Time off or … time on?
As often happens, I am up against a “use it or lose it” vacation days scenario. But add to it the complications a pandemic brings — it’s difficult to make travel plans, as the situation can change on a dime. I’m not interested in the hoops I’d have to jump through to maybe be able to visit my Canadian family ~ quarantines, mask mandates, ridiculously high airline fees, crowds, people. Nope, not doing it.
Work has me traveling a fair bit now so I don’t feel a burning desire to get out on the highway.
What to do, what do do.
I love this image about being seated in the front row of your life:
So I booked this week off ~ and yes I took great pleasure in politely declining each and every zoom/webex/teams/call invitation. Instead I had lunch with a friend, brunch with Hubby, a mani/pedi, have savored my coffee as the sun rose, refilled the bird feeder, and continued my daily walks. I’ve scheduled a massage & facial for later in the week + another lunch with a friend & mentor, will do a little exploring and shopping and a lot of reading.
The TV is off, cell is muted and my work laptop is powered down.
And this little girl personifies just how I feel about it! 🙂
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. ” – Christopher Germer
I was up early this morning, rolling around at 4:00am and in the shower by 5:00. Over coffee I mulled over a new opportunity that excites and un-nerves me. There is a lot about it I love ~ stewarding a high-profile, multi-year, multi-state project – but just as much is unknown which, for me and my planning nature, is unsettling.
It’s brand new, un-defined, and questions I have will be answered in time.
That’s the thing with new opportunities.
- They come to you.
- You may be ready or maybe not.
- You may see them approaching or not notice as they pass by.
I’ve found this to be true – every job, role, assignment, and committee I’ve led or contributed to, every start and stop, frustration and success, every win and loss, each and every one brought me right to this moment.
I’m confident in my abilities, but even more so in my ability to be discerning.
I said yes.
So I’ll ask you:
- What does your decision-making process look like?
- How does Faith guide you?
- What’s the last big thing you said yes to?
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and time for 5 random things from my corner of the world.
Ready? Let’s do this!
1. Snow. Our part of the country is well UNDER “normal” snowfall levels. But late last week/this weekend a big storm blew in …Lake Effect snow, high winds followed by bitter temperatures. Local grocery stores were crowded with folks in line, chatting through their masks and talking about stocking up. I don’t know about you but I think people like a big storm, gives ’em something to talk about. 🙂
2. People. Sometimes I do wonder about people: the same ones whose mask hangs half off their face while they fondle produce can be seen shrieking at another for standing too close in line. When I go out there are often moments when I think, “well, this is why I don’t go out!” Mask-idiots = Maskiots!
3. Walks. I miss my walks. I’ve been able to get in a few here & there but, for the most part, it’s just too icy. I miss my doggie friends; just last week my buddy, Chief, and I were reunited. Hard to say who wiggled and twirled more!
4. Zoom Exhaustion. It’s a thing. Extroverts are all about Zoom calls, Zoom Happy Hours, Zoom-you-name its. You see Zoom allows them to be on camera, talk over each other, comment too much and tell others every single thought or concept they ever had. Meanwhile introverts are muted with the camera off because we know our facial expressions will give us away.
5. Road Trips: I miss road trips. Having a new place to go (besides the grocery store) and meetings in-person. I miss driving and listening to music or podcasts, sipping my coffee or water, and thinking. I sure do miss road trips. But I don’t miss doing so in winter. 🙂
So, how are you doing? What are you missing?
I’ve not been here.
I’ve been working, and when not, I’ve been walking, and when not, I’ve been reading.
Reading in my chair.
Reading under a blanket.
Reading my way through winter and the Pandemic.
On Zoom calls colleagues chat up what TV series they’re binging. I remain on mute with nothing to say.
In the evenings, after supper, Hubbs finds me back in my chair, with the TV off.
Savoring the silence.
We chat, he is thankful for sports and news, and me for my books.
I’ve been reading.
- Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.– Mason Cooley.
The door is closing on 2020 ~ we’ll soon be packing up Christmas décor. What a year this has been! There will be “2020 in review” shows on TV shortly, but I’m not watching. I’d rather reflect on my own ~ my year in review involves one word: gratitude. I’m not tone-deaf to the struggles others have/are facing in the pandemic, rather sharing that I chose to be grateful where-ever possible.
- I’m grateful to be well employed in year of chaos and uncertainty and that my employer allowed for and supports working from home.
- I’m grateful our boys, girls & grands are healthy, happy, and employed.
- I’m grateful that what started as daily walks for stress relief morphed into a habit I look forward to & enjoy.
- I’m grateful I can cook; Hubbs and I have enjoyed more home-made goodness than ever, and his oohs and ahhs sustain me. We’re still working our way through his “pandemic groceries.”
- I’m grateful I can read: my regular reading habit relaxes and comforts me.
- I’m grateful I found Intermittent Fasting ~ the health plan with a side effect of weight loss. The clarity, energy and peace I enjoy is indescribable. And it’s free, even better.
- I’m grateful to have enough – I can, and do, help others.
- I’m grateful that last New Year’s Day, when I declared, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats” that the Island is now mine. I’ve found gifts while being home ~ using the time to improve my health, mind, spiritual journey, body, sleep and work product.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou
This weekend, I’ll create my 2021 vision board & hang it where I can see it. I’m enjoying thinking about themes and ideas to explore. I’m mixing it up.
Your turn: What does your year in review say? Do you set intentions for the coming year?
- Here’s to 2021!
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, “The Light in the Heart”
Autumn makes me happy. Of all my seasons to choose from, this is the one that makes my heart sing ~ the colors, the sights, the smells. I love Autumn!
A dog’s attitude is a great reminder on how to live: play, play, play, sleep.
Being and staying healthy makes me happy.
Every day I choose to put myself on the “to-do” list I’ve carried for 40+ years.
I choose movement, engagement, discernment, nutrition, and sleep.
I choose by turning off the “news” & smart phones and reaching for a book instead.
I choose by tuning out the voices who blather on with opinions on issues or choices they’ve never lived, researched, or attempted.
I choose to walk outside even if that involves gloves and long johns.
I choose to go to bed sooner and get up earlier to savor the sacred stillness of a quiet morning.
I choose to honor my body with real, whole foods made at home by yours truly.
I choose me.
What are you choosing? Have you put yourself on your “to-do” list yet? If not, why not? If not now, when?
It’s Sunday morning, coffee tastes good and time for 5 random happenings from my corner of the world. Ready? Let’s do this.
1 ) 10 years – 10 years ago I registered for this domain on Word Press. 10 years!
I’ve written many posts and most about life, love, relationships, and life-lessons. Over time posts have evolved in depth and scope, frequency and topics. I’ve followed & commented on your blogs, and you on mine. Thank you; I appreciate the kinship and connections we’ve formed.
2 ) News – Did you know there’s an election this year? Chiefers would like to remind anyone reading that, no matter what happens November 3rd, dogs will still be dogs and cats will still be cats. We don’t need to all be the same to get along. I’ll try if you will.
3 ) Fall. My favorite season. Time for soups, stews, and chili. Muffins, banana bread and cookies. Books, cozy blankets & a time change. Pink cheeks, brisk walks in the wind, scarves and hoodies. I. Love. Fall!
4 ) Choices. This year has been a doozy, and that’s an understatement. 2020 is that annoying house guest who shows up early and never leaves. At the start of the new year I set a personal goal that went as follows, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.”
I focused on 2 choices: intermittent fasting (IF) every day and delaying alcohol. Those 2 choices led to other positive choices, daily walking for stress management has evolved into a love of movement. Being outside makes my heart sing: it took a Pandemic to get me walking my neighborhood. Between all 3 I’m leaving (so far!) 31lbs & 43″ by the side of the 2020 road. Boats have been torched & the island is mine. What I love best about this lifestyle is that AF/IF is free and so am I!
4 ) Heart songs – I’ve written about this before but, the older I get, the more stock I put into simple pleasures: supper simmering on the stove, good coffee, a cozy sweater, the delight of a good book. A hug from a grown child or a wee grand. Conversations that meander and turn. Sunlight streaming in. Walks in nature. A quiet, clean house. Laughter so raucous my face hurts. These are my heart songs.
5 ) Fill up: Soon we’ll have one son, 2 grands & one grand-dog over, I’m cooking brunch ~ tunes are playing, bacon is sizzling, and the fridge is full of leftovers. My heart is full.
Thank you for following my blog, many of you for 10 years!
- What choices helped you in 2020?
- What – or who – fills your heart songs?
Chatting with my sister yesterday we laughed about how, like Mom, we wear the same things over and over: A raggedy tee shirt, a fraying nightie, favorite shorts with a rip in the pocket.
There’s comfort in old clothes and in old things ~ they’re worn and soft and easy on the skin. We know what to expect and they deliver. It’s not that we can’t buy new clothes, we can. It’s not that we can’t wear new clothes, we do. But, time and again, we reach for what’s comfortable, what’s familiar, what endures.
- Old recipes on batter-stained pages.
- Coffee cups that fit our hands.
- The love of an old pet who leans in for more.
- How good the house smells as something simmers in the kitchen.
We talked further about “the good stuff,” about how, as you get older, material “stuff” matters less and less. What we want are connections, meaningful conversations, comfortable temperatures, good stories, tasty foods, deep sleep, great coffee, and loyal friends. We want our kids and grands and pets to be OK and everyone we know to feel safe and loved and remembered. And in the chaos this year has brought we reach for the good stuff.
- Can you relate to our conversation?
- What does your “good stuff” involve?
Random 5 Sunday ~ Summer Days, Back to School, National Book Lovers Day, Discoveries and Major Awards
Good morning! It’s a beautiful, lush warm day here in West Michigan, USA. Time for some randoms from my little corner of the world ~
1 ) Summer days, make me feel fine ~ We’ve enjoyed a stretch of the most gorgeous summer weather over the past while ~ cooler nights, warmer days, with temps hovering around 80F. Low humidity, blue skies … the kind of weather tourists flock to Michigan for. Chamber of Commerce Directors couldn’t have ordered better weather!
2 ) Back-to-School ~ BTS is very different this year, with some schools resuming classes in full, others virtually, and some doing a mix of both. I always take our grand-daughter on a BTS shopping day and she recently asked if that was “still on.” I saw the hesitation in her eyes and exclaimed, with enthusiasm, OF COURSE it’s still on! At the time we had the conversation, her school’s fate was still unknown, and I’m not sure it’s sorted out even yet. Kids do better with routines and both of us like having things to look forward to. So we will plan on a fun sleepover, shopping, cooking together, long chats with me and Pops, she’ll enjoy a too-long shower (always allowed at Nana’s), and wake to a lumberjack breakfast. I’ll take her home full, pampered and happy. And if the only place she wears her new stuff is in the neighborhood or on a video lesson, so be it.
3 ) National book-lovers Day is today, August 9th~ Now this is a holiday I can get behind! 🙂 Supper is simmering in the crock-pot, I took my daily walk at 7am and soon I’ll be snuggled up with a new book. Someday, when I retire, I’m certain I’ll spend the first year, or twenty, reading.
4 ) Discoveries ~ I’ve been an Amazon shopper for years and a Prime Member for about a year. I knew the membership included a host of benefits, like free shipping, and free video content. BUT – I just discovered something I probably knew, but forgot, or read in a hurry and glossed over and that is Prime MUSIC. Oh Mylanta am I ever enjoying this. Fun, fun, fun!
5 ) A major award ~ Remember that scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralph’s Father wins “a Major Award?” Ha ha! I, too, won a major award, recently. We had a fierce but friendly competition at work and our efforts netted me both an individual first place and my team the team award ~~ We were all awarded $$ in Amazon gift cards.
Guess what I spent my points on?
What made your heart happy this week?
When I find simple little things that make me happy, I’ve learned to do them again and again.
- Saying “Good Morning” to the neighbor’s dog who waits patiently for a pet from yours truly –
- Sending 4 of these packing & working on more –
- Waking up to walk early, setting a goal, and crushing it –
- Reading a book so good it makes me sad to see it end – ooh!
- Supper simmering on a rainy summer Sunday ~ Salisbury steaks!
How about you? What are some little things make you happy? Do you notice & repeat, too?