Blogcation

Introvert DearFriends, I’m taking my usual blog break for the remainder of December.  Thank you all for reading and traveling along with me on this journey.  There have been many times when your comments have made my day! I appreciate each time someone takes the time to reach out and respond.  I hope my writing continues to resonate with you and make a difference.

I wish each of you a pleasant holiday season and a happy new year.  I’ll be back on January 12.

 

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Tearing apart the past

spiral journals“You see a wall, you look at it so much and so hard that one day you see clear through it, then, of course, it’s not just one wall any longer.  It’s every wall that ever was.” ~Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

Is it possible to erase an entire decade? Because I would like to erase all of the 90s.

I was organizing a closet and finally decided to go through all my old journals and re-read and shred them.  I knew that a) they contain writing full of self-doubt and negative self-esteem and b) I never ever EVER want my daughter to find them and read them.  Here’s some of what I found, besides the usual ticket stubs and fortune cookie slips:

Worries beyond anything I’ve thought about recently

“Will he call?” rants

Perfectionism

Over-analyzing absolutely everything

Questions about my identity, purpose, future

Entire pages of excerpts of Thomas Wolfe’s You Can’t Go Home Again and many other books

I was a mess.  It’s no wonder I don’t remember any music from the 90s.  I was so self-absorbed that I barely noticed much at all.  Going from one boyfriend to another boyfriend, all the while carrying my sense of low self-esteem and complete adolescent lack of perspective, is honestly shameful.  So much unnecessary introspection!

“Loneliness, far from being a rare and curious circumstance, is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.”

I decided to start ripping out everything without reading any more. I was ripping out pages with wild abandon and started to feel so free! It was like the past was gone and I could re-create myself and there is no more negative tangible evidence of doubt and worry and all that gobbledygook.  I wished I had done it years ago.

It was cathartic.  I feel different.  Lighter maybe.  I am so vastly different from that person from high school and college.  We are always evolving and no one is the same person they were even a year ago.  Why hold on to negative self-concepts that no longer apply?

I carried bag after bag of shredded paper out to the recycling bin, so much that it was overflowing.  (I didn’t want to risk anyone reading any of it so I shredded it!) I’ve heard of people having ceremonies and burning pages of the past or even burying them.  Shredding was perfect for me.  I highly recommend it!

I kept a few pages that describe the very beginning of my relationship with my husband.  I am hanging onto the journal I kept when my daughter was born.  Other than that, I’ve got a new shelf available.

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Woulda coulda shoulda

let go artworkDo you have that voice in your head that pipes up no matter what, judging and wagging a finger at what you could have done better?  Mine has been particularly vocal lately.

If you were a great mother, you’d know how to handle your daughter’s separation anxiety better.

If you were a better friend, you’d call much more often.

If you were a better hostess, you would have used real serving dishes and not disposable everything.

If you were more confident in your strengths, you wouldn’t be second-guessing whether what you do matters.

You should have made that person a card, not taken the easy route and bought one.

Oh, and don’t leave the wet laundry sitting in the washing machine for too long.

It takes conscious effort to override that voice with self-compassion, but I’m getting better at it.  I am trying to cram about 8 weeks of events into December, so I absolutely need my lists and I have to let myself rest here and there.  I know I am doing the best I can and that has to be enough for that little pesky voice.  So there!

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November book report

Nov booksI feel like I was just saying, “wow, it’s September already,” and now it’s December! Well, I didn’t read as many books in November as I did in months prior, but I enjoyed these few.

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel

This is a nonfiction look into the homes and lives of the astronaut families from Project Mercury and the Kennedy years.  Koppel shows us each woman and how she adapts to the huge fame that her husband’s career brought into their lives.  Women at that time had very few rights and the way they banded together was so inspiring.  I cannot imagine the pressure! The book is well-written and tells a fascinating part of history.

Blue Jean Buddha : Voices of Young Buddhists edited by Sumi Loundon

I read this one because Loundon was coming to Houston to speak about mindful parenting.  This book is made up of very short narratives from 20- and 30-somethings writing about how Buddhism has affected their sense of self and place in the world.  It was a quick read but very fascinating to read about pop culture from a completely different perspective.

One Plus One: A Novel by JoJo Moyes

Jess, who has fallen on hardship and is now a cleaning lady with 2 kids, meets Ed, a wealthy businessman.  Both of their lives are falling apart.  Add in a road trip together and a sweet, funny, smart story ensues.  I couldn’t put this one down, just like Moyes’ other novels.  This one was heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Your typical Picoult adventure/mystery but about the Holocaust.  Sage Singer, a baker with a troubled story herself, meets an elderly man in a grief counseling group, learns his story, and tries to reconcile his story of being a Nazi SS guard with the gently man in front of her.  He wants her to forgive him and then help him die.  It’s an engrossing read.  Recommend.

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

I’ve wanted to read this one for a few months now and I’m so glad I did.  It’s written almost stream-of-consciously but from different time points.  The way the narrative flows together is part of the journey.  It’s a lovely meditation on nature, spirituality, and love.
What have you been reading lately? And are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect there.

Everything I’ve Ever Read (I think) – OMG I haven’t updated this is a few months. Aaargh!

Currently Reading

More monthly book reports

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Giving Tuesday: a way to give back

Giving Tuesday blue.10 AM.pngToday is Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow is Black Friday.  Monday is Cyber Monday.  What’s left? Commercialism Tuesday?

NO! Some wonderful people have come up with Giving Tuesday, a global movement for creating positive change.  It even has its own hashtag and social media campaign.

Save the DateGiving Tuesday creates an opportunity to participate with countless others in making a difference in the world, in giving something to help others, whether time or money or possessions.  Organizations, families, businesses, community centers, and many others all over the world have projects set up for willing hands to help with us all come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

If you visit the website, you’ll find curriculum guides, toolkits, videos, and even an app.  Come together for a global day of giving on December 2.  For more info, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

Giving Tuesday because.50 AM.png

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Honoring your YOU-ness

blog_Be good to yourself_kkepiphanyIt’s been a few weeks of running errand after errand, going to meeting after meeting, and generally forgetting to take care of myself.  Mr. B reminded me about the self-care promise I made.  In the midst of all the doing, I should be pausing for a refreshing cup of my favorite tea or taking a little time to do something relaxing.

I was just reminded that the things that bring us joy are the things we are meant to be doing.  No need to search for your purpose… find those things that bring you fulfillment, joy, and meaning and do those often.  That is your purpose.work in progress

The lightness that comes as a result of doing what you love as much as you can is exactly what the world needs.  

Nobody ever told me that I have to be productive every minute, but I feel that way in every cell of my body.  I know that I need to reprogram.  When I do too much, I feel the opposite of lightness – I am tired, overwhelmed, and resentful.

I’m going to try to reincorporate the things that I love doing but have not done for some time.JOY

Art/creativity is the first one.  Reading magazines is another one.  Watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday is a must for sure.  Honoring those things that bring us joy will surely make a difference.

Do you regularly do things that bring you joy? Please share how you take care of yourself in this way.

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