Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Soften Into Joy

Quote from Brené Brown via Soulemama

Haven't read Brené Brown's book, nor do I know what she means when she says this...but I saw this phrase today and it truly spoke to me and where I'm at right now.

Life is full.  Busy.  Hectic.  Frantic even. And although no one specifically asks me to do many of the things I fill my days with (other than work)...I sure do fill them up.  I often come to the end of a day, especially a weekend day which some people might consider using for relaxation and rest, and I feel utterly exhausted and depleted.  I look around at what I've accomplished and I feel satisfaction...but I'm beyond worn out.

And then often, without wanting it to happen, those feelings are followed immediately by resentment, anger, and bitterness that everyone else in my home might not be working nearly as hard as I am.  I think about all the things I've accomplished and compare them directly to what others around me have (or have not) accomplished in the same time period.  And that leads down a dark path that I don't like.  At all.  In those moments (which there seem to be a lot of lately), I try so hard to remind myself of a few things...
  • again...no one is asking me to take on all the the things I take on
  • I take them on because I WANT TO.  The cooking, baking, gardening, house concerts, decorating, crafting, community building, entertaining, and handmaking of gifts...these things bring joy to me, my family, and the people I love, and therefore shouldn't lead to negative feelings
  • it's o.k. if other people choose to spend their free time in a different way.  That's why it's called free time.
So, during this busy season of the year and this busy season of my life...I choose to change my perspective.  I choose to either find joy in this busy-ness, or do something to change it.  I choose to honor the freedom of my family members to do what they want to with their free time.  I choose to recognize that these things I fill my days with truly do make my life joyful.  I declare that rather than diving headfirst into anger and resentment, I am choosing to Soften Into Joy.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Things Friday

1.  Tomorrow will be our second house concert of the fall season and I am oh so excited.  Probably means it's time to blog about the first of the season.  I due time.  Nonetheless, house concert nights are my very favorite nights of all.  Especially this time of the year.  It's cool and crisp outside, and warm and cozy inside.  The house fills up with friends (old and new) and family.  There are smells galore as people share their homemade goodies at the pre-show potluck.  There are smiles and hugs and laughter.  And then the music.  And the quiet and peace that falls over the crowd as we take in the beauty of yet another perfect night of acoustic music.  Ah.......

2.  I've been purging and organizing and simplifying and it feels SO GOOD!  It started with the guest room closet...expanded to the garage, then the pantry, the store-everything-that-doesn't-have-a-place extra kitchen cabinets, then the junk drawer.  And moved into my office yesterday.  I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Rather than spring cleaning...I find that I want to declutter and simplify going into winter.  I want my home to be clean and organized before I cozy up for the season.  And we're making some serious progress on this front!

3.  Last weekend we had the most glorious date night.  Dinner at a new to us restaurant, Fruition, and then the Todd Snider concert, which is always one of our very favorite live shows.  Such a fun night with my favorite person in the world.

4. This.  Nothing makes me happier....

5.  I'm on a mission for the following items for the house....
vinyl storage inspired by this
console table for the top of our stairs

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pickin' in the Pines

 I can still remember it so vividly.....my favorite weekend of the summer.  How is it possible that this was my favorite?  With all the traveling, and family, and scenery, and music, and festivating....as I've said, the entire summer was so lovely.  I feel like we squeezed all the life and love and beauty and magic that we could out of this summer.  And yet...

This simple, unplanned, last-minute, rainy weekend was my very favorite.

And what made it so?
  • beautiful, interesting, free-spirited children
  • good friends
  • like-minded parents
  • unhurried, open ended conversations
  • long, chilly mornings spent snuggled in the Scamp reading
  • more mandolin playing in one weekend than I've quite possibly every partaken in
  • more confidence and shedding-of-hang-ups about my mandolin playing than I've ever experienced
  • a wide open meadow with plenty of space for our babies to run and play without our constant hovering
  • late night campfires
  • the best starry night of the summer
  • hot tea and cold beers, at all the right times
  • simple meals....just enough to keep us satisfied
  • the feeling that I had all I needed or wanted right there in that peaceful meadow, that I didn't want it to end, and that I wanted to do it all over again the minute I got home.