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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Happy anniversary to us!

I thought I’d rerun this anniversary post another year later, updating 12 reasons my husband is right for me to 13 reasons since it’s now been 13 (mostly) wonderful years.  I was surprised to see that it had gotten 375 views!

wedding invite12 13 years ago, we became husband and wife.  I remember looking forward to being able to stand outside a men’s restroom and say, “I’m just waiting for my husband.” And then not giggle like a schoolgirl.

I asked Mr. B if he’d be up to writing lists this year of 12 reasons we love each other, and being the awesome and agreeable mate that he is, he said yes.  (Being the overworked and stressed mate though, he may not have gotten to his list yet, and I’m ok with that.)

OK well this year, we didn’t do much in the way of lists or even, well, cards.  But we enjoyed our day.wedding

(serenading me on our wedding day)

Here are 12 13 reasons I know I made the right choice 12 13 years ago.  Every day between then and now, he’s told me or shown me he cares by doing these things and so many more.

1.  He walks on the street side of the sidewalk.  He often shields me from danger or protects me from things I wouldn’t like.  That means I am in his thoughts often.

2.  He notices the little things.  Whether it’s that I moved a picture from one place to another or that I made an extra effort with my makeup, he has an eye for detail and appreciates any extra effort on my part.

3.  He gives me the last piece.  He wants to provide for me and to make me happy if he can.  He gives me the last bite of chocolate cake or dibs on our favorite chair in the living room.  It’s comical that we both are like this, so we end up saying, “You have it.” “No, you please.” “No, really, you.”

4.  He believes in me.  He thinks I am a good writer, photographer, and mother.  He supports my parenting views and he asks about my creative classes and friends.  He trusts me to pay the bills on time, drive safely, and spend wisely.  He listens to my ideas.

5.  He’s patient.  Thank goodness for that! I am impulsive by nature, so without some tempering, who knows what foolishness we would get into.  He researches (ad nauseum) cars, strollers, appliances… come to think of it, it took him what felt like a very long time to decide on me!

6.  He’s grounded.  I am in my head lots of the time and I need someone with two feet on the ground.  My balloon needs to be tethered to his string to be balanced.   However, while he’s predictable most of the time, he throws in some surprises to keep me on my toes, like the time our electricity went out while I was putting our daughter to bed and he knew exactly who to call and took care of it on his own.

7.  He’s thoughtful.  He will often text me “11:18″ when it is that time because that’s our wedding date, Nov. 18.  Even though he could care less, he knows I don’t like when he leaves his coffee mug in the living room so he tries to remember to put it in the sink.  He does lots of small gestures like that that show me I’m on his mind.

8.  He thinks I’m worth it.  While he will rarely buy something for himself, he has no problem getting me or our daughter something.  He is always wanting to splurge on me or on us.

9.  He encourages me to rest.  He laughs when I tell him my to-do list for a day.  I can’t tell you how many times he’s told me to set up a spa day for myself.  I always turn him down, but I appreciate that he wants me to be pampered.  I usually go to bed right after my daughter does, eager to read my book and chill.  That means we don’t hang out much during the week, but he is happy for me to have time for my books and for sleep.

10.  He’s a super fun daddy.  He sees the joy and blessing in our daughter and in our family life.

11.  He sees us as a team.  We may be different, but we compliment each other perfectly.  We give and take as we should.

12.  He’s ok with being apart.  He is a night owl who likes to watch tv.  I’m a morning person who hasn’t watched tv in years and NEED alone time.  We have different parenting approaches, though we learn from each other all the time.  He travels often for work, but it’s nice to come back together again when he gets home from his trips.

our feet

And 13.  He listens to me.  Now more than ever, he knows not to “fix” as much as just be there and listen.  Thank goodness.  I enjoy hearing him talk about his work and what’s going on with him too.

So yes, I am blessed and I fully know it.  As we continue our adventures and walk together wherever the years may take us, I know I have the most supportive arm to lean on.

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Ahhh… rest

Stillness clockMy sweet girl had a couple days when she was home sick last week, and while I was resistant to rearranging all my to-dos and appointments, it was admittedly nice to hang around the house and slow down.

I spent my time lounging around in my soft, long-sleeved Urban MuuMuu (Oprah’s favorite pjs), just reading, watching my daughter sleep, and staring out the window.  It was very nice! I can see how people could laze about and never get around to joining 20 volunteer organizations.  :)

“Nobody realizes that some people extend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” ~Albert Camus

I think this blog post is true that INFJs are perfectionists who don’t tend toward laziness due to our self-judgement, yet letting that go every once in awhile can be healthy.  What do you think?

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Digital streamlining

I wrote a post a couple years ago, when the blog reader/organizer Google Reader was being shut down, about how to simplify online life.  Rereading the comments got me thinking that 1) it’s something most of us struggle with and 2) I still don’t have a workable solution.

I know lots of people set limits for how long they allow themselves to be on Facebook, if at all.  There are even apps to help us get work done without certain distractions.  For me, I usually only browse through Twitter and Facebook during downtime, like when in line somewhere or putting my daughter to bed, and it’s also not every day.  (I have never ever been the norm and I’m ok with that.)  I know I miss things and that’s ok… I don’t have that “fear of missing out” people talk about.

However, even with cutting out most online classes, I still get a (virtual) TON of e-mail.  My solution to the close of Google Reader was to subscribe by e-mail to the blogs I love.  Maybe it’s because there are lots of blog challenges out there right now, but I don’t need to get a post every single day from people.  I’ve been doing a lot of deleting.  Because, you know, the state of my mental health is directly proportional to the number of e-mails in my inbox.

Then there’s the desire to comment on those posts if I want that person to know that what they wrote rings true to me, or that I support them, or that I feel their pain.  But that usually has to be done from my computer, not my iphone.  So it sits in my inbox for a few days before I get to that.

I realize this is a modern-day dilemma, and a first-world one at that, but still… What do you all do to manage your digital life?

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Living our values

trees and sunshine“It’s one thing to know that you’re a loving person.  It’s quite another to express it.  I found this quotation written on a scrap of paper on the mess that is my desk.  I am pretty sure it came from Neale Donald Walsh in his course that I took back in the spring.  Finding it 8 months later made me realize why I write these nuggets of wisdom down in the first place.

I have sometimes and lately forgotten to tell Mr. B how much I value and appreciate him.  Because he travels so much for work and because I am often busy and tired and focused on my daughter, we don’t spend as much quality time together as we could/should/want to.  Not unusual, I know.

This past weekend, thanks to my parents, we had a staycation and got to catch up.  It was nice to slow down and really talk.  We don’t do it enough.  Sitting beneath the oaks on a sunny day and laughing at memories is the BEST.

Here’s another photo just for fun…statue

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