The Thrill of the Climb

Today I’m posting some quotes that have made a huge impact on me and that go hand in hand with reaching the finish line of Camp NaNo (which was yesterday). Yes, I made my goal! It was a little “iffy” at times, but I did it. There’s nothing as exhilarating as reaching the summit! 🙂 TS EliotMark TwainThe Climb

Now it’s time to keep the discipline that I developed during Camp and head over to my WIP (work in progress) and git ‘er done. Book two in the two-book Whispering Pines duology, Abby’s Retribution, will be available later this year.

My advice for now is:

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Seize the Day.

And Happy May Day!

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Christmas Truths

Christmas Wisdom

I’ve found two short quotes that speak volumes about the Christmas season. Thought I would share.

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!
― Benjamin Franklin

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas

 

What is Minimalism–Really?

The Things You Own

The past couple of years have brought with it a desire to live fully by minimizing not only my possessions, but other areas of my life as well. With that desire came the discovery of The Minimalists. I’ve listened to numerous podcasts and read articles galore and always come out on the other side with a better, deeper understanding of life, happiness and contentment, these leading to a better life.

I’ve learned that minimalism isn’t about depriving oneself of any “thing” or it’s not about getting rid of everything except one utensil, one pair of pants, one shirt, one book…you get the idea. It’s not even about buying the cheapest of something or spending a minimal amount of money. It’s about only buying–or doing–what adds value to yours or someone else’s life. Minimalism keeps me aware of what I’m buying and why I’m buying it; what I’m doing and why I’m doing it; who I’m spending my time with and why.

For me, minimalism has never been about deprivation. Rather, minimalism is about getting rid of life’s excess in favor of the essential.
― Joshua Fields Millburn, A Day in the Life of a Minimalist

New things are always fun, but will it still be fun and add value to your life once the newness wears off? It’s not wrong to buy that new dress, that new car, or even that ATV, just know why you’re buying it. If the reason for the purchase is because so-and-so has one or because you want to look good, there are deeper questions to ask yourself. Such as:

  • Why does it take a new dress (or whatever the purchase would be for you) to make you feel better about yourself? Maybe some time for self-reflection would be a better option.
  • A week from now, a month, or even a year, whatever length of time it takes for the newness to wear off, will the item still add value to your life or just become another useless item on the shelf?

By cutting out the things that don’t add value to your life, you’re making room for those things that do, whether it’s “things,” people, time, etc.

Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. Rather, we focus on making room for more, more, more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment—and more freedom. It just so happens that clearing the clutter from life’s path helps us make that room.
― Joshua Fields Millburn, Minimalism: Essential Essays

One of the men from The Minimalists team packed up all of his things into boxes and for the next several months only unpacked those items he needed for that day. Only a small percentage of things were unpacked at the end of those months. Take some time to ponder what you really use–what things, friendships, activities, etc, you have/do that truly add to your life rather than take away from that which does add value. Take some time to explore minimalism and see what it looks like for you. I believe it looks different for everyone.

Minimalism

Timeout Tuesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Timeout Tuesday, and with the beautiful scenery from my trip to the mountains last weekend, I figured today’s the day. So pour a cup of tea/coffee/drink of choice, and wander with mother nature.

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 “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar      

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

gratitude

My top three for the week:

3.)  Coffee! Something so simple and so ordinary, yet makes me so happy. 🙂

2.)  Painting with my husband the room my son just vacated to move to his own apartment–talking, laughing, and connecting. We make a darn good team!

1.)  Renewed appreciation for life, and the people in my life, after losing someone special.

Share with me what tops your list.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

– John F. Kennedy

 

Timeout Tuesday

Take a timeout from the busyness of life to step into the tranquility of nature.

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“Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility.”  -Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Prioritizing Priorities

Priorities

I’ve come to realize–again–that I’m not super-human and have conceded to the fact that I need to prioritize my life a bit. I’m confidant I’m not alone in that I tend to keep taking on more and more, often without realizing it, until life becomes a little bit of everything done somewhat well and nothing done well. There’s something to be said for striving to be a human-being rather than a human-doing.

When life becomes so busy with everything, it’s hard to fully enjoy anything. 

I began this blog because I was told it’s wise to do prior to publishing in order to build an audience. I quickly discovered, however, how much I enjoy writing these blog posts, saying what I feel called to say, and communicating with other like minded people who love to read and write. The number of people who follow my blog is not nearly as important any more as appreciating and communicating with those who do.

That being said, my life has been feeling out of balance and off-kilter, and I needed to sit back and take stock of where I spend too much of my time and energy, where I’m overextending, and where I need to invest more time and energy.

Electronics without question take up too much of my time and energy. My cell phone and computer can too quickly and easily become an extension of my fingers while I surf the Internet or check emails numerous times a day, play mind-numbing, time sucking games, when I could be spending that time on what is most important to me.

Other than my day job, which is necessary (though not necessarily that particular job, I’ve come to realize), which takes up 40+ hours of my week, my priorities for time spent are as follows:

1.) Time spent with God in prayer and meditation, aligning my thoughts with His will, allowing His love to penetrate my heart that I may love as He loves, and my family – my husband, children, grandchildren, and sponsor children. Being wife, mom, grandma and sponsor is a calling I’m honored to fulfill to the greatest of my ability.

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2.) Working out. Without this piece, the rest of my life – mind and body – fall apart and I can’t be healthy for any of the things that matter.

2.) Writing – first and foremost working on my novels, getting back into poetry, etc. This piece of writing brings me joy and fulfillment like nothing else. Not to mention sanity – and my family appreciates that. 🙂

3.) My blog

  • Writing posts
  • Responding to comments. I’ve made amazing cyber-friends through comments on my blog, and I am so grateful for them.
  • Reading posts – my goals is still to read, but I won’t be able to get to the same blogs every day like I’ve been striving so hard to do. If I want to explore and support other blogs, those who support mine and those amazing, yet undiscovered-by-me blogs out in the blog-o-verse, I’ve realized I need to spread my time out a bit.

4.) Giving some time back to the writing group I belong to, NCW, which has helped my writing see daylight after hibernation.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. “ -Stephen Covey

Here’s to prioritizing and finding balance, a moment, a day, at a time. And discovering peace through living your life by giving the most time to what matters the most.

What are your priorities? Do you often have to reassess? Do you find yourself spending too much time on what doesn’t matter in the scheme of things? Do electronics suck up too much of your time without even realizing it?

(6 more days until Camp! Camp NaNoWriMo. 🙂 )