What small step will get you closer to a big goal?

Remember when I said I wouldn't talk about my children's book until I worked on it? Guess what?

If you guessed that I worked on it, you're right!! I sat down for an hour last weekend and wrote. I came up with a solid outline and some little moments I know I definitely want in the book. It's not a lot, but man it feels good to have that foundation! It's embarrassing that I almost tried to back out of the writing meet-up within minutes of being invited. It's even more embarrassing that this wasn't the first time I tried to get in my own way. 

For those of you who have read The War of Art, you know what I mean when I say that the resistance is strong with this project. For those of you who haven't, hop to it! It could be the "kick in the pants" you've been waiting for. But I digress... The difference that day was that instead of laying on the couch scrolling through my Instagram feed (thinking of writing)- I just did it.  After that hour of writing was up, I still ran my errands and made time to relax, but I was that much closer to my goal of finishing this book. It's amazing to think about what could happen if I was always that intentional with my time, right?

Earlier this week we were bitterly reminded that our time here can be cut short. Older and wiser, I'm not necessarily going to tell you to quit your day job to pursue your passion. I will remind you, as I was, that we have a limited number of days here. And! We have the ability to choose how we spend those days, hours and minutes.

I invite you to spend some time this weekend working on something- anything!- that will get you closer to a goal. No, not invite... insist. Think of your future self, and what "thing" you can do today to get you there.

However, if the only thing you do this weekend is hug your friends, your family, and your pets- well I'd say that's brilliant. Big love, y'all!

 

The Back Seat*

If I put disclaimers up, today's would read: *This isn't a New Years Resolutions post, and I hesitated to share because this too shall pass. I wanted to get a little vulnerable today, while remembering how fortunate I am to have the options and choices I do. I share this today with the hope that it sloughs off this dull and brittle feeling so that I can truly welcome 2016.

It's the last week of 2015 and I'm sitting here with an annoying headache and mild case of ... the blues? Listlessness? All around sense of bah humbugness? It could be just an average holiday hangover (the twinkle lights! the family! the joy!) and sliding back in to a routine after only wearing pajamas and flannel for a week. OK yes, I'm still wearing flannel, but I had to ease into Monday, folks.

But I think what's really weighing on me is that I was recently shown a mirror, the figurative type, and I'm shocked at how I've been presenting myself. Or is it truly how I come across? Helpless is a feeling that comes up. Incompetent, too. Whoa. There it is. Incompetent. That's how I feel I come across and man, that sucks. 

My mind, right away and without prompting, started thinking of ways to "fix" this: take a class! Try something just outside my comfort zone! Make a call... But I'm not sure immediate action is right for me. Reacting right away, I've learned, rarely leads to positive growth. So I will keep digging until I can find the nugget of all of this and figure out a way to grow from this.  

I think, what it comes down to is that, by surrounding myself with so many rad people who are experts at so many things, I've comfortably taken a back seat. Or sometimes a seat in the way way back (you know, with pillows and snacks and a good book). And then when it's time to show up, I feel like I have zero to offer. Yuck.

In the end, I'm so grateful for the people who teach me and challenge me and love me. More than anything, I want to be the role model for people that these friends have been to me, and I can't do that from the back seat.

 

Like smiling when you're wearing a mud mask.

All day I talk to people who are hurting, sad, angry and afraid. And all day I read about other people who are hurting, sad, angry and afraid. Sometimes it's all I can do to still be upright by the time the whistle blows for me to go home. Do you feel it too?

I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with that, only that I just wanted to share with you, that sometimes the fear and the anger are too much. It all just hurts a little too much. How do you process that much negativity?  

I'm lucky when, without much prompting, my thoughts slide to my sweet home and my solid-gold friends. I start to count the people (and puppies) I'm grateful for, think of the adventures we've been on and the ones we have planned. A little gratitude goes a long way in soothing certain hurts.

I started journaling again yesterday. My last true entry was from my honeymoon. Yeah, that's over a year ago. There are mini-vision boards (very mini), lists and random observations, but I haven't let my brain (or heart) purge or bask in whatever makes up the weight on my shoulders. When I closed the journal for the evening, I felt a little crack, like smiling when you're wearing a mud mask, in my shell. No knots totally unbound themselves, the hills weren't alive with the sound of music, but there was definitely a shift. 

I wonder, if I can do that for myself regularly, how much stronger will it make me in order to help those who are hurting, sad, angry and afraid find some peace?

 

October is for celebrations!

Hi, hello, welcome! Happy October.

Today is my (not so) little brother’s 30th birthday! 3 cheers for the best brother entering the best decade!

September was a lot of fun: I started learning the violin and I completed a personal challenge of riding 150+ on my bike. To be clear: That distance was spread over the course of the month. One day I’ll see about completing my first century. Our house is definitely a home and J made some incredible pieces, truly making the space our own. Just come over and see them! Speaking of incredible- two of the best people on this planet welcomed a tiny person into the world. She’s so perfect, you guys! No, I’m not crying….

So. October! It feels like this is the start of celebration season- there are so many birthdays and reasons to celebrate. J and I will be celebrating our first year of wedded bliss! That was a quick and fantastic year. We’ll also be reminiscing about Greece and the incredible people we met there. You know I’ll be using my Greek cookbook a lot and it looks like a ghost-story competition will be happening. (Last year we were in Santorini during Halloween and we stumbled upon a ghost story competition. J took home first place and the party was in his honor. It’d be silly not to host the Austin satellite party/competition, right?)

And bike camping season has returned! We’re pretty spoiled, weather wise, here. So the few months when it’s just too hot and the mosquitoes are too prevalent to make sleeping outside enjoyable are pretty rough. But not now! While the only camping trip on the books right now is our anniversary jaunt, it won’t be the last time. Let’s get the gang back together!

Photo by the mister.

In that vein, I’m going to do a little series about commuting to work on your bike: how to prep, finding a route, gear and some good things to have when you get off the bike and into the office. Is there anything else you’d like to hear about from this amateur cyclist?

Pura Vida

Ryan Adams asked me to be his wrecking ball this morning. Well me and anyone else listening to the radio on their morning drive. It was lovely. Then I started thinking about the other wrecking ball song and the impact (both literal and figurative) a wrecking ball has on a situation. And it's so easy, once the momentum starts, to just keep on going. Again, lit-rally and/or figuratively. Apply either/or both to your life as you please.

But where are the songs about cranes?  More build-me-up-buttercup please! You know who was a human crane? My Uncle Bob. That man. That man could build up, elevate or encourage every person he came into contact with. His motto was Pura Vida and he definitely lived it. Below is one of his favorite poems that he shared with us. I'm sharing it with you because I love you. And because I hope that maybe it will encourage you to share one extra smile, a piece of great advice, or a kind word to someone who needs it. If not, well at least you read a little poetry on a Friday.

Pura vida, dear hearts.

Is anybody happier
because you passed their way?
Does anyone remember
that you spoke to them today?

The day is almost over,
and its toiling time is through,
Is there anyone that will utter
a kind word about you?

Can you say tonight in parting,
with the day that’s slipping fast,
that you helped a single person
of the many that you passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing
over what you did or said?
Does the one whose hopes were fading
now with courage look ahead?

Did you win the day or lose it?
Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness,
or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber,
do you think that God will say,
”you have earned one more tomorrow
by the good you did today?”
— John Hall