Why Wait?

Why? Seriously. What is the benefit to waiting? For what, you ask?

Anything.

I am tagging this post under two categories because it is a combination of my ramblings and a real goal I have for myself. When I was doing my TV Turnoff Challenge, I obviously had more time in my day. Not only did I have more time for the things I wanted to do, there was also more time for things that I didn’t particularly want to do, but now had no excuse not to. It got me thinking about procrastination—a concept I am too familiar with.

I don’t know about y’all, but when I think about procrastination, I think of school, work, deadlines, etc. All of that is pretty typical; but I’ve also started thinking those little to-do list items that always seem to be pushed to “later.”

Oftentimes, when I push things off, I know they wouldn’t take much of my time, but I find myself overcome with laziness and I just walk away. The TV Challenge opened my eyes to these instances in the face of doing small, every-day tasks, because now I had the time to do them and still didn’t. Take setting up the coffee, for example. My fiancé and I like to set up the coffee maker the night before, so that when I get up in the morning, the coffee is ready to be poured. Simple task, really: grounds in basket, water in maker, press two buttons, bada bing, bada boom—fresh coffee in the morning.

But that hour hits when I’m ready for bed and all of a sudden, I’m “too tired” for this process, which takes all of 2 minutes. The next morning isn’t a disaster, but I miss out on that moment of bliss when my coffee is there waiting for me (I clearly really love coffee). It sounds silly, but I’ve started to notice a number of these little tasks being avoided, despite their ease. I have two checks to get out in the mail. I have two thank you notes to write. Neither set will take long to do, but they’ve been sitting (with others) on a Post-it note stuck to my computer for three days now.

Yes, I’m talking about the little things throughout the day… but I need to emphasize the big things too… Why wait? Why keep pushing things off? All we have to do is start. Whenever I had something to tell someone that wasn’t easy, I knew I just needed to get past the point of no return. What’s the point of no return, you ask? The second I took the breath that would start my sentence—the moment I could say, “well, there’s no turning back now.”

I have a ton of work to do in this area—on both small and large scales. That’s why in my day-to-day activities, my goal is to stop putting things off and quit with the excuses. If I have a minute to write that thank you, I’m going to do it. If I can spare a half hour to give someone I love a call, I need to do it. Challenges like this are always hard because there isn’t much that is tangible, but it’s still important to find a way.

Timing rarely works in our favor. Oftentimes, the longer we wait to do anything, the harder it becomes. If you want to get healthy, get up and go to the gym… tonight… now. If you need to make the bed, stop walking past it and just make it. If you need to set up the damn coffee, quit the excuses and set it up. And most importantly, if you have something to say, say it. Words are useless when they are unspoken and there is no better time than right now. You want something? Go get it. Now. Not tomorrow. Not in a week. Now.

So many regrets come from actions not taken and words unsaid… I say this to myself and out into the universe: always seek to push yourself past the point of no return and when you do, simply revel in all you accomplish.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

Another Lesson on Flexibility

I’ve mentioned this a few times over some of my more recent posts, but I’ve been working to come up with and “stick to” an optimal work schedule. I am definitely a morning person, whose energy and productivity happens to start wavering around 2:30, rendering me pretty much useless by 3:30. However, you get me started in the early morning hours? Not only are they productive, but they fly. I would love to do a separate post about what it’s like to work from home (featuring this subject), so I’ll keep moving along for now.

We are still at Nick’s grandparents’ house until ours is complete, so it’s not easy for me to figure out and stick to a routine. In our own home, it will be our own space, set up to accommodate our own lifestyle, thus making it easier to get into a routine. Now, my routine is not some harsh, rigid schedule that I have to follow to a T; it is a guideline to not only allow me the time I need to get ready and start my day, but to also fit in some of the things I enjoy or want to work into each day more, like reading, writing, and yoga.

I was really digging the routine I fell into over the past month or so, but fell out it and into a strange hybrid of the old and new. It’s not one I’d like to keep when we move, but it’s proving a good point: I like waking up and doing one of my “me” things in the morning. Case in point: this post. I sat down at my computer, ready to start work at 7 and got to thinking about my weekend. Next thing I knew, the blog was up and the words pouring out. It seems I am not writing about what I intended to (my weekend with Nick), but that’s another great thing about writing for me: it’s what I need it to be whenever I simply have the desire to write.

*Cliché segue approaching*—life doesn’t always unfold the way we hope it will. Nick and I are so grateful for the generosity of his grandparents, as this living situation is our saving grace as we head toward our first home, marriage, and our first years as a married couple. However, we both value our own space and alone time, often making it rather difficult to live in someone else’s home.

I sadly skipped a few mornings of writing and going for walks in the early morning sun, just so I could stay to my schedule. Why? Those things take time (obviously) and affect the rest of the day. But they are things that make me happy. They are activities that get my morning off to a good start and, in the end, if it means my work day is a little longer, then so be it! I have to work toward a compromise.

There are plenty of things we have to do each day. We can’t constantly push off responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make room and time for the things that make us happy—our “me” things. So no, I didn’t start my day off early. I will be working until the very end of the day; but, I started my day really nicely—not stressing over time away from the computer as I walked Nick to his truck and waited to wave him goodbye, or feeling disappointed as I watched the minutes tick away as I took way too long to write this post. It’s 2 hours later and I feel really good about how my Monday started, still feeling ready to tackle my day.

So I will end with this: living each day to the fullest doesn’t mean blowing off responsibilities, spending loads of money, or traveling the world. It means making the most of each and every day to not only do the things you have to, but making it a point to do the things that bring you joy, however complex or simple they may be. To me, living each day to the fullest means living full days—days where I go to bed feeling like I did what I needed to, but made time for my happiness as well.

With that, I bid y’all a happy Monday! Now it’s time to get to work!

xo

You Just Know

Inspiration has struck me like a ton of bricks. 

Some of my earliest blog entires were often responses to quotes that struck me in some way—quotes I felt I could relate to or comment on. I love the challenge of expressing my own viewpoint and figuring out why certain quotes leave an impact, more so than others. Heck, I currently have one written on a bright yellow post-it note, stuck on my computer, just waiting for me to explore when the moment strikes.

However, I just came across another by author JM Storm, posted yesterday by Yoga Inspiration on Instagram, that so perfectly sums up recent thoughts, feelings, and inner-battles I’ve been dealing with over the past few days. So much so that I opened WordPress faster than I have in a while. It read,

I think some souls have a way of connecting without our knowledge. That’s why you can meet someone for the first time, but inside you just know. You know it is not the first time you’ve felt them.

It’s an inexplicable feeling, but so very true in some of my most treasured friendships. More recently, it also feels like the reason I can’t seem to let some people go. I always joke with one of my best and oldest friends because, while she remembers the moment we met with perfect clarity, I don’t remember a thing. For me, its a trend with some of my closest friends, save the most recent ones that are more fresh in my memory.

It’s as if they just materialized into my life. They were already there, but I couldn’t see them yet—there wasn’t a distinct beginning to our connection. It created a bond that is there because we just feel it, and the more tangible indicators of friendship simply don’t matter. Sometimes, it comes in the form of not remembering the moment we met and in others, it was that sense of knowing in the instant we did, that they were already a part of my life.

Easiest example of the latter is my lovely Charlotte (and if she’s reading, she already gets it). The day we met is clear in our minds, but we both sat there on opposite sides of the room just knowing there was already a connection. Simultaneously, we felt we already knew each other and that we needed to know each other.

Now, this is not to say these are the only people I have incredibly close friendships with (that’s not the case at all), but these are my soulmates—the relationships I feel in my core from the start. This makes for lasting friendships, which I am so grateful for, but it also makes it hard to let people go when it’s time to.

If the struggles of high school and college taught me anything, it’s that the people you meet throughout your life are there at the time they need to be, for however long they are meant to be. But regardless of how wonderful and special the friendship, it doesn’t mean they will always or should always be there. Some people are easier to move forward from… and others, not so much. In my case, with many friends, it didn’t mean a distinct fall out, but a smooth transition in separate directions as we continued growing up.

My subconscious has a way of bringing the most connected people back into my mind, oftentimes in the form of dreams. I had one earlier this week that has kept me in a funk ever since. It’s a hard situation to find yourself knowing you need to move forward, but still not being able to break this tie at your core—the elements that connect your souls.

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this quote—I needed to put this into words and the timing could not have been more perfect, because of both my recent dream and because of how insanely connected I’ve felt over the past few weeks to some of these “soulmates.” It’s a beautiful bond that I treasure so much and it’s not always easy to express in words.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday!

National Women’s Day

Forgive the lateness of the post, but it was a busy day for me, yesterday. As you all know by now, yesterday was National Women’s Day. I wore a bright red shirt and went about my day being myself: a strong, determined, independent woman.

I am a white, cisgender woman, happily engaged to the love of her life. I know how incredibly fortunate I am to lead the life that I do—a life where I do not feel limited by society for being who I am. I have family, friends, and a fiancé who support, love, and push me to be whatever I want.

As I young child, I remember often thinking “girls were better than boys.” I had my reasons for it, but there was always this competition to see who was better. Now, this post could get specific. It could get political, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to talk about me.

I know how that sounds, but allow me to continue. I grew up in a male-dominated household. It was a house of a lot of testosterone, sports, and everything that goes with it. It wasn’t until I got older that I really began to appreciate the men in my life—men who have always been there for me to inspire and guide me, and will always be there for me no matter what. But growing up as the only female child with four older brothers, I often looked to my mother. She was and is someone I look up to and can relate to. I am my mother’s clone and, while that was said jokingly a lot, it was always received as a huge compliment.

always gravitated towards women in my life: cousins, friends, teachers, etc. Now here is an important statement: I, by no means, want to belittle the support and inspiration I got from my father, brothers, male friends, and teachers—that is not the purpose of this post, because they have been absolute game changers in my life. But yesterday, I spent the day thinking about what it means to me to be a woman, as well as all the women who have changed my life.

Women who taught me to love myself for who I am. Women who taught me that I am worthy… of everything. Women who held me up when I was falling. Women who showed me my potential. Women who taught me to believe in myself and work hard for the things I want. The mindset that the people in my life helped me develop allowed me to never feel inferior. Someone told me I wasn’t good enough? Bullshit. Someone told me I couldn’t do something? Watch me.

The reality of gender inequality is real, even if not everyone experiences it. Feel free to disagree, but it’s real. It comes in many forms and in many levels of severity, but it’s there. If you deny it, it’s because you are fortunate enough not to have to live it. With that said, here is the last bit I’ll say:

I owe a lot to the women in my life and the women I look up to outside my personal network (and in history). Yesterday, I got up at my new time because women inspired me to become an early riser. I sat down to do the job I love because I know I deserve to love every aspect of my life. I did my job because I worked hard to get my degree, alongside other women working towards the same goal. I did my job with confidence because of the women who pushed me to be better. Many nights, I make dinner because I love cooking, not because it’s assumed of me. I bake because I love creating, and if it tastes good? Bring it on. I didn’t watch TV because I found it within myself to want to improve. I went to the gym because I’m in pain after 12 years of dancing and I see what not moving has done to me—to my body, my joints, my abilities. I worked hard to improve myself and my health. I lived a normal day because of women in history who paved the way. I lived a normal day because I’ve been inspired by women my whole life.

I plan on getting married to a man who loves me and supports me. I plan on starting a family. I plan on forwarding my career and working hard. If I can be at home with my kids at some point? You bet your ass I will. I plan on starting my own business catered to my strengths. I plan on seeing the world. I plan on continuing my journey through yoga. I plan on adopting a child. I plan on teaching any daughters I am blessed with that they are unstoppable. They are powerful, strong, and capable of anything they are willing to work hard at.

I can be a wife. I can be independent. I can be a mom. I can be a designer. I can be an entrepreneur. I can be a yogi. I can be a fighter. I can be a leader. I can be a friend. I can be a cook. I can be a CEO. I can be all this because I am a woman.

And I can be whoever I want.

Every Little Bit

Wishing everyone a very good morning today!

Last night was not the peaceful night of unbroken rest I had hoped for—Nicholas is still sick, so in an attempt to protect my oh-so-weak immune system, we have slept separately for two nights now. The first night was near perfect, as I was finally able to sleep through the majority of the night without having to deal with the fur babies waking me up far too early. However, last night was filled with nothing but those two driving me absolutely bonkers; I wish I was that fascinated with window blinds…

Inspiration for this post actually came yesterday. The lesson, however, came full force as I began my day today. While I am disappointed to say I haven’t truly started either of my 365 Challenges, I have been diligent in my primary resolution, to find time every day to keep doing the things that bring me happiness and personal growth. I’ve started back down my path to Living my Yoga, as our living situation and many other “excuses” have taken me away from it. I started re-reading Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Every Day Life by Judith Hanson Lasater, as that was one of the things I walked away from mid-stream. I have a number of other books I want to read on the subject, but felt it was important to recenter myself by starting that from the beginning again, taking in its lessons, and most importantly, finishing it this time.

But what did yesterday bring me? When I woke up yesterday morning, I made the bed, grabbed my cup of coffee, sat in the chair in the bedroom, and read the next chapter. I sat down knowing I would only have a few minutes of this before I would have to continue with my day, since I hit the snooze button one too many times. It was driving my mind wild as I sat there trying to find peace in my morning.

Then the sunrise streamed in through the windows on either side of me. I found myself in a room of earthy, neutral colors that were being enriched by the warm colors of the sunrise. It wasn’t a Hallelujah Chorus kind of moment, it was simply serene and beautiful. As I kept reading, the chapter’s message—combined with the scene I found myself in—reminded me of the most important lesson of my resolution: it doesn’t matter if I’m able to spend an hour or two fulfilling it every day; if I can only find 5 minutes to slow down and do something for me—do something that brings me happiness or growth—then I need to own that 5 minutes, be present in it, and be grateful for it.

Quality over quantity.

I went to bed last night thinking I could recreate this lovely morning and make it better today. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case. The cats kept me up throughout the night and this morning, they definitely didn’t care that I was supposed to have an hour more of sleep. I woke up feeling agitated and as if they had already “ruined” my chance at a nice morning. I’m sitting here feeling inspired to write, so that clearly wasn’t the case.

When I finally got up, I consciously decided to make the most of it—to let go of my frustrations. I gave both of them a kiss and some quality pets before having my cup of coffee and reading the next chapter. It was a difficult chapter to understand, but I reminded myself to be thankful for the time I had and that I could reread it tomorrow or even later today.

To wrap this all up—to send my final two cents out into the universe: any step in the right direction, regardless of how big the stride, still moves you forward. If there’s something you want to resolve to do or practice, do so in whatever way your life will allow, but always be fully present and grateful for it. You may be surprised how far that step actually gets you in the end.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

We can be more

Good morning everyone and a very Happy New Year to you all!

I woke up this morning absolutely ready to write this post. Last year, I did a year in review, but this New Year—for the most part—I am looking ahead. 2016 was a pretty great year for my little family. It was a still a rollercoaster, but not in the ways past years were. It was a year of change, excitement, disappointment, frustration, self discovery, and a whole lot of happiness.

For 2017, while I am going to attempt to do two different 365-resolutions (both very different from one another—more to come), I am keeping my primary resolution a tad more general as an alternate challenge for myself.

There is a growing stigma attached to New Year’s resolutions. Most people who know me know I believe any day is perfect to make a new resolution if it is going to improve your quality of life, but I often hear people say resolutions are stupid and pointless. Well, to each his own, but I’m still going to throw in my two cents.

Regardless of what they are, resolutions are made for a reason. New Years often leaves us taking a look back at how we’ve been living and oftentimes, we realize that things could be better—that we could be better. I believe human beings are always capable of immense growth, but we need proper care or else it can’t happen. New Year’s resolutions get a bad reputation because, let’s face it, we simply lose sight of them. We fall back into old habits, get lazy, or just stop caring. But one of the messages that has stuck with me this year is to be resolute in my resolutions.

Resolutions are made because we get a glimpse of our potential and an idea of how we might reach it. We see that we can be better in a way that makes sense for us and our lives. We can be happier, healthier, smarter, more ambitious, dedicated, loving, and a multitude of other things—we can be more. So, to everyone, I’d like to say be resolute this year. It doesn’t have to be anything massive; it can be as simple as trying to drink more water or make the bed everyday. But I suggest leaving your resolution somewhere you’ll see it every day. Put it in a frame by your bed. Make it the background on your phone. We all need a little reminder sometimes, so do what you need to do. But whatever you choose, be steadfast in your decision to do it.

For me, I am doing two 365-resolutions. For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty self explanatory: doing one thing every day for 365 days. For my challenges, I hope to accomplish two things: 1. to get back into the yoga lifestyle by doing some form of yoga every day and 2. expand on my skills by hand lettering every day. 365 resolutions don’t have to be done extensively, but have to enter each day at some point.

For my general resolution, I took a look back at my year and the things I was trying to accomplish. If I wrote out every resolution I have, I’d run out of characters (and that’s not even possible). So here is my resolution: to find time every day to keep doing the things that bring me happiness and personal growth. I enjoy doing so many activities and, oftentimes, find myself not doing any of them because of laziness and the ease of doing nothing. So I am resolving to choose to do the things I enjoy every day, in some way, shape, or form.

2017 is going to be a big year. We have a lot happening and there is much to be done, but today, I am breathing in the promise of a wonderful 365 days. I genuinely wish everyone a year of happiness, success, and love. And if you are going to resolve to do anything, resolve to be better… and resolve to be resolute.

Happy 2017! xo

 

Christmas Prep Day: the day after

So as I anticipated, yesterday did not go off with out a hitch. I have none other than yours truly to blame for it, as I got some dates mixed up, which resulted in unexpected work to be done. It would have had to get done anyway, but having to do so yesterday during the middle of my day off was really upsetting and threw my energy way off.

However, it was a lesson learned for me—a lesson I continue to learn all about—and it didn’t have to do with mixing dates up. It had everything to do with choice. Things happen. Maybe it’s that things don’t happen. But life goes on. I eventually got out of my funk, but about 5 minutes into my blunder, my mood was nothing short of crazy. I was panicked, stressed, irritated, and convinced this would ruin my day. I had already made the choice to let this affect my day completely.

So often, when things don’t go according to plan, emotions take over and I lose sight; it’s one of my biggest flaws, in my opinion. I still got a fair amount done yesterday. I didn’t get nearly as much completed as I had hoped, but I got things moving and realized I can fit it into my evenings after work from here on out—I also learned how to use yet another Adobe program (that’s the second in two weeks!).

So much of how my days go begins with choice. I woke up this morning later than I wanted to, I forgot to turn the coffee programming on, so the cup I was hoping for first thing wasn’t ready. The morning I wanted to spend with my coffee and book in front of our beautiful tree was spent starting my laundry and sweeping up cat litter off the floor. But my morning has also been great because I eventually got my coffee and it is delicious. The laundry is started and I was able to help Nick by cleaning up some of the litter. And this lovely morning and its events inspired me to write—which is something that makes me happy.

Life doesn’t live by our rules. It is a series of events that will happen, not only as they want to, but as they are meant to; there is no way to anticipate every detail. I believe that, in many people’s lives (not saying everyone, out of respect for a post I saw somewhat recently), positivity and happiness is a choice… and it’s a choice I plan on making as often as I can so that it becomes a stronger part of who I am.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

Remove the Filler

I tried something new this morning: I was feeling like I would like to do a blog entry first thing, so I started up my computer and where I would normally open Gmail or Facebook, I came right here.

So many of the things we have on our to-do lists or would like to-do lists get pushed to the back burner. That creates obvious issues for things we really need to get done, but what about the things we would like to do? Doesn’t it seem odd that even those end up getting pushed back? Is that just me? Maybe it isn’t such a common situation for others, but I know it constantly happens to me and I am starting to pay closer attention.

I have many hobbies and activities I enjoy doing: yoga, dance, writing, reading, baking, the list goes on. But even when I find I have time to do those things, something else gets in the way; I call them my fillers. The almost automated, go-to things to do that end up eating up all of my free time. If you’ve read my blog before, you may have an idea of what some of those things are; it’s usually the “lost behind a screen” items that suck you in for hours on end.

It’s really easy to lose sight of the activities that you enjoy because, let’s face it, they may require a little more effort than just sitting down and watching 3 hours of Gilmore Girls. We gravitate towards the “easy” fillers—the ones requiring minimal effort—because we can power up to turn off.

Now, that is my situation. Some people may gravitate towards other things and others may not have this problem at all. But I think in many aspects of our lives, we can benefit from cutting out the fillers. If there is something you need to do, sit down and do it (or get up and do it). If there is something you want to do, same deal. Don’t let your fillers get in the way. Be mindful of your choices and make the ones that you’ll be the most satisfied with in the end.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

Make it Special

So I am trying this new thing where I start a post as soon as the idea pops into my head, rather than writing it down for a “later date” when I have time. Now, I don’t actually have time to write something in its entirety, but I think this may be a good approach to getting myself to write more often and when inspiration strikes.

My last post was all about trying to live more in the moment, rather than simply clinging to the “next exciting thing” on the calendar. I spent Sunday afternoon relaxing, thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and beautiful weather and a thought crossed my mind about how I hoped I could find that sense of happiness on gloomy days. It’s a challenge, of course, because beautiful weather usually equals beautiful moods, but it was an important thought.

The weather today is relatively gloomy. The skies are blanketed and only a sliver of light is passing through to my left. It’s a day that would typically make me want to curl up and not do much of anything. However, I found myself feeling quite peaceful as I started my work day.


The day has not gotten any better weather-wise; in fact, it got worse with the addition of rain. But I am actually having a great day. I created a setting within this gloomy atmosphere that was both cozy and conducive to a productive and positive day. I took the things that make me feel comfortable, not lazy, on a day like today. I put on some chill music, a comfy cardigan and scarf, got my coffee, and went to work. I even just finished some chicken noodle soup.

Here is the point I want to make—to myself and others—I’ve had many instances very recently where the phrase “there is no such thing as the ‘right time'” has been proven. Enjoying life and the every day shouldn’t be reserved for the perfect weather or the perfect day. Every single day has meaning and it’s important to remember that even on the gloomiest and darkest of them (in more sense than one).

Make each day special. Find reasons to smile. Set yourself up for a great day every day.

And that my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

Waiting for today

Here I am again! Most likely to fail on another promise to keep up with my blog, but hey: baby steps. I woke up this morning before everyone else and believe it or not, once I realized I could have a morning with some coffee and the sunrise as I wrote, I was up pretty quick.

I had inspiration for this post a couple of weeks ago when I was taking a walk down the lane at Nick’s grandparents’ house. It was the week when Fall was in the air. The air was chilly, August was winding down, and I was clinging to every and any opportunity to believe my favorite season was just around the corner. A thought crossed my mind that felt important enough to try and put into words.

When I was growing up, it was always about having something to look forward to, especially as I was getting older and life was getting harder. Day-to-day life wasn’t always that thrilling and it was nice to have something to be excited about—to get me through it. That continued through college and beyond. Don’t get me wrong, being excited in anticipation of something is not a bad thing. But I realized how much I was spending my time waiting for something “better” than the day-to-day.

Things are kind of… quiet in my life right now. I catch up with people without any major updates. I’m not even really sure what the next thing to be excited for is. But it’s this idea of making something out of each day—being grateful for the even the simplest, most uneventful days. It’s fun to have things to look forward to, but when I do that, I let all the days in between pass me by only to be left asking myself the question, “now what?” when the event comes and goes.

With the things I know are coming my way in the next months and even the next few years, I know that my life is going to be really different. It’s all very exciting, but I don’t want to rush the process. Life is good and I’m very fortunate and, even if it wasn’t, there’s no reason to wish my life away. Coming from a girl who loves organization and her to-do list, I now know that life isn’t about checking things off the list or getting to the next step. Everything will happen in its own time and I just want to enjoy the ride.

When I was 9, I wanted to be 10. When I was in middle school, I wanted to be in high school. When I was 20, I wanted to be 21. I’ve just realized I’m just not interested in rushing to get there anymore, wherever “there” may be.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.