10 Things To Do When You (finally) Have Some Time To Yourself

Your time is your own. Bend it to your will. Peak Performance Day Wednesday Wisdom clock tiny clock take your time

Hello! This is going to be a quick one, but it is something I have been meaning to share for so long and just never did. I have a list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself. (Now, I am not saying this is only for the Mammas, but if you know a Mamma, chances are she could use this list. Please share it. If she says she doesn’t have time to “read some stupid blog”, she definitely needs this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself! Believe me.)

You know how it goes? Thoughts of ‘Who would want to read that?’ and ‘Who cares?’ have a weird double life going on.

On the one hand, ‘Who would want to read that?’ gets a a flippant answer like, ‘Literally, no one.’ (sometimes with the added jab of a mumbled ‘you idiot’) and ‘Who cares?’ gets a ‘Yeah, you’re right. What’s the point? Why bother?’ in reply.

However, I have been silencing my inner jerkball and as an exercise in following through, I have decided that this teensy post on self care deserves to see the light of day.

Besides, I know for a fact that at least two-thirds of my tens of readers probably need this list right this very minute.

The Holidays are upon us and they can be so wonderful and they can also be so completely overwhelming.

I am hoping you remember to put yourself on your list. I am reminding you that self care is as simple as taking 5 minutes to yourself. You do not require a lot of money or stuff. You do not need a spa day. Maybe a nice hand cream slathered on in silence will do.

Oh, I am not saying I would turn down an escape to a Nordic Spa or Seaside resort. I mean. Let’s be real. What I am saying is that while spectacular, those things are not necessary.

So pay yourself a bit of respect, show yourself some love, and give yourself some good old fashioned TLC.

Not sure where to start? (This is why it is good to have your very own personal Peady*. Ha ha!)

I have thought about this a lot over the years and while I still have difficulty following through on some things, I am getting better at taking time for myself to cover basics and now and then, when something fancy schmancy comes along, I don’t let those opportunities pass me by!

Here you go!

  1. Have a glass of wine.
  2. Read a trashy magazine.
  3. Clean your brain out by reading one chapter of a very serious Oprah-type book. : )
  4. REEEELAX.
  5. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DISHES OR LAUNDRY.
  6. Go to the movies or rent a good one.
  7. Eat something chocolate.
  8. Order dinner in!!
  9. Have a long bubble bath with candles and good music.
  10. Do your nails!

How’s that?

By the way, this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself is a list that I have e-mailed to friends in the past. Quite a while ago now. If you are one of them, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell me if you actually did any of the things. 😀

Now go and be nice to yourself!

big squeezy hugs

 

Don’t you *love Sandra Boynton?!?

 

5 (MORE) Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration on Giving Tuesday (orrrr … you know it’s time to update when an organization evolves into a whole movement!)

Giving a gift on Giving Tuesday, donate, double your impact, charitable organizations,

Hello! Today is Giving Tuesday! As promised (and, I feel, it’s very much required!), I am here with 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday! (I mean, if you go back to my original post the organizations are still all great, but Free The Children has evolved into WE Movement over the years and well, it just so happens to be one of my very favourite organizations. It’s about time I get some proper, super-fresh links up in here, so you can see just how amazing it is these days. (Not to mention all the gorgeous rafikis. Oh, the rafikis!! SO GOOD!)

By my calculation, there are about 4 more hours (give or take) left in Giving Tuesday in The Maritimes and about 8 on the West Coast, so there is definitely a lot of giving time left.

“Hey, Laur! Just a sec. What the heck is Giving Tuesday?”, I can almost hear you saying. I can’t take the time to explain it right now. We have to get giving! BUT! This handy dandy little video will explain it all.

So without further ado, I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on this Giving Tuesday! (That was totally further ado. Hah!)

I promise I will keep this brief. (I’ll just wait while you get that laughter out of the way.) Seriously! I can be succinct when it is important. I can! I don’t wish to waste time that you, my dear tens of readers, could be using to donate to some deserving organization. Watch me now.

I know you all hear on a regular basis how much of a fan I am of WE, I have already linked them in this post and they are in my original post, too, so I won’t include them in my official 5 (MORE) worthy causes, but I will have you know that I donated to WE by buying a goat earlier this evening. They have amazing sponsors multiplying donations today! My single goat became a herd of TEN goats. Amazing!

Okay! This is it.

Drumroll please! (I kid. I kid. A rousing round of applause will totally do.)

I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday.

Nova Scotia SPCA – As many of you know, this year we welcomed a sweet little black cat called Luna into our family. Oh, sure we rescued her, but she rescued us, too! Our family is better because of this little creature who was put in our path by the wonderful work of the NS SPCA. This is an organization that is very much worthy of your donation dollars.

Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia  – Alzheimer’s is a cause near and dear to my heart. My maternal grandmother had it and, as luck would have it, my 84 year old mother also has it. There is no nice way to say it–it stinks. My kids have been robbed of an awesome Grammy experience. (They never even had the chance to meet my father, but I digress …)(Hug your parents, people!) My mother would have been an on the floor, play in the dirt, pick all the blueberries, bake all the squares, sing all the songs Grammy. She did her best for as long as she could and she still can have a conversation with my kids, so we are grateful. Even if each “conversation” is literally a variation on a theme. (We call them loops. My kids take it in stride. It has pretty much been this way for their whole lives.) So, when I tell you Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia is worthy of your donations, I sincerely mean it and thank you for considering it.

Xerces Society – For the love of the almighty Bumble Bee (and other invertabrates), please consider donating to Xerces Society. These are the folks behind Bumble Bee Watch. (click the link to read more!) I think they are doing important work for our planet and have uploaded many a photo of bees to have them identified and catalogued. So fun! If you care for Earth, you simply must care for the bees!

Feed Nova Scotia – The Holidays are coming and plenty of food drives are taking place, but soon it will be the New Year and sometimes–fickle humans that we are–we forget that there are hungry bellies all year round. Sure it’s nice to donate a few canned goods and some non-perishable items, but if anyone knows how to stretch a buck it is the people who work behind the scenes at food banks. Cash can go very, very far. MUCH further than a can of tuna, some noodles, and some soup. Feed Nova Scotia is most definitely worthy of your donation dollars today. I guarantee they will put it to good use and make it go way further than you think possible.

Phoenix Youth Programs – I am the mother of teenagers. I was a teenager once and believe me when I tell you, I am not so far removed from teens today. It is hard to be a kid. Heck! It is hard to be human at all. But! Being a teenager in 2019 is really challenging. There is a LOT to process on any given day and trying to filter out the yuck when you are not at your best or without support from home can be downright daunting. I am so grateful my kids are healthy and happy (for the most part), that they talk to me, that they feel safe enough to say what they need to say (and hopefully temper it with kindness). This time of year, as the cold weather begins creeping in, I can’t help but get teary when I think of kids, just like mine, trying to make it on their own. Phoenix Youth Programs exist to support these kids and their families. This organization is on my list this year for sure. (If Giving Tuesday is not your jam, they often have lists of needs that can be met at other times of the year. Go check out their website by clicking the link I have provided.)

C’est tout!

I am hitting publish to get the word out STAT!

Thank you for reading and thank you times 2 for choosing to support a charity today.

Give where you live. It can make a world of difference.

*Credit where credit is due: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash (Don’t you love it?)

Get Me Through December … I Promise I’ll Remember.

Things that evoke Christmasy feelings orange slices winter berries pine cones December Christmas Holidays greenery

Hello my sweet, beautiful, kind, generous, funny, feisty, friends!

I am going to tell you something. I have considered that maybe, just maybe, my telling you things somehow stops me from following through on these things, but that is not really accurate or logical or fair. That weirdness is a complex algorithm in my own brain that I will one day resolve … or untangle … or nail down, but until then I am asking you to help me with something. Get me through December. I promise I’ll remember. Get me through December, so I can start again. (Seriously, how amazing is Get Me Through December? It is an Alison Krauss song. I seriously love it. I especially love this version with Natalie MacMaster. It reminds me of my mother … and of course Cape Breton. That is *always a good thing, even if it is a little bit of a sad thing. You know? Anyhoo … I am going somewhere here … )

I think–no, I know–that habits can be gained and lost and changed and adapted and the only factor that makes any of those things happen is a decision followed by some immediate action. I know this because this year one of the best things I did was to look myself square in the eye and say, “You deserve to be healthy and happy. Now it is time for you to do things to make that a reality. You know what to do.”. It became a habit. Now healthy choices are what I fall back to. Most of the time, even. Imagine that!

So, I have fallen out of some habits and I miss them. Writing used to be a habit. A habit. I did it all the time. Then a bunch of stuff happened and I suddenly felt squelched and silenced and it sucked (I would use a nicer word, but this word is as apt as any and as this is me using my voice, Imma choose SUCK y’all. Look at me bossing my throat chakras* around, will ya!?)

Anyway, I love to write. I think I am a good writer and I want to do more of it. I want to write here, there, and everywhere and I want to use my voice to make the world a better place. I know that sounds like a lofty goal, but what the hell is the point of having a goal if it isn’t lofty? I mean, we are trying to raise the bar here, right? We want to elevate ourselves … our health … our happiness … our situation … our impact … our financial freedom … our vibration in this world … right? So, lofty goals, it is!

I will be seeking opportunities to write more from now on and I will continue to use this space to share thoughts and things I feel are of value. I also want to write about things that you value, that you are curious about, or stuff that is just plain fun.

I will 100% be talking more about health and wellness. It matters to me.

I want to do a bit more video in 2020. Whether that comes by way of a vlog or “LIVE”s via Facebook or Instagram, remains to be seen, but I am no longer afraid, intimidated, or worried about what people might think, so I am going to do it.

I am very seriously considering starting a podcast. (WHAT?) (Yeah. I know.) I am though. Look, if my friend Mike (HI MIKE!) can have like, what?–73 podcasts all on his own, I am certain I can handle one. Maybe Mike will just give me one of his if I ask nicely. Hmm. (Ooooh! I wonder if Chip Off The Old Block comes with free salty snacks … but I digress …)

My point here is that I am not supposed to not do things just because not doing things is what I have had minimal success doing in the past … I am meant to do lots of good things. Aren’t we all?

We have ONE shot at life on this planet. Shouldn’t we make the most of that one shot while we have the chance?

No pressure. I don’t think all the people need to do all the things. I just feel like I am supposed to do more of the things I am good at and that NOW is when I need to start doing them.

What do you think of that? I’d love to know!

Now, seriously people! I am asking you to do me a favour. Get me through December. I promise I’ll remember. Get me through December, so I can start again.

 

*That was for my friend Tina in case she reads this. (HI TINA!)

WE WERE ON A BREAK! (and it was a BIG mistake)

This was 15 weeks ago.

I was elated. Happy. Proud.

I was Icharus.

Dammit.

What the hell was I thinking?

I am not the kind of person who can stop a thing. I am the kind of person who, in order to be healthy and happy, needs to follow through every single day.

I know I am not alone, but I am embarrassed and sad that I flew too close to the sun.

On the upside Wax Wing soup is scrumptious!

Okay. Okay. I didn’t actually eat Wax Wings à la Icharus, but it is one of the very few things I did not eat over the summer.

I planned to loosen the reins a bit and maybe adapt to an 80/20 approach (which works really well, by the way), but then I heard the ice cream call my name … and it was summer … and it was Friday … and we were on vacation … and when would we be all together in this place again?

And … and … and …

You can see where this is going right?

I’ll just wait here for your eye rolls to stop and your judgement to wash over me.

I KNOW! I know better. I know. It’s true. I do.

sigh

So now what?

Well, for one I am not starting all over again, so yay me. Secondly, I didn’t quite throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know what works and I know what makes me happy and guess what, people? It is not ice cream. (or potato chips) (Hmm. What’s that? I didn’t mention the potato chips? Gee. I was sure I did. looks down and kicks invisible pebbles)

As it turns out, I feel so much better–mind, body, spirit, soul, mood, attitude–when I stick to eating a variety of yummy foods (including a few sweet treats) that are gluten free (this is old news) and also mostly dairy free, corn free, and devoid of sugar. Oh yeah … just one more thing … coffee. Yup. Coffee is on the chopping block.

It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I know.

This is partly why (and how) I allowed myself to be stopped.

I am not proud of it, but I am honest, so I will tell you what happened–I let people, who (mostly) do not matter, get in my head.

How sad is that? How silly? How ridiculous? How ludicrous?

How sad.

I literally know hundreds of people who exercise, eat, live, and share their journeys to wellness. There are so many different ways to find what works for you as an individual and I know as well as anyone that it should not matter what anyone else does or says or promotes or buys or endorses.

Yet here we are.

I allowed doubt and fear and alright, maybe a bit of defiance and self-sabotage, thwart me and my efforts.

It isn’t the first time.

When I first went gluten free (or even low carb, waaaaay back when–remember “Protein Power” by the Drs. Eades?–you see.. I was onto something then, too!) I felt so much better, but I let the opinions of others convince me that that couldn’t possibly be what was wrong. I was just fat and Lord knows fat trumps all when it comes to feeling like hammered poo. Amirite? (I know for a fact that if any of you reading this have now or have at any time carried extra fat on your body you know exactly what I am talking about. Every medical anything. Every ache or pain. Each headache or tummy trouble. Anytime the baby nurse takes out the “fat” BP cuff to use on your happily pregnant arm–for God’s sake! Just stop that. Let the Mamma be happy for a half a minute, will ya?!?–the looks, the digging questions, the judgement. All cause a huge heaping helping of self doubt.

Really. Is it any wonder I (I just typed “we”, but this is on me, so here I stand, heart in hand!) doubt myself when for so long clearly any and all of my issues were essentially my fault and my fault alone?

Right?

Right?!?

excuse me for a minute while I take a few deep breaths and go to my happy place

Wrong. Humans are complex creatures and sometimes we carry burdens that we did not create, that we were never meant to carry. For some of us, that burden happens to be visible. When I have the wherewithal to have a sense of humour about it I think of it as my fat suit of armour. I know the truth.

Anyhoo …

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Be nice to people! If someone is doing something and they seem happy and excited or slightly anxious and excited (ANXCITED!) and they are brave enough or trusting enough to share that with you or be open publicly about it, support them. Ask if they are happy about it. Encourage them to go for it. Maybe check in now and then in a non-judge-y way and see how it’s going.

I don’t know.

All I do know is that when I am having doubts and someone swoops in to immediately say the worst of the stuff I am thinking about me (or it or whatever) or point out how difficult a thing is or how they could never give up x, y, z … well, let me get straight to the point (HAH! Have you met me?!) it isn’t helpful. Not even a little bit.

No one really wants to suffer for their art-or for their heart!

So, what is this all about?

Well, to sum up, be nice to people, not just nice–kind. Think before you speak. Certainly, be careful with your say-it-right-out-loud words. Listen more. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Maybe do a double check now and then when you think you have that internally screaming thought and/or eye roll under wraps, and make sure it isn’t written all over your face.

Mind you, if that’s 100% you, by all means, you be you. That is important.

You’ll understand, of course, when I don my eye roll deflector.

Oh, just one more thing–my break is over!

Thankful Thursday {ONE HUNDRED Little Things I Am Grateful For Right This Minute Edition}

Gratitude It's the little things grateful thankful small stuffHello! I know. I know. (Honestly, I am not even sorry. I won’t apologize. I love you. You love me. We are good. I know this. We are not saying sorry for taking care of our own needs anymore. Nope. Cool? Cool.)

BUT! I said I would take action, you guys, and I totally did. (more on that later)

I am not here to talk about anything other than gratitude via a MONDO list of little things.

I think people get way too caught up in the BIG things. Life is made up of so many things. Big things, little things, annoying things, funny things, terrible things, disastrous things, joyful things. We would all be so much better off if we really appreciated more of the little things.

In space (the outer variety), you have to sweat the small stuff. (That is what Chris Hadfield says. HE would know!) I say, we need to start sweating more of the small stuff in our everyday lives. Except in this case “sweat” is less about worry and more about attention. Paying attention to the small things on the daily that make our lives better, more enjoyable, happier, fun!

Do you understand what I am (let’s face it) over-explaining to you? Cool.

No? Keep reading. It will become obvious soon enough.

Here, without further ado are ONE HUNDRED little things I am grateful for right this very minute. (Feel free to go grab a glass of water before you commit to reading the whole list. 😋 #mandatetohydrate)

  1. MY Things (Capital. Julian & Elise. My babies. These are little things that are big things now!)
  2. Tacos! (This needs no explanation, yes? If you need one, try this.)
  3. Avocados. Heavenly. (Bonus points if you find a perfect one!)
  4. Fixing broken stuff! (I had a broken kettle. I don’t anymore. Yay!)
  5. Podcasts! Holy happiness in audio form. (Need suggestions? Try these. I will add more later!)
  6. My good scissors. ‘Nuff said.
  7. Old Navy dresses. Seriously. Inexpensive and made for every body.
  8. Houseplants! (PURE JOY!)
  9. Arbonne Energy Fizz Sticks. (If they bring Blackberry back you will hear my SQUEE!)
  10. Queer Eye! (Can you believe?? So good!)
  11. STRANGER THINGS! (Sorry sorry. Yelling. I know! BUT! OMG! Have you watched yet?!?)
  12. The Peadymobile. (Yes. I am so grateful for our 13 year old car.)
  13. Great Value Gluten Free Maple Leaf cookies. (I probably shouldn’t be privy to this info.)
  14. Luna the Wonder Kitty. (I mean. Can you say furry little miracle?)
  15. Flushing toilets. (Think about it.)
  16. My ability to fix a toilet. 🙂 (Oh, you knew there was more to that one! Ha!)
  17. Fans.
  18. Aging, but holding on for one more day, portable air conditioning units.
  19. Electricity!
  20. Nova Scotia Power. (Seriously. Six and a half hours without power during a heatwave is no fun!)
  21. Plantstagram! (There are so many kind & knowledgable houseplant *instapeeps.)
  22. Yellow. (the colour)
  23. Thing 2’s social media “influencer”/advertiser/inspirational character voice.
  24. Scotch Tape!
  25. Shoelaces.
  26. Bumblebees!
  27. Daisies!
  28. My favourite yellow bath sheet.
  29. A linen closet perfectly organized* and chock full of clean towels. (*Hah! This is clearly a fantasy.)
  30. Fun socks!
  31. People who wear fun socks.
  32. Grown up, adult-like people who wear fun socks to their very much professional jobs.
  33. This ARTBUCKS™️ Dad Cap from Art Pays Me.
  34. The stack of books to be read on my bedside table.
  35. JVN! (If you don’t know him, you should. He is a gift to this world.)
  36. My iThing.
  37. Cute mugs.
  38. Sassy mugs.
  39. Funny mugs.
  40. Inspirational mugs!
  41. Potting soil. (Made in Canada, no less.)
  42. The Avocado tree I grew from a pit! (Amazing!)
  43. Courage.
  44. Happiness.
  45. My *excellent* sense of humour.
  46. Tears.
  47. Safe spaces to let those tears flow.
  48. My cousin Julie’s last round of chemo!!! (Excellent. Still lots of healing to do.)
  49. Grit.
  50. Inside jokes.
  51. My siblings.
  52. People who send me photos of daisies, their daily cuppa, pretty food, and their water bottles.
  53. Being someone else’s soft place to land.
  54. Being trusted by people with their precious and private stories.
  55. My ability to listen when strangers just need to talk.
  56. Patience.
  57. My Badass button. (It’s a thing! Remind me to show you sometime.)
  58. Random self-planting Wave Petunias.
  59. Deer.
  60. Urban birds.
  61. The weird Chickadee who seems to have forgotten the rest of its song.
  62. Fiery sunsets. (Did you catch tonight’s, here, in Halifax? Gorgeous!)
  63. My Lemon Rosemary’s (that overwintered outside–not in any good way) comeback.
  64. The idea of being on a podcasts. (How will we narrow a topic down?!)
  65. The idea of being on a cooking show. (I am thinking about what I want to learn!)
  66. Remembering I need to book those things! (Whoopsiedoodle! Mom’s are tired, yo.)
  67. My friend Mary. 😊 (You can find her here.)
  68. Numbers like this -> 2:22, 11:11, 5:55, 4:44. (Do you see them, too?)
  69. Audiobooks. (Seriously. Why have I not been listening all along?)
  70. Library holds coming in.
  71. The snazzy new checkout machines at the library! So fast.
  72. Potential coffee dates.
  73. Planned coffee dates.
  74. Past coffee dates.
  75. My Hoya plant from Lori of Farm Fresh Style. (Now to learn how to make more!)
  76. How much summer is left of summer. (There is a LOT of summer left. Revel in it!)
  77. Meal plans.
  78. Simple suppers.
  79. Lunches that seems to appear as if by magic.
  80. Having good ingredients on hand at all times. (The power outage served as a reminder!)
  81. Things who seem to get that stuff does not equal love or happiness.
  82. Things who appreciate the stuff the do have.
  83. Guitar lessons.
  84. Instruments that live out in the open. (Are you a guitar keeper or a guitar player?)
  85. Violin practice in the middle of July.
  86. Memories of my Grandmother (Mama) calling my Grandfather (Papa) “Abie”.
  87. Boiling water in a pot on the stove for tea when my survival skills kicked in this week. (Ha!)
  88. Thing 2 finding and reading old school work. (Like stories from Grade 2.)
  89. My prowess at reading developmental writing. 🙂
  90. Thing 1 playing his electric guitar for us during the blackout. (with zero irony)
  91. My ability to follow through when it comes right down to it.
  92. Donating clothes that no longer fit! (Me, to be clear.)
  93. Ice cream.
  94. Chip Wagon Chips from Glace Bay!
  95. Cape Breton, generally speaking.
  96. My sincere joy at hearing dear friends’ great news.
  97. Empathy aplenty when the news is not great.
  98. Beach days!
  99. New bathing suits. (Plural!)
  100. You for reading this entire list. (Seriously. Thank you.)

Whew!

I did it!

Goodnight.

 

*Plantstagram accounts I love will be shared in a future post.

 

My Word for 2019. Or … ACTION – I Wanna Live!

ACTION, word of the year, my word for 2019, Happy New Year, Peady Powers ENGAGE, intention, intentions, will, do it, never mistake motion for action

Never mistake motion for action. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Full disclosure: I started this post on January 2nd (though it is currently January 4th) and because this is my blog I can change the date to January 2, so I did. Why? Well, the reason is twofold. a) See the aforementioned “MY blog” 🤓 and b) because I want to have a post for everyday this month and since I have been writing, starting something new, trying to learn a couple of new things, busy with back to school after a big break stuff, reading actual books, and if I may be frank, actually DOING things, I figured it was okay. Okay? Are we cool? Cool. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet or didn’t see my official announcement on Instagram as I was ringing in the New Year (Are you not following me there? Why not?! I am pretty fun. Go follow me now. It’s okay. I’ll wait right here.) I have decided to choose another word for 2019. I chose two in 2018 and you know what? I never did make it back here to write about them, but I did take them to heart and I think they were helpful.

Last year’s words were “Focus & Flourish” (written just like that) and I would write them down in places I knew I would be glancing throughout the day. My awesome kitchen chalkboard frame thing? Oh yeah! It was totally written there. It stayed there for a good long time, too. I really needed the reminder.  It isn’t that anything magical happened, but in a way a lot of great things happened. They may have been tricky to see through a pretty big dose of ick, but if I am being objective (and I am) there were many fun, nice, practical, and people-centric things that happened last year, in real life, that were good.

So, in the interest of putting my new word to good use right off the bat, I give you my word for 2019. Ta daa!

ACTION, word of the year, DIY chalkboard photo frame, chalk, just do it, 2019, Happy New Year, New Year's resolutions, resolutions, intention, set an intention, good intentions, will

So …

Do you choose a word for the year? Something to help you focus on a goal or a more mindful way of living? I’d love to hear about it.

Feel free to share your word and your reasons for choosing it in the comments. (I love comments! AND! I love responding to them because I know what a rare treat they can be and I understand that commenters are choosing to spend their time here with me. I like being heard and I like letting others know they have been heard. It matters. You matter. Thank you for commenting.)

 

 

 

 

Fuller disclosure: It is now Saturday and I am about to hit publish. The post will still have a date  of January 2, 2019. C’est la vie! 

Credit where credit is due: Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Happy New Year! Welcome To 2019. Let’s Make It Great!

annie-spratt-178364-unsplash

Happy New Year, everyone!

At this moment in time I am mostly hoping the shock of seeing something new published here is not causing any of you heart palpitations. Unless they are in the good pit-a-pat, “Oh we missed you!” kind of way, in which case, by all means palpitate away!

Today is January first and I have made myself some serious (and not-so-serious) (I mean. My happiness must account for something, right?) promises that I will keep.

Please note, I did not say “intend to keep”. I said, “I will keep”. BIG difference. I can intend until the cows come home (except for that one weird one) (you know the one right? No? Oh, I will get to that this month … but I digress …), but without will nothing happens. My will is strong. It is back with a vengeance (of kindness… no worries there … unless you crossed me <cue ominous music and single eyebrow raise> Ha ha!) and I feel determined to make this year one filled with joy and success.

I wrote a bit about it on my Tempered With Kindness Facebook page (which I hope you have liked) and well, I am sharing it here because I often stopped myself (last year) from writing or hitting publish when I felt it was mundane or not exciting or filled with flashy events. Meh. Life is TOO short! This is my space to share all of it, right? Mundane to magical. Silly to spectacular. Unimaginable to unfiltered as– well you know what all the cool kids say. 😉

Here is what I shared today.

“In 2018, while I was really trying to focus on what was truly important to me (and letting go of many things I loved, that simply were not meant to be), I passed on opportunities that might have made my life easier, enriched, or successful, in the long run and definitely some things that would have made me happy. I tolerated things (not a big fan of that word, btw) over which I would be outraged on another’s behalf. I lived a year of letting things wash over me. It was what I needed to do at the time.

2019 is a new year and I am here for it. 🍾🥂

I am well rested. I had what can best be described as a week of sloth during the holidays -and it was glorious!
Now I am ready for new opportunities, leaping, taking some risks, and ultimately, simply saying yes to more things.

I hope you will be here for the hijinks that inevitably will ensue. Thank you all for your love and kindness and most of all your steadfast support through a year of spotty blogging and not very much excitement. This year is going to be very different. I can feel it in my bones. (Incidentally my bones are pretty insulated at the moment. Ha ha! Just me? Oh, god. I hope not! Meh! More on that later!)

Onward we go!”

I said what I needed to say. I tempered it with kindness.

I said what I meant. I meant what I said.

I said it. I meant it.

I’m ready. Let’s GO!

 

Are you ready for this new year? What are you doing today, right this minute, to help make this a good year for you? All those baby steps add up. Actions matter. (Oh! More on that later, too!)

If you happen to read this, I would be thrilled beyond belief if you were to reach out, say hello, share a comment, or let me know you are also here for 2019 and all the good things we will make happen.

 

⭐️Credit where credit is due (and I will be talking a LOT more about this this year, too!): Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

Riddle Me This.

what? What Do You Mean? Riddle Riddle me this confusion question confused thinking

What is it about Sundays?

I mean, there are other days to have an existential crisis, right?

Why must Sunday always be the day for these questions that bother me so to crop up and, well, bother me so?

I spend so much time trying to make sure other people are not stressed out that by the time Sunday rolls around my resources are depleted and I am left with all the thinky thoughts.

Meh.

It’s okay.

It’s fine.

I’ll be fine.

BUT!

I have a question and I am going to pose it here. I realize this is less a blog post more a query, but guess what! Some days are like that and you are here and maybe you are wondering about these things too, so why not just ask? Right?

Okay, here goes.

Can you be enlightened and disillusioned at the same time?

That’s it.

Please mull it over and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks!

Happy Sunday! (Anyway.) 😉

 

 

 

Credit where credit is due Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

 

Set It Up Sunday: Short & Sweet Edition

domenico-loia-310197-unsplash

Good afternoon! (Also, good morning, good evening, & goodnight, depending on where you are. Where are you anyway? I’m so curious! Let me know in a comment. That’d be cool.)

Now, where was I?

Oh, yeah! Good afternoon! A few years ago I wrote a post called “Set It Up Sunday” and it’s one that I have shared, time and again, through the years, but have never really followed up with anything new. (By all means, please go read it, so you know what I am talking about. Seriously. Go ahead. I’ll just be here typing. It’s fine. Go. Go!) No new spin or information or updates on how my life has changed. Life is never static and neither are blogs, writing gigs, or Social Media jobs.

So much has changed in my life over the past couple of years I find it hard to wrap my brain around it – just in my every day – let alone trying to articulate it out loud, publicly, in a way you would understand (or even care about), all the while trying to keep other people’s privacy in mind.

It’s exhausting, actually.

Ultimately, though, change is good. It is. You (we) benefit and grow when change is afoot. I do not want to live a life of stagnation and safety. I want to live my life to the fullest. People come and people go. That’s a fact. Most times, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment, it’s absolutely for the best.

Anyhoo, I thought maybe I should give it – my Set It Up Sunday – a bit of an update. Semi-regularly. Maybe even a weekly one just to let you know where I am in my plans for the week ahead and how I will be tackling the things that come my way, as well as the things that are constant. Things, husbands*, meal planning and prep, my nagging self doubt and imposter syndrome. You know? The usual.

In addition to letting you into my world a bit more it will really help me to keep writing consistently. Gathering my thoughts and writing things out really helps me to focus on the task at hand – regardless of what that task might be. (See: aforementioned Things, husbands, meal planning, and prep)

Is that something you would be interested in reading here? Feel free to let me know in the comments or in all the places. I know you know where to find me. We have discussed this. 

Meanwhile, my darling tens of readers, while all y’all talk amongst yourselves I’ll just go ahead and give you a teeny list to serve as this week’s Set It Up Sunday. Okay? Cool.

Here it is! (with bullet points because that is a very grownup thing to do!)

  • Plot out suppers for the week (yes, just suppers)
  • Food shop for needed ingredients and a few convenience items
  • Buy TP (yes, I am going there)
  • Buy Dawn (blue)
  • Make magical bathroom/household cleaner
  • Get new IKEA sheets and bedding onto the beds
  • Read before bed instead of scrolling your life away
  • Commit to hit daily Fitbit step goal M-F (yes, weekend are optional)
  • Commit to consuming 4 litres of water every single day
  • Log meals
  • Post coffee cheers and daily meal wrap ups in Instagram everyday (ON the day)
  • Get outside into the fresh air everyday
  • Actually meet friends for coffee talk or walking coffee talk
  • Commit to working from a mobile office at least 2 days this week
  • Finish at least 2 posts that have been stuck in drafts (STAT!)
  • Write new food related post
  • Photos for aforementioned food related post
  • Work on content creation every single day (even if you don’t post)
  • Get ahead of scheduled Social Media posts so I can have an actual weekend off
  • Craft at least one solid pitch to a respected company/brand offering to partner

Whew! That sounds like an awful lot, but I have taken time today to do several of these things. The easy ones like suppers, food shopping, TP, and dish soap are done. SCORE! The scarier or more challenging ones terrify me to even type out, but doing so can only serve to help me. I have dreams just like everybody else. I have plans. Or well I have a “pla” at the very least and if you go read my original post you can see that that my friends, is progress, because back in 2015, al I had was a “pl”.

Wish me luck!

Also, seriously, I want to know what you think. Let’s continue the conversation.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive week.

 

 

*I swear I just have the one husband. This is not the first time I have written “husbands”. Believe me, I ask “what is wrong with you?!?” to myself all the time, too. It’s okay. We’re cool.

Credit where credit is due: Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Saturdays Are Best: Podcast Edition

podcast, podcasting, podcasts, listen, podcaster,

Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are you really into these days? What topics interest you?

Podcasts are wonderful. I love them. They are excellent for when I am working and need the exact right level of distraction. They’re great for listening to when your eyes just need a break from the work of the day. They can be used to motivate, encourage, and inspire. A good podcast will have you smiling, nodding in agreement, and occasionally talking back to the podcaster who – let’s be clear, here – can not hear you. The best ones will most definitely leave you thinking.

If you have been wanting to get into a good podcast and weren’t sure where to start or what the heck you should be listening to, fear not! I am here for you.

I have found myself listening to a lot of podcasts lately and I definitely lean towards the ones that are uplifting, cheerful, happy, or helpful. I also love to learn new things, so if there is an educational component, of course, I appreciate that, too.

I find podcasts that are about 30 minutes in length are just about perfect for me. I can almost always find 25-30 minutes (give or take) to listen. A half an hour is also a great length for people who listen on their commutes. Obviously lots of people have much longer commutes, but mine is super short and even if someone is taking transit from the burbs to downtown Halifax, for example, it isn’t too much longer than 30 or so minutes. Regardless, I enjoy a nice, crispy, short, podcast.

In fact, some of my very favourite episodes are super short bonus type episodes. Some little golden nuggets that simply must be shared by the podcaster. Despite the fact that I am loquacious by nature, I appreciate succinct things. It’s true. I do.

So if you are a podcaster or are thinking of starting a podcast, know that those little nuggets are a good idea. Definitely keep that up (or include it).

I prefer shorter podcasts, but don’t get me wrong, there are a few I enjoy that are far from short. I’m cool with people’s artistic choices. I might suggest, in the most respectful of ways, that it’s okay to spread some content out, though, to have parts or miniseries when your topic is just too darn amazing to contain to one episode.

I’m here for it. Really. I promise I will come back and listen to the second, third (and possibly, fourth, fifth, and sixth, parts.) (You know who you are.)

Without further ado, I give you a list (in no particular order) of some of my favourite podcasts to actually listen to from beginning to end on a regular basis.

Riding in Cars with Cats by OneRedCat Media

3 Books with Neil Pasricha

The Quote of the Day Show with Sean Croxton

Distraction with Dr. Ned Hallowell

WTF with Marc Maron

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Changing the Narrative

Under the Influence

I have listened to five of the podcasts listed above today (several episodes of each, actually) and will spend some time catching up on the longer ones on Sunday.

So, what do you think of my lineup? I’d love it if you took a bit of time to check these podcasts out and let me know what you think. Also, if you have the time, I’d love to hear what you are listening to these days. If you’d like to share your favourite podcasts in the comments that would be great. Go for it!

I hope you have had a spectacular Saturday. Here’s to a sunny Sunday!

 

 

Credit where credit is due: Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash