do you have any holiday traditions?
i almost didn’t do christmas cards this year. i’m trying to cut back on the hustle and bustle and the “have tos,” i seemingly always put on myself. i love sending cards, but just the thought of outfits and photos and wrangling made me heavily tired. thus, i succumbed to my weariness and congratulated my self on letting go a bit.
but . . . then i remembered my own personal little tradition.
i’ve been thinking about moments. moments and days to be exact. the thought that it is a million little moments that are the matter and making of our days.
the days we live in, long for, wish away, rush through, and sometimes waste, are made of moments. and, it is the moments that make and shape us into who we are, not the days.
with the change of season i’m thinking
abruptly or slowly, yet never the same.
and, so is each day
different and new – but deceivingly the same.
same schedule, same tasks
same people, same dance.
the trick is the moment.
not to be duplicated, nor ever relived.
a slight variation of words, of ways, and even breath.
breath deep the air of today
and the moments that melt away.
photo by trina mcneilly
how do you handle hard days? they are different for you than they might be for me. and, it’s possible they might very much be the same. a hard day this week could, very well, look different than a devil of day last week. you never can tell. all though sometimes, i think you can. and, what i like to tell is, those days to scat.
i have had a lot of hard days knocking down my doors this last year, and i’ve been attempting a lot of scatting and shooing. why, sometimes whole days have been swallowed up in the sport of shooing. then there is wishing. wishing the days away or for some type of escape. when, at the end of it, you sometimes wish you wouldn’t have wished for anything except a nap. and, when none of that seems to work than i always seem to believe french fries will. french fries and friends, maybe? but, the truth is there are days when even ice cream won’t do the trick. you know those days too?
when all you can do is stand still. tell your mind to be quiet and maybe whisper a prayer. the simplest prayer you’ve ever prayed. ”help.” surprisingly, i’m coming to find that to be one of the most powerful prayers i’ve ever prayed.
help. it doesn’t always come the way we thought and certainly not always the way we want, but it comes. i’m finding, it comes. it comes in the form of a perfectly blue sky and bright shining sun that somehow warms you all the way to your weary heart. it comes by way of the phone, through the encouraging words of a friend. it comes in words written many moons ago as if written just for you. it comes. and the bad days go. and, they come again. it’s life. but, next time don’t be afraid to ask for or even look for help. and, maybe you’ll find soon enough that you, yourself, will be help to someone else who needs it so desperately.
so tell me do you have these kinds of days?
although being practical is sometimes hard to attain when you are in the middle of something . . .
these are some practical things that seem to help me when i’m having hard days :
this is my new genet scarf. i’m pretty in love with it. i love the colors. the pattern. the comfort. and the courage i wrap myself in when i wear it.
yes, courage. courage is a constant theme for me. i’m always looking for it. praying for it. hoping for it. wishing for it. pondering it. and lately, taking it.
most of the things that i’ve done, seen or been apart of that have been monumental in my life, i’ve been slightly afraid of. you know the chances, opportunities, and situations that your heart screams yes to but your mind talks you out of. this is how i seem to deal with anything and everything that is great, good, and full of potential. me, myself, and i usually do an exquisite job of convincing, “no you can’t do that.” i’ve taken many passes on opportunity. adventure. change. and, on living life, really. but lately, my heart has been whispering louder than my chatty mind.
i have a pretty amazing opportunity ahead of me.
little did i know that blogging about a scarf last fall would have me crossing the ocean and two continents to ethiopia this summer.
here is the truth. my mind is swimming. from here to there and everywhere in between. the truth is, my life has been a bit out of control. some of it is my fault and some of the circumstances are beyond me. i have been having a hard time. its hard for me to say that, admit and accept it, but, it is the truth. i have been wrecklessly trying to create order in anyway that I can but it has been backfiring on me and only creating more commotion. sometimes figuring life out can be mighty tricky.
i have been trying to do a lot of figuring out. figuring out my life. figuring out this blog. figuring out me. i have no final conclusions or definite answers. it seems to work that way with me. although i do know a few turns i want to take.
one thing that i’m completly bent on is becoming more me. i know me pretty well, but sometimes i’m still not so sure how to be me. i know, shocking and a little strange. but the thing is, i like to make others happy. and in doing so, over the years, i have let go of small pieces of myself along the way.
this space, these blog of loveliness has actually been a place where i have felt found. over the past few years i have discovered things about myself that i never knew (in a million years i never considered myself creative). i’ve learned so many new things and found a place where i can create, inspire and find community. there are two reasons that i started blogging and that was that i love to write and i love to share lovely things. and friends, it is my goal to stick to that (with the added benefit of making some great friends and finding community). i’m not sure exactly how that looks or if it will differ from what i have been posting in recent days but i do know that it is what i need to stick to in order to be true to me. this blogging business has sometimes gotten the best of me. and really i want it be a place where i share the best from me.
i don’t want to loose myself on the interwebs (besides the occasional pinterest overdose). i want to share what i find and create. all i know is that this writer has to write and this finder of lovely things has to share them. so there it is. i’ll keep to my “la la lovings” and favorite decorated spaces and sharing of any and every lovely thing that just has to be shared. but you may find a few more photos of life, a few more words from the heart and maybe a day missed here or there because, life just beckons (but i promise there will be some good sharing from it).
life is what is most lovely. i want to live it. and of course i want to share it.
but just to be totally clear, i’ll still be posting here regularly (daily is still the goal) and i have some super exciting things planned for this year that i can’t wait to share. so i hope you stick around. i love the company. (and so there is no misunderstanding, i’ll still be working with sponsors from time to time as they make a lot of great things possible. i’ve been completely blessed to have made some really lovely relationships with some great companies and great people and I look forward to new connections in the coming year).
and those, lovelies are two of my biggest on my goals for this coming year.
And i always have a few things on my list that make it every. single. year. like being brave. which, i’m pretty certain it will be on my list all the years of my life. but if i have a few brave moments or accomplishments each year than i know i moving forward on the journey. i, of course, have some very specific this and thats, like take trip to england, buy a new camera, get passports for the kids, continue to simplify, cook better meals and so on. but this is the list that is taped to my desk and that I’m going to try to live :
if you are yet to write out your goals….one thing about resolutions and goals that i’ve learned a long the way is that is not good to write a bunch of “stop doing this, don’t eat that, quit this,” and so on’s. i find it much more beneficial to be on the adding side of things (see here). add more greens, take more walks, love more. yes, it’s good to get into specifics on things but you can’t go wrong with adding the good stuff.
so tell me, what is big on your goal list this year? i’d love hear from you.
p.s. i think i’m going to loose capital letters….they just seem to be getting in the way.
*photos are of my freshly arranged inspiration board. pretty interiors make me happy!
Say, how do you clear clutter….from your mind that is? Do you ever have a hard time finding free space to make room for the most important thoughts that you really should be thinking?
I have to say my mind, lately, is completely, jammed packed with details, ideas, to -do’s, and every other thing that I probably already forgot to do.
I’d like to tell you that when my mind goes into overdrive that I simply shut down my computer and tuck away my iPhone. I take some nice quiet time to myself and do something that I enjoy to clear away the madness in my mind. But that is not the case. I usually get all the more obsessive about my to do list and the little time that I have to accomplish it gets completely frazzled.
But honestly, when it comes down to it, for me there have only been two things that I know to do that help add a sense of clarity and calm (although it might only last a good 30 minutes) and for me that is exercising (usually walking) and reading + writing (for me that is my Bible and/or something, maybe even anything, inspirational and writing out my frustrations, worries, cares or concerns in a journal with a nice inky pen). Yeah, this is not really taking me away from all of the screaming thoughts but somehow it clears out a little space or helps makes sense of something that I just can’t wrap my mind around. Whether it is a personal problem or a project that I’m working on and just find myself stuck. Sometimes I find the answer, sometimes I get inspired but mostly I find a few extra breaths that I so badly needed to breathe.
What about you? I’d love to hear how you help to clear the clutter in your mind.
And say, aren’t these images so interesting? It’s a photographic series called Totem by French Photographer Alain Delorme. Can you imagine? Talk about juggling a lot at one time.
Here is to a little more space for happier thoughts + creative ideas and solutions!
I like organization. a. lot. And it is just not working out for me, these days, the way I would like it to. This is life with 4 little la la’s so I’m trying desperately to accept.
So, in an effort to take a bit of control I thought I’d turn to my digital disaster and clean up my online life. It’s one small part of my life that I have full control over. My inbox was a mess, my bookmarks where more trouble than help and my favorite online social sites a chore. I have to be honest, I never really imagined my inbox ever being at ZERO, but after reading Bre’s post, I thought, why not give it a try. So, I did + I’m never going back.
Don’t let mail sit in your inbox. For me, the worst habit I had was that I would read an e-mail, walk away and then think about answering it later. And sometimes, I’d even re-read and come back again. E-mails ended up sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks (or ahem, longer). Now….when I check my e-mail, if I can answer an e-mail quickly, I do it. If I can within a day, I’ll still leave it there and if I can’t answer right away or it needs further action than it goes into an appropriate folder (more on folders in a bit). There are some e-mails that don’t necessarily require an immediate response or your precious time. Throw them in a “to respond folder” and answer those once a week.
I am big on bookmarking. I see a lot of things I like and I don’t always have the time to fully investigate. I personally use Safari and set up folders for certain categories and each link goes in it’s proper place. I also like to use the Reading List option in Safari to keep articles, blogs, etc. that I want to read at a later time. The deal in keeping this in tact is this – Name your links. I had a ton that were just the url’s and then I’d spend double time clicking and re-clicking trying to remember what it was that I saved and what it was for. And next, when you are done with a link, erase it. Clean out your bookmarks and/or folders as often as possible.
Folders is the magic word. And it is kind of like, duh! Yes, I know. I always used folders. But I got crazy and made folders for EVERYTHING. I don’t just have a la la lovely folder, I have ones for every category that pertain to blogging and than a handful of subcategory folders. Here is one example in my inbox:
la la Lovely
*BLOG – To Do
> Post (this week)
Folders for your bookmarks are a little trickier in that you can’t really do sub-categories/folders (unless I’m missing something)? But I got very detailed. That way if I see something that I like and it might be great for my la la loving feature, I save the link to that folder and when I’m ready to do a post I have plenty of pretty to pull from. And again, when I’ve used that link. I erase it. If you use Safari, like me, the one problem is that it does not alphabetize your folders. To me that is major in finding what you need quickly. I manually dragged my folders around to get them in good working order, way worth it. I also recommend this kind of set up on your desktop.
PINTEREST + THE LIKE /
All of these new way cool sites that seemingly organize things for us, do themselves need organizing. Be sure to properly name all of your boards and categorize them. I think it is even a good idea to go in and delete pins from time to time if you find you no longer love the image or it doesn’t flow with the board.
Everybody does Twitter differently, so I’m finding out. I’d love to learn more about this, myself. One thing I know is that your feed can become one busy place. Did you know that you can create lists and categorize everyone you follow (Design Blogs, Personal Friends, Friends from ALT and so on)? You can make these lists private, if you just want to quickly see what is new with your friends or browse what your favorite bloggers have to say or you can make it public if you want to let others see who you follow and what category they fall under. The list option can be found under the “me” tab and really easy to set up.
Overall, the key to staying on top of everything is management. Regularly going through these new helpful folders and deleting what no longer needs to be there, responding to what calls for a response and reviewing what needs to be reviewed. A new system in place is great but the system has to be worked. So work it, girl!
I hope this helps someone, somewhere! I’m happy to answer and questions or expound on anything.
What about you, how do you stay digitally organized. Do you have any great tips or systems that work for you?
Remember how I told you I was working on a little something with Bre [who is beyond super rad talented] from Moxee + Our Paper Shop? This is it. A new look. I know again, right? And so soon! Yes + yes. This past year brought all kinds of change and I was kind of all over the place and not feeling quite like myself, including online. This feels like me. Don’t you agree? I feel at home. Very much at home and I hope you will too, each and every time you visit. And a major thanks to Bre for designing my online home [I can't wait to show you what else she is making for me]. So please have a look around. There is a lots of lovely on each and every page.
Now….It’s a new year, yes? It’s a new look, yes!
BUT it is also a FRESH START.
I could use a fresh start. Maybe you could to?
2011 was not my most favorite year. It was a hard as they come kind of year for me. Sure it was filled with some happy moments and shiny days. One of my shiniest days yet, actually, the day Rocco, my rest, arrived. Other than that shine its all been a bit foggy. But I’m looking on to brighter days. Shiny ones in fact.
Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? I always make them [here are last years]. I don’t always keep them. Or better said I don’t always reach them. I’ve read a few posts [not as many as I'd like] on resolutions, goals and the like. I like what Melissa said about adding rather than giving things up and I like what Holly said about focusing on what you did accomplish this past year. And I do know that if you do try to give something up and remove it than you ought to replace it with something better, something good or likely that old habit will creep back in.
/ A few of things I’m focusing on this year /
BRAVE / I’m not natural at this. Not in the slightest. Sometimes it keeps me from living. But I recognize it and have learned to just do it [whatever it may be] afraid. I have to be brave with my life so others [namely my children] can be brave with theirs [I saw this a few years ago + it stayed with me]. Being brave will probably make my list each and every year. And I’m ok with that. It only means I’m doing something about it.
KIND / I want to be kinder to those closest to me and that even means myself. I’ve found that when we are hard on ourselves we are hard on others. I have high expectations on myself [most of the time, too high] and I can tend to project that on others, even on some 6 and 8 year olds I know. Not so great.
CONFIDENCE / This is a perpetual one for me too. I am the queen of second guessing. I’m as indecisive as they come. But I am starting to see a pattern that, more times than not, my first choice [or instinct] is usually the right one. And sometimes, you just have to make a decision and even if it is the wrong one then just own it. At least you made a decision. You can learn from it and do better next time. And not deciding on something is actually a decision. It is a decision to not make a decision.
DECLUTTER / Less is more, really. Continue to de-clutter. Buy what I love [better usually is better].
BEDTIME / This is a serious problem for me. I like staying up late. I get a lot done. I talk to all of you. But if I don’t get some sleep I’m going to end up on Oprah [oh, wait she's done ..ok...Dr. Phil, maybe] for “letting myself go.” I’m neglecting some basics, these days. I’d like to go to sleep by 11:30. Power down the inter webs by 11 and do some old fashioned leisurely reading before lights out. And before all of that I’d like to really stick with a routine of relaxation [washing my face and so on].
GROW / For me this means spending some time reading my Bible, journaling and just talking to God. It also means helping others and that can be in various capacities. This grounds me and lately my feet haven’t even been touching the ground.
/ a few of my RANDOMS
+ wallpaper in my house
+ get the kids passports
+ learn photoshop
+ add new “go to” recipes
+ learn to braid hair
I have some others, that are just for me [+ of course some boring health ones like adding more water, probiotics, greens + leg lifts]. Some serious and some for fun. You’d get bored with all of them. I just thought the above were the ones worth sharing. And overall I hope to take it all on with balance in mind. An extreme one way or the other is usually not a good thing. At least not for me.
So tell me. What are you adding or removing this year? What would you like to do? Who would you like to be? If you’ve done a post on this I’d love have you link to it in the comments section. Or if you’ve seen a great post on this subject, link to that too.
I wish you a very fresh start and a year full of Lovely living!
maddywirtz / tumblr