Slowing Down – Posts from the Past

I am suffering from a headache today, the kind that makes it hard to see straight. I think it’s my body’s way of telling me to slow down.

Slowing down isn’t always easy. I try, but often fail. The problem is I like to do a lot, and often find my fingers in too many projects at once. But this headache, it’s forcing me to have a slower day.

So, instead of my usual post, I am linking to a few older posts that are a reminder on how important it is to find slow in a busy life.

Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast

It Began with a Cup of Tea

Addicted to Busy

Lessons from a Two-Year-Old

A New and Simpler Life

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My Favorite Sites

Reading is the entry to my day. Which is why I love morning.

After breakfast, I grab my tea, curl up in my chair, and sit down to read my favorite blogs.

My choice of favorite blogs has changed over the years. It once was everything about the planet, then switched to all things writing. I have followed political blogs, religious blogs, blogs with fictional stories, and blogs about food. I’ve gone through a lot of seasons in my life.

Right now, the blogs I love the most are all over the place. Self-improvement, life’s wisdom, health, and living a simpler, more luxurious life. I even follow blogs about fashion.

 

Without further ado, here are my favorite blogs:

The Well Nested Life – Karen is funny and smart. And did I mention how funny she is? She writes about one of my favorite topics – life. She has lived it, and is not afraid to say so. Join her as she shares anecdotes and wisdom.

Tiny buddha – Lots of insight and wisdom on this not-so-tiny blog.

Zen habits – Leo Babauta is one of my favorite authors. You will see why. He’s a normal guy writing about normal things. It’s like sitting down with a friend.

The Blissful Mind – At the top it says, “Your guide to finding calm in the everyday.” Just looking at the front page puts me in a tranquil state. Full of life tips.

Cait Flanders. I wish Cait was my next-door neighbor. She’s honest, and sounds like the nicest person ever. Her writing inspires me to be better.

Wisebread – Every bit of financial advise you can possibly imagine is somewhere on this site.

Mindbodygreen – Looking for a healthy new recipe? A better way to work out? A little information on the planet? This site has it all.

The Simple Luxurious Life – Every girl (and guy, for that matter) likes a bit of luxury now and then. I adore this site. I love the photos, the simplicity of it, the way it makes me want to live with less, but better.

There you have it, a few of my favorite sites. I bet you have your favorites as well. I’d love to hear what they are. Please leave a comment below!

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Turning a House into a Home

It has been nearly five years since my husband and I turned the key to our new house, and yet, in that time, we are only just painting the fourth room. At this rate, we just might get done by the time we retire.

Truth is, I didn’t want to paint the walls when we first moved in. I couldn’t. My brain was still a mess the day we signed the papers. Anxious. Confused. Overwhelmed. The last thing I wanted to do was paint.

So, there our house sat for nearly five years. Bland, lifeless walls. Dull. Boring. Making me feel like a renter in my own house.

Over the weekend, as I picked up the paintbrush, ready to cover the cream-colored, builders-grade walls of the guest room, I felt a surge of excitement. Another room was about to be done.

I crossed the room, noticed dings and dents caused by toys of little ones, and suitcases by late-night visitors. I thought of the people who had been in this room, and the fun we had had together. With one flick of the brush, I erased it all, every last memory removed.

The closet held other memories, sparkles from a Christmas tree, and ornaments now gone. Scratches from tables and chairs we had moved out for guests. With one swift stroke, I removed those memories as well.

A mark on the door. A bump on the trim. Those would have to stay. For now.

Stroke after stroke. Brush beyond brush. The new arrives, the old is taken away.

I was anxious to finish this room, ready to move on to another. To paint walls and make them full of life. Make them ours. Turn them into home.

A home that all this time I had thought of as a house. A house that had seen the world pass through.

It watched newborn babies being rocked and held, smiled as children crawled across floors. It laughed with little ones that smeared greasy fingertips across windows as they looked in wonder at birds outside.

This house had laughed when we laughed, cried when we cried. It celebrated one life, and mourned the loss of another.

It watched my husband and I dance across the kitchen floor, twirl with children, play games with friends and family. It saw us bake, cook, and can, creating more messes than I care to tell.

This house had observed holidays, celebrations, birthdays. This house, without my knowing, had become a home.

I finished the last stroke, turning beige to silver-gray, amazed and wowed by the transformation.

I guess it wasn’t the color that turned my house into a home. I guess it had been a home all along. The click of a key, the turn of a knob.

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A Life of Seasons

I forgot to post earlier this week. Didn’t write a single line, or come up with one little idea. I blame it on summer.

I am a Summer Girl

Summer throws me off-course. It always has. When my boys were little, summer was one long, un-calendared event. No tick-tock of a clock to wake us, no reminder from the sun when it was time to wind down. Our schedule was our own. We blew with the wind.

I loved those days. Going to the park, playing at the beach, camping and roasting marshmallows. Soaking up every piece of sun while we could.

Now, I have no little ones at home, no school year to tell me that schedules will be tossed aside, and lazy, hazy days will fill the next three months. Yet, my husband and I still manage to live by the school calendar.

Summer is my simple hippie dream. Barefoot in the park, running through waves at the beach. And, if there weren’t so many bugs in my backyard, sitting outside eating every meal.

I am a summer girl. I wish I could live a life of summers.

Autumn is Welcomed with Open Arms

But soon, summer will come to an end. Fall will greet us with oranges and brilliant reds, yellows that glisten beneath soft dew. Muggy days will be replaced by cool, brisk winds. I welcome autumn with open arms.

Autumn contains a serenity that cannot be explained. Crackling leaves. Hikes beneath colored canopies. Toasted marshmallows over an open pit. Pumpkins and hay bales. The most beautiful of all seasons, I think.

Like the leaves that turn, I turn, too. I am a person of expectancy, waiting not-so-patiently for colors to explode, trees to drop leaves, and dark nights to appear.

My life turns upside down in autumn. Baking and cooking, chilling cool bones next to an oven door, preparing my home for the holidays, anticipating the next season. Because honestly, I can’t wait for winter.

Winter. The Epitome of Minimalism

Winter is clean. White. The epitome of minimalism. It is children curled in a parent’s lap, bedtime stories by the fire. Cold, dark nights. Games around a table. Blankets and hot cocoa. Nestling time. Peace.

In winter, I reminisce, remembering family here and gone. Thinking to childhood, nostalgic moments of youth. Winter is the love of my life. Until spring, that is.

Spring. A Time of Change

Spring is everything I’ve ever wanted. A time to start again. Blooming flowers. Blossoming trees. Animals being birthed. Changes in the earth, changes in me.

In spring, I cleanse, let go. Release the old, bring in the new.

Spring reminds me that nothing is forever. That change is inevitable. Life is a constant rotation of birth and death, revision and renewal.

I wonder if seasons are here to remind us that we, like they, are forever altering. Telling us that change is part of life. Seasons come and go, and so do we. Perhaps we were always meant to live a life of seasons.

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