Archives for January 2016

Thursday Ten: Can It Be Spring Yet?

  1. Yesterday, I told a client that February contains National Drink Wine Day, National Margarita Day, National Pizza Day, and National Bacon Day? Why? Because February SUCKS and February needs pizza and tequila. Obviously.
  2. I started the Couch to 5k program again and then we got a bunch of snow again, so you know, whatever, oh well… maybe in a few months?
  3. Day two of the Couch to 5K made me realize that I really NEEDED new running shoes because as I ran/walked/jogged, water was coming up through the bottom of my shoes and wow, that was cold and not really very much fun at all.
  4. We have taken to calling my mango-avocado smoothies “Unicorn Snot.” Mmmmmm. Delicious. (Unicorns are a good source of Vitamin A and Lutein.)
  5. In the midst of a snowy morning on Wednesday, I decided to wear a sweatshirt to work…forgetting I had a meeting later. Looking like a hobo with your web developer – achievement unlocked. (Ooops?)
  6. I’m not at the point yet where I’m hoping for the flu so I can take a break for a day and catch up on rest, but man, I could use a break for a day to catch up on rest. Where’s my mommy snow day?
  7. Spoiler alert: Apparently there’s no mommy snow day.
  8. In the aftermath of Christmas, one of the things I am happiest about is the stack of books I’ve accumulated from spending Barnes & Noble gift cards. ALL THE BOOKS ARE MINE!
  9. I loathe conference calls and speakerphones.
  10. It’s been a grumpy week. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been looking forward to Friday since Monday. We’re almost there, y’all.

I meant to write this review three days ago but…I was busy.

The media makes a lot of “busy” these days – how we wear it like a badge, how busy as a construct is not a great thing for us to be experiencing in our lives, how we fill our lives with so much stuff that we’re not exactly relishing the moments we’re in. And, you know, while I couldn’t really care less what the media says about pretty much anything – there’s something to it.

Even if we’re not glorifying the state of “busy” – fact is, most of us are just… too busy.

Which is why when I heard about Alli Worthington’s book, “Breaking Busy” I was eager to check it out and get my hands on a review copy. [Full disclosure: That’s not an Amazon affiliate link. Why? Because I was too busy to reply to whatever email they sent telling me I needed to do x, y or z so my affiliate relationship wouldn’t expire… and then I forgot, so it expired. So click away, y’all. I get nothing from it. You’re welcome. Also: I received Alli’s book for review purposes, but the opinions about it are solely my own because I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT STUFF AND NO ONE WANTS TO PAY ME FOR THEM so… well… these opinions are all my own.]

Let me be clear: I am not the intended target audience for this book which is listed in the “Christian Personal Growth” category on Amazon. I am not a person who is drawn to faith-based books.

There’s a lot of faith in this book.

You would think – since I’ve just said that that’s not what floats my boat – that I wouldn’t have much to say about “Breaking Busy” but I think you first need to know a few things.

I know Alli knows busy.

I met her about a hundred years ago (in blog years) through Blissfully Domestic. I was a contributor first, then an editor. It was through Blissfully Domestic and Blissdom that I met some of my favorite people I have ever met in my life.

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(I do review posts wrong. These are not pictures from Breaking Busy. Those are pictures from a hundred years ago and that’s Alli kissin’ my face and that’s me looking like I need a nap and a cookie.)

I saw first hand the effects of busy – and just what it takes to put on a conference so big and coordinate and manage and make something look effortless.

So – on I read.

I’m a single mom. I work full time. I shuttle my kids around from activity to activity – and while I have not fixed all areas of my life since reading – there is a LOT of information in “Breaking Busy” that had me nodding my head, and at times, laughing (hello, iPhone in the bra. Want to know what I’m talking about? You should get the book.)

This book covers relationships in the age of social media. Decision making. The effects of miscommunication (I am an over communicator…except when I’m not. *winky face emoji*)

Unless our real relationships are strong no amount of likes and comments will fill our souls. Breaking

This book covers a wide range o’ things:

  • Worry (“Worry, on the other hand, is our attempt to control the future.”)
  • Finding your groove (“Bake your cake! Buy your cake! Don’t have a cake at all!”)
  • Decision making (“Don’t ask all your Facebook friends to weigh in on your most important decisions. Ask the friends who have earned the right to speak into your life.”)
  • And how we play a role in it all (“When we live in a world of crazy busy, it is sometimes of our own making.”)

It’s true – I am the unlikely audience of this book, but I still walked away with a lot from it – and I’d recommend it – even more so if a bit of a kick in the pants with a faith-based approach is your jam.



Thursday Ten: On The Downward Slide edition

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  1. I took this picture last night just after six p.m. and it wasn’t completely dark and hallelujah! It may be colder than…something really cold… but it’s staying lighter later and that means that there’s hope that winter won’t indeed last forever, even though, let’s face it – it feels like it.
  2. I have been busting my bum on some work projects lately, and there’s something oddly satisfying about wrapping something up even though you know full well that that’s not the last of that you’re gonna see. There’s work I love to do, work I like to do, and work that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Usually it’s the stuff that makes me struggle that makes me want to bang my head – which, let’s face it, would be stupid because killing my brain cells is only gonna make things harder – but… anyway, this is just to say: I feel good about what I put together after a long period of struggling through how I was going to display the information and let’s just stick a fork in this one.
  3. We are in the point of winter where Pumpkin asks me every morning if today is a snow day and gets quite frustrated with me if in fact it is not. I control many things – because hey, I’m a control freak – but unfortunately, I do not control the weather.
  4. The PRincess is in the midst of exam week at school and is nearly at the end of the second quarter of the school year. I don’t recall exams in eight grade, so I guess the times are a-changing and seriously the year is half over already? When did that happen?
  5. The weekends are abnormally filled with kid activities lately that I am really looking forward to having no activities this weekend. The busy weekends fly by so quickly and then Monday rolls around and I feel unrelaxed and semi-grouchy.
  6. There are still people who hit Reply All when they don’t need to Reply All. And there’s a special place in hell for those people.
  7. I’ve been a grump lately and I am trying so hard to shake that negative attitude. It’s hard. Life is too short to be in such a foul mood.
  8. I broke free from my shell and wore red nail polish this week. I hate red. Not a fan of red nail polish. Pretty stoked that it’s all chipping off. It was worth a try. I tried it. Now… never again.
  9. My dog used to do this thing where every night around nine, he just turned into this royal grumpy beast – and now, he’s calm. Super calm. But around 9 he just starts farting. It’s…not good either.
  10. I could use a grown up snow day. A day curled up under a pile of blankets, reading books and napping sounds heavenly. File also under: it will never happen.

Somewhere almost in the middle of january

We’re over one week into 2016 and unsurprisingly, everything is the same as it was last year save for a fraction of an inch of snow on the ground and a bit of disgust that yeah, everything is the same as it was last year.

At this time of year, it seems that there’s still a lot to read from a lot of people who are in the midst of making themselves completely new people for the new year. Lots of really uplifting stuff and lots of stuff that would be completely useful if I wasn’t such an insufferable cow.

And sometimes, I am an insufferable cow.

I try – of course – to embrace the positive aspects of my life. There are many positive aspects. I’m not so huge a douchebag that I cannot embrace what is truly joyful. I make an effort daily to be fully present and to be aware of the moments that make life magical.

I am not so advanced a spirit that I can ignore the garbage though.

I wish I could.

Last week, I ended up getting insanely pissed off by a note left on my door by the town in which I live. My sidewalk had snow on it, they said. I was in violation of rule blahblahblah. This was my first warning. Y’all, it was less than an inch of snow. Maybe a quarter of an inch at most. It was ridiculous, this warning. Several days later, I’m still angry about it. Do they think I have free time to clean every molecule of snow from my sidewalk any time it snows? I don’t.

This morning as I shoveled, I silently raged about it – even though in the moment, I didn’t actually mind the work. Today’s snow was light and fluffy and easily shoveled away. It wasn’t the heavy sludge that quickly turns to ice. I was wrapped in my grandpa’s flannel that he used to wear outside on days like today and even though it is missing several buttons, I felt the warmth of his memory.

Friday, I had the kind of day that had me nearly sprinting for my car at the end of the workday – so busy that I accumulated a record LOW number of steps because I barely even managed to get away from my desk to go to the bathroom.

All of these beautiful moments in life are packed in up against all of the really tough moments and I find it hard these days to ignore the garbage enough to fully embrace what is beautiful.

My god, I am trying.

I am lucky to be loved – and not just in that way that I feel that we are all lucky to be loved by the people who love us but in the way that sometimes I am an unbelievable pain in the ass and yet people in my life still love me.

I’m not sure why sometimes, but I am grateful for it.

Life is weird and amazing and beautiful. And sometimes I forget that it is indeed life – that part of what makes it beautiful are those moments that challenge you to not be such an unbelievable jerkface.

As I type this, I am in my warm home and I am half ignoring the fact that my driveway probably needs shoveling. My dog is on the couch next to me and he’s farting. It’s sickening and likely toxic. My kitchen counter is covered with junk even though I spent all day yesterday cleaning and all of the snacks I bought last week at Costco seem to be gone already despite the fact that I have two girls and I’m not raising a football team. One daughter is drinking a Gatorade, and she will almost certainly leave the empty plastic bottle sitting on a table in the living room when she’s done. The other is upstairs likely using the last of the hot water so there will be none left when I run a bath for myself later this evening.

But my home is warm and I am loved.

And that counts.

It counts because it has to count. It counts because it matters to me. It counts because if it stops counting, the days become that much more difficult.

We’re ten days in. I made no resolutions.

Even so, I hope to make this year a good one – and so I try.