To the woman who has lost her spark. To the woman whose get up and go, has well and truly gone. This is for you.TO THE WOMAN WHO IS SLOWLY FADING AWAY… — Sunshiny SA Site
I’ve not found the right time exists to do anything worthwhile. Sometimes we get caught up waiting for the right time, but that’s a long, unproductive wait. My quality of writing can reflect my mood, so I like to ensure I’m in a good headspace before clicking the publish button.
God, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.Julia Cameron ~ The Sound of Paper
My friend and I continue to Marco Polo every week. She’s a writer as well, but we have different styles. We share this one secret to sitting down and enjoying what we write, and I’m here to share it with you. Write before work.
It sounds easy, but I’m dedicated to my work, so it doesn’t take long for the inner critic to start in on me not to write. I’ll have nonsense thoughts similar to, “You’ve got so much work on your plate today, and need to do that first”, or “You have people looking for you that need your help.” The inner critic will make any daily activity seem more pertinent than writing.
My friend and I’ve found if we dive into our work/job before writing, we won’t write that day. I can force myself to write after work, but it’s not fun, and it usually gets trashed. Writing should be fun, so I write before work.
If you go to work early, try getting up a bit earlier to write. There’s no need to agree with our thoughts that we don’t have the time when we can make the time. Plan on it and create some space to write. By taking time, you’re inviting it to be the right time.
Here’s more tips from Barb on how she writes:
Walking to a neighbors house, I saw another neighbor who asked, “Walking down to the lake?” I replied, “No sir, I’m going to get fresh eggs.” He looked rather puzzled and replied, “You need a golf cart to scoot around in. It’s easier.” I just ginned and said, “But Dan, I don’t do easy.” He chuckled.
My daughter brought home flowers and it was the most magical bouquet I’d seen in years. They were freshly cut, wrapped in brown paper and when she handed them to me I could feel the weight of them. There was a florist card laying inside I didn’t recognize, so she went on to reveal the whole story.
She had stopped at the market I frequent for flowers, but didn’t see anything that spoke to her, so on she went to a flower shop she knew I loved. The lady inside told her to walk into the cooler and pick out what she wanted. I can imagine the look on my daughters face walking into a cooler filled with flowers. I’m sure it was overwhelming in the most delightful way.
She chose a few of my utmost favorites. A couple of long-stemmed roses, daylilies, a few gladiolas, and the most ginormous hydrangea blossom known to man. She remembered I like greenery to be used as filler.
She was holding a paper bag from the market as well with chocolate cold brew and Brie en Croute. You see, she just wanted to stop time that day amidst our schedules and celebrate her sober Mom. It was my AA birthday, and I don’t very cry often, but with all of this the tears were near.
I’m sure there’s a much easier way to buy flowers, but my darling, fill it with meaning and go the extra mile.
I’ve debunked numerous rules of life I’ve come to live by. One being this Blog. My ‘day’ to post Feel the Music is usually Sunday, but I wrestle with choosing a particular day to post. It causes a sense of pressure to perform, and writing is a gift, not a performance.
I didn’t realize Keifer Sutherland could sing until last week. A friend posted this to her Facebook page, and I’m inspired to share. As you go through your week, be mindful of what you lay your heart and hand to, and above all else my darling, may it be something you love.
It doesn’t take much to keep me happy, or content. Recently I noticed myself walking through the house at night barefoot and felt gratefulness. I haven’t done that in years.
My daughter and I have lived in houses nestled atop farmland. With farmland comes critters and at night a scorpion would sometimes make it’s way into the house. We learned quickly not to walk to through the house barefoot at night and carrying a flashlight was a necessity. If you saw something move across the floor, scream for assistance.
I became good at determining the various intensities of “Mom?!!!” She would stand still keeping an eye on the critter, as I retrieved a glass to sit over it. Once our heartbeats resumed normalcy, we’d devise a plan. It was a Team effort walking through the house at night, but today it’s thrilling to walk barefoot and not have to stare at the floor.
I’ve learned quite a bit about gratefulness and it doesn’t always begin as a positive impact. It doesn’t come gushing into our hearts and lives like gratitude. Gratefulness for me normally disguises itself as disappointment. When we pause in that moment and peel back the layers for a more in-depth look, we will see that in the end it was all a part of a greater plan.
Last week, a friend of mine posted a Duster style jacket on Facebook that was for sale in her shop. It caught my eye, and I gave myself the weekend to think about it, but vowed to stop by on Monday knowing I’d be in that part of town. I was excited to see the Duster and envisioned myself taking it home. When I walked into her shop, I saw the display hanging on the wall, like in the picture, but the jacket didn’t look the same. Maybe the original jacket sold because the one on display wasn’t my taste at all.
I left the store jacketless, but right alongside it came gratefulness.
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.
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.
Scrupulous. Intentional. Breathing in moments.
That’s how I envisioned last week would be. Daily life landed me far from the mark, and I missed some moments. One moment in particular hurt my heart a little bit, but sometimes that’s what it takes to snag my attention.
I was working in the yard moving plants as my daughter walked out of the house toward her Jeep. I walk up alongside her, give her a hug, and as she backs out, I stroll over to the pathway of stepping stones in the middle of the yard and wait for her to drive by. Except that day, I had a shovel in my hand and was moving one more plant.
This is something new we began doing this year, and it’s become ritual.
Normally, I stand on the path, wait for her to drive by and give her this wave filled with exuberance, like Miss America after drinking way too much coffee. She waves too, but that day when she drove by, I was in the side yard, so I missed the wave. It’s difficult to know how important something is until it’s missed.
A few days later she was leaving the house and we stepped through our leaving ritual. I suggested when she reached the end of the driveway to turn in the opposite direction and drive by the house one lot over that had been beautifully repainted. She sat there a moment and said, “But if I go that way, I’ll miss the wave.”
I smiled and on que began walking toward the middle of the yard to the path. This time, there was no missing the wave.
There once was a guy who named his dog, ‘Stay.’ When he called him to come the poor dog heard, “Come here, Stay.”
Every moment allows space with endless possibilities. My goal is to not add so much to it that I ruin the moment.
Our cat has this new thing he’s been doing this week. I make my bed every morning, usually within 30 minutes of leaving it, but Friday I left it a mess. He casually strolls into my bedroom, hops up on the corner of the bed and curls up for a quick nap. He normally does this after I make it up, but today it’s unmade, so that doesn’t seem to matter to him. Maybe it’s the moment he’s after.
Now it’s 2:30 PM and the bed is still unmade.
I walked in to see what remnants were left behind from a Zoom earlier in the day, and spotted my favorite notebook, classic Kate Spade laying on the bed. I love this notebook, but earlier this week, I noticed it was almost out of pages. It was originally purchased to be used as a journal, but somehow transitioned over to notes from work. It has a hardcover, so it also doubles as a sturdy mouse pad.
They don’t make it anymore, but I asked my daughter to search and see if she can find it. She found one that is brand new, still in the package and for sale. She emailed me the link and it was purchased without hesitation.
I’m excited about getting the new one and it feels like having a second chance to use it more intentionally. Notes from work can be placed in any type notebook, as this notebook proves, not everything we love is easily replaced. Here I sit on a Friday, in a messy bed with the cat nearby, simply thrilled to have a second chance.
This year my collection of gardening tools has grown. There is a tool for every task, and I’m learning what tool’s I need. I told the clerk at the hardware store, “I want to cut things”, and she said, “How big of a cut do you want to make Barb?” Here’s what I brought home.
I’m equipped to handle big jobs and small jobs, but not much in between. The Fiskars Micro-tip pruner are perfect for snipping overgrowth from the top of plants. The needle nose is precise, but the tiniest tools can cause bloodshed. It comes with a safety cover which is smart to use, or we opt to live a life of band aides.
We have a vine that returns every year. No matter the winter it endures, which this year was snow and ice, it comes back. My daughter loves this vine, so I can’t remove it completely, but I do keep it in check, or it’ll take over. I have these wicker lanterns hanging throughout the yard and the vine saw it as an opportunity to further it’s growth.
At first I thought, ‘That’s cool’, but after all the rain we had you could barely see the lantern. I took the Fiskars and trimmed it back, but left some resting on top. For now it adds to the beauty of the lantern, but time will tell if it adds beauty or too much weight.
Looking down at the path below, the vine was crawling away from the fence and creeping across the path. I try to be mindful of what sneaks in along the path, but I’ll let it grow for now. If it wants to cross the path, that’s fine, but we want to keep the path in sight.
What began as a pleasant addition to our lives, shouldn’t become added weight. Pay attention my darling and you’ll know when it’s time to make the cut.