Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: quiet

Piqued

 

It was a quiet week – always grateful for that. I slept really well despite intense dreams, the cooler temps and darker mornings made for sleeping in some. We ate dinners at home, made it to the climbing gym and I got a haircut.

I feel like I did a really good job resting up before an overnight camping trip this weekend, 2nd Jimmy Eat World show in a month on Sunday plus traveling for work this coming week. I’m learning that I don’t just need recovery time after highly intense situations but I can build in “topping off” time to make sure my reserves are at their fullest before going into intense or tiring situations.

And now, a few links…

Kyla Roma is just a gem on her site. This post How I Live (Mostly Happily!) with Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not only an eye-opener about her experience, but also has a ton of links to resources and apps (!!). She writes “I had no idea how much of what I experienced daily wasn’t normal (and was optional!)” She makes the point that we only know the world as we know it, and if we’ve always felt a certain way, how can we know that that way is normal? More importantly, depression can make you forget you ever felt otherwise and obliterate you in its passing. It’s a good read.

“The process of making these books is good for you to help you process each season, appreciate it, and remember the details while also creating something to look back on in the future.” You may not know how much I love the idea of scrapbooking, but this list 10 Reasons To Give Scrapbooking A Chance hits on all the points of why I do. I just want to do it more and more. Journaling, blogging, photographing and scrapbooking. Tell all the stories!

I am continuing to learn more and more about introversion and being highly sensitive. I am not sure this applies to me for business meetings When Introverts Should Avoid Coffee, but in general, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend I had a mocha and was so wired I couldn’t think straight. Overall, I’ve switched back to tea, sip one latte a week (more for the comfort than caffeine) and avoid straight coffee entirely. Decaf doesn’t seem to matter, but the quality of the coffee does.

I linked to Elise’s blog before. Most recently she blogged her business story (you can read the entire thing here). In the last post, she spoke about her newest product idea, the BIG IDEA, the Get To Work Book. Crazy thing is, it isn’t even in production yet, and she won’t launch till July 2015. Being a paper / planner / Type-A / listmaker I am excited for the product, but more so, I am sooooo pumped she is sharing the process and behind-the-scenes of launching this product. #celebrationemoji

Years ago I wrote about stillness, and how I realized that it was never going to arrive, but instead be something I needed to actively seek amidst the activity of my full life. I think all the time – daily, at least – of TS’s Eliot’s lines from Four Quartets, We must be still and still moving. Being still in the middle of the busy-ness, that’s the goal, at least for me.  Finding ways to breathe and to be here, mostly because without doing that I miss my life.  And as I remind myself, over and over again, I chose this, this manifold set of responsibilities and identities which unfurl, shimmering, piling upon each other, beautiful and daunting at the same time.

The Slipstream of Life. Lindsey continues to break my heart and take my breath away.

Don’t forget to set your clock to “fall back” at 2am Sunday! Bye daylight savings time.

For the Halloween spirit, every year, Cathy Zielske wears a bee costume, and recently posts a video of her dancing as said bee. While the video is funny, the fact that she wears the same costume every year for 24 years is what tickles me. Check out the 2014 Bee Dance.

Lastly, h/t to my friend (and former boss) Emily for this delicious video of Patrick Fugit singing, rock star hair and all. #scorpio #obsessed

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#30daysofdresses – day 17

While the day before was long and tiring, this day was calm.

And it.is.so.nice to have some quiet and calm.

This dress is from Kohl’s with a bird print. I love it. Another dress I knew when I tried it on at the store that it needed a belt, and the little yellow belt shows up again.

The boots are from Clarks and yay for it not being super hot again so I could wear them. They first appeared on day 2. Double yay for being more than 1/2 way done with this challenge. #boom

A Quiet Moment

While I have 3 events in the next 7 days, I also plan to: clean my apt (relaxing for me), hike, run, see the ocean, get a mani/pedi, have dinner with awesome friends, get a massage, sleep in, cuddle Carter, drink delish coffee, kiss H and run all over LA with my awesome colleagues. Work stress or not, I only get to live these days once.
~Posted on Facebook, January 22 2014

I did indeed clean the entire apartment. I needed something productive to do with my energy. Since I worked on our MLK Monday holiday, and did a bunch of work last week, I’m caught up with the events. I just need to confirm everything one last time and pay the vendors.

To add to the “hurry up and wait”, we had another snow day at work. Since the college I work for is on the East Coast, snow days are basically a free day for me. While I check email and do work that needs attention, I know that everyone else is probably not working either.

And so, I went with the flow of it all. Saw my therapist, took myself out for a latte and some INFJ business class work, visited spent way too much at Michael’s, grocery-shopped, watched some hockey with H, cooked dinner, did some Project Life and now I’m here – writing to you.

By the time this posts, I’ll be off and running on 4 days of event-planner busyness, but right now, sitting here in the quiet, I know I did good.

I’ve learned to live my life whether or not external events are stressful or calm. I’ve learned to do what needs doing, and then to take care of myself. Or maybe it’s the opposite. To take care of myself, and then do what needs doing.

It’s so much easier this way.

I wish we could all live like this, but I know jobs and families are demanding. Not everyone has the luxuries that I have. But I wonder if, inside your busy days, you can find a quiet moment to sip a latte, to stare at the birds in the yard, to snap of photo of yourself, to jot down a few thoughts, to lay in the blue light of morning.

To create a quiet moment, to take care of yourself, and then do what needs doing. xo

 

This Is About…

This is about a sushi dinner with the husband. After rattling off a few dinner options to make at home, he says, “Can’t we just go out and spend money?” Why yes, yes we can. Because I need that quiet, quality time with him – away from electronics,  the dog, our home which becomes distracting in its boringness.

This is about forgetting to refill my birth control prescription and the epic fail by CVS to transfer it. So, I guess I’m off the pill now…? And while this is a decision I was going to make early 2014, I didn’t plan to make it sooner. And I certainly didn’t want it made for me. #waytogoCVS

This is about being sad, more sad than I’ve felt in a long time, due to the above transition.

This is about transitions in general.

This is about missing my husband because he is so busy busy busy.

This is about having my parents visit – so good to have them physically near and also exhausting in its own way. Having everyone in my apartment makes it feel so tiny, and the chaos is beyond raucous compared to my quiet days alone.

This is about aching for (more) quiet days alone.

We visited the Getty museum. It was glorious. We only saw 1.5 exhibits and the gardens and left way too soon. I wanted to stay all afternoon.

This is about trying to decide if I want to purchase a used DSLR off a friend or wait.

This is about good old Mercury Retrograde.

I hope you’re well reading this mid-week post by me. I want to mention how grateful I am that anyone comes here for some words and hope it keeps you company in your neck of the woods.

How’s mercury retrograde going for you? What’s new? Would love to hear in the comments xo

 

 

Sundays Are For (Week 20)

…morning pages. Quiet walk with the husband and pup. Dog park. Knitting. Call with a friend. Collaging a vision board for my One Little Word class. Re-hydrating. H and my sister cleaned the downstairs yesterday and it feels so nice. Another walk with the pup, this one with my sister. The quiet of the apartment with only two people in it. And then a quick Skype with our parents.

This little series isn’t consistent, but it helps me focus on enjoying my time off. Haven’t posted in a month, which was the day we went on that crazy hike: Sundays Are For (Week 19)

A Lull

Today is a break – a lull – between 2 events finished and 3 to go. Between chatting with people and hosting and hustling. Between not getting to see H or sleeping deeply enough. Between a few good runs and a long run. Between me and myself.

I am doing much much better throughout all of this than I did last year. I learned a lot then, once I surfaced, and I am applying it to this experience now. I have more support. I lowered the bar. I am getting rest. I am avoiding alcohol.

But there’s still a calling of not enough time. Of wanting to cuddle with my husband, take a nap, attend the meeting, doodle a drawing, take a bath and cook dinner. And there’s still emails and phone calls and my upper back / lower neck feeling like a giant ball of a knot.

I skipped another run this week – it was pouring all day. My hope is to run 5m tomorrow, but I think 4m will be enough. I am craving orange juice.

Yesterday I pulled in my courage and my trust – the rain may ruin the event, would we have 40 or 150 people show up, would I be in trouble for spending too much, gosh my pants feel tight and some people are so rude. Would things work out?

And the answer, here, on the other side, is yes. They did work out, I was pleasantly surprised by a few interactions and overall the day looks like a success. I even paid for a woman’s tab at the coffee shop, just to selfishly up my karma.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted and ready to hide under my covers. That doesn’t mean I’m excited about the next two days. What it does mean is that I am staying afloat, which is more than I can say for last year’s chaos. Staying afloat and quietly proud of myself for doing just that.

 

Nourishing & Creative

I did a bunch of thinking today about my digital sabbatical / detox.  My whole day felt like a practice run and even though I logged onto FB for work, checked personal email 1x, work email during work and scrolled through Instagram after dinner, it felt like a success.

Because I’m paying attention.

I chose to drive a gorgeous street without any music or podcasts. The same quiet accompanied me on my evening walk with the dog. Both were awesome.

While waiting for a doctor’s appt I scanned a magazine and enjoyed the “Annie” movie on in the waiting room. I was the only patient not on their cell-phone. Trying to read a full article was difficult – I kept scanning around and eventually, just gave up and looked at the pictures.

After work, I chose to do 20min of yoga, read Susannah Conway’s book and journal instead of collapsing in front of the TV or dicking around on the computer.

And here I am blogging for myself, turning the blaring Olympics (aka endless commercials) off early, taking a quick shower and getting into bed before 11pm.

All are helping me focus and allowing my brain space to quiet down.

Today I wrote:

The detox feels like a pull-focus. It’s not deprivation. It’s an excuse, a call, a directive to do what I actually want with my time…so many not so much a detox as much as a creative wish list…a sabbatical in the sense that it’s a set time to focus on something.

So I don’t know how much I’ll be off-line as much as I’ll be working to use my time on-line as productively and quickly as possible. To make sure that I’m not using it to just procrastinate, to beat myself up, to stay bored or to avoid doing something creative.

And I saw that Jen Louden commented on my previous post, which is insane b/c she’s a legit person out there in the world blogging, writing, helping people, and I don’t even share this blog with anyone but… her comment…

I am working toward finding a way that is nourishing and creative and informative not addictive and pointless. Have a wonderful break, may it bear much fruit. ~Jen Louden

What perfect rails to ride during this time. When it comes to my online time, if it doesn’t feel nourishing, creative or informative, I’m changing the behavior. Perfect.

Stay tuned. xo

Thinking About: A Digital Sabbatical

Sort of out of nowhere, the idea of a digital sabbatical popped into my head. I’m not sure if it’s mercury retrograde, being back to “normal” life, being away while on vacation or just a fluke idea. I don’t even have that much time to figure things out, as I’d like to start on Wednesday August 1st.

Oh irony, as I’ve spent a bunch of time this evening “researching” a digital sabbatical online. Susannah Conway did a digital detox, which seems more in line with my emotional goals for this time. Others work digital sabbaticals into each weekend. Some took 4 days, others, a month.

Here’s a list I read through that you can enjoy too:

For me, I know that it needs to be at least a week. It coincides with recalibrating my work routines and the feeling that August is here for me to reboot my life. The urge to go through things, sorting out what I want to let go and keeping what serves me… this is my jumping off point – my motivation.

Why am I doing this?

I just took 20+ days away from work for my wedding and honeymoon. It was glorious, but I found all the boredom / stress / anxiety entering into my actions via social media and Instagram. During vacation, I stayed off email and “off the grid” for work, but I mindlessly checked my phone. I logged onto Facebook, seeking comments and support, complain a bit on Twitter, and showed how awesome my life was via Instagram.

It’s addicting. And kind of pointless.

I want to feel present – with my husband in this new phase of our relationship, with my dog in his new rhythms, with my body, my work schedule and my own thoughts and emotions.

I want to reevaluate – how I spend my time, where I put my energy, how I use (and enjoy) my creativity.

I want more creativity – in my journaling, my writing, my photography, my art

I want a few more systems in place – things I can’t step back and think about or set-up unless I have some time

I want more quiet in my mind’s eye – computer screen at work, TV screen at home, Kindle screen for reading, iPhone screen for my phone… etc. Turn ’em off!

I want more human interaction with friends and family that’s deep – phone calls, letters, and hang-outs

The General Plan

I can not take full time off from email / the internet for work (just got back from a 20day vacation!), but I can build in some tight boundaries.

  • Actively cleaning up Facebook, Twitter, Email subscriptions, Inboxes, and LinkedIn – I’ll need some type of plan and schedule for this. Unsubscribe and delete!!
  • Take a full hiatus from Facebook & Twitter (personal) and check 1x per day for work
  • Tighten up my Flickr and Instagram accounts
  • Log onto Instagram 0 – 1x per day. Process photos but do not post to feed. (Airplane mode on phone)
  • No reading internet posts / blogs – deleting (mindless) web surfing for the full duration
  • Checking email 2x per day for work – 1x per day for personal (use ‘out of office’ replies and phone to connect)
  • Clean up hard-drives, desktops and back-up all files
  • Put e-books on Kindle and iPad
  • I am unsure if I want to post on my blog during this time

August 1st sounds like a great starting date. August 15th is 2 weeks, and August 19th feels good too come back.

Saturday Quietness

The closer we get to the weeding, the more important it is for me to have quiet time – to read, to write, to cuddle with the dog. Here’s to a fun & low-key weekend.

xo

This Grateful Season – Quiet Breakfast

This morning, after I took my doggie for a bike ride, I had enough time to cook up a hot breakfast and write for a bit. And hell yeah it was bliss.

Believing that my time is my own to spend how I like is difficult for me. My brain is always a whir of “shoulds” and “have tos”. It’s a constant learning process and it’s unnerving when I acknowledge it – I’m an adult and yet, I don’t feel in charge of my time and energy. It’s as if I’m waiting for someone else to tell me or approve of what I’m doing in each moment. Makes the whole “presence” thing tough.

Being able to sit at my kitchen table this morning, eating yummy food, sipping hot tea, and typing away made me in love with my life. Of course! I was living my life this morning, fully in it and enjoying the moments. You’d think I am always able to sit here and write, or go for a bike ride, or take a nap (which I did for 2hrs after work today) but there is a through-line of unsettledness running underneath it. That I’m doing something wrong. That I’m not being productive enough. That it’s unfair to others if I’m not using my time for them. That I’ll be found out.

It’s silly. It’s my own little busyness gremlin and it’s not going away anytime soon. What does seem to help, though, is recognizing, acknowledging and practicing new habits, like making myself breakfast and writing a bit before work.

~~~

**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. A friend