One question that is keeping me sane right now

The news is disturbing. It’s hard to read, sometimes, and I find myself avoiding it more than before. I feel powerless a lot of the time.

Recently I stumbled on a great YouTuber called Struthless. He’s kind of punk and very creative and really talented. In this video he shares 5 questions that changed his life. They are all great but the one I keep thinking about is ‘How is the worst thing that ever happened to you the best thing that has ever happened to you?’

It echoes a lesson I learned long ago which is that something good comes from something bad comes from something good, and on and on. If you think of any example in your life, it’s most likely true. So when things get really confusing or tough, I think about what I am supposed to be learning right now.

As a society, I think we are learning that being a citizen requires us to be engaged, to learn about our government and politics and to understand that it is fragile and could be taken away. We must fight, and we do that by voting, however we can. Many have fought before us, this is our time. Something good can come from this, we must make it happen.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

One thing that brought joy to my 9 year old son before school starts

There’s a lot changing this school year. We will start school all online and it’s going to take a lot of getting used to. We aren’t sure what the day will look like, how we will manage work and school, and where we are all going to zoom at the same time.

Anxiety is building a bit with my grade schoolers, my 9yo son in particular. He’s worried he won’t wake up in time for class because our schedule has been so off this summer (mom-fail on keeping that sweet, sweet 9pm bedtime).

So we talked about a strategy to help him wake up in time. It included getting him an alarm clock that projects the time onto the ceiling so he can easily see it in the dark.

After I set it up I brought him into his room and shut the door with the lights off and you’d have thought it was his birthday! Big smile on his face and doing a happy dance. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. Now I kind of want one.

The strategy is:

  • Figure out how much sleep he needs (borrowed mom’s fitbit for that one)
  • Set our wake-up time
  • Count backward to figure out what time we need to go to bed to get enough sleep
  • Go to bed at that time (thank you projection alarm clock!)
  • Set alarm for wake-up, just in case

It’s simple and seems to be making him feel better. We’ll have a lot of challenges this year. For now I was happy to help put a smile on his face.

Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

Life is not a montage

I feel like I’m waiting for the musical interlude and for my life to magically change before my eyes.  That’s the way movies tell me that change happens.  But, of course, in my mind I know that is not true.  Wha?!?!?!

In face, change is PAINFULLY slow sometimes.  Other times, I mull over something for a long time and then change feels really fast but, in fact, I have to account for the mulling time.  I actually love it when this happens, though, because it usually feels really right.

I have to make my own montage.  It’s not going to be nearly as sexy or quick as what I’d see in a movie but I will know the change is happening.  That is what creates the calm inside of me.

My first big goal is to become a minimalist.  I have been reading this and this and I have been observing my life and realizing that I am never going to feel like I have space in my life for the truly important things until I clear out the extra clutter in my house.

I have two kids, I work full time, my husband works full time, and we spend our entire weekend cleaning and purchasing stuff for the next week.  At night we cook and clean and sleep.  We might even squeeze in something extra if all goes well with bedtime.

I don’t want to end up watching my kids move out of the house and realize I wasted all that time with them trying to simply keep up with everyday life.  I’d love a part-time job and I will be working toward that.  In the meantime, I will be clearing out the clutter.  I’m hopeful that some of the things I learn in these books and from observing my kids and my life will click for me.  My hope is that it begins to affect other areas of my life and help me feel more calm.

We shall see…

Looking up

at_last_i_see_the_light_by_jucylucyinspired-d3dzldyI know when I’m getting bogged down in my own head or going through a rough patch mentally because my postings tend to fall off.  Lately I’ve been going through a bit of a career identity crisis.  I’d like to post about it here so I’m trying to collect my thoughts into some coherent topics so I don’t ramble incessantly.

In the meantime, I’m feeling a little lighter and will get back to posting things that speak to me.

I discovered this great list of 9 things professional organizers do every day.  Shockingly I do about 75% of these (ish)!  Although many of them are recent habits and I have to say, it makes a big difference, especially those neverending dishes.

Art by Pinkie Perfect

A Quiet Room

IMG_6478My office has just opened a Quiet Room.  It has comfortable chairs, soft lighting, a yoga mat and squishy rug, and calm decor.  There is even a little Do Not Disturb sign you can hang on the door if you want privacy.

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I have used it a couple of times to just go and sit and it really does feel like a soothing break from the cubicle.  I’m not sure what prompted this room renovation but, being a self-described introvert, sometimes it’s just what I need.

I’m curious, does anyone else have a quiet room or some other interesting feature in their office?

Robin Williams & Bobcat Goldthwait

12_wildcat_williams-pg-horizontalIf you are like me you may still be thinking about Robin Williams, especially on the anniversary of his death.

Well if you want to indulge that a bit and get a deeper glimpse into him as a person, listen to this touching Comedy Bang Bang podcast with Bobcat Goldthwait, (did you know they were great friends?).  He shares some sweet stories and I actually felt a little better after listening.  It seems as though Robin was going one way or another, he just chose his exit before it was too late.  He is still missed immensely.

Also, here are some comments made by his friends on Twitter and a sweet tribute video.  And here is my post from last year.

We miss you Robin…

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Weight loss is all about the food?

fitbitI have been wearing my Fitbit consistently over the past week and one thing has really jumped out at me as I look at my statistics.

If you look at the two screenshots above you can see that no matter if I have an terrible day or a kick-butt day, I saw only 90 calorie difference in the calories burned!

How crazy is that!  I had some idea that food had far more impact than exercise on weight loss but seeing in black and white (or teal and orange) like this is mind boggling.

As I started researching I came across this great article by Dick Talens where he explains this phenomenon.  Here are a couple of tidbits which I found interesting:

Most of the calories we spend in a day we do so without even getting out of bed:wlbed

Here he says spend more time in the kitchen prepping your food and cooking and, whatever you do, make sure you can sustain it.wlquote

I enjoyed these tips because they encourage us to be practical.

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Obviously the gym and exercise are supremely important to HEALTH so I enjoyed this:

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The Fitbit is definitely getting me up and walking and taking the stairs.  So I think for now I will just ignore the calorie bit, what do you think?

Three Questions

designMy husband and I are eternally trying to improve on certain things in our lives (think money, health and cleanliness).  So we’d have these BIG TALKS about changing the way we live.  We’d get all pumped, do great for a couple of days and then ultimately fall off the wagon.

We decided a big key to our success would be to talk about our goals EVERY SINGLE DAY, first thing in the morning.  So each day I send a text to my husband with three headers and then my reason for wanting to improve those things.

For example, ‘I want to be smarter with money so that we can make choices about how we spend our money rather than feeling like we HAVE to pay this or we HAVE to pay that and then have nothing left over.’

It’s really helped us keep our goals top of mind and it’s fun to see how our attitudes change from day to day.

I have come to realize that working together on our big goals is the only way we will succeed.  If I am going one direction and he is going another then we are both swimming against the current.  If we go together we have more power than we do alone.

Do you have an easy trick you use to stay on track?

PS Stay tuned for some silly and fun ways to help us stick to our goals!

Living a life worth commenting on

IMG_2657Blogging has been really fun and interesting but there are times when you’re racking your brain trying to think about what to write about.  Recently I was listening to this podcast and Pete and Ben had a conversation about improv and at one point Ben realized he was repeating himself and it was starting to get boring.

One of his wise teachers told him that he needed to take a break and go out and live.  You need something to improvise about and Pete made a great comment which was:

“You need to live a life worth commenting on.”

In that moment, that really blew my mind.  It was a reminder to me that when you are trying to be creative, you have to go out and live to stimulate all your creative neurons and inspire new ideas.

What do you do for creative stimulation?