I feel we’re on a downhill slope with the triple digit temperatures. I’ve been telling my daughter, ‘This is the last month. We just need to get through August!” As this is being written, we’re halfway there as I still hold an obscene amount of gratitude for air conditioning.
The other day, I spotted a candle in a cabinet from last Christmas and lit it immediately. For a little while the house smelled like frosted pine and relieved my senses of what season we’re really in. Then I received an email from Voluspa announcing the release of their Spiced Pumpkin Latte candle and that was a quick an easy order. Let’s hope FedEx doesn’t leave the shipment on his truck overnight like last time, or it will be the consistency of a latte. 😂
I’ve haven’t thought about it until recently, but my favorite months of the year end with ‘ber’. I’m not the sort of soul to wish away time, but any temperature less than 100 degrees sounds downright chilly! If you’re enduring the heat as we are in Texas, just hold on my darlins, cooler is coming. Until then we can ruminate on the ‘ber months.
A couple of years ago I posted about a gratitude jar. The jar I’d begun using became needed elsewhere, so I took all those little slips of paper, and placed them in an empty Voluspa jar. Last December, I sat down in the middle of my bed with the jar, and read each one.
I remembered cutting paper into strips, writing something I was grateful for, and placing it in the jar. The jar wasn’t very full, because walking by it isn’t enough. I have to pause long enough to write something down. It’s funny, but I was the most grateful for sunlight. The unfolding of each piece of paper and reading what it said, felt like a ritual. I refolded each one and placed them in a baggie for the jar to be used as a vase.
One of my most loved books by Julia Cameron is The Sound of Paper. I don’t know which I love more, the book itself, or it’s title, because I’m enamored by the sound and feel of paper. I want to experience that year-end ritual again, so I started a new jar, in hopes that by this December it will be packed full. The key is to sit it where it doesn’t fall into the background of the everyday, so it’s by my bedroom window waiting, every time I enter.
Here’s some examples of how often I see this jar.
First thing in the morning, while opening the drapes.
When I pet the cat who’s lounging in the morning sun.
To plug in my phone for charging.
While getting dressed, or anytime I retrieve something from the closet.
Anytime I’m in my room gazing out the window, the jar is there.
Running the vacuum through the room.
Closing the drapes at nightfall.
Some days I’m overwhelmed by goodness, while other days, I need a magnifying glass to see it. No matter if it’s a lot, or just one thing, there’s always something to write on a sliver of paper and place it in the jar.
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.
I don’t have a set time to go to bed. Knowing how many hours sleep is needed, the earlier I go to bed, the earlier I wake up. If I stay up late, I wake up later than usual, but that’s okay at the end of the week. I prepare my bedroom first thing in the morning for evening, by making my bed and removing all evidence I was there. When I walk in later in the day for sleep it feels inviting, restorative and pleasing to the eye.
The sheets are changed once a week, or every two weeks, depending on the week. Invest in yourself by owning good sheets and pillows. Think of sheets as your favorite shirt you can wear all day long, without even noticing it’s there. It feels that good to your skin, like your skin really vibes with the fabric it’s made from. Sheets should feel good to your skin. The higher the thread count, the more luxurious the feel.
Sheets are an item I need to walk into a store for. No shopping online for these, but I’m the same way with my shirts. If I see a set that appeals to me, I unzip the bag to feel them. I don’t pull them out of the bag, just a touch is enough. They can be expensive, but on sale is a sweet find. The true test is wrapping myself up in them. Once purchased, I take them home to wash them in perfumed wash and place them on the bed to in hopes they add quality to my sleep. The smell and feel is a win.
The bed is my main piece of furniture in the room, but here’s a table on each side of the bed holding some of my favorite things. It’s not a workout room, storage room, or an office. It’s designed for sleep. There’s a vintage vanity chair at the foot of the bed to sit and put my shoes on before leaving the house. Sitting on the bed, messes up the bed! 🙂
I’m single, so I get away with as much bling as I want. My bedroom isn’t girly by any means, but there are feminine touches. Pillows and blankets add a cozy feel. For color, I stuck with the classics: white, silver and gold, but any item with bling fits the room.
I go in and light a Voluspa candle 30 minutes before bed.
This little chair made it’s debut in a post written in February of this year. That weekend I went to a local vintage shoppe and found some pieces for my room, so even back in February I was staging for better sleep. At the end of that post, I admitted drinking Bluebottle Cold Brew and it was late in the day. This journey revealed I cannot do that and sleep. You can read the post here, and see more bedroom items purchased that day.
The final thing that helps me drift off to sleep is a nighttime tea. When this finding sleep experiment began in August, I tried lots of teas, but always came back to this one. It’s affordable and can steep for up to 15 minutes, so by the time it’s done steeping, it’s the right temperature to drink and enjoy. Another good one is Jetlag PM, by Tealeaves, but it’s more of an investment.
This concludes our little series. Thank you for following alongside me, and here’s a recap of what was brought to light:
The journey begins to a good night’s sleep. Next up was Know Your Flow. I stopped drinking coffee by noon. Then Mama Knew Best showed us that it matters what you watch before bed. Determine how much sleep you need and go to bed in time to get it, but don’t overdo One More Minute. When you wake up in the morning, sit up in bed to prevent falling back to sleep.
Thank you for your love, kind comments and support. ~ Barb.