seem shaky and unsteady at first?
It took me a long to time to realize that some people, even those who love me and seem to be looking out for my best interest don’t always know what is best for me personally, how could they?! I remember literally sitting down and evaluating these people and I remember how it felt when I started to see them for what they really were, wet blankets who wanted to dampen my passion for life. Some I completely removed from my life, others I just placed in a different position and I started taking what they said as grain of salt, which to be honest is really all it amounted to.
We are only given one life and the choices and decisions we make with it are what we and we alone have to live with, not these people who are so quick to tell you what they think of your goals. Nope... it is us who have to live with the path you make and take during your life!
I remember one afternoon talking with a very nice lady who told me how she got married very young, had children and never lived her dream of going to school and starting a career. Every time she brought up the idea to her husband, he told her that she wouldn’t have time to care for the kids or that she wouldn’t have time to study and her grades would drop so she just sort of assumed he was right and went about her daily life as a housewife, then 22 years later he left her for his business partner. It was then that she realized her whole life was lived the way he wanted and besides her precious children, she had nothing to show for her 46 years on earth. Two weeks later she enrolled in classes and at age 51 she received her degree. She told me that the day she sat in her first lecture was also the day she decided to never, ever let anyone have the opportunity to kill her dreams, she whet on to get her Doctorate. She talked about her regrets of waiting so long and of never really even trying because she believed her husband knew what was best but then realizing that he was really afraid of letting her fly and find her true potential in life. Those we love sometimes harm us and they may not be doing it intentionally but if we continue to allow them, we are just as guilty!
It’s important to make attempts to spend less time with those negative people. But you ask, “what if that’s not really possible, what if you see this person every day?” Well how about just tuning them out or hearing what they have to say, thanking them and then just tossing their opinions in your mental recycle bin, how will they ever know?! I’ve also found it helpful to not discuss my plans with certain people who like to rain on my parade because then they can’t say anything at all! Another idea is to find people who will encourage you, who understand you and want to help! Believe me they are out there, if not personally around you, you can find them online or in other communities or groups.
You can do anything you put your mind to but if you let others put their minds to it, ten years from now you’ll still be doing the same thing you are doing today! It’s your life, learn how to live it!
A few days ago I added this tab on my blog called Project Do Me and planned to update when time permitted. Fortunately that time seems to have arrived so here goes:
What is Project Do Me?
It was created by Travel Babbles back on Jan. 24th (check out her blog, its’ packed full of cool postings and ideas)! Basically you take a week (preferably) to figure out some goals that are realistic, yes I’d love to climb Mt. Everest but come on, let’s get real here!!
I digress, the main goal is to find out what will help you in your quest for happiness and then set up some goals to help you get there. Ultimately you are Asking yourself "what you can do every day, every week, every month and ultimately by the end of this year to invest in YOU and your own happiness and well being”.
So I have to come up with some happiness goals that I can achieve on:
So I’ve took some time, a bit more than a week and came up with this list.
Read at least 1 chapter in my current book of choice.
Read at least 2-5 pages in the Bible a day
Eat healthier and eat smaller meals
Pay myself a compliment and mean it!
Have a more positive outlook on things
Be okay with myself and give a crap less if others aren’t!
Be my own biggest fan
Learn to just walk away and that having the last word doesn’t always matter
Work out at least twice a week (even if it’s just taking my dog for a long walk)
Find one thing that made my week great (preferable this will be done on Friday)
Try to see things from another person’s perspective and be more understanding
Get off schedule and don’t freak out about it (it’s good to note that I’m very schedule orientated and hate, HATE being late for anything)
Get on a weekly budget I order to save for something special (like a new car)
Push my own buttons so their too worn out for others to have a shot at
Give myself at least one treat a month (like a new pair of shoes or indulge in a yummy dinner)
Get along with those annoying girls I work with even if it means “grin and bear it” (hey, it’s only once a month)
Realize that no one’s perfect and smile when I make a mistake, as long as it’s not life threatening!!
Spend at least one day doing nothing including sleeping in (again with the whole time thing)
Spend at least one day reading, researching and learning (outside of school work)
Challenge myself to try something new once a month and stick to it!
Work on finish school
Consider maybe having a child… (I have fears about this so I think it will be good to at least consider)
Focus on what I want in life, not what others want from me or of me…
So that’s it for now but I will continue thinking of other ways to achieve inner happiness and update this list regularly. Also I’m going to keep my blog updated on the progress I make as I go along.
Today is my inspirational day so I’ve hit up some of my favorite blogs to get big dose of creative juice flowing for this up and coming weekend! My first inspiration blog is one I refer to often for fashion ideas. Check out Everyday Eva if you’re looking for fashion on a budget! My inspiration from this blog is that my husband is always “complaining” that I spend too much money on clothes and shoes so Eva’s blog has helped me be a bit more cautious with my spending while still looking cute, Thanks Eva!
My second inspirational blog of the day belongs to Reflections of Something. I have had a heck of a week and only parts have actually been good, I have been in some sort of a foul mood and I have no idea why but this blog has help me to lift my spirits and also posed a challenge which I really think I might take! (Thanks Branson!)
My third inspirational blog of the day for me holds the crowning title because I came across her blog purely by accident though the Fab Friends Friday Blog Hop and was so glad I did. Serendipity I’d call this, a fortunate mistake that had turned things around for me. This blog belongs to Rachel and is called Randomness with Rachel. Turns out we share the same love for Jesus, Audrey Hepburn, shopping and reading! (oh who would have known there'd be another person who likes this same weird combination of things that I do)! Her most inspirational thing that helped me today was her home page Bible passage which I've pasted at the top of this blog: So a big, BIG thank you to Rachel!
Lastly, I have decided to list Words by Katie as an inspirational blog for me today mainly because her blog just all around cheered me up (Also we are both Tim Tebow fans!)
So to fellow bloggers who have given me some inspirational thoughts and ideas for the upcoming weekend as well as cheered me up after a somewhat bad week, you have my gratitude! Thanks so much for doing what you do best (blogging) and inadvertently plastering a smile across my face!
For the past few weeks I’ve really been pretty upset with myself over my weight gain and yet I hadn’t done anything about it. Then on Monday I told my husband that I was going to start working out so I packed my gym bag and took it to work with me since the building I work in has a gym that all employees have access to. By Wednesday my gym bag was still sitting in my car and I hadn’t made my way down to the gym so I decided that I’d better bring it home in case I decided to work out at the gym near my house over the weekend. Last night I’d had enough of my procrastination and had a light dinner of Thai Curry Soup (very yummy) and got up early to head to the gym…
As I dusted off my gym shoes I thought about the last time I had worked out and it’s been about 4 months (WOW). In the Fall I had been working out consistently and then I got really sick and couldn’t go to the gym for about 3 weeks and we all know just how easy it is to make excuses after you’ve gotten out of the routine… So by the time I started to feel better I kept saying, I’ll go back to the gym tomorrow and 4 months and 12 pounds later… Well you see my point. It’s actually sad because I have access to a free gym at work and then I have a gym membership near my home but I rarely go… But believe me, that’s all about to change, not only am I going to work out but I’m going to start eating better too! Watch out New Year’s resolutions cause I’m kicking butts and taking names and weight loss is next on my list!
So since today was my first day back in the workout saddle I didn’t want to over due it so I decided to keep it light, I did about 20 minutes of cardio and burned about 210 calories then headed home to shower… Of course as I continue, I’ll definitely up my workout time.
Okay, now to have a big bowl of pasta! Just joking, though that does sound really good right about now…
So since today was my first day back in the workout saddle I didn’t want to over due it so I decided to keep it light, I did about 20 minutes of cardio and burned about 210 calories then headed home to shower… Of course as I continue, I’ll definitely up my workout time.
Okay, now to have a big bowl of pasta! Just joking, though that does sound really good right about now…
Last year I was having one of my regular over the phone chats with my older sister Ava when she casually mentioned to me that her son Christian had created a “bucket list”. Unbeknownst to me, she had planted the very beginnings of a seed that was about to blossom into a giant flower! If my 13 year old nephew had already created goals for his life, why hadn’t I? it wasn’t like I didn’t have things that I wanted to do, it was just that I hadn’t organized them into an actual cross-off list nor had I set out to actually take the steps to achieve them, instead as I did something in my life I would say or think “wow, I’ve always wanted to do that” and that was basically it, no crossing off, no celebration, or journaling about it. Then as New Year’s approached a few days ago I did my traditional reflecting over the past year and planning of my New Year’s resolutions (which as we all know rarely last longer than a few months) and as I was thinking of what I would add to my resolution list this year I decided to make a few changes and instead create a bucket list of things that I can achieve over a lifetime, why limit myself to only a year? Some of the things on my list I have already accomplished, others will come with time and will give me something to do with my free time or something to look forward to as I get older so drum roll please…
Glamm Girrl’s Bucket List:
1.) Visit Europe (Done)
2.) Write a book
3.) Have one of my articles featured in a magazine/website
4.) Work for myself one day
5.) Visit the Acropolis in Greece
6.) Visit Stonehenge
7.) Stand under The Eiffel Tower (Done)
8.) Appreciate the simple things in life
9.) Finish the Bible cover to cover(work in progress)
10.) Take life one day at a time
11.) Create my own Happiness Project (will start this soon)
12.) Help others
13.) Create a website and keep it going!(work in progress)
So this is my current list but it will not end here, as my life changes each day so will the things that I want to do and I’m sure that I have left off a few things anyways. I read somewhere today that you should attempt to do something everyday instead of every other day or just a few days a week because the more you do it the easier they will becomes and the more it becomes a part of your daily.
“So if there’s something that you wish you did more regularly, try doing it every day; if you do something every day, revel in it”.
First things first, update m y website every day with new content also start on some other daily tasks like reading the Bible cover to cover if only a page at time, start taking life one day at a time and begin creating my own happiness project.
Life has a way of teaching us things that organized educational systems (A.K.A. school) just doesn’t fully prepare us for and in my opinion; The School of Life tends to be a bit more successful. Though I personally have nothing against organized educational systems and in fact love to learn, I do remember thinking many, many times as a sat in class after class “When am I ever going to use this in the real world”? To date I have never had to recall much of what I learned in history class, nor had to conduct science experiments using beakers and Petri dishes and with spell-check and calculators what good were all those math and spelling tests I had to take in elementary school, man what a waste of time!
As is painfully apparent, I am a fan and life-time student of The School of Life mainly because it has actually prepared me for the difficult things that I have encountered in my life and the things I have learned to love and cherish so much.
In organized educational systems I was always told that I should try to find a job that would bring in the most money but never really given the idea that I should do something that I loved. Remember those test we took in high school that were suppose to help determine what professional field we should go into such as business, medicine or teaching, the thing is I don’t remember any of my friends cheerfully running down the hall with the good news that their test suggested they become an artist, why because our world doesn’t really see being as artist as an actual career but more as a past time.
When I was in high school and even in the first few years of college, I had no idea of what I wanted to do but I did know I wanted to do something that allowed me to express my creativity but I couldn’t seem to figure out just how to tie them all up into one profession so instead I studied various subjects such as Art, Photography, Journalism, Teaching, then finally and really now that I think about it, I’m not sure why but I ended up settling on Criminal Justice… This, as you can see is so far off the Richter scale from the areas I studied in my early educational yeas. I have always been an artist (studied art in high school, was in the art club, wrote for my school and college newspaper…) but in the organized educational system or what many life to call school, people told me that getting an Art degree would get me nowhere in life and I was pushed to do something more “substantial” with myself even if I had no passion for what I was “gently nudged” to do. But now I know where my passions lie and with this knowledge I was able to understand that my previous search for something creative would come out in the form of writing and of course I still paint in my free time but a lot of my visual creativity now goes into what I cook. So folks there you have it, what I have learned from The School of Life is that I am a writer who loves to cook! And what have I learned from the organized educational system (A.K.A. school), is that you can spend a lot of money and time to get a piece of paper and never really use it.
If I had to give a theme to the past few days, I’d have to say that it has been all about the 3-R’s: Reorganization, Reconnecting and a Redirection of my life.
I once read that to simplify your life you need to get rid of all the excess items that are holding you down. That being said, over this past Thanksgiving break I had plenty of time to myself to do just that. Each morning I woke up bright and early ready to sweep through one room at a time trashing things that I hadn’t used in a while. I’m normally a person who struggles with getting rid of things because I never know when I might use it again but I decided that if I hadn’t used it, wore it, read it or even looked at it within the past year it was time to let go of it. I was able to go though a lot of areas of my home, get rid of a lot of things that I no longer used. I reorganized things that for so long I have been meaning to do but for one reason or another just kept putting off.
So what was the final verdict: I now have room to walk in my walk-in closet which before I couldn’t even do, I have extra space in my home office, an area in my laundry room to actually sit my laundry basket and space in my kitchen that was once cluttered with things that I had collected over the years but never used.
I donated about 65% of my clothes to Goodwill along with some books and kitchen items and the rest went into the trash! It was shocking but I actually felt as if a weight was removed. I guess you never really pay attention to how “stuff” can add excess weight to your life and hold you down.
The lesson I learned here: If you don’t need it, let it go and this doesn’t just apply to stuff but to every aspect of your life.
One thing that people tend to do at the beginning of every year is say I’m going to start doing this or doing that and maybe we do for a few months but then life seems to always get in the way and those little things that we hoped to keep doing fade away until eventually we no longer remember why we wanted to do them in the first place. In the time I had to myself I was able to sit and think about different areas of my life that wanted to spend more time in or that I was already spending time on but not as much as I’d like. What I realized is that happiness is loosing site of the things you love to do but making time to do them. Should we really put off today what we could do tomorrow when we aren’t even promised a tomorrow? It amazing the in 5 short days I was able to reconnect with myself, my soul and with the things that I missed and loved. Reconnecting with yourself is a lot like rediscovering who you are and then understanding why you let yourself go in a different direction. Most people lose their selves in the daily demands of life and other commitments that caused them to push what they really want aside. How many times have you read or heard about those few people who just quit their job and go off to do what really makes them happy and to be honest, don’t those people seem happier, less stressed and more focused on what life is really about. No, I’m not going off to explore the world but I am taking it one step at a time and I’m so excited to see where my new reconnection is going to take me!
I have found that redirection is a lot like reconnection though for me; my redirection is with my faith and relationship with God. For a large portion of my life I have had a fairly good relationship with God. However, I have been reading a book titled Crazy Love and the first few pages of this book completely took what I thought I was doing and tore it to shreds, all the times I felt I was close with God, nope I wasn’t even a flicker in His shadow. Because I put so much stock in my relationship with Christ, to me these realizations were so horrifying and I immediately knew where I needed to make the redirection to my focus in my life.
So these are the 3-R’s that I was able to journey through in what I call a 5-day “staycation” and to be honest I loved every minute of it. At times it was a lot of quiet contemplation and thoughtfulness while other times it was running around, cleaning and staying up late to get things done but no matter what, it was what I needed!
I know a lot of people are going to shy away from reading my site now because of my open expression to my love for Christ but that’s okay because where 10 leave, 30 more will join and even if that doesn’t happen, what really matters to me is that I’m giving glory to God, which to be honest is the whole point of what life is all about.
So that being said, you have probably noticed a few small changes to my site and a lot of them have to do with these 3-R’s, a word of caution: there will be more to come and believe me, it will all be surrounding these 3 topics!
Not to be all festive or anything, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have had a lot of time to contemplate what I’m really thankful for this year and in my life in general. A lot of things have come to mind but there are a few really big things that seemed to stand out. I don’t think that I have ever mentioned it here before but those of you who know me personally know that I am a Christian and have a great love for God, you’ll understand why I mentioned that in a minute.
While many of you might say your thankful for your car or your job, your home or even that big diamond ring your rockin’. All these things can easily be provided for you simply by having a relationship with God but he can so easily take them away so you won’t see any of these things on my list.
I have made my “thankful list” and checked it twice (just to make sure) and though all those things listed above are wonderful to have and without a doubt make life a bit easier I have decided on things that to me are less materialistic but instead hold a real and true meaning. My “thankful list “ is about the things that matter most, or should matter most to us in the short time that we are here on this earth so without further ado, here are the top 3 things that I am thankful for:
First and foremost, I am undoubtedly thankful for my knowledge of and the relationship that I have with Jesus. Without this, my life on the surface might seem to be “wonderful” but deep inside I would feel empty and lost so this is my number one thing, I can’t even express to you how truly grateful I am for this! Secondly, I am thankful for my family and thankful to my siblings for making our once small family now much bigger with the laughter of little children! Next, I am thankful for my marriage and the wonderful man that I have spent the last 11 years with! Through the good and the bad God has made a way for us and we have always been able to come back stronger!
This Thanksgiving, I wonder how many people will ramble off a whole list of things they are “thankful” for and unquestionably half the things on their list might be materialistic items that can easily be taken away from them in the blink of an eye? I know what I’m thankful for and what really matters in life… Do you?
Life’s Truths as I have come to know them:
By now most of you have probably had what I like to call your “moment of truth” in life where you ask yourself that age old question of “Is this what my life has turned into?” and if you’re like 90% of the population then you ask yourself this question with very good reason. You probably spent your youth falling in love with all the wrong people, believing you knew everything while rebelling against authority and that’s perfectly fine. But now you’re older, wiser and realize that in fact, you may not really know nearly as much as you thought you did and perhaps you should have learned from other peoples mistakes and saved yourself a whole bunch of trouble but hey, we live and we learn right?
There you have it, the simple truths I have unearthed. Take them with you or leave them here.