Wednesday, November 27, 2013


With just a few days before the annual shopping frenzy, when you begin feeling more holidazed than any one person ever should, take a moment to give thanks to the people and world around you. When I say give thanks, I'm talking about face-to-face, look 'em in the eye connection. It's not as hard as it may seem, and it would mean more than you know to the person you are thanking.
  • Thank those who touch your life in simple ways.
  • Thank coworkers for showing up, doing their jobs, and going the extra mile.
  • Thank friends and loved ones for being a part of a much bigger picture.
  • Thank the universe for the greatness unfolding in your life each day.
How does one look the universe in the eye? That's the easy one. All you have to do is close your eyes and silently give thanks, or shout it out then give yourself a moment to consider all you are thankful for. That being said, I would like to thank you for allowing me to give you something to think about each week.

Photo courtesy of Dan Foy

Monday, November 18, 2013

Box Worthy

Yesterday, we removed all of the boxes labeled Christmas from our attic. Because I no longer decorate as much as I used to, I haven’t seen most of these boxes in years. While I still trim a tree and toss a bit of tinsel around, the decorating I do is simple, gives a holiday feel to our home, and does not take massive time to set up or take down. In an attempt to follow through with shedding and eliminating, we are beginning with the attic. What a perfect time to go through these boxes with the Christmas season just around the corner.

I am looking forward to the memories I will uncover; nevertheless, I will determine whether each memory is box worthy for future holidays. It may sound like an impossible task, but I am at a point in my life where I know it's time to give some of my decorations to others to enjoy. Many of us have a holiday d├ęcor nightmare hiding somewhere in our home. Follow my lead and make this holiday season the year of box worthiness.
Ballagio Christmas photo courtesy of Scott Ellis

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It’s Complicated

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

I have a tendency to overthink many things. Over time, I developed ways of sorting out the insanity in an attempt to move forward.
  1. I am a maker of lists and sticky note fanatic; and I’ll be honest, I enjoy checking items off my lists and tearing up sticky notes. I liken it to a momentary celebration of one less thing! Yay!
  2. I am a researcher extroidinaire. When I am buying something, I have a tendency to research it to death until  I have collected so much information I am on overload. No celebration there.
  3. I am an analytical thinker. When lists, sticky notes or research just doesn't cut it, I go into flowchart mode. My analytical mind is a buzz of if this, then that, until I figure out just what I need to do. This slows my mind and breaks things down into logical steps.
With all this overthinking, there is a point when I am just complicating the whole matter, even if I am merely trying to buy a new refrigerator. Over the years, I have gotten better at catching myself when I have reached the tipping point.

Either out loud, or in my head, I say, stop, enough, or give it a rest girl!

When I hear myself say this, I abruptly stop and let go. I see the moment for what it is ⎯insanity. In that moment, I refocus. Sometimes, I simply stop whatever it is I am doing in order to regroup at another time before I shutdown on the matter altogether. I’ve gotten rather good at shutting down when I am overwhelmed with how to move forward. The truth is, shutting down permits me to procrastinate. But, sooner or later I have to revisit whatever it was in the first place. When I do, I hear myself say, simplify, simplify, simplify. In other words, I allow myself to get out of my own way.

I think most of us have a tendency to complicate the matter, whatever it may be. We refuse to get out of our own way. Whether it's lists, sticky notes, research, flowcharts or whatever you do to sort out the insanity, it comes down to one word: simplify. Break the insanity and simplify. It is your choice, and is as simple as that.
Berry Good photo courtesy of D. Sharron Pruitt

Monday, November 4, 2013

Puzzling Moves

Next spring marks the twentieth year in our home. Over the past few years, my husband, Dennis, and I have been talking about where our next home might be located. We also discuss whether it will be a house, condominium, townhouse or who knows what. We have no clear path to what the answer is to any of those questions. What we do know is this⎯it will be smaller, and it will be sooner rather than later. 

When we first moved into our home, we planned on being here twenty years. My how time flies. With our love and sweat poured into this place of ours, we have improved the house and the five surrounding acres, and have made it into what it is today. We still enjoy the peaceful location, the home itself, and the land, but our hearts are not into it as much as they once were. Maintaining it has now become more of a burden than a joy. When you find yourself saying, I would rather, more often than not, it’s time to reevaluate.

It has been frustrating to think about moving, so we don’t. It’s like having a pile of puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit together. Recently, I had the realization⎯we aren’t ready to move. As in, if we are going to downsize, we need to start shedding and eliminating. In other words, we have too many puzzle pieces⎯we need to purge and clear a path forward! While we aren’t keepers of all things, and we get rid of stuff on a regular basis, we need to go deeper and get rid of the pieces that will not fit into the next space of our lives, whatever that may be. We will prepare for the possibility.

Currently, we are both of the mindset⎯we are moving! This thought alone is freeing and will help us move forward. I firmly believe, when we are ready, we will know it. Then we will be able to answer the questions we have been going round and round about, and the remaining pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. In other words, when we are ready, the path will clear and something will come up and be just right for our needs. We’ll know.

Can you trust in the unknown? Can you develop a forward mindset and start putting the pieces of the puzzle together without knowing what it looks like? Can you find a way to your path? Can you trust, by simply moving forward, the answers will come? When your heart is not in it, whatever it is, it is time to reevaluate, purge and move forward. You’ll know. Prepare for the possibility.

Puzzled path photo courtesy of Magnus Akselvoll