It’s a word often used and I’ve been thinking about it all year. I’m practicing ways to be more intentional with connectedness. Case in point, my friend Dawn over at Aging with Grace.
Around a month ago, she published a post about a book she came across on her bookshelf and was going to read again. The name of the book is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. While reading Dawn’s blogpost, I spotted that same book on my shelf collecting dust, so I wiped it off and vowed to begin reading it as well.
It’s a daily read, so I leave it laying out in pain sight. When my world gets still, I sit down and read it, knowing she’s read the same page. I’m sure the time of day we read varies as I picture Dawn reading it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea. That would be the proper way and I learn from Dawn the proper way to do things.
But that’s in my mind’s eye, maybe she’s more like me in having to make an appointment with myself to sit down and read it.
This morning as I strolled through the house, I realized it’s a workday and the schedule for today began rolling through my mind. I pressed the pause button on it and made a cup of coffee. Once the cup was complete, I went to my corner, sat in the chair, and picked up the book. Turning to today’s page and reading it over while sipping my magical brew gave me a full sense of connectedness.
What we have on our plate can wait while we share a moment of connectedness.
Click here to enjoy Dawn’s original post entitled, “Abundance Isn’t Always Simple.” She’s a soul filled Writer. 💖
The stereo is dusty in more ways than one. I turned on some music this week for the first time since posting a Feel the Music two months ago. It was surprising to see that it’s been that long, but time seems to going by at warp speed. On Friday’s I look forward to the weekend and reclaiming some time.
Turning on the stereo, I changed the channel from country to random music to hear something lively. I was in the kitchen making brunch when I realized I could barely hear it and it needed to be a little bit louder. I did something monumental yesterday by changing the batteries in the stereo’s remote! 😂It wasn’t surprising they were dead because I couldn’t recall using the remote this year.
Stepping into the den, I picked up the remote and pressed volume up, just in time to hear this song begin to play.
I haven’t heard it in years, but my body remembered it and started dancing. In that moment the tiredness from the week was gone and I felt energized as I danced my way back into the kitchen to continue preparing my meal. Pretty soon I was singing and dancing which made me thankful to be home alone. The dogs didn’t seem to mind and continued on with their napping.
Sitting here this morning I see a need to use the remote control more often and dance. Turn the volume up and let your body feel the music.
When she told me she was moving, I was happy for her, but sad for me. We didn’t have to see one another everyday to know we had each other’s back. She was my neighbor.
When we had the snow and ice storm earlier this year, she texted me for a Chemex filter. I placed some in a ziplock baggie, and made my way through the snow to her back door. I loved the fact that with everything we could run out of, the Chemex was a priority.
That day confirmed, she’s that neighbor.
I’ve written about ‘M’ before in Just Say Yes and that Blogpost was written through inspiration from her. I can’t fault her for moving because she went back home to be near family, and it’s a joyous occasion when we know where home is. Thursday was my birthday and she revealed herself in a magical way.
I noticed a car parked in front of my house. A woman stepped into the yard smiling brightly, and holding a bouquet of flowers. I stepped outside to meet her and she asked, “Are you Barb?” I nodded my head in agreement, not fully certain what was going on. She strolled down the path to stand in front of me, held out the bouquet and said, “Happy Birthday from M!”
She remembered my birthday and asked a friend to bring flowers! I felt her presence in that moment. Today, she lives in Kentucky, but we chat every week. I believe we’re closer now than when she lived behind me, but that’s how it happens. People like her move into your heart, not just your hood.
Now, she’s in a new neighborhood where she’ll make new friends and soon they’ll discover. Not only is she a forever friend, she’s that neighbor.
I woke up to the sound of a bulldozer knocking down trees next to my home. The woods that offered privacy, shade and homes for the animals are no more. Poof.
I stood at the kitchen window in horror as trees were tossed carelessly into a dumpster. Their life and the years they stood became irrelevant in the path of progress.
The last few days the machine’s have been still, and that’s been much needed. I knew the two lots were for sale, but didn’t realize they’d sold. Someone is building a couple of houses there, with one facing the street I live on, and another one facing the street behind me. My daughter and I had no warning this was about to happen. It all transpired within a moment’s notice.
This morning I sat in silence on my bench in the front yard for the first time in days. The one positive I’ve noticed is there’s more light with less trees. Over the weekend I was still adjusting to the new landscape, or the lack thereof and texted my daughter. I felt helpless over the situation and was distraught over the woods being gone. Then my daughter responded with this nugget of wisdom.
“I understand Momma. I wish we would’ve had a head’s up, but maybe it’s better that we didn’t”. ~My daughter.
When God wants us to stand still and trust in His plan, we relinquish control. Instead of focusing on what’s gone, I can appreciate what this change brought, such as more light and a cool breeze entering the yard. We won’t see His full plan immediately, but He’s watching how we behave in a moment’s notice.
Earlier this week while writing my Morning Pages, I noticed the final paragraph was filled with these three words, I need to. There’s a smallish list of things I’ve been setting aside that my heart wants to do.
I need to write some letters to friends, and have been wanting to for weeks. I need to fill out an application for free parking at the lake for my truck, and hopefully have my paddleboard in tow. My board hasn’t been dropped into the water all year. I need to keep calling around about a new windshield for my truck that was hit by a rock and cracked. Things like that.
This month I’ve been looking at commitments, and diving deeper into them. It really made me take a look at what I’m committed to and the quality time I give those commitments. I need to recommit to dating because right now it feels like men are making an appointment to see me. My two jobs are taking all of my commitment, but that’s not good for the mind, body, or spirit in the long run. We need to carve out time for what feeds our hearts.
That night I was reading my Magnolia magazine during a huge thunderstorm. What began as a distraction from the thunder and torrential rain became just what I needed. I didn’t realize this month’s issue was focused on commitment, until I read what’s posted below by Joanna Gaines. This year, I’ve learned to have commitments without projecting any particular outcome and it’s a very freeing experience to just remain committed, no matter what.
“So, as I sit here now, thinking about the pursuits and the people I’m committed to, I’m not worrying about outcomes, or how they should look through the lens of a culture that so highly values results. Because maybe the true purpose of being devoted to something isn’t found in how it ends, but in the way it takes shape~~or even ends up shaping us~~along the way.” ~Joanna Gaines.
So, my lovelies, this weekend I’m going to find some stillness to hear my heart and do what it says I need to.
The other day I told a friend, “The only thing keeping me sane right now is reading and writing.” I’m still utilizing the Morning Pages, but have stopped beating myself up for not filling up three pages. There’s so much going on with my jobs right now, I don’t have the luxury of spending time on three, but one page gets me grounded.
This time of year I always think about sobriety. My sober birthday is in November, but a couple of months before it arrives the mind starts playing tricks. The mind of an alcoholic will say, “After 23 years, surely you have this under control and can have one drink.” Fortunately, I’m stubborn enough to ignore those thoughts.
One thing I know about staying sane and sober is you need community, because it’s not a ‘go it alone’ lifestyle. I’m plugged into several online communities through work, but the one that holds my heart the most is my neighborhood. That simple habit of walking to the end of the street refreshes my soul.
I wouldn’t be living this life I love if I was still drinking. Not even certain I’d still be alive. If I was to have a similar conversation with my friend today I would elaborate with, “Walking, reading, writing and my relationship with God is keeping me sane and sober.
I was perplexed by these three words displayed on my momentum plugin. It was early Sunday morning, and not enough coffee had been consumed, but I felt like I should know what this means.
Google and I had a conversation. Me: “Hey Google! What does eat the frog mean?” Google replies, “Eat that Frog technique delivers an important message that says if people wish to be successful in their lives, then they have to take immediate, and necessary actions without overthinking too much. According to Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog tactic should be implemented first thing in the morning.”
My momentum plugin needs to tell me that on Monday, not a Sunday. Up until this week, I was taking Monday’s off, but our Team has expanded. There’s a lot of activity in Basecamp on Monday’s and I tried to ignore it, but I can either be a part of it, or play catchup on Tuesday’s. I chose to be a Team player and be present on Monday’s. That way I can give immediate response to who needs what.
I’ll have a normal work week of Monday through Friday with Zen Habits! My other job will take a little bit of weekend time, but we’re going back to Self Care Sunday. Monday will be our designated day to eat the frog.
A member of Fearless Warrior reached out to me wanting to know my whole story. She had read the About page on my Blog and said, “There’s a gap between leaving your marriage and where you are now.”
I tried to summarize the woman she knows today on a Zoom. There’s over 800 published posts between where it began and what you’re reading now. With every click of the publish button, I left ‘that me’ on the page. Each new day brought a newer me, so I told her, “It’s all in the Blog.” Writing is my therapy.
About a week ago, I found this meme and it pretty much sums up my life. When we leave a broken marriage, unhealthy relationship, or anything that’s not suited for our needs, there’s going to be a gap. It’s up to us how we choose to fill the void.
The options are endless, but you know I like to keep things simple. Instead of pulling something or someone from the outside in, I poured what I already had on the inside out. When I chose everyday to love my life, one day life decided to turn around and love me right back.
Whenever I make a Chemex it makes me smile in more ways than one. I was thinking of an exchange I had with my daughter and it still brings a grin to my face during the first pour. I had told her, “I need a timer to count the first pour”, to which she cutely replied, “You can’t count to 30?” I know, she needs to treat me better. 😂
Standing by the window, that’s what comes to mind while making the Chemex, but then I noticed a miracle in the making outside the window. There’s a bowl of water sitting at the edge of the pebbled walkway, and mind you it’s been sitting there all summer. It was placed there for the birds, but I’ve only seen squirrels drink from it, until today.
The birds finally found it, and it was a thrilling moment for all! I thought it was funny how it’s been sitting there for months, but this was brand new to them. It reminded me of how God has everything already lined up and waiting for us to realize it. I used to think I spent a lot of time waiting on God, but in reality He was more than likely waiting on me. Just because we haven’t seen it yet, doesn’t mean it’s not there waiting. (faith)
Like this bowl of water. It’s been sitting there waiting for them all summer long, but once they found it, that became one happy day.
Sitting on my bench early this morning, taking in a view of the yard, I made mental notes of what needed to be done to help it along. I’ve surmised the yard is my happy place.
I’ve been wanting a place to sit outside and connect with the morning. The bench highlighted in my previous post offers that space. What I like about this space so far is, it can be used solitarily, or I can invite people in and it will expand. Connecting with all kinds of people expands our thinking, and the heart, but they need to be invited in.
I’m practicing letting people in, and it’s not a simple practice. I had a neighbor stop by yesterday and we didn’t really connect. The visit began with my daughter’s dog taking a nip at her leg, and it all just went downhill from there. At first I was discouraged over our visit, but then concluded, it’s going to take more practice.
Keep the door continually propped open.
People are meant to cross our path for a reason and sometimes a season, but it’s rare that they stay forever. The only requirement from us is to let them in.